Ammiel Alcalay is a poet, translator, critic, scholar, and activist. He teaches in the Department of Classical, Middle Eastern & Asian Languages & Cultures at Queens College and is a member of the faculties of American Studies, Comparative Literature, English, and Medieval Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center where is also Deputy Chair of the PhD Program in English. His latest book, Islanders, a novel, is out from City Lights. Scrapmetal: work in progress came out with Factory School in 2007. from the warring factions, a book length poem dedicated to the Bosnian town of Srebrenica, came out in 2002, and is due for a 2nd edition in 2010. Poetry, Politics & Translation: American Isolation and the Middle East, a lecture given at Cornell, was published in 2003 by Palm Press. Other books include After Jews and Arabs: Remaking Levantine Culture (University of Minnesota Press, 1993), the cairo noteboooks (Singing Horse Press, 1993), and Memories of Our Future: Selected Essays, 1982-1999 (City Lights, 1999). He has translated widely, including Sarajevo Blues (City Lights, 1998) and Nine Alexandrias (City Lights 2003) by the Bosnian poet Semezdin Mehmedinovic, Keys to the Garden: New Israeli Writing (City Lights, 1996), and the co-translation of a Hebrew novel (with Oz Shelach), Outcast, by Shimon Ballas (City Lights, 2007). A Little History, a book of essays on politics and poetics is due out in 2010 from Beyond Baroque. He has also been involved as an activist on many domestic and international issues. He has been a regular contributor to the Village Voice and his poetry, prose, reviews, critical articles and translations have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, Time Magazine, al-Ahram, The New Republic, Grand Street, Conjunctions, Sulfur, The Nation, and various other publications in the United States and abroad. Along with Anne Waldman and others, he was one of the initiators of the Poetry Is News Coalition, and he organized, with Mike Kelleher, the OlsonNow project. Most recently, he is the founder and general editor of Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative.
April 17, 2010
Speakeasy: Writing and Contemporary Art
How does writing, as a practice, inform contemporary art and vice versa? Speakeasy, a semi-annual series of talks and presentations, interrogates Artspeak’s mandate to encourage dialogue between visual art and writing. From text based art, visual poetry, and parallel texts to activities of publication and research, how do writing practices and concerns intersect with contemporary art practices?
April 17, 4pm AMMIEL ALCALAY: Forms of Commentary
For the final presentation in the 2010 Speakeasy series, Ammiel Alcalay will read selections from recent and older work, including his new novel Islanders and Scrapmetal, and discuss his experiences within the critical vacuum, exploring how different forms emerge and comment on each other.