Clayton Eshleman. Courtesy New York Writers Institute.

Clayton Eshleman (born June 1, 1935) is an American poet, translator, and editor.

Life[edit | edit source]

Eshleman has been translating since the early 1960s. He has translated books by Aimé Césaire (with Annette Smith), Pablo Neruda, Antonin Artaud, Vladimir Holan, Michel Deguy and Bernard Bador.

Eshleman founded and edited two of the most seminal and highly-regarded literary magazines of the period. Twenty issues of Caterpillar appeared between 1967 and 1973. In 1981, while Dreyfuss Poet in Residence at the California Institute of Technology, Eshleman founded Sulfur magazine. Forty-six issues appeared between 1981 and 2000, the year its final issue went to press. Eshleman describes his experience with the journal in an interview which appeared in an issue of Samizdat (poetry magazine).[1]

Sometimes he is mentioned in the company of the "ethno-poeticists" associated with Jerome Rothenberg, including: Armand Schwerner, Rochelle Owens, Kenneth Irby, Robert Kelly, Jed Rasula, Gustaf Sobin, and John Taggart. Over the course of his life, his work have been published in over 500 literary magazines and newspapers, and he has given readings at more than 200 universities. He is a professor emeritus at Eastern Michigan University.

In the fall of 2005, Clayton and his wife Caryl were in residence at the Rockefeller Study Center at Bellagio on Lake Como, Italy, where he studied Hieronymus Bosch's "The Garden of Earthly Delights" and wrote a 67 page work on the triptych in poetry and prose, "The Paradise of Alchemical Foreplay." For over thirty years, Clayton Eshleman has studied Ice Age cave art of southwestern France. In June 2006, the Eshlemans plan to be in France to lead their 8th cave tour to the painted/engraved Ice Age caves for the Ringling College of Art and Design.

Recognition[edit | edit source]

Eshleman is the recipient with José Rubia Barcia of the National Book Award in 1979 for their translation of César Vallejo's Complete Posthumous Poetry.

His 2007 bilingual edition of The Complete Poetry of Cesar Vallejo, with an introduction by Mario Vargas Llosa, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize.[2] The book also won the 2008 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets.

Publications[edit | edit source]

Poetry[edit | edit source]

  • Mexico and North. Tokyo: privately published, 1962.
  • The Chavin Illumination. Lima, Peru: La Rama Florida, 1965.
  • Lachrymae Mateo: Three Poems for Christmas, 1966. New York: Caterpillar, 1966.
  • The Crocus Bud: A poem. Reno, NV: Camels Coming, 1967.
  • Walks. New York: Caterpillar, 1967.
  • Brother Stones (with woodcuts by William Paden). New York: Caterpillar, 1968.
  • Cantaloups and Splendour. Los Angeles, CA: Black Sparrow, 1968.
  • Indiana: Poems. Los Angeles, CA: Black Sparrow, 1969.
  • T’ai. Cambridge, MA: Sans Souci, 1969.
  • The House of Ibuki: A poem. Freemont, MI: Sumac, 1969.
  • The House of Okumura. Toronto: Weed/Flower, 1969.
  • Yellow River Record. London: Big Venus, 1969.
  • A Pitchblende. Berkeley, CA: Maya Quarto, 1969.
  • Altars. Santa Rosa, CA: Black Sparrow, 1971.
  • The Wand. Santa Barbara, CA: Capricorn, 1971.
  • Bearings. Santa Barbara, CA: Capricorn, 1971.
  • The Sanjo Bridge. Los Angeles, CA: Black Sparrow, 1972.
  • The Last Judgment: For Caryl Her Thirty-first Birthday, for the End of Her Pain. Los Angeles, CA: Plantin, 1973.
  • Coils: A new book of poems. Santa Rosa, CA: Black Sparrow, 1973.
  • Human Wedding. Santa Rosa, CA: Black Sparrow, 1973.
  • Realignment: Poems and an essay (illustrated by Nora Jaffe). Kingston, NY: Treacle, 1974.
  • Aux Morts. Santa Rosa, CA: Black Sparrow, 1974.
  • Grotesca. London: New London Pride, 1975.
  • Portrait of Francis Bacon. Sheffield, UK: Rivelin, 1975.
  • The Gull Wall. Santa Rosa, CA: Black Sparrow,, 1975.
  • The Woman Who Saw through Paradise. Lawrence, KS: Tansy, 1976.
  • Cogollo. Newton, MA: Roxbury Poetry Enterprises, 1976.
  • The Name Encanyoned River. Treacle, 1977.
  • Core Meander. Santa Rosa, CA: Black Sparrow, 1977.
  • What She Means. Santa Rosa, CA: Black Sparrow, 1978.
  • Nights We Put the Rock Together. Santa Barbara, CA: Cadmus, 1980.
  • Hades in Manganese. Santa Rosa, CA: Black Sparrow, 1981.
  • Fracture. Santa Rosa, CA: Black Sparrow, 1983.
  • The Name Encanyoned River: Selected poems 1960-1985 (with introduction by Eliot Weinberger). Santa Rosa, CA: Black Sparrow, 1986.
  • Hotel Cro-Magnon. Santa Rosa, CA: Black Sparrow, 1989.
  • Under World Arrest. Santa Rosa, CA: Black Sparrow, 1994.
  • Nora’s Roar. Boulder, CO: Rodent, 1996.
  • From Scratch. Santa Rosa, CA: Black Sparrow, 1998.
  • Erratics. Rosendale, NY: Hunger Press, 2000.
  • A Cosmogonic Collage: Sections I, II, & V. Ypsilanti, MI: Canopic, 2000.
  • Jisei. Ellsworth, ME: Backwoods Broadsides, 2000.
  • Sweetheart. Ypsilanti, MI: Canopic, 2002.
  • An Alchemist with One Eye on Fire. Boston: Black Widow Press, 2006.
  • My Devotion: New poems. Boston: Black Widow Press, 2006.
  • Reciprocal Distillations. Hot Whiskey Press, 2007.
  • Archaic Design. Boston: Black Widow Press, 2007.
  • Anticline. Boston: Black Widow Press, 2010.

Non-fiction[edit | edit source]

  • Novices: A study of poetic apprenticeship. Los Angeles: Mercer & Aitchison, 1989.
  • Antiphonal Swing: Selected Prose 1962-1987 (edited by Caryl Eshleman, with introduction by Paul Christensen). Kingston, NY: McPherson, 1989.
  • Companion Spider: Essays (foreword by Adrienne Rich). Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2002.
  • Juniper Fuse: Upper paleolithic imagination and the construction of the underworld. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan, 2003.

Collected editions[edit | edit source]

  • On Mules Sent from Chavin: A journal and poems. Swansea, Wales: Galloping Dog, 1977.
  • The Grindstone of Rapport: A Clayton Eshleman reader: Selected poetry, prose, and translations. Boston: Black Widow Press, 2008.

Translated[edit | edit source]

  • Pablo Neruda, Residence on Earth. Japan: Amber House, 1962.
  • Aimé Césaire, State of the Union (translated with Denis Kelly). New York: Caterpillar, 1966.
  • César Vallejo, Seven Poems. Reno, NV: R. Morris, 1967.
  • César Vallejo, Human Poems. New York: Grove, 1968.
  • Antonin Artaud, Letter to Andre Breton. Los Angeles, CA: Black Sparrow, 1974.
  • César Vallejo, Spain, Take This Cup from Me (translated with José Rubia Barcia). New York: Grove, 1974.
  • Antonin Artaud, To Have Done with the Judgement of God (translated with Norman Glass). Los Angeles: Black Sparrow, 1975.
  • Antonin Artaud, Artaud the Momo (translated with Norman Glass). Santa Rosa, CA: Black Sparrow, 1976.
  • César Vallejo, Battles in Spain: Five unpublished poems (translated with José Rubia Barcia). Santa Rosa, CA: Black Sparrow, 1978.
  • César Vallejo, The Complete Posthumous Poetry (translated with José Rubia Barcia). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1978.
  • Antonin Artaud, Four Texts (translated with Norman Glass). Los Angeles, CA: Panjandrum, 1982.
  • Aimé Césaire, The Collected Poetry (translated with Annette Smith). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1983.
  • Michel Deguy, Given Giving: Selected Poems. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1984.
  • Bernard Bador, Sea Urchin Harakiri. Los Angeles, CA: Panjandrum, 1986.
  • Aimé Césaire, Lost Body (translated with Annette Smith). New York: Braziller, 1986.
  • Conductors of the Pit: Major works of Rimbaud, Vallejo, Césaire, Artaud, and Holan (translated with Annette Smith & Frantisek Galan). New Yrk: Paragon, 1988.
  • Aimé Césaire, Lyric and Dramatic Poetry, 1946-1982 (translated with Annette Smith; with introduction by A. James Arnold). Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1990.
  • César Vallejo, Trilce.New York: Marsilio, 1992
    • new edition (with introduction by Américo Ferrari). Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2000.
  • Antonin Artaud, Watchfiends and Rack Screams: Works from the Final Period. Boston: Exact Change, 1995.
  • Aimé Césaire, Notebook of a Return to the Native Land (translated with Annette Smith; with introduction by André Breton). Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2001.
  • Conductors of the Pit: Artaud, Holan, Cesaire, Vallejo, Csoori, Breton, Neruda, Radnoti, Rimbaud, Hierro, Bador, Juhasz, Szocs. Berkeley, CA: Soft Skull Press, 2005.
  • Cesar Vallejo, Complete Poetry. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2007.
  • Bei Dao, Endure (translated with Lucas Klein). Boston: Black Widow Books, 2011.
  • Bernard Bador, Curdled Skulls: Poems. Boston: Black Widow, 2011.
  • Aimé Césaire, Solar Throat Slashed: The unexpurgated 1948 version (translated with James A. Arnold). Middletown, CT: Wesleyan Press, 2011.

Edited[edit | edit source]

  • A Caterpillar Anthology. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1971.
  • Paul Blackburn, The Parallel Voyages (edited with Edith Jarolim). Tucson, AZ: SUN/Gemini Press, 1987.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy the Poetry Foundation.[2]

Audio / video[edit | edit source]


Guillermo Verdecchia reads from The Complete Poetry, Clayton Eshleman translating César Vallejo

  • The Dragon Rat Tail: Poems. Düsseldorf: S Press Tapes, 1980.
  • Clayton Eshleman. Kansas City, MO: New Letters, 1982.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[3]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Sulfur and After: An Interview with Clayton Eshleman"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Clayton Eshleman b. 1936, Poetry foundation, Web, Sep. 9, 2012.
  3. Search results = au:Clayton Eshleman + audiobook, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Apr. 26, 2018.

External links[edit | edit source]

Audio / video

Vallejo, the bard of Peru John Timpane reviews The Complete Poetry (A Bilingual Edition), Translated by Clayton Eshleman



Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.