I wanted to help spread the word about two online posts related to poetry & translation. The first is the Third Factory / Notes to Poetry posting of Marjorie Perloff‘s list of recent poetry books worthy of attention: her last three write-ups–Jonathan Stalling‘s Yíngēlìshī 吟歌麗詩 (Counterpath), Susan Bernofsky‘s translation of Uljana Wolf’s False Friends (Ugly Duckling), and Susan Howe’s That This (New Directions)–all bear some kind of affinity, I think, with my translations of Xi Chuan in Notes on the Mosquito (the whole Third Factory compilation of lists is worth looking at; I just noticed Johannes Göransson‘s mention of Aimé Césaire‘s unexpurgated Solar Throat Slashed, co-translated by Clayton Eshleman, with whom I have also worked).
Then there’s Richard Jeffrey Newman‘s epic post “I am a Translator of Classical Iranian Poetry. Or Maybe I’m Not.” Ranging from his loss of a union election to the obstacles he’s had to face in being recognized as a translator of classical Persian poetry, I recommend it to anyone interested in the politics of either academia or translation in the US. The bullets he ends with are sharp and quick, but they also make me yearn, in part, for a world in which Chinese poetry translation could be taken so seriously. I can’t think of an equivalence to the critical thinking around whether it’s “Persian” or “Iranian” literature, for instance, in the Chinese context.