Michael Palmer (poet) bigraphy, stories - Translators

Michael Palmer (poet) : biography

May 11, 1943 -

Michael Palmer (born May 11, 1943) is an American poet and translator. He attended Harvard University where he earned a BA in French and a MA in Comparative Literature. reprinted at the Poetry Foundation website where it is labeled 'a poetics essay'. Includes a brief bio sketch. He has worked extensively with Contemporary dance for over thirty years and has collaborated with many composers and visual artists. Palmer has lived in San Francisco since 1969.

Palmer is the 2006 recipient of the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets. This $100,000 (US) prize recognizes outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry.Robert Hass, among those selecting Palmer to receive the award, wrote: "Michael Palmer is the foremost experimental poet of his generation and perhaps of the last several generations. A gorgeous writer who has taken cues from Wallace Stevens, the Black Mountain poets, John Ashbery, contemporary French poets, the poetics of Octavio Paz, and from language poetries. He is one of the most original craftsmen at work in English at the present time. His poetry is at once a dark and comic interrogation of the possibilities of representation in language, but its continuing surprise is its resourcefulness and its sheer beauty." - accessed 30 Aug 2009

Collaborations

Palmer has published translations from French, Russian and Brazilian Portuguese, and has engaged in multiple collaborations with painters. These include the German painter Gerhard Richter, French painter Micaëla Henich, : "Micaëla Henich's collection of 1003 india ink drawings, published under the title "Mille e tre", is accompanied by 5 writer-poet-thinkers who were asked each to write on 200 of the drawings in the series (the last three have no text). They are: Jacques Derrida, Dominique Fourcade, Michael Palmer, Tom Raworth, Jacques Roubaud. Derrida's appeared in "Mille e tre, cinq: Lignées" (published by William Blake & Co.) and Italian painter Sandro Chia. He edited and helped translate Nothing The Sun Could Not Explain: Twenty Contemporary Brazilian Poets (Sun & Moon Press, 1997). With Michael Molnar and John High, Palmer helped edit and translate a volume of poetry by the Russian poet Alexei Parshchikov, Blue Vitriol (Avec Books, 1994). He also translated "Theory of Tables" (1994), a book written by Emmanuel Hocquard, a project that grew out of Hocquard's translations of Palmer's "Baudelaire Series" into French. Palmer has written many radio plays and works of criticism. But his lasting significance occurs as the singular concerns of the artist extend into the aleatory, the multiple, and the collaborative.

Dance

For more than thirty years he has collaborated on over a dozen dance works with Margaret Jenkins and her Dance Company. Early dance scenarios in which Palmer participated include Interferences, 1975; Equal Time, 1976; No One but Whitington, 1978; Red, Yellow, Blue, 1980, Straight Words, 1980; Versions by Turns, 1980; Cortland Set, 1982; and First Figure, 1984."Biography - Palmer, Michael (1943-)" Contemporary Authors Online (biography) - 2006, Gale Reference Team, Publisher: Thomson Gale A particularly noteworthy example of a recent Jenkins/Palmer collaboration would be The Gates (Far Away Near), an evening-length dance work in which Palmer worked with not only Ms. Jenkins, but also Paul Dresher and Rinde Eckert. This was performed in September 1993 in the San Francisco Bay Area and in July 1994 at New York's Lincoln Center. Another recent collaboration with Jenkins resulted in "Danger Orange", a 45-minute outdoor site-specific performance, presented in October 2004 before the Presidential elections. The color orange metaphorically references the national alert systems that are in place that evoke the sense of danger.[see also:Homeland Security Advisory System]

"But then Michael Palmer might not be a Language Poet. We won't know until he dies and they cut his heart open and see if L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E can be found there. ...And the politics of it all is fascinating, but there are people who are much better equipped to speak about it than I am. You might want to go and talk to some of them about it, if you're interested."
David Bromige
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