Thursday, January 31st:
Poets Richard Silberg
& Willis Barnstone

Thursday, Jan. 31st at 7 pm: Two distinguished poets,
reading their original poems and translations.

Richard Silberg reads from his new collection of poems, The Horses: New and Selected Poems, published in September of last year by Red Hen Press.

Richard SilbergSilberg is an important member of the contemporary Bay Area poetry community — as a skilled and thoughtful poet, of course, and also as a translator of Korean poets Ko Un and Oh Sae-Young, a teacher of poetry classes and workshops at UC Berkeley Extension and Associate Editor of Poetry Flash, a crucial publication that has been a touchstone for the community for decades.

Silberg’s poems have been published in The American Poetry Review, Denver Quarterly, VOLT, New American Writing, North Coast Review, City Lights Review, Parthenon West Review, The Addison Street Anthology: Berkeley’s Poetry Walk, among others, and on the Berkeley Poetry Sidewalk; his essays from Poetry Flash were published as Reading the Sphere: Essays on Contemporary Poetry (Berkeley Hills Press, 2002), and his previous poetry collections have included Doubleness (Heyday Books), Totem Pole (3300 Review Press), Translucent Gears (North Atlantic Books), The Fields (Pennywhistle) and Deconstruction of the Blues (Red Hen Press), for which he received the Josephine Miles Literary Award from PEN-Oakland in 2006 as well as a nomination for the Northern California Book Award. Silberg’s translations of Ko Un in Three Way Tavern won the Northern California Book Award in 2007.

Willis BarnstoneWillis Barnstone is known as both a poet and a translator of poets; indeed his first book appears to have been the 1951 collection Poems of Exchange with Six Poems Translated from Antonio Machado, and at least sixteen volumes of poetry have followed along with more than two dozens books of poets in translation.

Willis Barnstone with Jorge Luis BorgesHis translations of eighty poems of Machado made up his second book, published in 1959 with a cover drawing by Picasso and an introduction by John Dos Passos.

From 1960 forward, over more than five decades, Barnstone has published prolifically, and his translation work has included Greek, Hebrew and Chinese as well as Spanish, German and French.

Jorge Luis Borges, with whom Barnstone formed a life-long friendship in 1968, said of Barnstone’s The Secret Reader: 501 Sonnets,

“Four of the best things in America are Walt Whitman’s Leaves, Herman Melville’s Whales, the sonnets of Barnstone’s The Secret Reader: 501 Sonnets, and my daily corn flakes–that rough poetry of morning.”