Friday, 16 September 2011

Hats Off to Michael Schmidt

 Been reading the new PNR this week, with my review of the recent Penguin translation of Leopardi's Canti in it. I was bowled over in the summer to receive an email from its American translator Jonathan Galassi ( to whom Michael Schmidt had shown my submission ), thanking me for the review and even promising to send me some books. Little did I know, when I'd gauchely wrote in the review that I hadn't heard of JG but that (based on the acknowledgments page in the Leopardi volume eg. Muldoon, Bidart, Gluck, CK Williams) he keeps some illustrious poetic company, Galassi is actually the president of the prestigious American publishing house Farrar Strauss and Giroux, as well as being a renowned poet in his own right. That'll teach me not to research authors I'm writing reviews of...Anyway he very kindly sent me a collection of his Montale translations, which are absolutely stunning and I hope to do a post about Montale on here soon.
   Also this week PN Review held a party for their recent 200th edition, which I had an invite for but was unable to attend, being in sleep-deprived hoochy-coochy babyfather mode rather than rapier-witted poete maudit (or even someone able to string a coherent sentence together.) Hats off to Michael Schmidt, though, for 200 issues of by far the best-written, best-edited, most consistently engaging, arresting and provoking poetry journal we have and here's to at least 200 more...

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