Rimbaud’s Illuminations


At last! John Ashbery’s translation of French poet Arthur Rimbaud’s final masterpiece before abandoning poetry at the age of 21, Illuminations (Norton, 2011) has been published. Ashbery’s rendering of all forty-four poems powerfully evokes the kaleidoscopic beauty of the original and creates “a vision of postdiluvian freshness” out of “the chaos of ice floes and the polar night.” This is a major literary event and we are going to celebrate it with poets and musicians Edwin Torres, Anne Tardos, Nicole Peyrafitte, Franklin Bruno, David Shapiro, Bree Brenton, Julie Patton, Madeline Gins, Richard Hell, Melinda Faylor, Anna Williams and Sharon Mesmer.