Saturday, 2 March 2013
Michael Heller & Norman Finkelstein
Mike Heller read at The Lamb on Tuesday, at the Veg Box Café in Canterbury on Wednesday and, with Norman Finkelstein gave a seminar at the University of Kent on Friday morning. I attended the first and third of these events and would have been at the second had circumstances permitted. Heller now has a substantial collected poems, This Constellation Is A Name, finely presented by Nightboat Books. As ever it was great to hear him read. The seminar, featuring both authors, was on the Objectivist poets and their later followers, notably Harvey Shapiro (who died early this year) and Hugh Seidman. Finkelstein focussed on these poets while Heller concentrated on the work of George Oppen. Heller is the author of one of the earliest books on Objectivism (Conviction’s Net of Branches) and subsequent work on Oppen in particular. Finkelstein presented a previously unavailable poem by Shapiro (referring to Charles Reznikoff). It would have been well worth anyone’s while to have been present. Both men were modest in their presentations but one felt privileged to have been part of the audience.