“Ginza Samba”

Robert Pinsky

A monosyllabic European called Sax
Invents a horn, walla whirledy wah, a kind of twisted
Brazen clarinet, but with its column of vibrating
Air shaped not in a cylinder but in a cone
Widening ever outward and bawaah spouting
Infinitely upward through an upturned
Swollen golden bell rimmed
Like a gloxinia flowering
In Sax’s Belgian imagination

And in the unfathomable matrix
Of mothers and fathers as a genius graven
Humming into the cells of the body
Or cupped in the resonating grail
Of memory changed and exchanged
As in the trading of brasses,
Pearls and ivory, calicos and slaves,
Laborers and girls, two

Cousins in a royal family
Of Niger known as the Birds or Hawks…

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News & Field Reports



Claudia Rankine wins a 2016 MacArthur Fellowship.

Los Angeles Times 9/21/16


About This Project

An Open Source Platform exploring extended networks through many channels: from the cultural archives circulating across the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Caribbean, to dynamic interactions . . .

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Annual Graduate Conference

Friday, April 7, 2017;  LC 319

Four panels of papers, plus a Research Workshop with Melissa Barton, curator, Beinecke Library; a Publication Workshop with Wai Chee Dimock, editor, PMLAand Jordan Brower, co-editor of American Literature in the World: An Anthology from Anne Bradstreet to Octavia Butler (2016); and a “Performing American Literature” festival Thursday evening.


From our archives:

Nov 3, 2014: Louise Glück in conversation on her new book of poetry, Faithful and Virtuous Night

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