Mark Statman (Poetry, Translation) | Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, MX
Statman’s translations and writing on teaching have gained national and international recognition. Of his translations of Hinojosa, Willis Barnstone observes: “Statman’s exquisite version is our gift.” John Ashbery, calls the translation, with Pablo Medina, of García Lorca’s Poet in New York, “the definitive version of Lorca’s masterpiece, in language that is as alive and molten today as was the original in 1930.” In his preface to Listener in the Snow, Kenneth Koch writes, “Teaching poetry may never be the same again.”
A recipient of awards from The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Writers Project, Statman’s poetry, essays, and translations have appeared in ten anthologies, as well as such publications as Tin House, Hanging Loose, Mad Hat Lit, The Mad Hatters Review, The Enchanted Verses Literary Review, Performing Arts Journal, The Cincinnati Review, La Bloga, South Bank Poetry (England) Ezra: A Journal of Translation, The Hat, Bayou, Boog, Occasional Religion, Washington Square, conduit, Subtopics, The Florida Review, Ping Pong, and American Poetry Review. Statman has read his work at numerous venues, from bookstores to cafes, from clubs to literary festivals. Among these are The Miami Book Fair International, the Cheltenham Book Festival (England); Lorca in England Festival (England), the Hands-on Literary Festival, Boogfest, Columbia University, Pace University, The New School, Interlochen, St. Marks Poetry Project, La Mama, The Bowery Poetry Club, City Lights, Changing Hands, McNally Robinson Books, NYU Bookstore, Voices of Poets, The Parrish Art Museum, the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, the Brooklyn Public Library, the Latter Library, The Poetry Center of Chicago, and The Sacramento Poetry Center.
An Associate Professor in Literary Studies, Mark Statman has taught at Eugene Lang College since 1985, with classes ranging from the regular poetry sequence, literature, and literary translation to classes in media studies and creative pedagogy, with a focus on arts in education. A Joseph Murphy Fellow at Columbia University, he studied comparative religions, as well as creative writing, literature, and translation, with, among others, Kenneth Koch, David Shapiro, Elaine Pagels, Barbara Stoler Miller, and Burton Watson.
Press & Reviews
Although the poems in Mark Statman’s lovely That Train Again break down into sections and titles, you could almost read this book as a long, sweet poetic day of meditation; earth, sky, birds, wind, wife, love, and the ways they attach to the poet, and through him, to us. A good book of poetry will urge us not to miss the fine details. Here is music to slow the pulse and re-tune the ear to what’s important.
Mark Statman’s spare, candid poems speak of the ways a person moves “from gold/ into blue.” That Train Again details our daily translation of “world/ into world.”
What emerges for the reader/listener is the experience of one (the poet) experiencing the world—encountering, engaging with, and trying to understand its complexity. That Train Again stands firmly in the present tense (though with forays to the past via memory), joyfully so. The title is perfect—That Train Again—emphasizing the momentariness of existence, its eternal return, and its reliance on hope. I love this book.
It’s very rare to watch the birth of a new style. It’s like watching through a new set of Proust’s kaleidoscopes. Mark Statman has been working for years on a vision of himself and parts of the city—concentrated and bare as any poetry. It’s hard to compare it to anything.
(Mark Statman’s) voice brings together historical awareness with mindful surrender for the present moment (that sometimes calls back memories from psyche’s depths). Mark Statman’s lines are maps of the wind that carry us into wonder and love.
Sung through a register of gentle if unrelenting consciousness on the part of the poet that the present is always inexhaustibly on the move, Statman’s spare, concise, searching poems channel notations of experience through the visual and aural senses.
Statman’s voice is a kind of spare lyricism that reminds me of the ancient Greek poets of the Anthology or the concise voicings of Antonio Machado.
Statman’s legit. And honest. He doesn’t try to impress with literary tricks and sleight of hand. Just good, solid poetry that keeps getting better.
Statman gives us language as commitment, commitment as imagination, imagination as soul-making.
Mark Statman delivers the tourist’s wonder and distance in spare, deliberate music—American poetry’s grand plain style descended from William Carlos Williams to James Schuyler. Statman is a head-on poet willing to risk clarity in pursuit of the marvelous we might encounter anywhere.