6 books by jim leftwich from luna bisonte prods

6 books by Jim Leftwich from Luna Bisonte Prods
Jim Leftwich
Jim Leftwich’s transmutations (not translations) of the poetry of César Vallejo are nothing short of brilliant. They feel more Vallejo in English than any previous translations ever have . Vallejo is certainly, bar none, among the greatest poets of the 20th century. Human, more than immediately human, tortured, both baroque and surreal, and lyrical beyond compare, his poetry defies translation, so difficult does it appear at times. This is especially the case with his early work Trilce (Tres tresss trisss treesss tril trilssss, as Leftwich’s title has it). Claimed by the surrealists as a master in that genre, Vallejo is that and more than that, opaque as Góngora or bittersweetly acerbic as Lorca, the complexity of his language and imagery find few parallels (the poetry of Dino Campana’s Canti orfici leaps to mind). Leftwich has created a Vallejo more Vallejo than Vallejo at times, and certainly makes for far more interesting and challenging a read than, for example, the deliberately strained translations of Clayton Eshelman. Leftwich, a poet renowned in his own way for complexity and baffling linguistic virtuosity, has certainly found an equal, a compatriot, one might say, in Vallejo. These transmutations have all the speed, energy and enigmatic beauty of the originals on which they are based. The foreword by Retorico Unentesi is also something to be savored for its rich and layered interpretations. -Ivan Arguelles

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diaristic reports, vol. 1 / jim leftwich. 2016-2017


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jim leftwich & bill beamer — pansemic playhouse

pansemic playhouse 2011
pansemic playhouse 2012
pansemic playhouse 2013
pansemic playhouse 2014
pansemic playhouse 2015
pansemic playhouse 2016
pansemic playhouse 2017

jim leftwich on the poetry of john m. bennett


Jim Leftwich takes on the enigmatic, complex poetry of John M. Bennett in a series of explorations of Bennett’s books. Leftwich, a poet, is an authority on Bennett’s ways of writing. His expositions include essay-like discussions, close readings of individual poems and lines, and glosses, hacks, and re-writings of Bennett’s texts. The re-writings create new poems and are ways in which Leftwich inhabits and/or illuminates the originals. At each chapter’s end, there is an email exchange between the two, discussing or clarifying aspects of the preceding exposition. The book is a fascinating journey toward the heart of a unique poet, whose work is generally impossible to approach using standard critical methodologies. This is a great opportunity to examine not only the mysteries of John M. Bennett’s poetry under the sharp magnification of the mind of Jim Leftwich, but a way to engage with Leftwich’s remarkable work as a poet and thinker about poetry.