If the opening of Ernst Pawel’s biographical study of the 19th-century German poet Heinrich Heine doesn’t grab you, don’t bother to read on. But it if does, treat yourself to a great reading experience by getting hold of the book. ‘The Poet Dying’ includes a selection of Heine’s poems that runs to 80 or so pages, with the originals and the translations facing each other. Read an excerpt from one of the poems, ‘The Slave Ship,’ a searing portrait of the Dutch slave trade that gives you a solid dose of Heine’s sarcasm.
Such a Great Read!
William Cody Maher
‘If you don’t have a present, you always have a past’
‘A man is looking into his past. Let’s see what he finds there.’ — William Cody Maher, poet / writer / performance artist
Menus Animaux Is Coming Soon from Cold Turkey Press
… in a brilliant French translation by Bertrand Grimault.
The Philosopher’s Sling
Whatever you load into this self-purging contraption will hit the back of your head.
Jay Jeff Jones, RIP
Playwright, Essayist, Critic, and Such a Fine and True Poet
He died Saturday, May 20, 2023. He was 77. After theater studies and acting with The Mime Troupe in San Francisco, he moved to England, where he mostly lived since. In London he worked for Transatlantic Review, the British Drama League, and Running Man Press — and later edited the quarterly New Yorkshire Writing and co-curated (with Douglas Field) exhibition “OffBeat: Jeff Nuttall and the International Underground” at the John Rylands Library in Manchester, which drew 130,000 visitors. He published poetry, essays, reviews, and fiction in many magazines and anthologies.
Homage to Heinrich Heine (and a Tribute to Martin Amis)
Dead silence from that hustler.
Perhaps she’s on a ghost ship
circling the moon.
If ever she lands
back here on earth, I’ll tell you.
‘Singular, Tender, Euphoric, Hypnotic’
Dylan Mattingly’s 6-Hour Opera Makes It to Los Angeles
The last time we heard excerpts of “Stranger Love,” it was in Brooklyn and the score-cum-libretto had yet to receive a full production. Now it is to be staged from beginning to end in a once-only performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Mary Beach: A Pair of Dry Transfer Letraset Pieces
‘vuv’ was published in the little magazine Earthquake in 1967. The untitled piece was never published. James Horton discovered it in Carl Weissner’s Klactoveedsedsteen archive at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin.
Essential Reading Signaled in the Night Sky
The Flower Moon, seen over Byron Bay, Australia, on May 6, was a reminder of David Grann’s riveting ‘KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI,” which is essential reading to understand the history of America’s marauding westward ‘progress’.
Too Funny to Forget
Christopher Hitchens Would Be Chortling
And the staff here hopes, so will you.
At the Château Palettes in Bordeaux
An exhibition of paintings and drawings by Gerard Bellaart and a screening of three films by Fred Worden.
High Market Value of a Modern First Edition Fills a Void
A pre-owned, first edition copy of Necrophilia Variations sold yesterday on eBay with an asking price of $2,000. The author, who goes by the name Supervert, is embarrassed to brag about it. Although it wasn’t Supervert who sold it, and he doesn’t know who did, he tells me, “Market value helps fill the vacuum of feedback we writers are treated to.”
Gazing in Wonder at Jan Heller Levi
IIt’s hard to say what is most memorable about the poems in these three collections—”orphans,” “Skyspeak,” and “Once I Gazed at You in Wonder”— because it means having to choose between their emotional impact and their marvelous candor, to say nothing of their literacy, intimacy, humor, and intelligence.
Mustill’s Big Bang
Exploding the Alphabet via Poésie Concrête
The explosion grows . . . and the letters disperse.
When the Computer Was Not Quite King
Back in the 1960s, Norman O. Mustill worked with a razor blade. But it’s not his technical skill, brilliant as it was, that makes these images so remarkable.
What Does It Mean to Prepare for Death?
I don’t have a terminal disease, unless it’s called old age. . . . But there’s always this to consider: being ready to die is an illusion.
Poetry Comes First
Large Menu from Bite-Sized Books
The first volume in a projected series called The Return to Reason has been released by the British publisher Bite-Sized Books Ltd. The stated aim of the volume, titled ‘The Poem is Part of the Eye,’ is “to draw new readers towards poetry they may not be familiar with or have not previously engaged with at all.”