Translating Translating Apollinaire: A Preliminary Report

Newly reprinted in a facsimile edition, this long-out-of-print 1979 cult classic presents the first poem bpNichol ever published (“Translating Apollinaire”) as he churns it “thru as many translation/transformation processes as i [bp] (& other people) could think of.” The result is a compilation of DIY strategies for writing, rewriting, and rewriting the rewritten. Oulipean in its scope but charming in its delivery (as well as being a celebrated poet, Nichol also wrote for the children’s TV show Fraggle Rock) these versions/reversions include memory translations, acrostic translations, poems as “machines for generating line drawings,” and serve as both a time capsule of the avant-garde literary practices of the 1970s and a useful starting-point for an original school of translation.

The original text will be accompanied by re-translations by leading contemporary poets.

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