Yannis Livadas - John Coltrane And 15 Poems For Jazz
Translated by Jack Hirschman & Dimitri Charalambous
(C.C. Marimbo, Berkeley, California 2008)
“Livadas began translating American poetry in the 90’s and recently has published a large anthology of the works of Ginsberg, Corso, Ferlinghetti, Olson, Norse and others. His own poetry, influenced as well by that of Blaise Cendrars, has resulted in some very brilliant works, and his latest collection of poems [“Apteros Nike/Business/Sphinx” by Iridanos Books, 2008] is regarded as a turning point in modern Greek poetry.
Livadas was born in 1969 in Kalamata, Greece. He has also been an editor and publisher of various works, and a columnist. He is considered an expert in postmodern American poetry and the poetry of the Far East. He’s been called the Jazz poet of Greece.
In a recent interview, Livadas has succinctly clarified his approach to poetry and jazz: “Jazz is pure art. And is not restricted to the music area. If we consider it as such then we ignore its greatest importance; the fact that above all Jazz is a way of life, an attribute of thinking and doing and, in my case as a poet, a way of writing, of getting into the heart of the poem. As for the poetic language I’m not interested in surrealism, the Beats, etc. I’m only interested in the voice of the Muse, the deep poem, the total. My poetry may derive, on the one hand, from the postmodern Americans and, on the other hand, from Cendrars, but it has its own system, its own risks… Anyway, whether I write longer poems, which I prefer doing, or shorter ones, I’m in play; I gamble.”
… This has been a trio ensemble bringing the visions of one poet to a bilingual homage with respect to the Jazz poem that was born about three years ago and has been liberating sound-sense ever since.
The book is distributed by the City lights Bookstore in San Francisco.