Ammiel Alcalay

Posted in Past Guests

Ammiel Alcalay headshotPoet, novelist, translator, critic, and scholar, Ammiel Alcalay is deputy chair of the PhD Program in English at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and former chair of Classical, Middle Eastern & Asian Languages & Cultures at Queens College. He was the first holder of the Lannan Visiting Chair in Poetics at Georgetown University and has been a visiting professor at Stanford University.

His books include a little history (2013), from the warring factions, 2nd edition (2012), “neither wit nor gold”(from then) (2011), Islanders (2010), Scrapmetal (2007), Memories of Our Future: Selected Essays, 1982-1999 (1999), and After Jews and Arabs: Remaking Levantine Culture (1993). In 2012, The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies and the Department of Arabic & Islamic Studies at Georgetown University convened a symposium marking 20 years since the publication of After Jews and Arabs.

During the war in former Yugoslavia, he was one of the only translators working from Bosnian, and published widely, including Sarajevo: A War Journal by Zlatko Dizdarević and The Tenth Circle of Hell by camp survivor Rezak Hukanović. Other translations include Sarajevo Blues (1998) and Nine Alexandrias (2003) by Bosnian poet Semezdin Mehmedinović, Keys to the Garden: New Israeli Writing (1996), and the co-translation (with Oz Shelach) of Outcast by Shimon Ballas (2007). With Megan Paslawski, he co-edited Michael Rumaker’s Robert Duncan in San Francisco (City Lights, 2013).

He is founder and general editor, under the auspices of the Center for the Humanities and the PhD program in English at the CUNY Graduate Center, of Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative, along with its offshoot Lost & Found Elsewhere, and has edited texts by Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, Diane di Prima, Joanne Kyger, and Michael Rumaker for these projects.

From the warring factions

lo these many years of construction repairing
the irreparable potholes the gaping erosion of
industrial repetition this tarred and feathered
landscape this tarred and feathered history

my neighbor found an arrowhead in
his backyard 385 10th st. Brooklyn

waking up in a sweat I found the Old Bridge hanging
from my neck and the whole town of Pocitelj
in the pocket of my jacket draped over a
chair in the shadow of a pot filled with
rosemary and lavender



Seminar with Fanny Howe | February 24, 2015

Reading with Fanny Howe | February 24, 2015

Reading | May 3, 2008

Reading with Jerome Rothenberg | September 25, 2001