Letter from Poetry Magazine

Letter to the Editor

by Afaa Michael Weaver
Dear Editor,

I have read the exchange of letters between Joseph Bednarik and Marilyn Chin with some sadness. It is a painful thing to have happen at a time when communication around the project of translating from Asian languages needs all the openness and good-hearted exchange it can inspire. Copper Canyon has a rich legacy, and I have faith that proper redress will be made to Chin for what I hope was a moment of glibness that went a little too far.

I find Chin’s translations not only immensely readable but informative as well. Her translator’s note is impassioned and evidence of someone with a string of credentials, for sure, but, more importantly, also a vested interest in the life of poets doing battle with patriarchy.

My hat is off to the editors of Poetry for giving space to such a difficult exchange.

Somerville, Massachusetts

Originally Published: October 23, 2008

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This prose originally appeared in the September 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

September 2008

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 Afaa Michael  Weaver

Biography

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Afaa Michael Weaver was born Michael S. Weaver to working class parents in 1951. His poetry echoes the gospel and blues ethos of his mother and father, who were themselves the children of farmers in southernmost Virginia. His father grew up as a sharecropper. The eldest of five children, Weaver graduated from Baltimore Polytechnic high school and entered the University of Maryland in College Park . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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