April 29, 2006 9:47 AM – Karri Kokko has more about the Savukeidas evening – including audio recordings form Juhana Vähänen’s and my readings.
April 29, 2006 9:19 AM Yesterday evening in the Savukeidas party, I read “In Particular” by Charles Bernstein, as “Yleistämättä lainkaan“, in a translation-adaptation by Tommi Nuopponen and me. – Later, a woman from the audience came to tell me, enthusiastically: “I just closed my eyes and listened, thinking I was on a trip round the world. Those people just kept coming up…” (Thank you!) – I think Charles’ piece is one of the great poems of the new Millennium so far. And it is a genuine example of what it means for poetry to be political, now as earlier. It enacts a forceful statement on and for Multiculturalism (and against all false-hearted notions of a “conflict”, or “dialogue” of “cultures”). It does that without enacting any statement at all – by sticking to what is peculiar for poetry and “poetical thinking”: sound, juxtaposition, rhythm, rhyme, attention to detail, found meanings, re-contextualisations, misunderstandings… and sound again. Multiculturalism is poetry.
April 28, 2006 7:17 AM “Kuka minä olen?” by Anita Konkka in the Google Poem Anthology. Also, there are nice (start-of-) threads on Google Poetry at Word Doctors and Paperiarkki. And here’s a new Villanelle by Lauren Krueger.
April 28, 2006 5:40 AM Tonight from 8 to 12 PM, in Villa Kivi, Linnunlauluntie 7, Helsinki, the Five-Years-Party of Savukeidas, the publisher of my Ampauksia, with Katariina Vuorinen, Juha Kulmala, Ville-Juhani Sutinen, Mikko Myllylahti, Jenni Haukio, Timo Hännikäinen, Tapani Kinnunen, Esa Hirvonen, Santtu Puukka, Juhana Vähänen, and me. I think I’m gonna read from translations, old and new.
April 26, 2006 9:24 AM Re the aside on the Helsinki Festival in my post on Auden etc., consider this earlier note by Charles: “Announced readers [in the Academy of American Poets’ launch for National Poetry Month (TM)] are Meryl Streep, Wynton Marsalis, Julia Ormond, Alan Alda, Wendy Whelan, Mike Wallace, Dianne Wiest, Oliver Sacks, Gloria Vanderbilt, William Wegman, and Christopher Durang. / What a brilliant idea! Many involved with trying to do fundraising for poetry have encountered a huge obstacle again and again: poets and poetry. After hours of discussion, we have often realized that if only we were trying to raise money for something else, our silent auctions and cocktail receptions wouldn’t end up losing almost as much money as our book and magazine publications and web sites. / Perhaps the Academy will be starting a trend: / A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Benefit Reading with Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery, Mike Wallace, and Samuel R. Delany. / A Debutante Costume Ball in Celebration of 300 Years of Jews in New York, featuring Pat Boone singing “Kol Nidre,” the Morman Tabernacle Choir doing “Hatikvah,” and a special appearance by Meryl Streep as Moses.(…)” Well, why not also: A Solidarity Concert in the Finlandia Hall for Matti Nykänen, Toni Halme, Mikko Alatalo’s Wives, Hannele Lauri, and Marika Fingerroos, with Aki Salmela, Juhana Vähänen, Hannu Helin, Juha Kulmala, and Timo Lappalainen, and a special performance by The Far-Money Sisters (Tuula Hökkä, Janna Kantola, Anna Hollsten, and Johanna Pentikäinen) singing “Landet som icke är” by Edith Södergran, extracts from the Complete Poetical Works of Osmo Jokinen, and the Lutheran Pater Noster: “Anna meille tänä päivänä meidän jokapäivinen lööppimme“.
April 24, 2006 6:30 PM Apostrophe Engine by Darren Wershler-Henry and Bill Kennedy is online. It’s based on Kennedy’s 1994 book in which every line is an apostrophe – “a poetic figure of speech in which a person, abstraction, or entity is addressed as if it were present”. The engine now allows you to click at each single line of the original, to produce an endless variety of new poems based on online searches. As the web ages, it will allow “the poem to expand and continue infinitely”. Yes, and you can also by the book, for instance from Apollinaire Bookshoppe (“selling the books no one wants to buy”).
April 24, 2006 2:03 AM Introducing Code X, by Mario Cutajar, online per today. Every day, Code X generates a new image by fetching the text of the Google news page and applying an algorithm that converts the text into a “fingerprint” of the day’s newsworthy events. “Like fingerprints, the images are almost identical but subtly unique.” (Besides! this should be critical art even in Dan Hoy’s meaning. Or is there a way to interpret Cutajar’s work as “[surreneding] the technique of collage to a set of [Google’s] corporate algorithms” that I just cannot see? ;-))
April 24, 2006 8:24 AM “Erittäin koukuttavaa.” Finnish bloggers’ reactions to Lyhyellä matkalla ohuesti jäätyneen meren yli by Janne Nummela (poEsia): Ville-Juhani Sutinen, Elina Siltanen, Karri Kokko, Ville Luoma-aho (“not read yet”), Anita Konkka. & here’s Veloena about her first book launch experience ever.
April 24, 2006 7:23 AM “Pops & Clips“, a new, witty Google Poem by Chris Murray.
April 22, 2006 9:52 PM Proposal for the Seminar on Poetry in Time of War and Banality, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, May-June 2006, in English here. For a nice interview with Régis Bonvicino (curator of the seminar together with Alcir Pécora), go here.
April 21, 2006 9:19 AM Of Times And Pages. My Auden translation caused Jukka Mallinen to reflect, in an email, on Brodsky, “who was a pathological Anti-Communist (something I find it hard to condemn in his case)”, but who also, as is well known, “adored Auden, forgiving him his involvement with the British CP in 30’s (I think Auden walked out after the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact)”. Further: “based on Kalevi Haikara’s book on Brecht [Bertolt Brechtin aika, elämä ja tuotanto, 1991], it seems Auden and Brecht where in touch and even collaborated somewhat during the 30’s; later, in Hollywood, Auden even worked as poor Bert’s editor.” So, according to Jukka “As I Walked Out One Evening” is “a cynical, mundane, concret ballad very much in the vein of the Brecht of the 20’s.””By the way”, Jukka continues, “I remember how in Asemaravintola (Railway Station Restaurant), Helsinki, Brodsky told me about his admiration for Brecht’s Flüchtlingsgespräche (Pakolaiskeskusteluja, Refugee Conversations)” – the book from the authors time in Helsinki during WW2, with the famous phrase about Finland being “a country where people keep silent in two languages” (& those conversations of course taking place in that very restaurant). This later conversation was “on August 25, 1995, we were about to mount the train to Tampere, where we were to have a reading with Seamus Heany” (yes, it was that fabled year when the yearly Huvilateltta poetry reading in Helsinki featured these two Nobelists. Having been marginally involved with the preparations of the event more recently, I can only imagine the satisfaction this must have brought to the leadership of the Helsinki Festivals – their general attitude being that of “well, great to have a poetry event. But couldn’t we do away with the poets…”) Anyway, “Brodsky and I then met with Heany in the train, an encounter again recorded in the latter’s in Memoriam poem, “Audenesque””, concludes Jukka, whose other appearances in the World of Written Pages include the curious incident of the translator figuring as a protagonist in the novel he is translating, as explained on page 26 of this essay.
April 20, 2006 9:30 PM Recommended: Hidden City, exhibition of artworks rethinking the urban environment at the Museum of Finnish Architecture. The exhibition was put together by my friend Alan Prohm, together with his students at the University of Art and Design. Alan, an intermedial artist with a PhD from Stanford University and a keen interest in, and many projects exploring, visual and spatial poetry, lives in Helsinki and teaches architectural poetics at the University of Art and Design and experimental poetries at the University of Helsinki. As a first sample from our budding project to translate new Finnish poetry into English, here’s “A Second” by Olli Sinivaara (from Hiililiekki, Teos 2006).
April 19, 2006 3:39 PM Another zine! The first issue of the new literary and cultural magazine from South-East Finland (the New Eastland), Särö, is out (I understand it’s being mailed to the subscribers just now). The issue contains this interview with me on Google Poetry by poet Mikael Brygger (in Finnish).
April 19, 2006 12:05 AM Scenes From A Separation, a play by Andrew Bovell and Hannie Rayson, first produced in 1995 in Melbourne, is coming to Helsingin Kaupunginteatteri as Kohtauksia eräästä avioerosta (directed by Frej Lindqvist, the cast includes Jonna Järnefelt, Carl-Kristian Rundman, Sanna-June Hyde, Oskari Katajisto, Pekka Laiho, Anitta Niemi, and Leena Uotila). The script features quotations from a W. H. Auden classic, “As I Walked Out One Evening” (1939), and I was given the happy assignment to produce a full Finnish translation of the poem, to assist the translator proper, Reita Lounatvuori. Kas tässä.
April 19, 2006 10:03 AM A very welcome new poetry webzine: Douglas Messerli’s Green Integer Review – associated to his publishing house by the same name (formerly known as Sun&Moon Press). My picks from the two fist issues are “XII / As the Window Pane Speeds By” by Jan Erik Vold, the great Norwegian poet (this is the concluding section of his Twelve Meditations, translated into English by the author, consisting of beautiful lyrical-political pieces reminiscent of early Göran Sonnevi), and these poems by John Kinsella. John, again, is a really amazing Australian poet (see his Peripheral Light: Selected and New Poems, W.W. Norton, 2003, edited by the American critic Harold Bloom; but also see “Bloom’s Kinsella“, poet Brian Henry’s critical review of the book). John, also, is very much the man behind Salt Publishing, my coming English publisher. O, and Green Integer Review also offers this remarkable review by Douglas Messerli of the movie Good Night, Good Luck.
April 18, 2006 5:50 PM With the help of PostScript programming language, Marko “Nurotus” Niemi has found a great new gear in his Visual Poetry Engine. Also note the intermittent links to new updates at Nokturno.org.
April 14, 2006 6:30 AM Islandic poet Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl’s blog Fjallabaksleiðin has now for some time been situated at fjallabaksleidin.blogspot.com/. The Islandic poetry society Nýhil (yes, the word shares roots with its Finnish equivalent’s name, Nihil) again blogs at nyhil.blogspot.com/. For all of us Scandinavians, at least, they are great places to get a touch at that wonderful language and its poetry.
April 12, 2006 8:58 PM Launch for Janne Nummela’s Lyhyellä matkalla ohuesti jäätyneen meren yli (poEsia) in Kirja, Lasipalatsi, Thursday, April 20, 1 PM, with participation of the author, poet Olli Sinivaara, and myself. For more, go here, and here, and there.
April 11, 2006 11:11 AM “Poetry Off the Books” – a good article in Publishers Weekly, by Craig Morgan Teicher (via Silliman and Dumbfoundry). On the other hand, when searching Technorati early this morning for poetry blogs covering the great events of the day (adding “elections” and “immigrants” to “poetry“), I didn’t get much results to talk about. (Oddly enough, figuring high in both searches was this crackpot blog campaigning for a host of mad and reactionary ideas, among them the belief that “the tongue of GOD and JESUS was a Finnic tongue”…Of course, this will be put in the right perspective once Charles Bernstein and I will have time to dig deeper into what we believe to be the true proto-language of the world, the Finno-Saxon (mp3, 3:41).)
April 10, 2006 12:27 AM “I like subjectivity; it just doesn’t have to be my own.” Jack Kimball and Allen Bramhall have written interestingly about my friend Rob Fitterman’s recent reading (together with Joel Sloman) in Boston, prompting me to do these few translations from the latest book in Rob’s Metropolis project.
April 9, 2006 12:40 AM “…she came to the door, upset because some other writer had cut off her head…” Today, at 5:40 PM Sydney time, Barbara Campbell in her interesting “durational performance” project 1001 nights cast read (and webcasted) a story by Loma Bridge where the writer reads from a manuscript under preparation called City of Pantoum: “…Witness that Judas Iscariot was one / Who wept: the tears: 50 Adown three chins distilled // Who also betrayed him. 43. And he came and found them…” For the complete story by Loma Bridge, click here; for more about Barbara Campbell’s project, here. “These pieces have to be written quickly – so I was grateful for the google poem. It was interesting to note that when you are after something specific, the poem doesn’t necessarily come out right, and could need a lot of work before you are near complete”, Loma Bridge writes.
April 8, 2006 7:25 AM “Torrid, A Hot Topic” by Phil Crippen in the Google Poem Anthology.
April 8, 2006 6:25 AM Delightful new (mis)translations from Mallarmé in Jacket’s new feature by Chris Ewans, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, and John Tranter (in the direction of, and expanding on, what Charles Bernstein, Tommi Nuopponen and I did in our Four Saluts gig back in 2001 in Helsinki). & by the way, you’ll have a chanche to meet Rachel Blau in Helsinki in August, in a poetic circumstance I’ll have more to tell about soon.
April 6, 2006 10:00 PM Poesia em Tempo de Guerra e Banalidade. Encontro Internacional de Poesia in Sao Paolo, Brazil, May-June 2006, curated by Régis Bonvicino and Alcir Pécora, and with the participation of Arkadii Dragomoshenko (Russia), Charles Bernstein (United States), Eduardo Milán (Uruguay/Mexico), Nuno Ramos (Brazil), Paulo Henriques Britto (Brazil), Roberto Piva (Brazil), Yao Jing Ming (China), and myself (June 1, on “Poetry, Power, Freedom”). Read more (in Portuguese).
April 6, 2006 9:05 PM Shadowtime CD NMC is proud to announce the release of Brian Ferneyhough’s opera Shadowtime, setting Charles Bernstein’s poetic and complex libretto of seminal 20th-century philosopher Walter Benjamin’s last days and a phantasmagorical descent to the underworld. Recorded in collaboration with BBC Radio 3 and ENO, Shadowtime is performed by Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart and the Nieuw Ensemble of Amsterdam, and conducted by Jurjen Hempel. Read (and listen to) more at NMC and at Charles’ Shadowtime site.
April 6, 2006 8:43 PM I realize my very first saved entry, a year ago today, was about Jonimatti Joutsijärvi’s review on my book Ampauksia ympäripyörivästä raketista. A good time to make note of Jonimatti’s new, endearing pictures-as-poems at Nokturno.org (among many other new interesting updates there).
April 5, 2006 8:55 PM Proudly presenting “Eliza Day”, “Bad Karma”, and “Sometimes” in a demo recording of She! – composed by, vocals, and guitar, Miina Poikolainen, the youngest of the three daughters of our family.
April 5, 2006 6:55 PM Those of you in Stockholm this Friday, don’t miss the combined Talan Memmot presentation on “Writing Beyond Writing … Writing through New Media” and mini-release of OEI #26/2006, a double CD of contemporary sound poetry, in Robert Frank-salen, Högskolan för fotografi, Storgatan 43, starting 6 PM. Talan Memmot will look at new media writing practice through the lens of a digital author. Various works will be demonstated, while addressing some of the intentional media aspects within the work. Issues of digital rhetoric, signifying harmonics, and media intersemiotics will be discussed. The OEI CD features, among others, my reading of “Elegia”, also to be found here. More about the event here.
April 5, 2006 9:40 AM “Another is kuru” by Jesse Crockett in the Anthology (it’s beautiful). & new blogs on the roll (links-in-return, with thanks): boats, John Dufresne, Kari Edwards: Transdada, In Words and Transsubmutation, Jack Kimball (Pantaloons), loveecstasycrim, Jarkko Tontti, Sami Vainikka (Hämähäkkimies). & Mark Young’s new blog is gamma ways & another Australian, boynton, now blogs at boyntonesque.blogspot.com.