Born in Paris in 1963, Pierre Alferi is the author of some twelve books of poetry, as well as five novels and twenty short films. A frequent collaborator with musicians and visual artists, he has worked extensively to develop the genre of the cinépoème, and the short lyric film. He also translates the work of an unusually wide range of writers, from John Donne to George Oppen, and is the co-founder of two literary journals: Détail, with Suzanne Doppelt, and La Revue de Littérature Générale, with Olivier Cadiot. Some of his films and graphic works are now online at http://alferi.fr/. He teaches in Paris, at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, at the European Graduate School.
These are poems improvised like a conversation. An epigraph extracts the subject. So what is being spoken about is clear enough (love, day and night, time, cinema or movement), and what they say is quite obvious; their meaning is less obvious. Each poem reverses ‘communication’, each pushes meaning from one image to the next, taking it apart, transferring it from one line to the next, sentences cut short, kicked like footballs. Perhaps they mean nothing. Perhaps they capture a monstrous feeling: an experience of the present in which blurred contours are unavoidable.
From Les Allures Naturelles, tr. Cole Swensen, Ankle Press, 1994
Natural Gaits, tr. Cole Swensen, Sun and Moon Press, 1995
Night and Day, tr. Kate Campbell, La Presse, 2012
Contribution to collective works
Exact Change, Carcanet Press, 1995
Rhizome n° 3, 1999
Five Fingers Review n ° 10, 1991, n° 16, 1997
Substance 123, vol. 39, n° 3, 2010
Links (in French)
Pierre Alferi’s French bibliography
Pierre Alferi's website