August 6, 2022

Pierre Joris (b. Luxembourg / lives USA) 1946

Pierre Joris (b. Luxembourg/lives USA)



Pierre Joris left Luxembourg at eighteen and has since lived in the USA, Great Britain, North Africa and France. In 1992 he returned to the Mid-Hudson valley and teaches in the Department of English at SUNY-Albany He has published over 20 books & chapbooks of poetry, among them, Poasis: Selected Poems 1986-1999, h.j.r., Winnetou Old, Turbulence, and Breccia, Selected Poems 1974-1986. A Nomad Poetics, a selection of essays, was published in 2003 by Wesleyan University Press.

   He has also published a range of translations, both into English and into French, the most recent being Paul Celan : Selections (University of California Press), 4x1: Translations of Tristan Tzara, Rilke, Jean-Pierre Duprey & Habib (Inconundrum Press), and Habib Tengour's Empedokles's Sandal (Duration Press). He has also translated three volumes of Paul Celan’s late work, all published by Sun & Moon and later Green Integer: Lightduress (which received the 2005 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation), Threadsuns and Breathturn. Earlier volumes include Maurice Blanchot's The Unavowable Community and Edmond Jabès’s From the Desert to the Book (Station Hill Press), as well as Jack Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues, Gregory Corso’s Selected Poems and Sam Shepard’s prose works into French (Christian Bourgois, Editeur).


    With Jerome Rothenberg he has published a two volume anthology of 20th Century Avant-Garde writings, Poems for the Millennium: The University of California Book of Modern & Postmodern Poetry, (University of California Press) the first volume of which received the 1996 Pen Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature. Rothenberg’s and Joris’s previous collaboration pppppp: Selected Writings of Kurt Schwitters (Temple University Press, 1993, reissued in 2002 by Exact Change) was awarded the 1994 PEN Center USA West Literary Award for Translation. Rothenberg and Joris recently co-edited and co-translated The Burial of the Count of Orgaz & Other Writings of Pablo Picasso (Exact Change).

     A collection of poems translated into French by Jean Portante, Nicole Peyrafitte and the author, under the title La dernière traversée de la Manche, was published in Luxembourg & Québec by G-r-a-p-h-i-t-i Editeur in 1995; the same publisher issued a French translation of Joris's h.j.r. by Eric Sarner in 1999. Fin De Siècle-Phantombild, a volume of selected poems in German translation by Nico Helminger, came out in 2003. His work has also been translated into Spanish, Rumanian, Arabic and Chinese.

     As reader & performance artist recent work with performance artist / singer / painter Nicole Peyrafitte includes "dePLACEments" (premiered from 27 June to 2 July at Cave Poésie, Toulouse, France); "Manifesto&a" (premiered in Luxembourg, July 1998); "Riding The Lines," (European Tour summer 1997; New York City performance at the Here Inn, Dec 1997). Other performances include "Pierre's Words (Toward an Opera)," a collaboration with composer Joel Chadabe and the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company (Premiered May 3rd, 1997, The Egg, Albany); "Frozen Shadows," a dance and reading performance based on Winnetou Old, choreographed by Ellen Sinopoli & danced by the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company (Union College, Schenectady, NY January 21, 1996; "The Egg," Albany, NY, April 12 & 13, 1995); and "This Morning" (part of Music Juggle) a multimedia collaboration with composer Xavier Chabot (Premiered at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY February 5, 1997. Chabot presented this work in Japan in late 1997.)




The Fifth Season (London: Strange Faeces Press, 1971); Antlers I-XI (London: New London Pride Editions 1975; Oasis 18 [special issue of Oasis magazine, including a selection of poems & an interview, plus essays by Eric Mottram, Clayton Eshleman & Robert Kelly] (London: Oaisis, 1978); Hearth-Work (Yorkshire, England: Hatch Books, 1977 [published together with Allen Fisher's Fire Place as Fire Work]; Tanith Flies (London: Ta'wil Press, 1978); The Tassili Connection (London: Aloes Books, 1978); Body Count (Paris: Twisted Wrist, 1979); The Broken Glass (Durham, England: Pig Press, 1980); Tracing (Todmorden. England: Arc Press, 1982); The Book of Luap Nalec (London: Ta'wil Press, 1982); Net/Work (London: Spanner Editions, 1983); Breccia (Selected Poems 1972-1986) (Echternach, Luxembourg: Editions Phi and Barrytown, New York: Station Hill Press, 1987); The Irritation Ditch (La Jolla, California: Parentheses Writing Series, 1991); Janus (Rhinebeck, New York: St. Lazaire Press, 1988); Turbulence (Rhinebeck, New York: St. Lazaire Press, 1991); Winnetou Old (Buffalo: Meow Press, 1994): h.j.r. (Ann Arbor, Michigan: Earthwind Press, 1999); Out/takes (Ellsworth, Maine: Backwoods Broadsides Chaplet #46, 1999); Poasis (Poems 1986-1999) (Middleton, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 2001); Permanent Diaspora (Sausalito, California: Duration Press, 2003); The Rothenberg Variations (Ireland: Wild Honey Press, 2004); Aljibar (PHI, 2007), a bilingual edition with French translations by Eric Sarner; Aljibar II (PHI, 2008), a bilingual edition with French translations by Eric Sarner; Meditations on the Stations of Mansur al-Hallaj (Chax Press, 2013); Barzakh (Poems 2000-2012) (Black Widow Press 2014); An American Suite (Inpatient Press 2016); The Book of U — Le livre des cormorant (with Nicole Peyrafitte. Luxembourg: Editions Simoncini, 2017); Fox-trails, -tales & -trots (Poems & Proses) (Luxembourg: Black Fountain Press, 2020).


╬Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English




9/ 11/ 01


to be written

when the

time comes:


this moment,

this second

cuts in be-


tween in two.

It will be the —

where to breathe


the or a o-

pen pore

riots of air


that second

always second

rift in time


marks time

for breath, gash

curled high in air.


Albany, 7:20 a.m.




Reprinted from Jacket, no. 27 (April 2005). Copyright ©2005 by Pierre Joris.

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