Friday, December 10, 2010
Yesterday morning (12/9/10), a large delegation of poets from Wuhan, China, visited the Writers House. For nearly all of them, this was the first visit to the U.S. Getting visas, dealing with protocols, was a major business, as you can imagine--much of it, on our end, handled nobly by Charles Bernstein, who, with Marjorie Perloff, chairs our Chinese/American Association of Poetry and Poetics (CAAP, which is housed at the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing here at Penn). After a welcome and reception, poems by the Chinese poets were performed--by the author himself or herself, and, in translation, by one of the KWH-affiliated poets. Then poems by these American poets were read in English and then in new Chinese translations by various Wuhan poets. Gifts were exchanged and promises to do more collaborating were made. Of course we made both video and audio recordings of the event. We're pretty excited that presumably for the first time poems by certain contemporary American poets, translated into Chinese, will now be available to Chinese poets and scholars of contemporary poetry any time through the web, e.g. Bob Perelman's "China," Michelle Taransky's "Banking Rules," Charles Bernstein's "Let's Just Say," Gregory Djanikian's "Years Later."