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Stephen Rodefer (1940 - 2015)

Stephen Rodefer, Party at Kestion and Andrea's, West Road apartment, Cantax, 2000, West Road apartment, Cantax, 2000
Books by this author: Call It Thought
  • About
  • Reviews
  • The American writer Stephen Rodefer, who lives in Paris, is the author of many volumes of poetry, prose, plays and translation. His work extends the tradition of the Black Mountain and New York schools of American poetry. His book of long poems, Four Lectures, was a winner of the San Francisco State University Poetry Center's Annual Book Award in 1983, for 'the best book of poetry published in the US in the previous year.' His translations of Sappho, Villon, Dante, Baudelaire and others have been widely noted. Rodefer has taught at universities in the US, UK, and France, and his recent essay on canon-formation, 'The Age in its Cage', appeared in the Chicago Review. His collected critical essays, The Monkey's Donut, will be published in 2008.


    He died in August 2015

    Praise for Stephen Rodefer (1940 - 2015) 'Stephen Rodefer’s writing is simply one of the eight wonders of the world.'
    Ian Patterson
    'Youthful what? Where is Rodefer, he’ll know. That damn Lycidas. Whatever else England draws upon, it’s native talent will out. The damn Lycidas! Where did Rodefer go? Youthful what?'
    Charles Olson
    'Of all the most intensely American of poets, Stephen Rodefer is the most European. The scenes and images and vocabularies of homecoming that dominate his work are all translated from foreign tongues, making his poetry the most complete form of cultural longing, a wandering further and further off, finding new phrases to move straight out of, nostalgic for a syntax of belonging whose rules have never been known.'
    Rod Mengham
    'Stephen Rodefer is in my view, and in that of many others... quite simply the most important living American poet.'
    Simon Jarvis
    'His intellectual voracity, combined with a democratic enthusiasm for the common tongue, gives his poetry its depth and breath and brilliance. A major poet.'
    Maud Ellmann
    'Rodefer has, tactically and syntactically, been a remarkably consistent writer since the fantastic Four Lectures of 1982... [he] invites us to rebel against the authorities who mow down language as if it were just blades of information. His love of the immediate transforms the mediated, revalues the debased currency of ads and slang.'
    Andrea Brady, Jacket
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