Video highlight clips: Andrew Joron reads "Anima, Macula / for John Yau" and reads "The Phrases of the Moon" | John Yau reads a poem beginning "After I turn 68...." and reads "Opinion Sonnet 13"
For the last program in The Poetry Center's In Common Writers Series for 2020, we are delighted to host renowned poet and art critic John Yau, appearing from New York City for two dates. He's joined Thursday October 15 by poet, translator, and SF State faculty member Andrew Joron, each of them reading their poetry and talking with one another and in response to questions from the audience, with emcee Carlos Quinteros III. Then, on Saturday evening October 17, Yau reads and is in conversation with poet/performer and editor of Open Space, Claudia La Rocco, with emcee Brandon Brown.
The In Common Writers Series is supported by the Walter & Elise Haas Fund.
- Inauguration Day
If you think the next President
is going to improve your quality of life
you choose to believe
that war is a three-letter word
that does not affect anyone it touches
except the tender pages of youth
You know, those dirty sheets
young lovers write odes on
before they die between blinks
—John Yau, from Bijoux in the Dark
John Yau is a poet, fiction writer, critic, editor, curator, and publisher of Black Square Editions, a small independent press that has published books and broadsides of poetry, fiction, criticism, and translation, as well as prints. He has contributed to essays in many catalogs and museum publications, as well as written for Art in America, Artforum, Art News, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Art Press. His work is included in many anthologies of poetry, fiction, and criticism, and has been translated into French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Chinese. After serving as the Arts Editor for the Brooklyn Rail (2007–2011), Yau left and helped start the online journal Hyperallergic, where he frequently posts his reviews.
Yau is author of over 40 books, recently Bijoux in the Dark (poetry, Letter Machine Editions, 2018), The Wild Children of William Blake (essays, Autonomedia, 2017), Foreign Sounds or Sounds Foreign (essays, Madhat Press, 2020), and artist monographs on works by Philip Taafe (Lund Humphries, 2018) and Suzan Frecon (David Zwirner Books, 2020). He has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Academy of American Poets, New York Foundation of the Arts, Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the General Electric Foundation. Yau was named a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government in 2002. He is a Professor of Critical Studies at Mason Gross School of the Arts (Rutgers University) and lives in New York. More at poets.org
Andrew Joron is the author of The Absolute Letter, a collection of poems published by Flood Editions (2017). Joron’s previous poetry collections include Trance Archive: New and Selected Poems (City Lights, 2010), The Removes (Hard Press, 1999), Fathom (Black Square Editions, 2003), and The Sound Mirror (Flood Editions, 2008). The Cry at Zero, a selection of his prose poems and critical essays, was published by Counterpath Press in 2007. From the German, he has translated the Literary Essays of Marxist-Utopian philosopher Ernst Bloch (Stanford University Press, 1998) and The Perpetual Motion Machine by the proto-Dada fantasist Paul Scheerbart (Wakefield Press, 2011). As a musician, Joron plays the theremin in various experimental and free-jazz ensembles. Joron teaches creative writing at San Francisco State University.
In Common Writers Series John Yau and Claudia La Rocco,reading and in conversation, emcee Brandon Brown
Joshua Weiner and Andrew Joron: An Exchange, at Chicago Review, July 2018
"Entanglement & The Vortex" with Anne Waldman, Will Alexander, and Andrew Joron, at the 2019 Reynolda Conference, Entanglements: A Conference on the Intersections of Poetry, Science, and Art, at Wake Forest University