Statement on PEN Awards

Earlier this month, I was notified that a book of poetry that I had translated and typeset (Tentacular Cities, by Émile Verhaeren, Sublunary Editions, 2023) was selected for the longlist of the PEN America Award for Poetry in Translation. I was one of dozens of authors and translators who preferred to decline a nomination than […] →Read more

Some observations

I would like to think that our online communication habits, our ways of talking to each other online, especially via text, could still change for the better. Xitter used to be a kind of online community (for me), literary or paraliterary or just readerly. By the time an execrable and ridiculous human being paid 44 […] →Read more

Jean Paul in Weimar, 1795

‘[W]ith the publication of Jean Paul’s second novel, Hesperus oder 45 Hundsposttage (1795, Hesperus or 45 Dog-Dispatch-Days), [Goethe and Schiller] could not ignore [Jean Paul]. Hesperus surpassed Goethe’s simultaneously appearing Wilhelm Meister’s Apprentice Years as well as Ludwig Tick’s William Lovell in both sales and public interest. Overnight Jean Paul became perhaps “the most read […] →Read more

Of the explorers

“Men travel in search of strange hemispheres, little suspecting that they are ransacking their origins. Doom was the loot of the conqueror; he gathered ruin, misfortune, and death. We are so astonished by men gorged with the calamities of the world that knowledge of their rueful pilgrimage brings us pleasure rather than sorrow.” —Edward Dahlberg →Read more

“When they get a hold of a rare book, it’s like they get intoxicated”

“Nobody can stop me from setting up—you know why? Because the people in the village—you know why? They want to read. This ain’t Brooklyn, this ain’t the Bronx, these people want to read. And when they get a hold of a rare book, it’s like they get intoxicated. It’s like they get high. They want […] →Read more

The social media shift

Since 2011 I’ve been on Twitter. Twelve years is a pretty long time. Long enough. I’ve probably said this before. I’m taking steps to download my archive of tweets & media and then I intend to log out once and for all. If anything I ever shared there had value—droll quips, shots of bookish eloquence […] →Read more

Editing Wikipedia

I was surprised when I recently spotted a notification from Wikipedia on my phone. Apparently, as a result of having made a certain number of edits, I am eligible for something I had never heard of called “The Wikipedia Library”. The “Library” is essentially a wide range of paywalled scholarly resources, roughly seventy of them, […] →Read more

On prolixity and abandonment

I have before me a mammoth work; an inexhaustible work; a work, so singular in its import, its vision and execution, that ordinary criteria all but wilt before it. →Read more

Stewart’s Plural Atmosphere

During his lifetime, Stewart Lupton published little to almost none of his poetry. So it is a great boon to have this little chapbook in my library to remember him by. Stewart will most often be remembered for his musical accomplishments, perhaps most notably as the frontman for a band called Jonathan Fire*Eater, which rose […] →Read more

homage to marguerite young (1908-1995)

Since Marguerite collects angels, Be an angel and come, You may shed your wings if you wish …  … from seven o’clock into eternity … I suppose it’s been a long time since my blog posted any new or useful content here. I’m not certain these remarks will be useful to anyone — I hope […] →Read more