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Jack Hirschman & Polish American translator Janusz Zalewski

Jack Hirschman and Janusz Zalewski (r) in 2007. Photo by artpoetry. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Jack Hirschman
Born DecemberTemplate:Bda
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation poet, prose writer, essayist, social activist

Jack Hirschman (born December 13, 1933) is an American poet and social activist who has written more than 50 volumes of poetry and essays.[1]

LifeEdit

Born in New York City, Hirschman received a Bachelor of Arts from City College of New York in 1955, and an A.M. and Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1957 and 1961, respectively. While attending City College, he worked as a copy boy for the Associated Press. When he was 19, he sent a story to Ernest Hemingway, who responded: "I can't help you, kid. You write better than I did when I was 19. But the hell of it is, you write like me. That is no sin. But you won't get anywhere with it." Hirschman left a copy of the letter with the Associated Press, and when Hemingway killed himself in 1961, the "Letter to a Young Writer" was distributed by the wire service and published all over the world.

Hirschman married Ruth Epstein, whom he'd met and dated when they were students at CCNY, in 1954. Following graduation, Ruth became a program director for National Public Radio and eventually general manager of Santa Monica public radio station KCRW. The couple had 2 children.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Hirschman taught at Dartmouth College and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). During his tenure at UCLA a student enrolled in his class was Jim Morrison, later to be a cofounder and lead vocalist of the American band The Doors. The Vietnam War, however, put an end to Hirschman's academic career; he was fired from UCLA after encouraging his students to resist the draft. His marriage disintegrated, and he moved to San Francisco in 1973. Eventually, Ruth re-married and became Ruth Hirschman Seymour, continuing her long association with KCRW.

His first volume of poetry, published in 1960, included an introduction by Karl Shapiro: "What a relief to find a poet who is not afraid of the vulgar or the sentimental, who can burst out laughing or cry his head off in poetry -- who can make love to language, or kick it in the pants."

For a quarter century, Hirschman has roamed San Francisco streets, cafes (including Caffe Trieste, where he has been a regular patron), and readings, becoming an active street poet and a peripatetic activist. Hirschman is also a painter and collagist, and has translated over two dozen books from German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Albanian, and Greek.

He is an assistant editor at left-wing literary journal Left Curve, and is a correspondent for The People’s Tribune. Among his many volumes of poetry are A Correspondence of Americans (Indiana U. Press, 1960), Black Alephs (Trigram Press, 1969), Lyripol (City Lights, 1976), The Bottom Line (Curbstone, 1988), and Endless Threshold (Curbstone, 1992). According to a 2006 book review, Hirschman is a Stalinist.[2] Hirschman translated the youthful poems of Joseph Stalin into English (Joey: The Poems of Joseph Stalin. Deliriodendron Press, 2001).

In June 1999, Hirschman married Swedish poet, writer, and artist Agneta Falk. In 2006, Hirschman released his most extensive collection of poems yet, The Arcanes. Published in Salerno, Italy by Multimedia Edizioni, The Arcanes comprises 126 long poems spanning 34 years.

In his Poet Laureate inaugural address, Hirschman envisioned creating an International Poetry Festival in San Francisco, reprising a great tradition from the City’s literary past.[3] In July 2007, Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, Mayor Gavin Newsom, Hirschman and the San Francisco Public Library presented the inaugural San Francisco International Poetry Festival.

Hirschman continues his work supporting the literary community and is the key organizer for the now biennial festival. Since the 2007 festival, Hirschman, in partnership with Friends of the San Francisco Public Library and the San Francisco Public Library, have presented smaller poetry festivals in a variety of languages, including the Latino Poetry Festival, the Vietnamese Poetry Festival and the Iranian Arts Poetry Festival.

Hirschman is active with the Revolutionary Poets Brigade and curates the Poets 11 Anthology, which collects poetry from each of the City’s 11 districts.

Red Poet (Documentary Film about Jack Hirschman)

Red Poet (Documentary Film about Jack Hirschman)

RecognitionEdit

In 2006, Hirschman was appointed Poet Laureate of San Francisco by Mayor Gavin Newsom.

Hirschman was named poet in residence with Friends of the San Francisco Public Library in 2009 and currently holds that status.

PublicationsEdit

Books by HirschmanEdit

  • Fragments. New York: privately printed, 1953.
  • A Correspondence of Americans (with introduction by Karl Shapiro). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1960.
  • Two (with lithographs by Arnold Belkin). Los Angeles: Zora Gallery, 1964.
  • Interchange. Los Angeles: Zora Gallery, 1964.
  • Kline Sky. Los Angeles: Zora Gallery, 1965.
  • YOD. London: Trigram Press, 1966.
  • A Word In Your Season (with Asa Benveniste). London: Trigram Press, 1967.
  • William Blake. Topanga: Love Press, 1967.
  • London Seen Directly. London: Goliard Press, 1967.
  • Ltd. Interchangeable in Eternity: Poems of Jackruthdavidcelia Hirschman. London: privately printed, 1967.
  • Aleph, Benoni & Zaddik. Los Angeles: Ten Fingers, 1968.
  • Jerusalem. Topanga: Love Press, 1968.
  • Black Alephs. New York & London: Phoenix Bookshop / Trigram Press, 1969.
  • Shekinah (Maya Quarto One). San Francisco: Maya, 1969.
  • NHR. Santa Barbara, CA: Christopher's Press, 1970.
  • Soledeth. Venice, CA: Q Press, 1971.
  • Scintilla. Bolinas, CA: Tree Books, 1971.
  • The Burning of Los Angeles. Venice, CA: J'Ose Press, 1971.
  • HNYC. Topanga: Skyline Press, 1971.
  • Adamnan. Santa Barbara, CA: Christopher's Press, 1972.
  • Les Vidanges. Venice, CA: Bayrock Press, 1972.
  • The "R" of the Ari's Raziel. Los Angeles: The Press of the Pegacycle Lady, 1972.
  • KS: An essay on Kabbala surrealism. Venice, CA: Bayrock / Beyond Baroque Press, 1973.
  • Cantillations. Santa Barbara, CA: Capra Press, 1974.
  • Aur Sea. Berkeley: Tree, 1974.
  • Djackson. Salt Lake City, UT: Rainbow Resin Press, 1974.
  • Time of the People Changed to Prayer. Santa Barbara, CA: Lost Pleiade Press, 1974.
  • Cockroach Street. San Francisco: Blake Hand-Books, 1975.
  • The Cool Boyetz Cycle / And. San Francisco: Golden Mountain Press, 1975.
  • Kashtaninyah Segodnya. San Francisco: Beatitude Press, 1975.
  • Stump 2. Athens, OH: Stump, 1975.
  • Lyripol. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1976.
  • The Arcanes of Le Comte de St. Germain (with preface by Alexander Kohav). San Francisco: Amerus Press, 1977.
  • The Jonestown Arcane. San Francisco: Poetry for the People, 1979; La Jolla, CA: Writing Series, 1991.
  • The Proletarian Arcane. San Francisco: Amerus Press, 1980.
  • The Cagliostro Arcane. San Francisco: Michael Hargraves, 1981.
  • Class Questions. San Francisco: Retribution Press, 1981.
  • The David Arcane. San Francisco: Amerus Press, 1982.
  • (L'Arcano di David (artist book of 9 copies; translated into Italian by Raffaella Marzano). Cividale, Italy: Loretta Cappanera, 2001.
  • The Donmeh Arcane. San Francisco: Amerus Press, 1982.
  • Salt Point. [Red Trapeze 4:9] San Francisco: Poetasumanos Press, 1983.
  • Kallatumba. Fremont, CA, Seattle, WA, & Taos, NM: Ruddy Duck Press, 1984.
  • The Necessary Is. San Francisco: Fishy Afoot Press, 1984.
  • Sun, Stay. San Francisco: Fishy Afoot Press, 1987.
  • The Bottom Line. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 1988.
    • Quello Che Conta (translated into Italian by Bruno Gulli). Bolonga, Italy: Editoriale Mongolfiera Paroleinliberta, 1990.
  • The Triana Arcane. San Francisco: Deep Forest, 1991.
  • The Satin Arcane. Oakland, CA: Zeitgeist Press, 1991.
    • L'Arcano di Seta (bilingual edition translated into Italian by Franca Inzaghi). Piombo, Italy: Tracce Edizioni, 1996.
  • Endless Threshold. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 1992.
    • Soglia Infinita (bilingual edition translated into Italian by Bruno Gulli). Salerno, Italy: Multimedia Edizioni, 1994.
    • Neskoncni Prag (selections translated into Slovenian by Iztok Osoynik). Ljubljana, Slovenia: Prevedel Tone Skrjanec, 1996.
  • The Back of a Spoon. San Francisco: Manic D Press, 1992.
  • The Heartbeat Arcane. Farmington, NM: Yoo-Hoo Press, 1993.
  • The Xibalba Arcane. Washington, D.C.: Azul Editions, 1994.
    • L'Arcano Xibalba (bilingual edition translated into Italian by Anna Lombardo). Salerno, Italy: Multimedia Edizioni, 1997.
  • The Arcane on a Stick. San Francisco: Roadkill Press, 1995.
  • The Graffiti Arcane. San Francisco: Deliriodendron Press, 1995.
  • Culture And Struggle. Chicago: National Organizing Committee, 1995.
  • The Green Chakra Arcane. San Francisco: Deliriodendron Press, 1996.
    • L'Arcano di Pasolini (translated into Italian by Mariella Setzu). Salerno: Multimedia Edizioni, 1996.
    • L'Arcano di Shupsl (translated into Italian by Raffaella Marzano). Salerno: Multimedia Edizioni, 1996.
  • 36. Osnago, Italy: Edizioni Pulcinoelefante, 1996.
  • The Grit Arcane. West Yorkshire, England: Spout, 1997.
  • Kallatumba. Original in Albanian. Osnago, Italy: Edizioni Pulcinoelefante, 1998.
  • The Open Gate. San Francisco: Express Press, 1998.
  • J'ai su que j'avais un frè re (I Knew I Had a Brother) (translated into French by Gilles B. Vachon & Francis Combes). Pantin, France: Le Temps des Cerises et Maison de la Poésie Rhone-Alpes, 1999.
  • Arcani (bilingual edition translated into Italian by Raffaella Marzano, Mariella Setzu, & Anna Lombardo). Salerno, Italy: Multimedia Edizioni, 1999.
  • Sunsong. Osnago, Italy: Edizioni Pulcinoelefante, 2000.
  • The Archaic Now Arcane. San Francisco: Deliriodendron Press, 2000.
  • Sto Trelo Xenodoxeio Tees Televtaias (In the Crazy Hotel of My Last). (translated into Greek by Yannis Livadas). Athens, Greece: Ekdoseis Akron, 2000.
  • Il Assesinio di Giordano Bruno (The Murder of Giordano Bruno) (bilingual edition translated into Italian by Antonio Bertoli). Florence: Edizioni City Lights (Italy), 2001.
  • The Lotus Bikini Arcane. Willits, CA: Rainy Day Women's Press, 2002.
  • Front Lines: Selected poems. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2002.
  • Fists on Fire. San Francisco: Sore Dove Press, 2003.
  • I Was Born Murdered. San Francisco: Sore Dove Press, 2004.
  • Arcanes (bilingual edition translated into French by Gilles B. Vachon). Pantin, France: Le Temp de Cerises, 2004.
  • Dodici Arcani (Twelve Arcanes) (bilingual edition translated into Italian by Raffaella Marzano). Salerno, Italy: Multimedia Edizioni, 2004.
  • Volevo Che Voi Lo Sapeste (Wanted You to Know It) (bilingual edition translated into Italian by Raffaella Marzano). Salerno, Italy: Multimedia Editizoni, 2004.

Books translatedEdit

(from the Russian, French, Spanish, German, Hebrew, Italian, Albanian, Greek, Haitian Creole, Georgian)

  • Vladimir Mayakovsky, Electric Iron. (translated from Russian with Victor Erlich). Berkeley, CA: Maya, 1971.
  • Rene Depestre, A Rainbow for the Christian West (translated from French). Los Angeles & Fairfax, CA: Red Hill Press, 1972.
  • Antonin Artaud, Love Is a Tree (translated from French). Invisible City: 1:6 (July 1972); Los Angeles: Red Hill Press, 1972.
  • Luisa Pasamanik, The Exiled Angel (translated from Spanish). Los Angeles: The Red Hill Press, 1973.
  • Ait Djafer, Wail for the Beggars of the Casbah (translated from French). West Los Angeles: Papa Bach Bookstore, 1973.
    • Ismael Ait Djafer, Wail of the Beggars of the Casbah (bilingual edition translated from the French). Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2003.
  • K'Wai Sing: The origin of the dragon: A surrealist text (translated from French). Venice, CA: Beyond Baroque Foundation, 1973.
  • Stéphane Mallarmé, Igitur (translated from French). Los Angeles: Press of the Pegacycle Lady, 1974.
  • Eleaser of Worms, Three Tracts (translated from German with Alexander Altmann). Berkeley, CA: Tree Books, 1975.
  • Johann Maier, The Book of Noah (translated from German). Berkeley, CA: Tree Books, 1976.
  • Andrei Voznesensky, Kaligrunes (translated from Russian). Berkeley, CA: Cross-Cut Saw Unlimited, 1976.
  • Abraham Abulafia, The Path of the Names (translated from Hebrew with Bruria Finkel). Berkeley, CA: Tree Books, 1976.
  • Alexander Kohav, Orange Voice (translated from Russian). San Francisco: Beatitude Press, 1976.
  • Jean Cocteau, The Crucifixion (bilingual edition translated from French). Bethlehem, PA: Quarter Press, 1976.
  • Alexander Kohav, Four Angels in Profile, Four Beasts in Full Face (bilingual edition translated from Russian). San Francisco: Street Edition, 1976.
  • Natasha Belyaeva, Hunger (translated from Russian). Mill Valley: D'Aurora Press, 1977.
  • Alexander Kohav, Emigroarium (bilingual edition translated from Russian). San Francisco: Amerus Press, 1977.
  • Eliphas Levi, Dove Rose (translated from French). Kent, OH: Viscerally Press, 1979.
  • Rene Depestre, Vegetations of Splendor (with introduction by Lawrence Ferlinghetti & preface by Nelson Peery) (translated from French). Chicago: Vanguard Books, 1980.
  • Santo Cali, Yossiph Shyryn (bilingual edition translated from Italian). Trapani, Sicily: Antigruppo Cross Cultural Communications, 1981.
  • Jabixshak: Albanian Poets Today (bilingual edition translated from Albanian). San Francisco: Amerus Press, 1982.
  • Sarah Kirsch, Poems (translated from German). Santa Cruz: Alcatraz Editions, 1983.
  • Pablo Neruda, Elegy (bilingual edition translated from Spanish). San Francisco: David Books, 1983.
  • Katerina Gogou, Three Clicks Left (translated from Greek). San Francisco: Night Horn Books, 1983.
  • Agim Gjakova, Communist (bilingual edition translated from Albanian). San Francisco: Fishy Afoot Press, 1984.
  • Roque Dalton, Poemas Clandestinos = Clandestine Poems (bilingual edition translated from Spanish). San Francisco: Solidarity Educational Publications, 1984; Willmanic, CT: Curbstone Press, 1990.
  • Paul Laraque, Fistibal = Slingshot (bilingual edition translated from Haitian Creole). San Francisco & Port-au-Prince, Haiti: Seaworthy Press / Editions Samba, 1989.
  • Ambar Past, The Sea on Its Side (translated from Spanish). Sausalito, CA: Post-Apollo Press, 1994.
  • Dorou Leftheria, In Memory of the Children Fallen (bilingual edition translated from Greek). San Francisco: Deliriodendron Press, 1994.
  • Rocco Scotellaro, Seven Poems (bilingual edition translated from Italian). San Francisco: Deliriodendron Press, 1994.
  • Paul Celan, Light-Force (bilingual edition translated from German with Angela Beske). San Francisco: Deliriodendron Press, 1996.
  • Sandro Sardella, Coloredpaperbits (translated from Italian). La Jolla, CA: Writing Series, 1996.
  • Claudio Galuzzi, The Plain Inside (bilingual edition translated from Italian). San Francisco: Deliriodendron Press, 1997.
  • Ferruccio Brugnaro, Fist of Sun (bilingual edition translated from Italian). Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 1998.
  • Stephane Mallarme, A Fling of Two Die Never Will Abolish Chance (bilingual edition translated from French). San Francisco: Deliriodendron Press, 1998.
  • Katerina Gogou, The Month of the Frozen Grapes (bilingual edition translated from Greek). San Francisco: Deliriodendron Press, 1998.
  • Martin Heidegger, Imaginings (bilingual edition translated from German). San Francisco: Deliriodendron Press, 1999.
  • Ferruccio Brugnaro, Partial Portrait of Maria (bilingual edition translated from Italian). San Francisco: Deliriodendron Press, 2000.
  • Stephane Mallarme, To Marry the Notion (bilingual edition translated from French). Berkeley, CA: CC. Marimbo Press, 2000.
  • Franco Carlini, A Mountain Under a Bridge: Eleven poems (bilingual edition translated from Italian). Berkeley, CA: CC. Marimbo Press, 2001.
  • Martin Heidegger, Slow Lightning: Poems (bilingual edition translated from German). San Francisco: Deliriodendron Press, 2001.
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini, The Book of Crosses (bilingual edition translated from Italian). San Francisco: Deliriodendron Press, 2001.
  • Jean Baudrillard, Stucco Angel (bilingual edition translated from French). San Francisco: Deliriodendron Press, 2001.
  • Andrea Zuccolo, Chorale for Geese and a Solo Voice (bilingual edition translated from Italian). Berkeley, CA: CC. Marimbo, 2001.
  • Alexei Kruchenych, Suicide Circus: Selected poems (translated from Russian with Alexander Kohav & Venyamin Tseytlin). Copenhagen & Los Angeles: Green Integer, 2001.
  • Open Gate: An anthology of Haitian Creole poetry (bilingual edition translated from Haitian Creole with Boadiba). Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2001.
  • Joseph Stalin, Joey: The poems of Joseph Stalin (bilingual edition translated from Georgian). San Francisco: Deliriodendron Press, 2001.
  • Michele Licheri, Sabotages (bilingual edition translated from Italian). Berkeley, CA: CC. Marimbo, 2002.
  • Anna Lombardo, Even the Fish Are Drunk (bilingual edition translated from Italian). Berkeley, CA: CC. Marimbo, 2002.
  • Alberto Masala, Taliban (bilingual edition translated from Italian with Raffaella Marzano). Bologna, Italy: Edizioni Totalmente Libere, 2002.
  • Gari S. Danyel [Gary S. Daniel], Suggar Point (bilingual edition translated from Haitian Creole with Boadiba). Berkeley: CC. Marimbo, 2002.
  • Sante Notarnicola, Liberty, Understand?! (bilingual edition translated from Italian). Berkeley, CA: CC. Marimbo, 2002.
  • Alberto Masala, In the Executioner’s House (bilingual edition translated from Italian). Berkeley, CA: CC. Marimbo, 2003.
  • Pierre Molinier, The Magic Glee Clubs (bilingual edition translated from French). Berkeley, CA: CC. Marimbo, 2003.
  • Paul Celan, 40 Poems (bilingual edition translated from German). San Francisco: Deliriodendron Press, 2004.
  • Edvino Ugolini, Incandescences (bilingual edition translated from Italian). Berkeley, CA: CC. Marimbo, 2004.
  • Ugo Pierri, Steel Away (bilingual edition translated from Italian). Berkeley, CA: CC. Marimbo, 2004.
  • Lucia Lucchesinno, Erotic Verses (bilingual edition translated from Italian). Berkeley, CA: CC. Marimbo, 2004.

Periodicals editedEdit

  • Renaissance (bi-monthly arts insert in Open City (Los Angeles newspaper published by John Bryan). 1969/1970.
  • Beatitude #23. With Kristen Wetterhahn. 1976.
  • Compages: International translations #1-22. 1982-1989.
  • Poetry USA (quarterly newspaper). Summer 1996.
  • Left Curve (annual journal; with Csaba Polony & others). 1983-present.
JACK HIRSCHMAN poem Mother

JACK HIRSCHMAN poem Mother


Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy San Francisco Call.[4]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. SFGate.com
  2. Kaufman, Alan. "Superb landscapes full of horrible glory", San Francisco Chronicle (2006-11-12): "A die-hard Stalinist Communist, he is also a virtuoso kabbalah scholar who, as a Yiddish-inflected Jew and artist, would probably have been executed -- alongside such figures as Isaac Babel and Osip Mandelstam -- in the Soviet Union about which he so fervently rhapsodizes."
  3. SFGate.com
  4. Jack Hirschman & Matt Gonzalez, Jack Hirschman: A bibliography, San Francisco Call, May 24, 2002. Web, May 13, 2018.

External linksEdit

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