Sunday, November 24, 2013

Ron Padgett's Collected Poems




It's a red-letter day!  (or, to be accurate, a red-and-black letters day, on a plain cream-white background!). Coffee House Press have just published, in one 800-plus single volume, The Collected Poems of Ron Padgett. "Ron Padgett's poems", writes Anne Waldman, "are essential and Ron Padgett is a genius". She goes on,"His poetry is masterful for its panoramic humanity and mind-stopping verbal wit, its breathtaking power and beauty. We want to stay with the person in these poems all day long, to be changed by the possibilities palpitating from the smallest increments of our existence to the most sublime as they leap from Padgett's brain on to the page. This inspiring tome (the Collected Poems) is the transcendent friend". Alice Notley acutely observes, "The poet makes superlative use of the directive writing consciousness - often automatic pilot - to tap the unconscious for memory, vision, emotion, and the unexpected and indefinable. The poems speak backwards and forwards in time, to self, to family and friends, to poetic technique, to the birds caged in the chest. It is so lovely". 
David Lehman's early review for Publisher's Weekly, we've already mentioned, but here it is again - here
Here's Curtis Faville in The Compass Rose
Here's John Yau at Hyperallergic




Recordings of Ron on Pennsound (including a reading at the Kelly Writers House from 2003, and a reading, recorded in his East 13th Street, New York City home, in 2009, as well as an interview with Amy King) can be accessed here). 

Will Edmiston and Nicole Wallace's interview (an oral history) for the Poetry Project may be accessed here       

Juniors at Barnard College prepared a little overview and documentary interview. That may be viewed here




Via translators Olivier Brossard and Claire Guillot, his collections, The Big Something (Le Grand Quelque Chose)  and You Never Know  (On ne sait jamais) were recently translated into French for Joca Seria Here's Ron and Claire's bilingual reading from On ne sait jamais 



and here's a second occasion.

 

Ron's French presence. We'd be amiss if we didn't mention his extraordinary skill as a translator, notably of Guillaume ApollinaireBlaise Cendrars, Pierre Reverdy (but also a host of others, Valery Larbaud? - Pierre Cabanne's interviews with Marcel DuChamp?.. In 2001, the French Ministry of Culture honored him with the designation, Officier dans L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres).

Here's Ron's account of  his visit to Pierre Reverdy's birthplace.

His edition of Apollinaire's poetry (he's already translated a considerable amount of it) is scheduled to appear in 2015.  

Ron's editorial/curatorial presence. Here's just three essential volumes











Here's his image (and Allen's image, and Kenneth Koch's image) via the hand and eye of Larry Rivers


[Ron Padgett, Kenneth Koch, Allen Ginsberg - cover design by Larry Rivers for Paul Cummings' Catchword Papers volume, Making It Up (1994)] 

Speaking of Kenneth Koch, Ron edited this - Kenneth Koch - Selected Poems, in 2007, for the Library of America's American Poets Project 



Thirty years before (getting on forty years before!) he edited this (with David Shapiro) (Barbara Guest's absence notwithstanding, still one of the great, seminal anthologies)


An Anthology of New York Poets (Signed)

and how could we not utter the words "Ted Berrigan"?


[Ron Padgett and Ted Berrigan (1968) painting by George Schneeman]

or  "Teachers and Writers Collaborative", (where he worked, tirelessly, as publications director, for over twenty years). 



Readers might not be familiar with this book (and should be) - an interesting text to have alongside The Collected Poems

The Straight Line: Writing on Poetry and Poets

We wanted to include at least one graphic-collaborative piece. How about this?


["Life is a Dream" by George Schneeman and Ron Padgett]

and one poem:

Nothing in that drawer

Nothing in that drawer
Nothing in that drawer
Nothing in that drawer
Nothing in that drawer
Nothing in that drawer
Nothing in that drawer
Nothing in that drawer
Nothing in that drawer
Nothing in that drawer
Nothing in that drawer
Nothing in that drawer
Nothing in that drawer
Nothing in that drawer
Nothing in that drawer

Ron recently answered ten questions posed by Travis Nichols in The Huffington Post
(and seven more posed by Max Minckler at Riffle

Ron's poems "mingle the nervy sophistication and cosmopolitan experimentalism of a thriving international avant-garde art tradition with a kind of hillbilly twang that's unmistakably American", his friend, the poet Tom Clark, once declared.

You owe it to yourself to possess a copy of his Collected Poems


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