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.

Originally Published: October 27th, 2008

Joshua Weiner was born in Boston and grew up in central New Jersey. He is the author of three books of poems, The World’s Room (2001) and From the Book of Giants (2006), and The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish (2013).Weiner earned a BA from Northwestern University and a PhD from...

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