Letter from Poetry Magazine

Letter to the Editor

by Joshua Weiner
Dear Editor,

I know Michael Hofmann about as well as he knows Polish, which is to say, in translation; but I do know Peter Dale Scott, and not primarily as a Canadian diplomat, nor as a translator of Zbigniew Herbert's, but as the poet who wrote Coming to Jakarta: A Poem About Terror (1988), a remarkable book-length poem that fuses autobiography and political analysis unlike anything else in twentieth-century American poetry. If Hofmann doesn't know who Peter Dale Scott is, it's not because his work is obscure, nor obscured—the whole trilogy, 
of which Jakarta is the first installment, is published by New Directions. I recommend it to Hofmann and other readers of Poetry who might not know it; the poem announces its relevance in the title, and is no lie.

Washington, DC

Originally Published: October 27, 2008

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This prose originally appeared in the September 2007 issue of Poetry magazine

September 2007

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 Joshua  Weiner

Biography

Joshua Weiner is the editor of At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn (2009), as well as the the author of two books of poems, The World’s Room (2001) and From the Book of Giants (2006). Weiner is the recent recipient of the Rome Prize in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and a Whiting Writers’ Award. He has published poems and prose in Best American Poetry, the Nation, the American . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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