Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Golems, Jazz, and Naked Magic with Tony Barnstone

This Sunday, 3/25/12, at 7 PM EST, I will host the incredible, versatile Tony Barnstone on Tiferet Talk for a conversation about poetry, editing, and translation. Barnstone is the recipient of many awards, including a Pushcart Prize, the Paumanok Poetry Award, the Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize, and the Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry. He is the author, editor, and translator of over a dozen books, including collections of poems and writings about poetry. His poetry collections are Naked MagicImpure, Sad Jazz: Sonnets, The Golem of Los Angeles, and Tongue of War, a collection of dramatic monologues set in the Pacific during the Second World War.

Yusef Komunyakaa says of Barnstone's Impure, "I admire Tony Barnstone's Impure because of the collection's unrelenting believability and lyrical certainty. Plain-spoken and magical, this poet knows how to make imagination and the real world collide softly. There is a clarity in Impure that reaches beyond the formlessness of modern life. Borders are crossed in the psyche and the flesh, and this collection seems like an elongated song that embraces the most elusive moments buried in language and nuance through the pure naming of things - a mantra of what is and what is dreamt - that takes into the sacred territory what no ordinary compass can plot or unplot."

Robert Olen Butler says of Barnstone's Tongue of War, "Brilliant in conception, comprehensive in its humanity, exquisitely voiced by a stunning range of characters, Tongue of War is not only a deeply moving work, it is an endearingly important one. Tony Barnstone has revealed humankind's capacity both for evil and redemption with a power that few writers have ever achieved."

Please join us live or listen to the archives at blogtalk or itunes any time after the show has aired.

I leave you with a beautiful poem by Tony Barnstone:
Vision of Milk 
from Readymades at The Drunken Boat

Because I wished I were wise,
because I wanted to become air,

because I am in love with zeros,
I swam in deep light-distances.

I saw my shadow wavering before me;
I saw a footpath of light.

I saw clouds like swelling milk udders;
they flowed like milk into my hands.

I watched the pregnant moon give birth to the sun,
and I saw the blood.

I watched the world drown in shallow waters,
and I caught that little whiff of carrion,

and it almost destroyed me,
but instead it made me stronger,

because even a wound has the power to heal,
because to live does not mean to be sick,

and because the galaxy is a woman and she is good
I took her breast in my hand and I drank.