Sponsored by the UMBC Dresher Center for the Humanities, English Department and Judaic Studies Program
Leonard Schwartz is the author of many books of criticism and poetry, including A Flicker at the Edge of Things, Language as Responsibility, Gnostic Blessing, The Tower of Diverse Shores, A Message Back and Other Furors, At Element, The Library of Seven Readings and If. He is also the host of the radio program Cross Cultural Poetics, Which features interviews with poets thinkers, performers, and artists from all over the world. He teaches poetics at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.
During his lecture, Professor Schwartz will discuss his two recent publications, The New Babel: Towards A Poetics of the Mid-East Crises (The University of Arkansas Press) Benjamin Fondane: Cinepoems and Others (New York Review Books).
The New Babel evokes and investigates - from a Jewish American perspective and in the forms of poetry, essays, and interviews - the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, America's involvement as both perpetrator and victim of events in the Middle East and Afghanistan, and the multiple ways that poetics can respond to political imperatives.
Benjamin Fondane: Cinepoems and Others is a bilingual selection of poetry by a French-language Romanian poet murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945. It includes a broad sample of Fondane's work, from the coruscating and comic cinepoems of his surrealist years, to philosophical meditations, to poems that in their secular and mystical Judaism confront the historical calamity - and imaginative triumph - of European Jewry.