Synopses & Reviews
Poetry. Native American Studies. In a preface to this new edition of his fabled anthology of Native American poetry, Rothenberg suggests that the translations should work "by analogy to contemporary, limit- smashing experiments (as with concrete poetry, sound poetry, intermedia, happenings, etc.)" As a result, the stylistic range represented in SHAKING THE PUMPKIN reflects the variety of poetic practices that existed among Native American cultures—noting that before the exploration of North America by Europeans over 500 distinct native languages were in use. Rothenberg translates, or co- translates, a large portion of the material; however, other translators represented in the anthology include Anselm Hollo, W.S. Merwin, and Nathaniel Tarn. Along with a thoughtful introduction, SHAKING THE PUMPKIN includes a breakdown of the works by region and tribe, and a large section of commentaries, which offer background information about each poem, placing the works within a cultural context. Rothenberg also uses the commentaries to discuss American Indian tribal poetry, philosophy, and history.
About the Author
Jerome Rothenberg is the winner of numerous awards, among them two PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Awards in Literature, two PEN Center USA West Translation Awards, the Alfonso el Sabio Award for Translation, and two American Book Awards. He is the author of over eighty collections of poetry, twelve from New Directions and the most recent, Concealments and Caprichos, from Black Widow Press (2010); two collections of essays; ten books of translations from Spanish, German, French, and Czech; and editor or co-editor of nine anthologies, among them the seminal Technicians of the Sacred (Doubleday and Co., 1968, and University of California Press, 1985) and the recent three-volume Poems for the Millennium (University of California Press, 1995, 1998, and 2009). He was editor/publisher of Hawks Well Press in the 1960s and co-editor (with Dennis Tedlock) of the journal Alcheringa (1970-1977), which inaugurated the ethnopoetics movement. He is Professor Emeritus of Literature and Visual Arts at the University of California in San Diego, where he lives with his wife Diane. His books available from SPD include GEMATRIA COMPLETE, THREE POEMS AFTER IMAGES BY NANCY TOBIN, CHINA NOTES and THE TREASURES OF DUNHUANG, 25 CAPRICHOS AFTER GOYA, A BOOK OF CONCEALMENTS, and RETRIEVALS: UNCOLLECTED and NEW POEMS, 1955-2010.