Erasure poetry – KIN S FUR – & a new translation of a tale from the Brothers Grimm.


cover grab KIN S

Because readers may enjoy this for several reasons, the earlier page is here made a post. There are several things to investigate in this longer than usual post: the book preview; the erasure poem; the scholarly work in translation and process by the author.

ALL KINDS OF FURErasure poems and a new translation of a tale from the Brothers Grimm.

Available from the publisher

Cover art: Painting Bear Girl by Anne Siems.

Erasure is a contemporary poetry-writing practice. Poets begin with a source text of any kind and then “erase” selected words and letters, using one or several methods—such as whiting or blacking out their selections, or “ghosting” them with a gray font. What remains are erasure poems. 

In ALL KINDOF FUR, the source text is shaded gray to reveal the poems in black.

In these poems, Margaret Yocom offers a new vision of Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm’s controversial “Allerleirauh” (“All Kinds of Fur”), a lesser-known version of “Cinderella” that opens with incest. Erasing the Grimms’ words to reveal a young woman’s story of her journey to a new, full life, Yocom asks, What would All Kinds Of Fur say if she could tell her own tale? In ALL KINDS OF FUR , the heroine’s words rise.

In her “Afterword: tale / translation / erasure,” the author explores the history of the tale “All Kinds Of Fur” (and its many, international versions) as well as her translation of the Grimms’ text. She also discusses erasure poetry more fully and mentions other erasure poets and their work.  Here is an excerpt about the author’s own erasure practice:

. . . For me, the process of erasure has not been “What words should I erase?” but rather “What words rise?” Erasure offers me a chance to make visible and concrete a conversation—perhaps, even, an argument— between two texts. Through such a poem, rather than an essay, I can disagree with other interpretations of the tale as well as the assumptions of its translators. I can also create an alternative vision that presents the way a young woman, a survivor of abuse, would tell this tale . . .

Praise for ALL KINDS OF FUR

Open this book and enter a world of danger, transformation, and tactical survival—a multi-layered, multi-voiced telling of “Allerleirauh” / “All Kinds Of Fur,” a Brothers Grimm tale you most likely have not met, a “Cinderella” version with incest. In a new translation, Margaret Yocom first brings us this forgotten tale, stocked, as we’d expect, with kings, rings, beasts, and betrayals. She then, through erasure, lures out of its darkness another voice—the voice of All Kinds Of Fur herself, lying hidden within its words. In keeping with traditions of wonder tales, erasure practice poses riddles and embodies paradoxes—adding by subtracting, listening by looking, redrawing the boundaries of author and reader, teller and told. Enter this forest. Voice what you see. Is it sunlight in shadow, or a sudden shadow cutting through light? 

                                           —Susan Tichy

Some tales—the old ones, the magical ones—wander the borderlands between our inchoate unconscious and the day-lit logic of our lives, not to keep those realms separate, but to ensure something of our dark interiors leaks up into the measured day and, by the trespass, keeps the fathomless open. Margaret Yocom’s book gives us a new translation of one such tale, demonstrating beautifully how it is desire and fear, care and threat, humility and humiliation, love and grief, are entangled in such ways they might be the source of that knot we call the mind. But Yocom does more than give us a tale we’ve always known even if now we’re reading it for the first time. In her erasure of the tale, she shows us that a text, just like our own minds, has its own hidden inner life, and its own unconscious depths, a mind within the mind, a heart within the heart, a hearth within a hearth. It is a magical and necessary vision, one our culture now, in its incessant surfacing, deeply needs—this reminder, that beneath every depth, there is a deeper deep; and beneath every dark, a darker dark. It is in this dark that ALL KINDS OF FUR teaches us to see.     

                                          —Dan Beachy-Quick

These poems are haunted by what Yocom makes invisible by her erasures; what she makes visible has different bones. The incest in the fairy tale variously translated as “All Fur” or “Donkeyskin” shows through the skin without the “s”: kin. I have used these poems in my fairy tale course to introduce students to a tradition whose dark side has been erased, in other ways, by numerous editors and publishers—and which ALL KINDS OF FUR  restores. Are we not all, like these fairy tale beings, humanimals?   

                                          —Katharine Young

About ALL KINDS OF FUR, from the “Afterword: tale / translation / erasure”:

ALL KINDS OF FUR explores the history of the tale “All Kinds Of Fur” and its many, international versions (see summary of the tale, below*):

. . . As a poet, folklorist, and storyteller long interested in “All Kinds Of Fur,” I wondered what happened to the tale in the hands of other editors and collectors, especially those who did not revise their texts as extensively as the Grimms did. So, I searched for the story in folktale collections throughout the world. In these tales, All Kinds Of Fur / Cat-Skin / Sack-cloth / Hanchi (Clay Pot) always dons an unattractive body covering, and she appears to others as male or female, human or spirit-world being, or a living entity whose characteristics cannot be discerned. In Palestine, she wraps herself in sackcloth and appears to be an old man or a jinn. In Sudan, she removes the skin from an old man and covers herself. In Japan, she wears frog’s skin; in Norway, crow’s skin; in Slavic countries, mouse skin. For Romanians living in the Balkans, she turns herself into sea foam. . . . What I learned, above all, through my research was that the young woman uses many creative strategies to save herself and craft a new life. . . .

ALL KINDS OF FUR underscores the importance of making one’s own translation of a source text:

. . . What might I learn if I looked, myself—poet, folklorist, feminist—at the Grimms’ words? Plenty, as it turned out. The several discoveries I made more than surprised me; they unsettled me. They changed forever my vision of the tale. For example, All Kinds Of Fur calls herself “Kind” (“child”) as she hides from men in the woods; yet almost all translators use the female-identified term “girl.” I use “child,” though, to point out how All Kinds Of Fur purposefully un-sexes—and protects—herself through her choice of words. For similar reasons, I use the pronoun “it” to refer to All Kinds Of Fur when the text calls for the neuter pronoun. (Read my 2012 book chapter, here, for more details on the tale and its translation). . . .

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New poetry from Deerbrook Editions


cover grab KIN S

In these poems, Margaret Yocom offers a new vision of Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm’s controversial “Allerleirauh” (“All Kinds Of Fur”), a lesser-known version of “Cinderella” that opens with incest. Erasing the Grimms’ words to reveal a young woman’s story of her journey to a new, full life, Yocom asks, What would ‘All Kinds of Fur’ say if she could tell her own tale? In ALL KINDS OF FUR , the heroine’s words rise.

Erasure is a contemporary poetry-writing practice. Poets begin with a source text of any kind and then “erase” selected words and letters, using one or several methods—such as whiting or blacking out their selections, or “ghosting” them with a gray font. What remains are erasure poems.

In her “Afterword: tale / translation / erasure,” the author explores the history of the tale “All Kinds Of Fur” (and its many, international versions) as well as her translation of the Grimms’ text. She also discusses erasure poetry more fully and mentions other erasure poets and their work.  Here is an excerpt about the author’s own erasure practice:

. . . For me, the process of erasure has not been “What words should I erase?” but rather “What words rise?” Erasure offers me a chance to make visible and concrete a conversation—perhaps, even, an argument— between two texts. Through such a poem, rather than an essay, I can disagree with other interpretations of the tale as well as the assumptions of its translators. I can also create an alternative vision that presents the way a young woman, a survivor of abuse, would tell this tale . . .

Available now only on the press site.

  Cover art: Painting Bear Girl by Anne Siems.

Forthcoming title from another Maine author


Available now, only on the site. Where You Happen To Be by Leonore Hildebrandt.

Check out the flip-thru preview and read a few poems.

Poems by Leonore hildebrandt

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Praise for Where You Happen to Be from Dawn Potter:

In Where You Happen to Be , Leonore Hildebrandt writes of “discern[ing] layers / of sound and scent,” of probing “the human dilemma / of purpose and failure.” The poems in this collection assume this task of recognition and discovery. Gently, and with a great and detailed patience, she walks us through physical and emotional landscapes, narrating travels that feel both in and out of time. “The living,” Hildebrandt writes, “inherit the world’s blindness— / so much of it, they get blissfully drunk.” Yet as her poems celebrate and mourn our blindness, they also remind us, again and again, of the power of resilience: “Let one lake rest on another.”

—Dawn Potter

The cover features a painting by Susan Hammond

FictionFields


 

F.Fields cover grab

Richard Kostelanetz’s FictionFields: Microscopic Narratives, is a completely new rendition of a form that he has done before. The typography presented in this project, using many typefaces and styles, creates an entirely new experience for new and existing readers of Richard’s work. The pages themselves breath between static-linear and spiraling-shifting shapes, but each word or group of words (no more than three) stands alone, with unique stories and a separate set of stimuli to the imagination, “bestowing conceptional resonances the words wouldn’t otherwise have.”

A prolific and venerated artist, Richard Kostelanetz is a figurehead, writer, artist, critic, and editor, all of which he does prolifically with his unique sense of the avant-garde. He is one of a few creatives who have refused to impose their biographies on the work itself, who chose to let the work stand-alone as objects, disconnected from the author’s own experience. Art, or literature for that matter, as Richard would say, must be left to interact with the world on its own terms, and should be recognized by itself. This idea is more evident in this new work, which is now available on our website.

Here is a preview of pages on issuu

Here is a video / interview that introduces Richard, his work and ideas.

Poetry blossoms


The World Disguised as This One: a year in tanka, is the culmination of a year writing and a few months of editing this one new work by Mimi White.  It is part of a collaboration between two Australian artists and the author to create an exhibit at the ANITA TRAVERSO GALLERY  7 Albert Street Richmond 3121 Melbourne Australia.

Mimi White explores new forms with her sensitive poetic reach in language and vision, often mixing the natural world and the human condition together to express the mysteries of life as a sense of those things that cannot be seen.

Her achievements include: teaching creative writing for twenty-five years; Co-Director of PicturePoets of AIR, a non-profit organization that provided enriching arts and cultural experiences to teenage girls; A finalist and a recipient of a NH State Fellowship in Poetry, her chapbook The Singed Horizon was selected by Robert Creeley as the recipient of the 2000 Philbrick Poetry Award; Poet Laureate of Portsmouth, New Hampshire 2005-2007; in 2009 her book The Last Island received the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book Poetry.

About the book:

The World Disguised as This One by Mimi White

Praise for The World Disguised as This One: a year in tanka

This beautifully observed, penetrating collection of tanka slips itself into and under awareness. A narrative holding equally an illness’s navigation and the abiding, altering beauty of existence, each five-line poem is complete in itself, a world presented in full. Yet in reading these pages through, their accumulation leads to a shifted landscape of being. As life itself does.              —Jane Hirshfield

One of the oldest Japanese forms, the tanka (or waka) originated in seventh-century Japan. Perhaps less well known to Western audiences than the haiku, it predates this form by several hundred years. The tanka usually contains thirty-one syllables or sound units, nearly double the haiku’s seventeen. Like the haiku, the tanka’s central image is taken from nature, but a shift almost always occurs when that image is recast through a more personal lens. As Yoel Hoffman writes in his introduction to Japanese Death Poems, “The tanka poet may be likened to a person holding two mirrors in his hands, one reflecting a scene from nature, the other reflecting himself as he holds the first mirror.”

About the Tanka

This book contains a yearlong devotion to writing tanka. The tanka is a Japanese form that is inspired by the seasons yet also contains the human spirit. It predates the haiku by several hundred years. Tanka today are often rendered in five lines, which I adopted. I took liberties with the thirty-one-syllable count while I paid closer attention to brevity and letting the natural image convey the emotional life of the speaker. Posted here will be the statements and some photos.

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Below are the statements for the exhibit

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