"Paul Pines: Coming of age in the ’50s and ’60s on the Lower East Side of New York, I found poets everywhere.  One couldn’t walk down the street without running into them. The ghost of Black Mountain haunted Max’s Kansas City, where I sat at the bar between Fee Dawson and Donald Phelps. I listened to jazz with Paul Blackburn, who also introduced me to Octavio Paz when the Mexican poet and his wife gave a talk in Paul’s apartment above McSorley’s.  Paul warned me against the siren song of translation—not to get caught in it as he had.  But I read his The Journals as they appeared, and learned to view poetry that way, to read the landscape as an oracle.  I asked him to write an introduction to my first book in 1971, Onion, from Mulch Press, which also published Allan Ginsberg, Joel Oppenheimer, M.G. Stephens, Toby Olsen, all with illustrations by Basil King.  I turned back the two he gave me because I didn’t feel them strong enough and let the book roll out unintroduced.  Years later, long after his death, I stumbled on his response to my innocent idiocy in his Journals and choked up: “How can we/ offer it all, Paul? how/ ignore the earth movers. Will/take it all down.”  There were poets everywhere, poets in the soup at Ratner’s or the B&H on Second Avenue.  Lionel Mitchell, our downtown Aimé Césaire, lectured to anyone who would listen on “Negritude” in Tompkins Square, or from the door of the Binibon Restaurant on Second Avenue, where Jack Abbot (freed from prison at the behest of Norman Mailer on the strength of a memoir, In the Belly of the Beast) murdered the young waiter Richard Adan, 22, who refused to let Abbott use the bathroom."

(*For an excerpt and more on The Tin Palace go here.)

"In the 1950s, Frank O’Hara was the only poet among his friends, the abstract expressionists. Rather than buddy around with poets from the New York School, the crowd he’s commonly associated with today, he was more likely to be found having a cocktail with Grace Hartigan or Willem de Kooning. As a result, his poetry style became more and more influenced by visual art, and his poems, spontaneous records of everyday life in New York, are filled with casual interactions with his painter friends—all of which is worth mentioning here, since the experience nearly mirrors that of local poet Paul Pines. The only difference is that, instead of abstract expressionists, it was jazz musicians who influenced Pines."


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  • In The Dark with Juan Gelman: The Test of Truth in Translation by Paul Pines.  Juan Gelman - Big Bridge 15 - Spring 2011.  The complete essay is at Big Bridge.

Pines has had poems translated into Ukrainian and translated a couple of Ukranian poets into English. Here are some proofs of both, click on the thumbnail image to enlarge and view as a slideshow.

  • A Dream About My Father, by Paul Pines, translated by Vitalij Keis, Succasnist, July-August, 1977, Munchen/NYC
  • A Dream About My Father, by Paul Pines, translated by Keis Vitalij, Vsesvit Review, Lviv, 2010
    Пол Пайнс (Paul Pines), ВИБРАНІ ПОЕЗІЇ (Selected Poems)
  •  A Hundred Years of Youth, a Bilingual Anthology of 20th Century Ukranian Poetry, edited by Olha Luckuk & Michael M. Naydan, 2000, Lviv, Paul Pines translation of Maria Rewakowicz