Happy Birthday, Charles Reznikoff
The Allen Ginsberg Project has thoughtfully posted a recording of a reading in honour of American Objectivist poet Charles Reznikoff, the promise and possibilities of whose work are, happily, increasingly appreciated, from yesterday’s late Beats to today’s Conceptualists and more direct descendants, such as Michael Heller (whose volume of collected poems This Constellation is a Name was published just last year). The Objectivists’ fame has reached even to Russia: Kirill Medvedev (a very compelling figure in his own right) reflects on their legacy in his poem “The End of the Ceasefire (The End of the Objectivist School?)”. Perhaps with the excesses of Capital and America’s warmongering Reznikoff’s executors will feel the time is ripe to reissue Reznikoff’s cold-eyed, unrelenting castigation of exploitation and racism, Testimony.
(My difference of opinion with certain latter-day receptions of Reznikoff’s work can be found here).