We are pleased to announce a lecture by
University of Pittsburgh
Ghosts and Anchors: Translingualism in Contemporary U.S. Poetry
The lecture is going to be a part of the
American Studies Colloquium Series.
Thursday, April 25, 2019
at 4:00 p.m
American Studies Center, room 317,
al. Niepodległości 22, Warsaw.
This lecture considers translingualism as a distinct category of multilingualism, “a significant political-aesthetic formation in U.S. literature” (Juliana Spahr). When practiced by poets who are first- or second-generation immigrants to America, “code-switching” often becomes “code-stitching,” as Jahan Ramazani argues, as it attempts to bring together languages and cultures through an assortment of formal and verbal effects. However, in poems like Eduardo C. Corral’s “In Colorado My Father Scoured and Stacked Dishes,” Cathy Park Hong’s “All the Aphrodisiacs,” and poetic sequences like Mark Nowak’s “The Pain-Dance Begins” (from his book Revenants) such fusions are not easily attained. While they express and document the legacies of migration, these poems insist on the incompatibility of languages and cultures, with non-English elements (Spanish, Korean, Polish) marking spaces of conflict rather than contact. Through disruption and dissonance, they capture languages themselves in the not always completed process of migration. Translingualism in contemporary U.S. poetry is essentially a creative experiment; the prefix “trans” implies a dynamic but strained relationship with the medium.
Piotr Gwiazda is Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of two critical studies, US Poetry in the Age of Empire (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and James Merrill and W.H. Auden (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). Professor Gwiazda has translated into English two books by Grzegorz Wróblewski, Zero Visibility (Phoneme Media, 2017) and Kopenhaga (Zephyr Press, 2013).
His articles and reviews have appeared in many journals, including Asymptote, Chicago Review, Contemporary Literature, Jacket2, Journal of European Studies, Modern Philology, Modernism/Modernity, PN Review, Postmodern Culture, the TLS, and XCP: Cross Cultural Poetics. He has also published three volumes of poetry: Aspects of Strangers (Moria Books, 2015), Messages: Poems & Interview (Pond Road Press, 2012), and Gagarin Street (Washington Writers’ Publishing House, 2005). His poems in Polish translation appear in Borussia, FA-art, Fraza, Helikopter, Odra, minimalbooks and Przewodnik po zaminowanym terenie.