Reading with Clayton EshlemanWednesday, November 2, 2016 @ 8 p.m.
Join us for a reading with Clayton Eshleman.
Clayton Eshleman was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, June 1, 1935. He has a B.A. in Philosophy and an M.A.T. in English Literature from Indiana University. He has lived in Mexico, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Peru, France, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary. He is presently Professor Emeritus, English Department, Eastern Michigan University. Since 1986 he has lived in Ypsilanti, Michigan with his wife Caryl who over the past forty years has been the primary reader and editor of his poetry and prose. His first collection of poetry, Mexico & North, was published in Kyoto, Japan in 1962.
From 1968 to 2004, Black Sparrow Press brought out thirteen collection of his poetry. In 2006, Black Widow Press became his main publisher and with The Price of Experience (2012) had brought out seven collections of his poetry, prose, and translations, including, in 2008, The Grindstone of Rapport / A Clayton Eshleman Reader. Wesleyan University Press has also published six of his books, including Juniper Fuse: Upper Paleolithic Imagination & the Construction of the Underworld (2003), the first study of Ice Age cave art by a poet. Eshleman has published sixteen collections of translations, including Watchfiends & Rack Screams by Antonin Artaud (Exact Change, 1995), The Complete Poetry of César Vallejo with a Foreword by Mario Vargas Llosa (University of California Press, 2007), and Aimé Césaire: The Collected Poetry (co-translated with Annette Smith, University of California Press, 1983).
Clayton also founded and edited two of the most innovative poetry journals of the later part of the 20th century: Caterpillar (20 issues, 1967-1973) and Sulfur (46 issues, 1981-2000). Doubleday-Anchor published A Caterpillar Anthology in 1971 and Wesleyan in November 2016 published a 700 page Sulfur Anthology.
Among his recognitions and awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, 1978; The National Book Award in Translation, 1979; two grants from the NEA, 1979, 1981; three grants from the NEH, 1980, 1981, 1988; two Landon Translation Prizes from the Academy of American Poets, 1981, 2008; 13 NEA grants for Sulfur magazine, 1983-1996; The Alfonse X. Sabio Award for Excellence in Translation, San Diego State University, 2002; a Rockefeller Study Center residency in Bellagio, Italy, 2004, and a Hemmingway Translation Grant in 2015.
In 2014 Black Widow Press published Clayton Eshleman / The Whole Art, an anthology of essays on Eshleman’s work over the decades, edited by Stuart Kendall. In the fall of 2016, Black Widow brought out Clayton Eshleman / The Essential Poetry 1960-2015 and in 2017 Wesleyan will bring out a 900 page bilingual edition of The Complete Poetry of Aimé Césaire, co-translated with A. James Arnold
In her Introduction to Eshleman’s Companion Spider (Wesleyan University Press, 2003), Adrienne Rich wrote: “As a poet and translator, Clayton Eshleman has gone more deeply into his art, its processes and demands, than any modern American poet since Robert Duncan and Muriel Rukeyser… Eshleman has written on the self-making and apprenticeship of the poet, and of the poet as translator, as no one else in North America in the later twentieth century.” His poetry has been featured in both volumes (1994 and 2013) of the Norton Postmodern American Poetry.