Biography of Christian Hawkey
Christian Hawkey (born 1969, Hackensack, NJ), is an American poet, translator, editor, activist, and educator.
Christian Hawkey is the author of several books of poetry, including Sonne from Ort, Ventrakl, Citizen Of, The Book of Funnels, and a number of chapbooks. His work has been translated into German Slovene, French, Swedish, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch; and he translates several contemporary German poets including Daniel Falb, Sabine Scho and Steffen Popp, and Austrian writer Ilse Aichinger.
He completed graduate work at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he founded and edited the first 10 issues of the poetry journal jubilat. He is an associate professor at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. He teaches in the English department, and the Writing for Publication, Performance, and Media Program.
In 2012 he founded, with Rachel Levitsky, the Office of Recuperative Strategies (OoRS), a research-oriented collective of activists that explores new tactics to promote the reuse, perversification, reanimation, and reparation of precarious, outmoded, and correctable cultural phenomena.
About Ventrakl, poet and translator Johannes Göransson writes "A contemporary poet more interested in the complications of the translation process and kinds of wounds it opens up is Christian Hawkey. In his new book Ventrakl, Hawkey makes the problems of translation the central concern, rather than something to avoid (you can see it in the pun of the title--ventricle, of Trakl, English and German moving in and out of the book, forcing one's mouth to mispronounce the title, turning the reader's mouth, body into medium). The book is part translation of the iconic World War I poet (of 'witness') Georg Trakl, part study in the problematics of translation; and part seance--a seance that admits the ghost-like, haunted nature of translation, very much in keeping with Pound's reanimation project."
His first book was given the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. He received a Creative Capital Innovative Literature Award in 2006. In 2008, he was a DAAD Artist-in-Berlin Fellow. In the Summer of 2010, Hawkey held the Picador Guest Professorship for Literature at the University of Leipzig's Institute for American Studies in Leipzig, Germany. He was selected to judge the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation in 2012.
With the collaborative team of Joe Diebes and David Levine he has held residencies at Watermill, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Governor's Island Artist Residency program, and the BRIC Fireworks Residency.
Christian Hawkey's Works:
Sonne from Ort. (in collaboration with Uljana Wolf). Kook Books. 2012.
Ventrakl. Ugly Duckling Presse. 2010.
Citizen Of. Wave Books. 2007.
The Book of Funnels. Wave Books. 2004.
Sonette mit elisabethanischem Maulwurf. translated by Uljana Wolf. hochroth Verlag, Berlin. 2010.
Petitions for an Alien Relative. Hand Held Editions. Spring 2010.
Ulf. Factory Hollow Press. Spring 2010.
HourHour. Drawings Ryan Mrozowski. Delirium Press. 2006.
Sonne from Ort reviewed in Body Literature
Ventrakl reviewed in Jacket 2
Ventrakl reviewed in Bookforum
Ventrakl reviewed in The Constant Critic
Christian Hawkey Poems
Slow Waltz Through Inflatable Landscape
At the time of his seeing a hole opened—a pocket opened— and left a space. A string of numbers plummeted through it. They were cold numbers.
& then the miniature sheep
sighed, turning their nervous eyes from the sleeting wind, & then the sleeting wind formed an ice-helmet around their fist-sized, fluffy heads, & then their heads were heavy, & hung low on their small shoulders,
Fraulein, can you
sometimes, when I can't sleep, I drag my sleeping bag into the meadow's precise center & crawl inside, head first. Fraulein, there is the stars'
Not Yet by Lightning
Whatever cloud—however charged— & loud with yellow fingers was in your brain. There were two clouds.
Interlude With Gypsies and Tambourines
Wait a minute. We're not finished with you. We were discussing the Indefatigable Ones at a time of Maximum Perforation and Wonders, the bodies of crows plummeting earthward,
Hour of Secret Agents
The code word, he whispered, just before letting go, was code word. Asshole, I thought, watching his head get smaller and smaller until it ended in a puff of dust. Where it began,
One was tied to a fence post, bawling. Another was little more than a smudge left behind by a forehead resting on a pane of glass. A third
Report From the Undersecretary of Inques...
Gender: indeterminate. Age: ancient. Eyes: undersized. Nose: broken. Neck: connected. Hair: mostly air. Chest: at rest.
Elke Allowing the Floor to Rise Up Over ...
Alone in a room with a video camera means you're not alone, but lonely. The floor closed around my lips. I spoke from a knot. All bodies
I was lying on my side, in a ditch, soaking my flanks in bog water with my head propped up, on an elbow,
Slow Waltz Through Inflatable Landscape
At the time of his seeing a hole opened—a pocket opened— and left a space. A string of numbers plummeted through it. They were cold numbers. They were pearls.
Hour with One Hand Inserted in a Time of...
We dug with our hands & hand shovels. We dug with our spatulate feet. & with torsos as our only circumference we dug a maze. A maze of passageways:
Remembering; And With The Aid Of; Ventil...
must balance; this risk; a tablet; peak plasma; the first alphabet; with the clinical need; finger-sized; it makes sense; the fingers; were the first; to make sense; this risk; 31 letters; the flower-visiting species; as opposed to; dung-feeding; the terminal phase; and the;
Fraulein, can you
sometimes, when I can't sleep, I drag my sleeping bag
into the meadow's precise center
& crawl inside, head first. Fraulein, there is the stars'
ceaseless drilling. I close my eyes. Somewhere below me
a star-nosed mole cuts its webbed hand
on a shard of glass. I close my ears
& over my body the current of a young doe
eddies, ripples across the field, a low-lying midnight fog
swirling after her, falling back, suspended. I know you are close.