Getagged: Mary Jo Bang

38. Feminist energy

IT’S HARD NOT to love an artist who can craft a bronze phallus, exhibit it on a meat hook, then tuck it under her arm and go. Louise Bourgeois’s feminist energy is contagious, and her art invites articulation — words called up to answer image. Her oneiric intelligence, equal parts bawdy and brutal, provokes poets to match her mixed-media oeuvre with verbal riffs. Carmen Giménez Smith invokes a Bourgeois sculpture as a figure for desire, a source of “milky, / blobbing […] star-fuckery.” Mary Jo Bang looks at Cell (Three White Marble Spheres) and sees “The crazy face / Of the day looking back with its blank / Brazen sky-high stare.” Camille Guthrie deems Fillette “accurate as the entrails of a rabbit.” Bourgeois’s messy, uncanny accuracy and her peculiar irreverence and disturbing scatology are for many contemporary poets a mother lode. In excavation of that lode, what follows is a rumination, a reading, and a review.

¤

Looking into Louise Bourgeois’s Cell I (1994) reveals this prismatic sentence:

Pain is the ransom of formalism.

The words are embroidered with rust-colored thread on one of several burlap mail sacks that cover a metal cot, and they are the punch line of what may be Bourgeois’s most famous and enigmatic artistic statement:

The subject of pain is the business I am in. To give meaning and shape to frustration and suffering. What happens to my body has to be given a formal abstract shape. So, you might say, pain is the ransom of formalism. / B.K. Fischer, LA Review of Books

18. The Berlin Prize

Announcing the 2014-2015 Class of Berlin Prize Fellows

Proudly congratulating the Academy’s seventeenth class

The American Academy in Berlin is proud to announce the twenty-five recipients of the Berlin Prize Fellowship for the fall 2014 and spring 2015 terms. The highly competitive Berlin Prize is awarded each year to scholars, writers, and artists who represent the highest standards of excellence in their fields. The Academy’s seventeenth class of fellows is comprised of outstanding historians of art, architecture, culture, religion, science, and American life, fiction writers, two artists, a poet, a journalist, a composer, a filmmaker, a legal scholar, and a scholar of comparative media.

The Berlin Prize includes a monthly stipend, partial board, and residence at the Academy’s lakeside Hans Arnhold Center in Berlin-Wannsee. It is awarded annually by an independent selection committee, chaired by Anthony Vidler, Professor of Humanities and Art and Architectural History at Brown University. The Berlin Prize affords recipients the time and resources to step back from their daily obligations to work on academic and artistic projects they might not otherwise pursue, engage with their German counterparts, and experience Berlin’s vibrant cultural and political life.

Click here for a complete list of the Berlin Prize recipients and their projects for the 2014-2015 academic year (September 2014 through May 2015):

Unter den Stipendiaten:

Mary Jo Bang
Poet and Professor of English
Washington University in St. Louis
“The Bauhaus: A Study in Balance” – A Book of Poems

Tomas Venclova
Writer and Professor Emeritus of Slavic
Languages and Literatures
Yale University
A History of Lithuania – Between East and West

Siyen Fei
Associate Professor of History
University of Pennsylvania
Sexuality and Empire: Female Chastity and Frontier
Societies in Ming China (1368-1644)

The Berlin Prize Fellowships have been permanently endowed by the following individuals, foundations, and corporations: Daimler AG, Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, Nina von Maltzahn, Karl and Mary Ellen von der Heyden, John P. Birkelund, and the German Transatlantic Berlin Prize supported by European Recovery Program funds granted through the Transatlantic Program of the Federal Republic of Germany. Fellowships are also named after Axel Springer AG, Robert Bosch Foundation, Siemens AG, Berthold Leibinger Foundation, Dirk Ippen, Ellen Maria Gorrissen, Anna-Maria Kellen, Guna S. Mundheim, and Inga Maren Otto.

11. Recreating

What does it mean to translate in a way that is faithful to an original? What, for that matter, makes a book original, or even belong to an author? Critics argue these questions fiercely, and two recent translations by major women poets throw fuel on this fire: Anne Carson’s Antigonick and Mary Jo Bang’s Inferno. They not only resituate Sophocles and Dante in the language of the present, but also recast them visually (Carson collaborated with illustrator Bianca Stone and Bang with Henrik Drescher). Both translations continue the elegiac projects begun by Carson in Nox, written for her brother, and Bang in Elegy, written for her son. But Carson and Bang are also both in the business of subversively recreating a canonical text by a long-dead male author. / Rachel Galvin, Boston Review

Antigonick
Translated by Anne Carson
New Directions, $24.95 (cloth)

Inferno
Translated by Mary Jo Bang
Graywolf Press, $35 (cloth)

98. Poetry Foundation Celebrates National Poetry Month

Free issues of Poetry, new educational resources, Record-a-Poem, and more

 

CHICAGO —The Poetry Foundation is pleased to announce an exciting array of literary programs and poetry events across the country in celebration of National Poetry Month, April 2013.

Poetry
Fifty thousand free copies of Poetry’s April 2013 issue will be distributed to individuals, classrooms, and reading groups around the world in celebration of National Poetry Month. In the April issue, readers find new poetry from Eavan Boland, Jane Hirshfield, Jamaal May, Dean Young, as well as poems by Adam Kirsch inspired by accompanying photographs. In a commemorative installment of “A Few More Don’ts”—one hundred years after Ezra Pound’s original “A Few Don’ts by an Imagiste” appeared in Poetry’s March 1913 issue—William Logan, Marjorie Perloff, and Sina Queyras offer their own guidelines for poets. Readers can find the entire April issue of Poetry online as of April 1, along with the accompanying discussion guide and the magazine podcast. A downloadable PDF of the April issue is also available, perfect for laptops, tablets, or e-readers.

Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute
The Poetry Foundation’s Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute has partnered with McSweeney’s to publish two new titles for readers, writers, teachers, and travelers. In an effort to bring the joy of poetry to studentsOpen the Door: How to Excite Young People About Poetry, edited by Dorothea Lasky, Dominic Luxford, and Jesse Nathan, offers essays, interviews, and lesson plans. The Strangest of Theatres: Poets Writing Across Borders, edited by Jared Hawkley, Susan Rich, and Brian Turner, explores how poets can serve as international envoys and revitalize American poetry in the process. These books will be released on April 9, 2013, and are currently available on the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute website, along with a range of free educational resources.

Record-a-Poem
Anyone can record and share their favorite poems through the Poetry Foundation’s Record-a-Poem project. Participants choose poems from the more than 10,000 available through the Poetry Foundation, then record and post them to the Record-a-Poem group on Soundcloud. Learn more about the project.

Weiterlesen

7. Beachtenswert

Die American Library Association (ALA) stellt seit mehr als 60 Jahren eine jährliche Liste von 25 “sehr guten, sehr lesbaren und manchmal sehr bedeutenden” Büchern aus den Bereichen Belletristik, Sachbuch und Lyrik für erwachsene Leser zusammen.

Unter den 25 Titeln für 2013 sind zwei Gedichtbände:

Inferno

Author: Alighieri, Dante. Trans. Mary Jo Bang. Illus. Henrik Drescher. Publisher: Graywolf.

A rollicking, contemporary trip through the Underworld.

 

Stag’s Leap: Poems

Author: Olds, Sharon. Publisher: Knopf.

An arc of verses which touch the raw nerve of betrayal, lost love, forgiveness, healing and finding peace.

76. Gerocktes Inferno

Mary Jo Bang, die für ihren jüngsten Band —Elegy— 2007 den National Book Critics Circle Award erhielt, gibt eine superzeitgenössische (“über-contemporary”) postmoderne Übersetzung Dantes. Und, OMG (um eine Wendung zu benutzen, die sie darin hätte benutzen können aber nicht hat), Bang rockt und rollt das Gedicht herum bis es ihr eigenes wird; es ist faszinierend, manchmal schön und auch ein wenig bizarr.

Bang integriert moderne Bezüge aus Populärkultur (eine South-Park-Figur), Technologie (Smart card), Wetterphänomene (El Niño) und Alltagssprache (“Fighting our way up the ladder…”) und flicht Anspielungen auf John Coltrane, Fleetwood Mac, Joseph Cornell und den Wizard of Oz ein, ebenso Zitate von Eliot, Plath, Berryman und Browning.

Bangs elegante Worte erinnern uns daran, daß diese jahrhundertealte Geschichte noch immer wahr klingt: “What can hurt me here? What should I fear? / What beast can do me in that doesn’t live within? / One shouldn’t fear what isn’t.” * / Jim Carmin, Philadelphia Review of Books

‘INFERNO’
By Dante Alighieri
Translated by Mary Jo Bang
Drawings by Henrik Drescher
Published by Graywolf, 341 pages, $35

Morgen an der Harvard-Universität:

Wednesday, October 17, 6:00pm

OMNIGLOT SEMINAR: EXPERIMENTS AT THE BORDERS OF POETRY & TRANSLATION

Mary Jo Bang & Jennifer Scappettone

Mary Jo Bang (author of Elegy and the recent variations on Dante’s Inferno) and Jennifer Scappettone (translator of the award-winning Locomotrix: Selected Poetry and Prose of Amelia Rosselli and author of From Dame Quickly) explore the ways that their translation projects intersect with and enlarge their own poetics. The event will include readings and interactive discussions with the audience.

Woodberry Poetry Room, Lamont Library, Room 330.

Auf Deutsch:

Mary Jo Bang: Eskapaden
Ausgewählte Gedichte. Zweisprachig. Übersetzt von Barbara Thimm. Mit Illustrationen von Matt Kindt
luxbooks 2011

*) Die Stelle, vermutlich 2. Gesang 88-90? (hab die Übersetzung Mary Jo Bangs nicht zur Hand). Da spricht Beatrice zu Dantes Begleiter Vergil. In der Übersetzung Karl Wittes:

Furcht hegen soll man nur vor solchen Dingen,
die Schaden uns zu tun die Macht besitzen;
vor andren nicht, weil nichts an ihnen furchtbar.

In der neuen Prosaübersetzung von Hartmut Köhler:

Fürchten soll man sich nur vor solchen Dingen, die einem Schaden bringen können; vor anderen, die einen grundlos ängstigen, aber nicht.

Und bei Rudolf Borchardt:

Fürchten ist solche ding alleine schicklich,
die uns zu übele taugeten gereichen:
die andern nicht, denn sie sind unerschricklich.

94. Rollen

Poets.org: Was ist für dich die Rolle des Dichters in der heutigen Kultur?

Mary Jo Bang: Heute gibt es genau wie zu jeder anderen Zeit tausend Rollen für die Dichter: Semiotiker, Elegiker, Spieler, Geräuschmaschine, Musikerin, Lesbe, Theoretikerin, Vaterfigur, Vogelkundler, Videoprojektion eines sich bewegenden Mundes – sie alle in Wittgensteins Fliegenglas gefangen.

Poets.org: Auf welchen Dichtern kommst du in deinem Werk immer wieder zurück?

Mary Jo Bang:  Hopkins. Beckett. Der frühe Eliot. Joyce. Freud. Stein. Manchmal drängelt sich Thomas Hardys “The Voice” in meine Arbeit. Oder Byrons “So, we’ll go no more a-roving.” Ich weiß nicht warum. Auch Cummings‘ “Buffalo Bill’s defunct“— die letzte Zeile, “and what i want to know is // how do you like your blueeyed boy / Mister Death”, ist so konfrontativ verrückt. Oder auf so verrückte Weise konfrontativ.

Berrymans 77 Dream SongsPlathRimbaudDickinsonBreton. Barthes. Bei manchen von ihnen ist es nicht so sehr ein “Zurückkommen” als daß sie mir so gegenwärtig sind, daß sie, ob ich will oder nicht, Teil von mir sind. Und manche sind eigentlich keine Dichter, aber für mich doch.

/ poets.org

Auf Deutsch:

Mary Jo Bang: Eskapaden
Ausgewählte Gedichte. Zweisprachig. Übersetzt von Barbara Thimm. Mit Illustrationen von Matt Kindt
luxbooks 2011