La Presse

Born in Paris in 1963, French poet, novelist, and translator Pierre Alferi is the author of some twelve books of poetry as well as four novels and four works in film. A frequent collaborator with musicians, visual artists, and film makers, he has worked extensively to develop the genre of the cinépoème and the short lyric film. He’s also the translator of an unusually wide range of writers, from John Donne to George Oppen, and the co-founder of two literary journals, Détail, with Suzanne Doppelt, and La Revue de Littérature Générale, with Olivier Cadiot. He teaches at the École de Beaux-Arts and the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris as well as at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. 

TranslatorKate Lermitte Campbellis a literary critic who recently completed a DPhil at Oxford University. Her work focuses on the extreme contemporary in French poetics, engaging the work of Valère Novarina, Anne Portugal, and Christophe Tarkos, in addition to that of Alferi. She lives and works in Paris and London.

Improvised conversations ratcheted into poetry. Extracted epigraphs inversely constituting their subjects. The subjects are clear (love, day, night, time, film, etc.) and what’s said about them is clearer still—but what does it mean? These are poems that reverse the poles of communication, pushing meaning from one image to the next while also taking it apart, transposing it from line to line. Or cutting it suddenly short. And perhaps all, and only, in the impossible attempt to mean nothing, i.e., to arrive at an experience of the present in which “blurred contours are unavoidable.”