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Poetry General

After Villon

by (author) Roger Farr

Publisher
New Star Books
Initial publish date
Apr 2022
Category
General, Canadian, French
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781554201877
    Publish Date
    Apr 2022
    List Price
    $16.00

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Description

After Villon, the new book from Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize finalist Roger Farr, is a book of contemporary verse translations and “queer variations” based on the work of 15th century poete maudit Francois Villon.
Villon’s poetry, written in medieval French and incorporating the argot of the Parisian criminal underworld, is notoriously bawdy, opaque, and resistant to “straightforward” translation. For this reason, Villon’s work continues to be of considerable interest to poets, artists, and scholars working today.
After Villon is informed by previous ventures into Villon’s work by Ezra Pound (who invented a new poetic form, the villonaud), Basil Bunting, William Carlos Williams, and, especially, Jack Spicer, who similarly “translated” Lorca in his influential After Lorca (1957) and Jean Calais (Stephen Rodefer), whose chauvinist / “beatnik” version of the poet stepped forward in Villon (1987).
Roger Farr’s new re-workings capture the in-group opacity in Villon’s work by mingling slangs from a variety of discourses and sites, everything from prison, theatre, culinary, military, to carnie slang. In his translations, Farr subverts sex and gender designations by shifting pronouns, changing names, and refusing heteronormative assumptions about the copious “gaps” in meaning of the original texts.

About the author

Described as "a poet of great heart and aesthetic/political commitment", Roger Farr is the author Surplus (2006), Means (2012), and IKMQ (2012), a finalist for the BC Book Prize in Poetry in 2013. His most recent book is I Am a City Still But Soon I Shan't Be (2019).

A former member of the artist–run Kootenay School of Writing collective, Roger Farr's critical writing on avant–garde poetics and radical social movements has appeared in Anarchist Studies, Armed Cell, Fifth Estate, Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, The Poetic Front, West Coast Line, and XCP: Cross Cultural Poetics. He edited the three–volume anthology Open Text: Canadian Poetry and Poetics in the 21st Century (2008–2013), and was Critical Editor for Alice Becker–Ho's The Essence of Jargon: Argot & the Language of the Dangerous Classes (2015). Currently he is editing The Amourous Comrade, a collection of writing on anarchist sexual politics by É. Armand. A book of variations based on the writing of 15th century poet François Villon is also forthcoming. He is Convener of Creative Writing at Capilano University in Vancouver.

Roger Farr's profile page

Other titles by Roger Farr