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Interview with Peter Gizzi
Peter Gizzi is an atypical – and for that all the more welcome – participant in the Sounding Translation podcast series. He is not a translator, but rather an editor who has published many contemporary French poets in translation in o·blēk magazine. During the interview, Gizzi discusses his introduction to contemporary French poetry at age 14, reading Keith Waldrop’s translation of Claude Royet-Journoud’s Reversal, while reading, at the same time, Rimbaud and Baudelaire against the Beats and Ezra Pound. He describes his ongoing involvement with French poetry through his relationships with American translators in the 1980s, including Keith and Rosmarie Waldrop, Michael Palmer, and Norma Cole, as well as friendship he developed with Emmanuel Hocquard in the mid-1980s after Gizzi was very moved by a reading of Hocquard’s Elegies in New York. Gizzi also recounts some of his experiences as a poet invited to France, including a special conference held in o·blēk’s honor at the Fondation Royaumont in 1990 under the auspices of Emmanuel Hocquard and Juliette Valéry’s Un Bureau sur L’Atlantique, and residency in the fall of 1999 at the centre international de poésie Marseille (cipM), which led to the publication of Revival, translated by Pascal Poyet (Marseille: cipM/Spectres Familiers, 2003). Gizzi also praises Stéphane Bouquet’s recent translation of The Outernational (asL’Externationale; Paris: José Corti, 2013). This interview was conducted during the Écrivains au Bord de la Mer Festival in La Baule, France, on 18 July 2013. Ambient noises (wind, seagull cries) may be heard throughout the interview, as it was conducted out of doors.
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