Aufgabe is an annual journal of new American poetry, essays, notes, reviews, talks and poetry in translation. Aufgabe No. 3 features a special section of Mexican poetry in translation, guest edited by Jen Hofer, with poetry by José Pérez-Espino, Hoja Frugal, and Myriam Moscona, translated by Jen Hofer, with images by Bibiana Padilla, and a directory of Mexico City literary resources.
This issue also includes poetry by Lisa Pearson, Craig Watson, Ange Mlinko, Dan Featherston, Rodrigo Toscano, Lisa Lubasch, Roger Farr, Stacy Szymaszek, Rosmarie Waldrop, Amanda Katz, Thom Donovan & Kyle Schlesinger, Ben Lerner, Michael Magee, Dieter M. Gräf, Lance Phillips, Sarah Riggs, Stephen Potter, Michelle Naka Pierce, Chris Pusateri, Genya Turovskaya, Christopher Stackhouse, Jill Darling, kari edwards, Dana Ward, Africa Wayne, Barbara Maloutas, Michael Ives, and Candace Pirnak.
Essays, Notes, Reviews by: Thom Donovan & Kyle Schlesinger, Andrew Joron & Patrick Pritchett on Elizabeth Robinson, Ange Mlinko, K. Silem Mohammad on Michael Magee, Barbara Maloutas, Standard Schaefer on Norma Cole, Dennis Phillips, and Jill Darling.
E. Tracy Grinnell
About Aufgabe No. 3
Sentences, in Spanish, are both prayers and phrases: the word “oración” has two ready meanings, and, as ever, context aids us in determining which takes precedence. Sentences, in English, are both phrases and punishments: context aids us in determining which takes precedence… To imagine the unimaginable, to see what we have not yet seen or what we see daily through different eyes, to welcome what we do not already know, must somehow counter the inhuman, the dehumanizing, the deadening contexts that dull us. We have something to learn, concretely and ephemerally; from hearing other sentences, other prayers, and from considering their different resonances. What we say — and how we say — reverberates in the air around us as a music, the sound waves, I’d like to think, shimmering out from our languages to create an altered space.
— Jen Hofer, “Thinking, Disentangling, Resisting”
— Keith Waldrop, The Space of Half an Hour
Expanding on Waldrop’s line, Aufgabe editor E. Tracy Grinnell underscores “the importance of particulars, the importance of poetics, of questions, of listening, of seeing… always, and especially in face of the escalated violence and unabashed distortions of the last two years.” Published in 2003, Aufgabe 3 considers the origins of action and the ways in which literature makes action possible. This volume contains “an array of American poetry that navigates this territory of (en)vision(ing),” a body of work that finds its way “through a complex linguistic and political landscape.” Picking up on Rick London and Leslie Scalapino’s work in the post-9/11 journal Enough, the texts in Aufgabe 3 emphasize seeing as foundational to this navigating.
Translator and guest editor Jen Hofer furthers this theme through her selection of poetry from Mexico. In her Editor’s Note, she writes: “To imagine the unimaginable, to see what we have not yet seen or what we see daily through different eyes, to welcome what we do not already know, must somehow counter the inhuman, the dehumanizing, the deadening contexts that dull us.” The featured poets in translation are José Pérez-Espino and Myriam Moscona, and the section includes excerpts from Hoja Frugal, a free monthly poetry broadside series distributed throughout Mexico and parts of the United States and Spain.