Friday, October 13, 2006

Clayton Eshleman

I got an inquiry from Noah Eli Gordon about a project he's working on and that got me to thinking about Clayton Eshleman. I think Clayton is writing the best poetry of his career right now. Some of the best poetry being written by anyone. So I just thought I would say that. You can see an example of what I'm talking about in the first issue of Action,Yes.

Now Clayton's translated the complete Vallejo. I think his translation work and the translations of Eliot Weinberger, Pierre Joris and Jerry Rothenberg will be incredibly important to the way things shake out. They have provided an important internationalizing force for a stagnantly national-oriented literature.

I was deeply influenced by his late-Artaud book when it came out in the mid-90s. I went to see him read at the Poetry House or whatever it's called and I was quite impressed, quite certain that he was nuts.

2 Comments:

Blogger Snark said...

I remember bumping into this guy after a reading Dan Beachy-Quick gave at the Art Institute. He was grumbling about that there was "nothing at stake" in Dan's work. He was wrong about that.

But his new poems are pretty interesting.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Fran├žois said...

I remember thinking the same thing about Joris and Rothenberg, when a friend mentioned to me he was teaching from a certain anthology because he was trying to be more inclusive and internationalist. I ended up telling him about Poems for the Millenium, which I think is probably the best anthology in print in America just because of its span and critical approach.

1:08 PM  

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