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Pierre Joris
Pierre Joris

NYS Writers Institute, November 15, 2001
8:00 p.m. Reading | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
UAlbany Uptown Campus

With special guests: Diallo House-Bass/Nicole Peyrafitte - Vocals

PROFILE
PIERRE JORIS , UAlbany English professor, avant-garde poet and leading translator, is the author of Poasis, a collection of his original poetry. Born and raised in Luxembourg, Joris works in three languages: English, French and German. As a result of his multiple fluencies and ties to multiple cultures, Joris's poetry is characterized by cross-linguistic puns, energetic wordplay, and reflections on the nature of language. A cultural nomad, Joris often treats the subject of nomadism in his work.

Poasis"Reading Poasis is experiencing the pleasure and the challenge of being constantly on the edge of what matters, be it the alphabet, a tree, a lake, a lemur, or 'a dream of a desert in a book." - Leading Canadian postmodernist Nicole Brossard

"The best parts of this book are found in plain-spoken observations about why Americans can be so dogmatic. ...Here, one senses the complexities of being an interstitial writer, of existing somewhere on the edge of mediated, globalized culture. ..." - Publisher's Weekly

ThreadsunsJoris is highly regarded for his translations to and from English, French and German. His translations into English ofemininent Romanian-born poet and Holocaust survivor Paul Celan include Breathturn (1995) and the only complete English translation of Threadsuns (2000). In 1999, Joris received a National Endowment for the Arts grant to pursue translations on two other works by Celan, Lichtzwang and Eingedunkelt. Joris is also working, as both translator and coeditor with Jerome Rothenberg, on an English edition of the collected writings of Pablo Picasso. An earlier collaboration with Rothenberg, pppppp: The Selected Writings of Kurt Schwitters (1993), received the PEN Center USA West Literary Award for Translation. Other translations have featured the works of Maurice Blanchot, Edmond Jabes, The Who's Pete Townshend, Sam Shepard, Gregory Corso, Tristan Tzara and Julian Beck.

Poems for the MillenniumJoris is also co-editor with Jerome Rothenberg of the monumental anthology, Poems for the Millenium: The University of California Book of Modern and Postmodern Poetry (1995 Volume 1, 1998 Volume 2). In 1996, he received the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature for the first volume, From Fin-de-Siecle to Negritude. The anthology, which strongly favors avant-garde poets and poetry, is one of the most ambitious efforts to define the poetic history of the 20th century.

". . .a book of great authority and complexity." - Booklist on volume one

"an introduction to the many avant-gardes of the second half of the century. ..the value of this international gate-crasher cannot be underestimated." - Publisher's Weekly on volume two

Joris's earlier collections of original poetry include, h.j.r. (1999), Winnetou Old (1994), Turbulence (1992), and The Irritation Ditch (1991 ).

"Compelling investigative peregrinations, the poems of travel the nomad's 'desert,' a trope fertile with literary, historical, musical imagination. Pierre Joris' crystal shortwave picks up long lost fragments of language (Arabic, French, Farsi, Sumerian, Greek) and fascinating tribal lore. ..." - Anne Waldman, co-founder and director of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.