Poetry is dream, dance, song, prayer; the keeper of language and languages; sanctuary from profit; sanity’s ancestor; the portal to more worlds; drain in the swamp of misinformation; thorn in the buttock of the thoughtless; the healing elder in the garden of literature; the practice of the useless; bringer of the real news; is, to borrow from Les Murray, learning human; is, to paraphrase Muriel Rukeyser, to reach, to touch, to begin to know one another.
B“APP,” The Bangla “American Poetry Project,” published by Parantap Chakraborty in Rabindranath Tagore’s Sanitiketan, West Bengal, and edited by Christoph Keller, located in New York and St. Gallen, Switzerland, is dedicated to bringing the best American poetry to India, as well as a sense of Bangla to America. B“APP” books are printed on fine paper in handsome hardcovers in Kolkata, translated by the finest Bangla poets and scholars, with cover art by Indian artists. The first few are by Debika Datta. These volumes are originals, selected and new poems chosen by the poet, where possible.
The first three volumes, published in April 2019, are by June Jordan, Joan Larkin, Anne Marie Macari and Jean Valentine’s Lucy (vol. 0). Forthcoming are titles by Yesenia Montilla, Alicia Ostriker, Jan Heller Levi, Bob Holman, Sarah van Arsdale, Kimiko Hahn, Gerald Stern, Countee Cullen, Rachel Eliza Griffith, and others.
JUNE JORDAN (1936-2002) was an American poet, activist, essayist and teacher. Prolific and passionate, Jordan was the author of twenty-eighth major works of poetry, fiction and essays, as well as numerous children’s books. She traveled widely to read her poems and to proclaim a vision of liberation for all people. Dynamic, rebellious and courageous, June Jordan was, and still is, a lyrical catalyst for change. In 2005, Jan Heller Levi and Sara Miles edited Directed by Desire: The Collected Poems by June Jordan, and in 2017, Levi co-edited, with Christoph Keller, We’re On: A June Jordan Reader, both excellent introductions to Jordan’s work. Only Our Hearts Will Argue Hard presents the reader with her most famous, most powerful work of poetry.
Joan Larkin’s most recent book is Blue Hanuman (Hanging Loose Press, 2014). Previous work includes My Body: New and Selected Poems (Hanging Loose Press, 2007), which received the Audre Lorde Award; Housework (Out and Out Books, 1975); A Long Sound (Granite Press, 1986); Sor Juana’s Love Poems, translated with Jaime Manrique (Painted Leaf Press, 1997); and Legs Tipped with Small Claws, (Argos , 2012). Cold River (Painted Leaf Press, 1997), recipient of the Lambda poetry award, was the basis for her play The AIDS Passion, staged at the Huntingdon Theater in Boston. Joan has taught at Brooklyn College, Sarah Lawrence, and Drew University’s MFA program in poetry, among others, most recently as Writer in Residence at Smith College. Her honors include the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award and the Academy of American Poets Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement, as well as National Endowment and New York Foundation for the Arts awards. A long-time resident of Brooklyn, New York, Larkin currently lives in southern Arizona, where she is working on a new manuscript. Her website is www. joanlarkin.com
Anne Marie Macari is the author of four books of poetry, including Red Deer (Persea Books, 2015) and She Heads Into the Wilderness (Autumn House, 2008). In 2000 Macari won the APR/Honickman first book prize for Ivory Cradle, which was followed by Gloryland (Alice James Books, 2005). She has also coedited, with Carey Salerno, Lit From Inside: 40 Years of Poetry From Alice James Books.