The New Social Environment#752

Three Languages: A Rail Reading curated by Leonard Schwartz

Featuring Schwartz, Fatemeh Shams, Tyrone Williams, and Zhang Er


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Leonard Schwartz curates our 123rd Poetry Reading featuring Fatemeh Shams, Tyrone Williams, and Zhang Er.

In this talk

Zhang Er

A photo of Zhang Er
Zhang Er, poet, translator and opera librettist, born in Beijing, is the author of seven collections of poetry in Chinese, most recently Sea Volts and Bullets Twirl 《海跳起,子弹婉转》. Her selected poems were published in three English translation collections from Zephyr Press, First Mountain, So Translating Rivers and Cities, and Verses on Bird. She co-edited the translation of Another Kind of Nation: an Anthology of Contemporary Chinese Poetry (Talisman House Publishers), and The Art of Women in Contemporary China: Both Sides Now, (Cambridge Scholars Publisher). She also wrote the opera libretti, Moon in the Mirror, and Fiery Jade: Cai YanTacoma Method, a new opera, is scheduled to premiere in March 2023. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest, among the trees.

Fatemeh Shams

A black and white portrait of Fatemeh Shams
Fatemeh Shams is an internationally acclaimed poet with three poetry collections, When they Broke Down the Door (2016), Writing in the Mist (2014), and 88 (2012). Her third bilingual book of poems, won the Latifeh Yarshater annual book award in 2017. Some of her poems appeared in the London Poetry Magazine, Penguin Anthology, Michigan Quarterly, Jacket 2, Penn Sound, Exiled Writers Magazine, Iran’s Writers Association in Exile, Poetry Foundation, PBS, Life and Legends, MPT Magazine, and World Literature. Her poems have been translated to German, Kurdish, and Arabic. She holds a Ph.D. in Oriental Studies from Oxford University and currently serves as the assistant professor of Modern Persian Literature at the University of Pennsylvania.

Tyrone Williams

A photo of Tyrone Williams
Tyrone Williams is the David Gray Chair of Poetry & Letters at SUNY Buffalo. He is the author of several chapbooks and seven books of poetry: c.c. (Krupskaya 2002), On Spec (Omnidawn 2008), The Hero Project of the Century (The Backwaters Press 2009), Adventures of Pi (Dos Madres Press 2011), Howell (Atelos Books 2011), As Iz (Omnidawn 2018), washpark (with Pat Clifford)(Delete Press, 2021) and stilettos in a rifle range (Wayne State University Press, 2022). A limited-edition art project, Trump l’oeil, was published by Hostile Books in 2017. He and Jeanne Heuving edited an anthology of critical essays, Inciting Poetics (University of New Mexico Press, 2019).

Leonard Schwartz

A painting of Leonard Schwartz.
Portrait by Simon Carr
Leonard Schwartz is the author of numerous books of poetry, including, most recently, Actualities I: Transparent, to the Stone, Actualities II: Two Burned Hotels, and Actualities III: Comic Earth (2021, 2022, 2023 Goats & Compasses), Heavy Sublimation (Talisman House) and Salamander: A Bestiary (Chax Press), with painter Simon Carr. His work in poetics The New Babel: Toward a Poetics of the Mid-East Crises (University of Arkansas Press), is inclusive of poetry, essays, and interviews. Other titles include If (Talisman House), At Element, A Message Back and Other Furors (Chax Press), and The Library of Seven Readings (Ugly Duckling Presse). He also edited and co-translated Benjamin Fondane’s Cine-Poems and Other, with New York Review Books.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.