Archive for December 4th, 2013

Another note on a remarkable man: Daniel Weissbort remembered

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
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A gentle spirit and unassuming hero, at the Ars Interpres Poetry Festival in 2006.

If you don’t subscribe to the weekly “Poetry News in Review,” perhaps you should. I get a weekly email notice when the new page goes up on the Prairie Schooner website.  The maestro behind the page is David Sanders – a longtime friend and formerly the director of the Ohio University Press. We met more than a decade ago on Michael Peich‘s back porch at the West Chester Poetry Conference in Pennsylvania…I think.  All I remember was a conversation in the dark, somewhere at some gathering in some state, and the glow of his cigarette, which moved like a firefly as he gesticulated.

From this week’s eloquent “Envoi: Editor’s Notes,” remembering the master translator and poet Daniel Weissbort, who died last month:

There are so many people whose names do not appear on the marquee, even on a marquee as small as that of poetry, that we sometimes don’t think to recognize their achievement in service to the art. Daniel Weissport did have, for some, a recognizable name, but it is through his many contributions as a translator, editor, teacher, and scholar – that is, as a conduit, nearly invisible – by which we recognize him. I remember having breakfast with him once about thirty years ago, when he was a guest of a friend of mine, the translator, John DuVal. What struck me was his engagement and generosity, what seem in retrospect to be common traits among those who are primarily translators. Reading his obituary, I am all the more impressed though not surprised by the connections he fostered, the work he did, and the difference he made.

Read this week’s “Poetry News in Review” here(It also has a nice mention of the Book Haven’s post on Natalia Gorbanevskaya, the Russian dissident poet whose work he translated and championed. She died last week at 77.)