the Poetry Center
presents ANNA MOSCHOVAKIS AND JOHN SAKKIS
Thursday OCT 27
Anna Moschovakis and John Sakkis Open Workshop
4:30 pm @ the Poetry Center, HUM 512, SFSU, free
Saturday OCT 29
Anna Moschovakis and John Sakkis reading their work
7:30 pm @ Meridian Gallery, 535 Powell Street, $10
SFSU students and Poetry Center members free
reduced low-income admission; no one turned away for lack of funds
Thursday afternoon Open Workshop will include brief readings, a discussion regarding the poets' recent work and poetics, and a conversation with the audience. Saturday night will feature full-length Readings by both poets.
ANNA MOSCHOVAKIS's recent publications include You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake (Coffee House Press, 2011), her second book of poetry, recently selected for the prestigious James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets.
"But this ambitious and compassionate book also believes -- or hopes -- that mindful attention to language might happily lead us elsewhere, toward other economies, other ways of being here together. 'One letter at a time we build relationships,' Moschovakis declares, 'even though the letter is only a virtual letter and the labor, such as it is, is free.'" (Brian Teare, Award Judge)
Her translations from the French include Egyptian writer Albert Cossery's novel The Jokers, and The Engagement, one of Georges Simenon's extraordinary "romans durs" (both from New York Review of Books). Based in Brooklyn and in upstate New York, she is an editor at Ugly Duckling Presse, and teaches at Pratt Institute and in Bard's interdisciplinary MFA program.
JOHN SAKKIS is the author of Rude Girl (BlazeVOX Books), and with Angelos Sakkis he has translated two books by Athenian poet and multi-media artist Demosthenes Agrafiotis -- Maribor (The Post-Apollo Press), awarded the 2011 Northern California Book Award for Poetry in Translation, and Chinese Notebook (Ugly Duckling Presse). Under the moniker BOTH BOTH he has curated various projects including: blog, reading series, music collaboration, and since 2005 a magazine. A graduate of SFSU and Naropa University, he lives in Oakland and works for Small Press Distribution.
wherever particles spoken
into my nerves
I hear outer voice
peeling away hunger
within months of walking
I refer to myself
nerves in vibration
and not vice versa
(from Rude Girl)
"Sakkis travels across time, space, meaning, rule, principle, mode, listening acutely and carving away all excess. . . . Rather than write about it, all I want to do is quote this exquisite book whose 'fatty sheets of rainbow' speak for themselves." (Susan Gevirtz)
"The lyricism of this book is suspended on a threshold of surplus and excess -- terms which cue the melancholy of its unique version of human loss and the fragility of whoever's left to report. This book disturbs me -- it disturbs my participation in the dissipating, breakable ecologies I participate in: the woods, tunnels, streets; the 'reified house' with its 'barking economy.'" (Brandon Brown)
Charles Kruger from Litseen on my and Lynn's reading at Bird And Beckett...
So on Monday, September 19, I made my way to an edition of POETS! featuring John Sakkis and Lynn Xu, hosted by Jerry Ferraz.
Mr. Sakkis and Ms. Xu are two exceptional poets. Both of them have reputations as translators, and this was certainly reflected in the elegant diction and surprising technical expertise they displayed.
Their entire sets can be found here and here.
Below, I have selected a sample from each reader to whet your appetite.
For the second half of his set, John Sakkis presented a remarkable series of poems seemingly inspired by science fiction TV. They are so closely knit, I felt it would be an injustice to break the set down further, so here follows seven minutes worth of this interesting poet.
For Lynn Xu, I have selected a lovely poem dedicated to (and in the style of) Gerard Manley Hopkins. This poem is remarkable for it’s evocative language, depth of feeling, and the utilization of the difficult “sprung rhythm” metrical style of her model. This is a very short excerpt, but its density cannot be overestimated.
The Islands (Nightboat Books), "now, 1/3" and thepoem (BlazeVOX Books) Chinese Notebook (Ugly Duckling Presse)
Maribor (The Post-Apollo Press)
Rude Girl (BlazeVOX Books)
Rave On! (Lew Gallery)
Gary Gygax (Cy Gist Press)
Rude Girl (Duration Press)
The Moveable Ones (Transmission Press)
Benthos (Silas Press). Lives in Oakland. Works for Small Press Distribution.