For the past four years I have been working in an editorial capacity with a Radcliffe Institute colleague of mine based in Germany, Irmtrud Wojak, to develop the Fritz M. Bauer Library of Remembrance and Human Rights, a project aimed at publishing bi-lingual editions of books that tell important stories about courage in the face of tyranny.
The first volume—Full of Hunger and Full of Bread: The World of Jura Soyfer 1912-1939 by Dorothy James—will be published this year in English and in German by Buxus Edition. This compelling work recounts the life of the Austrian novelist and cabaret composer Jura Soyfer.
Jura Soyfer’s writing spoke to the dark era in which he lived and speak, as well, to the era we are living through now. He is most famous for composing The Dachau Song while a concentration camp prisoner. The back of the English language version of the book features this translation of the last stanza of “Wanderlied der Zeit.”
Recently I learned that my essay “Sing Me a Song of 19 University Place,” which originally appeared in The Southern Review, was cited as a Notable Essay (pp. 220) in the Best American Essays 2019 volume, edited by Rebecca Solnit.
The journal AMP, out of Hofstra University, is the first to publish an excerpt from a new work I call Make.
Heeding the wisdom of Adrienne Rich’s comment “The notes for the poem are the only poem,” Make consists of a 70-page graphic poetic sequence that depicts the enigmatic, grinding, flighty, scary, fun, musical and atonal reality of “the page under the page” or the epic of a creative process at work. Its whispers—shouts—crowds of influences. Here the means is the end.
The manuscript, Meanwhile in the Dronx…, invents a sixth borough of NYC where people driven out of the other five boroughs retreat to resurrect their lives. Including a map and 25 drawings by a Brooklyn-based visual artist Dale Williams—harking back to the 19th Century publishing motif of illustrated socially-conscious literary melodramas—this work locates and adores humans struggling to recreate themselves amid the surreal wreckage of history.
This anthology is now available to the public. Edited by Carmen Maria Machado and Joyelle McSweeney, it includes Chapter 12 of it all melts down to this: a novel in timelines, a project of mine inspired by the drawings of Dale Williams. Below are two posts addressing the release:
Volume 11 of this journal—“The Practice and Pedagogy of Writing at Black Mountain College”—features twelve pages from What Days Are Like When There Are Only Nights, accompanied by an essay on form entitled “The Road: A Shared Plight.”
Chapter 17 of it all melts down to this: a novel in timelines appears in this journal out of San Diego State University edited by Harold Jaffe. When possible, a print version will appear. In the meantime the issue is available on-line.