Black Herald Press at Berkeley Books of Paris

Berkeley Books of Paris 8, rue Casimir Delavigne 75006 Paris

Books displayed: 

The Black Herald #5

The Black Herald #3

Ex Nihilo, Paul Stubbs (Black Herald Press, 2010)

Flesh, Paul Stubbs (Black Herald Press, 2013)

The End of the Trial of Man, Paul Stubbs (Arc Publications, 2015)


Forthcoming : Cosmographia, by Blandine Longre



& other poems


with an introduction by Paul Stubbs

Black Herald Press, may 2015
70 pages – 9 €  – ISBN 978-2-919582-10-5

To pre-order the book

about Clarities, the author’s previous collection

‘Death of Utopia’ – Paul Stubbs

tumblr_nbao94bw5x1qzru3oo1_400“in end-times, when Hell is certain, and

Eliot, not Christ, he rots back onto the


 Paul Stubbs, ‘Death of Utopia’

(After A Piece of Waste Land, Francis Bacon, 1982)


The poem & its French translation:

Epignosis Quarterly, Spring 2014, Vol. I, Issue 1

Epignosis Quarterly – SPRING 2014 VOLUME I – ISSUE 1

The first issue of Epignosis Quarterly (edited by Ágnes Cserháti, who also runs the independent press Rufus Books) will soon be available on its official website.

In the meantime, the complete pdf file can be downloaded here: 

Epignosis Quarterly_spring_2014


Epignosis Quarterly  SPRING 2014, VOLUME I - ISSUE 1

Epignosis Quarterly
SPRING 2014, VOLUME I – ISSUE 1 -All rights reserved. ISSN 2292-9371



Ben Meyerson, Michael Lee Rattigan, Jeremy Clarke, Gordon Meade, Iain Britton, Bethany W. Pope, Dick Jones, Ruth Roach Pierson, Ágnes Cserháti, Matthew Francis, Steven Mayoff, Anthea Simmons, Erin Soros, Georges Rodenbach, Maurice Maeterlinck, Will Stone, Paul Celan, John Reibetanz, Paul Stubbs, Paola Volpato, Jordan B. Peterson.




1, 14  Ben Meyerson

1, 12  Michael Lee Rattigan

2-9  Jeremy Clarke

2, 14  Gordon Meade

9  Iain Britton

10  Bethany W. Pope

12-13  Dick Jones

13  Ruth Roach Pierson

15-16  Ágnes Cserháti

15  Matthew Francis

15, 22  Steven Mayoff

16  Anthea Simmons


3-9  Erin Soros

Still Water, BC


11-12  Georges Rodenbach’s prose piece ‘The Graves’ and Maurice Maeterlinck’s poem ‘Night Soul’ translated by Will Stone

15  Paul Celan’s poems ‘Song’ and ‘Strung’ translated by John Reibetan


18-22  ‘The Anti-Author and the Death of Personality’, an essay about Arthur Rimbaud by Paul Stubbs


17  Bethany W. Pope on Will Stone’s translation of Poems – Emile Verhaeren (Arc, 2014)

31-32  Ágnes Cserháti on A Ragged Pen: Essays on Poetry & Memory (Gaspereau Press, 2006)


2, 6, 30  Paola Volpato


23-29  Ágnes Cserháti in conversation with Jordan B. Peterson about his artwork, ‘The Meaning of Music’


‘epignosis’ is a Greek adjective meaning ‘perceptive’ and ‘insightful’ having to do with a personal orspiritual knowledge, ‘in-knowledge’, rather than merely rational or instructional knowledge. This is the kind of writing and art that is of interest to EQ. Submissions of poetry,  short fiction, creative non-fiction, translations, essays,interviews, reviews,artwork and photography are welcome.

If you would like to submit, please limit to 3 poems and/or 1 each of any other kind of writing or artwork and photography, or if you have any ideas you’d like to discuss, please feel free to contact the editor: epignosisquarterly(at)gmail(dot)com.

Editor: Ágnes Cserháti

Assistant Editors: Bethany W. Pope, Caroline Li

© Epignosis Quarterly, 2014

All rights reserved.

ISSN 2292-9371

EQ is published in May, August, November and February.

“revue inclassable et porteuse de mouvements”

à propos du Black Herald
note parue dans “cahier critique de poésie” n° 26 (décembre 2013)


CCP 26

De suc & d’espoir / With Sap & Hope – Jos Roy

Vient de paraître / just released


De suc & d’espoir / With Sap & Hope

Jos Roy

Poèmes choisis – Selected Poems

recueil bilingue – bilingual collection

Translation from the French:
Blandine Longre with Paul Stubbs
Black Herald Press, avril / april 2014
54 pages – 10 €
ISBN  978-2-919582-08-2


Pour se procurer l’ouvrage / To purchase the book

De suc & d'espoir

De suc & d’espoir


Cioran“All of his life Cioran negated, if not banished, the idea of building for himself a philosophical ‘system’, realizing at an early age that the universe was too far imperturbable to be reduced to man’s own mortification. In his essay ‘Valéry Facing his idols’ he wrote: ‘if we were to translate the philosophers’ lucubrations into normal language, what would be left of them?’ Such premonitions reduced Cioran’s own mind to the size and space of a ‘confessional-box’, an unsolicited and shameless disclosure of who he really was. Each word, a drop of blood, reflected his unnameable lassitude, the inexhaustible sameness of his voice, his always private predilections for nothing but his own interior world-shapes. For this writer there was no difference between the detonation of a bomb and that of a full-stop: he accepted everything, his life a constant ‘new’ death entering into the graveyard of his speech. To live separate from the rest of mankind is not to be a destroyer of worlds, but of the spleen, he who in disparaging human beings acted upon a scarcely credible stage. Each aphorism in The Temptation to Exist for example is a far too-recent disaster, an ethical impasse, where inside each word we hear only a teleological clock ticking, and where the ancient ‘Rules’ and laws of matter have begun to subside in the dust of his own brain.” (Paul Stubbs)

read the essay


About Heller Levinson’s HINGE THEORY

From Stone This Running - heller Levinson, Black Widow Press

From Stone This Running – Heller Levinson, Black Widow Press

An essay by Paul Stubbs.

“So, to become a reconstructor of the universe, ‘Hinge’ must seek to translate into outer music the inner music of words, to silence art and render physics and religion once again into the great early dreams of man; to induce an ongoing and perpetually fecund state of the anathemas that will help Levinson aspire to his new literary role of syntactical demiurge. It will be a quite necessary act of madness, an attempt certainly to achieve what Paul Valery imagined of Mallarmé’s task, i.e. ‘to raise a page to the power of the starry heavens.’ Levinson then assigns himself to the task of realizing the impossible, to conceive of failure as the only captivating success, and to hallucinate himself into the only obsession worth pursuing, that of locating the only true literary fracture at the earth’s crust, i.e. our belonging .To abort the self, in mid-sentence, is for the writer of ‘Hinge’ to celebrate the requirements of abortion, to complete what demands of itself to be undermined by words. ‘Hinge’, a catalogue and impulse of an always unforeseen matrix disengages itself long enough for us to snag ourselves on our own thoughts.” (Paul Stubbs)

To read the essay



Poems by Paul Stubbs, Spolia issue 3

3 poems by Paul Stubbs have been published in the 3rd issue of SPOLIA magazine

© Paul Stubbs

© Paul Stubbs

(the PDF can be downloaded for 5 $)

spolia 3

“Flesh” by Paul Stubbs (reviewed by Paul Sutton)

“Challenging concepts, developed into a project-length exploration. A rarity in contemporary poetry; even the experimental scene is patchier in these than it should be. Paul Stubbs’ poetry is full of such ambition–pursued with a terrifying metaphysical and theological energy. It comes from an almost forgotten (and intensely unfashionable) idea of poetry as the threshold, the outer limit, for linguistic exploration of self and existence. The war-zone between transcendence and decay: metaphysical, ontological, eschatological. (…) The usual English comparisons simply don’t apply. No post-ironic surrealism, no still-born ‘experiments in form’, no drip-dry epiphanies by tremulous yet sickly seers. Even Hill seems less intense – almost anecdotal – in comparison. It may sound absurd, but Milton is the only English reference I can make – even then, there’s no narrative element in Stubbs. But the poem’s almost symphonic opening reminded me of Lucifer’s (and co-conspirators’) devastated awakening, the stumbling slow dawn of the fallen angels.”

 (Paul Sutton, Stride Magazine)

Read the article




Paul Stubbs

introduction by Ingrid Soren
Black Herald Press, May 2013
130×170 – 54 pages – 10 € / £ 8.50 / $13
ISBN  978-2-919582-05-1

Order the book / Commander l’ouvrage

The Black Herald 4 (2013)

Vient de paraître / just released

The Black Herald
Literary magazine – Revue de littérature

Issue #4 – October 2013 – Octobre 2013
164 pages – 15€ / £12.90 / $20 – ISBN 978-2-919582-06-8 (ISSN 2266-1913)

Poetry, short fiction, prose, essays, translations.
Poésie, fiction courte, prose, essais, traductions.

With / avec Steve Ely, Pierre Cendors, Edward Gauvin, Paul B. Roth, Jean-Pierre Longre, Rosemary Lloyd, Boris Dralyuk, Paul Stubbs, Georgina Tacou, John Lee, Cristián Vila Riquelme, Philippe Muller, Michael Lee Rattigan, Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, Vasily Kamensky, David Shook, Oliver Goldsmith, Michel Gerbal, Gary J. Shipley, Anthony Seidman, Fernando Pessoa, Cécile Lombard, Anne-Sylvie Salzman, Heller Levinson, Jorge Ortega, Blandine Longre et des essais sur / and essays about Robert Walser, Arthur Rimbaud, Raymond Queneau, E.M. Cioran. ImagesRaphaël Lugassy, Pierre Cendors. Design: Sandrine Duvillier.

Pour en savoir plus (contributeurs, sommaire, etc.)
More information (contributors, contents, etc.)


To order the issue / Pour commander le numéro



‘Flesh’ – Paul Stubbs

Paul Stubbs
introduction by Ingrid Soren
Black Herald Press, 20 May 2013
130×170 – 54 pages – 10 € / £ 8.50 / $13
ISBN  978-2-919582-05-1

Order the book / Commander l’ouvrage

‘Stubbs is no slave to conditioning or convention: inventor as well as seer, and ignoring regulation, he stands far off looking over time and space from the perspective of an unimagined cosmology, his mastery evident as he remaps our little created world, its ideas and its faiths, with hallmark imagery.’—Ingrid Soren





The 37th issue of The Bitter Oleander

The 37th issue of The Bitter Oleander (Volume 19, Number 1, Spring 2013) features a poem by Paul Stubbs, ‘The Ascetic Attempts to Speak’ (this poem is part of his forthcoming third collection, The End of the Trial of Man, to be published by Arc Publications in the UK).

This issue also features the work of the Faroese poet and artist Tóroddur Poulsen (translated, introduced by Randi Ward), translations from the poetry of Karl Krolow (Germany) by Stuart Friebert, Lorenzo Calogero (Italy) by John Taylor, Ernst Halter (Switzerland) by Marc Vincenz, Eugenia Toledo (Chile) by Susan Sosa and Anne Greeott, Sara Uribe (Mexico) by Toshiya Kamei, Carmen Váscones (Ecuador) by Alexis Levitin and Yang Chian (China) by Ye Chun and Gillian Parrish. Original poetry by Alan Britt, Rob Cook, Sean Thomas Dougherty, Rich Ives, Shannon Salter, Anthony Seidman, Patty Dickson Pieczka among others and new short fiction by Nicole Bell, John Robinson, Brandi Wells as well as the Mexican writer Donají Olmedo translated from the Spanish by Toshiya Kamei.

To read an interview with Paul B. Roth, editor of The Bitter Oleander:

To purchase a copy of the magazine:


Michael Lee Rattigan’s ‘LIMINAL’

Michael Lee Rattigan‘s poetry collection LIMINAL (Rufus books, October 2012) will be launched on November 3rd in London at the Poetry Café (22 Betterton Street London WC2H 9BX)


‘Cacophony of tongues’ – Paul Stubbs reviews ‘Liminal


Before The Inside: a review of ‘Liminal’ by Andrew O’Donnell



Paul Stubbs reviews ‘Rilke in Paris’


Maurice Betz (Translated from the French by Will Stone, Hesperus Press, 2012)



“Rilke, on earth, lived a life akin to a pre-natal being, one whose sensations in existence remained as homogenous and pure as his time spent in the womb. He rejected birth and death as a consequence for existence, determining that this paradox was the reason behind which he would discover the absolute, i.e. through his own modifications of reality. Jean-Paul Sartre writing of Kierkegaard said ‘The beginning of the thinker’s existence is analogous to a birth. This is not a rejection but a displacement of the beginning. Before birth there was non-being; then comes the leap…’. Every morning in Paris, amid the ash-heaps of dreams, Rilke awoke to the metaphysical and limbless stump of his own still absent body. He saw the world as if between the parenthesis of each new death, whether one of his own or that of another human being.” (Paul Stubbs)

read the review


Greer Mansfield interviews Paul Stubbs, poet & editor of The Black Herald / Bookslut, Oct. 2012

“Glancing at my map of current English-language poetry, one of the most tantalizing regions is one that — at least in my school of cartography — is centered around a magazine called the Black Herald. Edited by poets Paul Stubbs and Blandine Longre, it is a concourse for strong and original English-language poetry, publishing interesting new poets like Will Stone, Mark Wilson, and Siddhartha Bose. It has also published more established writers (Clayton Eshleman being an example), and it maintains a constant dialogue with the dead. Or perhaps more accurately: the “dead,” because in its pages the likes of Hart Crane, W.S. Graham, Cesar Vallejo, Georges Rodenbach, Osip Mandelstam, August Stramm, and James Joyce are blazingly alive in the company of the newer writers. (…) In addition to editing a quality literary magazine and publishing interesting writers new and old, Stubbs happens to be one of our day’s most striking and original English-language poets. His poems are metaphysical but visceral; they are often written in a jagged syntax, but they carry themselves in a rich, full-voiced music.”

(Greer Mansfield, Bookslut, October 2012)

To read the interview

‘Cacophony of tongues’ – Paul Stubbs reviews Michael Lee Rattigan’s ‘Liminal’

Michael Lee Rattigan
Rufus books, September 2012


‘Poetry’, wrote Octavio Paz, ‘is the other voice. Not the voice of history or of anti-history, but the voice which, in history, is always saying something different’. He was of course talking of what is re-created in silence, beyond History and of what governs its conversations and logical discourse. Michael Lee Rattigan also is seeking to pinpoint that ‘other’ voice, for everything that he writes it seems exists only to advance silence, or at least our unmediated access to it—while consciousness is no more than a fine vessel of flesh and blood stretched over the diaphanous musculature of each word; for this poet does not produce a merely verbal language, no, rather he is writing the syntax of listening, the anti-aesthetics of un-naming and sucking back into the lungs the protean impulse of a visible mind. In this collection, Rattigan is in many ways attempting to cross what the French poet Philippe Jaccottet described as ‘the unique uncrossable space’, that which constitutes our ‘elsewhere’, the incongruously familiar place that occurs when our reality-horizons are wheeled out of the mind. It is in fact the logocentric destination that a writer like Rattigan would like one day to return from.
Paul Stubbs

To read the review

‘The Eternal Procession’ – Paul Stubbs reviews Yves Bonnefoy’s ‘The Arrière-pays’

The Arrière-pays
Yves Bonnefoy

Translated by Stephen Romer – Seagull Books, 2012

‘Yves Bonnefoy is first an abstract form, then a poet. Therefore a work such as The Arrièrepays is but a shadow giving notice of his shapes still to locate a sundial. He is what Jean-Paul Sartre said of  Baudelaire, that he had the posture of ‘a leaning man’ (‘d’un homme penché’); one acutely adrift of the comet of his own flesh and who, burning up in the drag of his own sentences, holds within his fist only the shredded remains of each exploded space. When Rimbaud wrote ‘To every being, several other lives seemed to me to be due’ he opened up in knowledge and in poetry the first true terror-pores of gnosis, allowing a poet like Bonnefoy to access his own unpurged mind, to conceive of what Yeats revealed in Vision—‘all things dying each other’s life, living each other’s death’. To witness the mirage of this elsewhere in time and space (this place which Bonnefoy names ‘the arrière-pays’ i.e. an imaginary hinterland born of what he calls the ‘unknown feeling’), this poet has first to return to Eden, to locate the one tree in which the fruit is still flesh, and whose bark, if peeled back, reveals only his own still unused bone.’
Paul Stubbs

To read the review


Forthcoming / à paraître

The Black Herald

Literary magazine – Revue de littérature
Issue #3 – September 2012 – Septembre 2012
185 pages – 15€ / £13 / $19 – ISBN 978-2-919582-04-4

Poetry, short fiction, prose, essays, translations.
Poésie, fiction courte, prose, essais, traductions.

With / avec W.S Graham, Gregory Corso, Andrew Fentham, Louis Calaferte, Iain Britton, Jos Roy, Tristan Corbière, Michael Lee Rattigan, Clayton Eshleman, Denis Buican, John Taylor, César Vallejo, Anne-Sylvie Homassel, Cécile Lombard, Gary J. Shipley, Rosemary Lloyd, Bernard Bourrit, Mylène Catel, Nicolas Cavaillès, Ernest Delahaye, Sébastien Doubinsky, Gerburg Garmann, Michel Gerbal, Allan Graubard, Sadie Hoagland, James Joyce, João Melo, Andrew O’Donnell, Kirby Olson, Devin Horan, Dominique Quélen, Nathalie Riera, Paul B. Roth, Alexandra Sashe, Will Stone, Anthony Seidman, Ingrid Soren, August Stramm, Pierre Troullier, Romain Verger, Anthony Vivis, Elisabeth Willenz, Mark Wilson, Paul Stubbs, Blandine Longre et des essais sur / and essays about Charles Baudelaire, Francis Bacon. ImagesÁgnes Cserháti, Olivier Longre, Will Stone, Devin Horan. Design: Sandrine Duvillier.

The Black Herald 3

The Black Herald is edited by Paul Stubbs and Blandine Longre

Comité de Rédaction : Paul Stubbs et Blandine Longre

Will Stone reviews ‘Ex Nihilo’

Ex Nihilo, by Paul Stubbs
Black Herald Press, 30 september 2010
120×160 – 46 pages – 8 euros
ISBN  978-2-919582-01-3

Order the book / Commander l’ouvrage

To read an excerpt / Pour lire un extrait


Paul Stubbs’s Ex Nihilo is a pocket sized rumble of literary thunder, the first feelers of a language storm that makes the susceptible reader who first opens it, look up at the sky ominously. Holding a copy of Ex Nihilo, the reader is obliged to repeatedly take new bearings, constantly rechecking a mental compass whose needles quiver wildly in all directions, for the long poem within is unlike anything else found on the bookshelf of a smugly stocked Waterstones. In fact it won’t be found on the shelf of Waterstones at all, because it is far too radical and incendiary to sit alongside the bloated dignitaries and carefully positioned courtiers of the Bloodaxe, Faber and Carcanet fiefdoms. The infernal heat given off by Stubbs’s constantly firing cannons means this book must be held in a secure area, away from the carefully tended prize beds and gentle rustling of self assurance inherent to the poetry ‘business’, the poetry ‘society’, the poetry ‘school’, the poetry ‘prom’, poetry ‘please’, the increasingly predictable production line of the poetry ‘industry’ in the United Kingdom. No, it must be held in the head only, and from there a realisation of Ex Nihilo’s importance departs and like a flaming beacon lit from peak to peak, communicates from one reader to another. This is an underground book because it does not seek to flatter tastes already established, rather it seeks to leave a skin even as it grows a new one, to lift the bark suddenly, catastrophically, so the creatures beneath are forced to run madly, blindly into the new light that interrupts their slumber, and that’s the way Stubbs wants it. Stubbs’s is a restless deception-proof poetry that keeps moving on from the page, or indeed off the page, as if this white space is a laughable plot on which to establish a permanent settlement. ‘Only a word thin fragility, this page, bearing again only my own footprints…’ For here passes a tireless vagrant with a weighty sack of religious doubt and existential horror knocking at door after door, where he has been assured a meaningful response will be forthcoming, but behind which only an icy wind blows…


The poet Stubbs has two significant previous collections to his name. The Theological Museum, 2006 (Flambard) and The Icon Maker, 2008 (Arc). In these works Stubbs cemented his reputation for unconventional ‘unscripted’ unremittingly challenging forms. These sometimes sublime sometimes disturbing poetic architectures, over which deep space blizzards seem to continually rake, cast a sometimes majestic sometimes bitter beam into a future void of darkness, a beam whose exact trajectory and final target defies any coherent conclusion. Ex Nihilo should be passed from hand to hand and by word of mouth. It should go under cover of the night in which it was born, so as to avoid being stopped and searched by the poetry society police. This book is so far from the habitual workshop ‘facilitated’ fare, with their deathly diamond precision and priestly obedience to nurture a language they know and feel safe in, which in fact screams to be let loose and to turn savagely on its creator. Paul Stubbs states with visionary confidence and an absence of pretension at the outset of his poem, ‘I begin alone, waiting for my eyeball, like a sun, to rise, and cast out my own shadow from the shape of everything…’ and he ends thus ‘And so imagining how my slack breathing it still sways the grass of a world I no longer have access to, I think on…’ For Paul Stubbs is above all else helplessly corporeally integrated with his poetic utterances. His body and his mind are locked in a fusion that has somehow through virtual existential annihilation constructed a fantastic makeshift raft of language, a useful object to support his mind for the duration, with branches felled from the forest of eventual silence, a platform on which to lie exhausted and drift through whatever remains, after the sanctioned insanity and myopia of his epoch finally give way. One can only think of Klaus Kinski as the jungle inexorably closes in during the finale of the Herzog film ‘Aguirre Wrath of God’, staggering about his half drowned raft and holding up a tiny monkey in his gloved hand to heaven. Paul Stubbs is one of the few genuinely original poets operating at the moment, and his work deserves a wider distribution. Stubbs’s next collection of poems concerns the paintings of Francis Bacon as interpreted through Stubbs’s vision. An enthralling prospect indeed.

Will Stone, first published in Agenda, Vol 46 No 3 (April 2012)


Le BH2 vu par le Visage Vert

“Mais ce sont les œuvres — poèmes, nouvelles, essais — qui priment avec, pour seul commentaire, la traduction (puisque l’un des principes duBlack Herald est de publier tous ses textes au moins en français ou en anglais, quelle qu’en soit la langue originale, de toute façon toujours restituée.) Le seule exception, déjà citée, est l’introduction de Stubbs (on peut la lire ici), laquelle réaffirme la primauté des voix sur les auteurs eux-mêmes et préconise leur émergence, “sur la rive opposée à l’égotisme contemporain“. À cette lumière, et bien loin du narcissisme sans joie où s’embourbent nombre de revues ou de magazines littéraires, on ira donc, dans ce deuxième numéro du Black Herald, chercher des voix dont le seul point commun est probablement de ne jamais s’écouter parler (ce qui les rapproche, toutes poétiques qu’elles soient, de la littérature de genre si chère au Visage vert).”

à lire sur le blog du Visage Vert, revue et éditeur.

Particles of truth – Paul Stubbs reviews Jacques Dupin’s ‘Of Flies & Monkeys’

This book comprises three collections: De singes et de mouches (Of Flies and Monkeys, 2001), Les Mères (Mothers, 2001) and Coudrier (Hazel Tree, 2006), all of which, in truth, are fused of the same semantic world-surge, image-fusion, language-mesh. The poetry of Dupin, at its most intense and vaulted pressure of ink and blood, continually uproots us, gnawing at the heart, until we experience them: the sudden salmon upsurge of selves, his teeming and punctuated mind-flows, the reversed resurrections (his flesh zipped up and then unzipped to reveal exposed syntactical bone); amid a carnival concentration and concise pictograms of poetical sense, we feel at once the jolt and the jarring of the pulley-system of his sentences, those which Rimbaud envisioned for us all when he wrote that poetry would one day be “thought latching onto thought and pulling.Paul Stubbs

To read the review


The Black Herald #2: Carbon based passion – Part 2 – by Lisa Thatcher

Second instalment of Lisa Thatcher’s review

“Language forms the imprint of our neural pathways in the carbon of our makeup. It is the power that reminds us chance and chaos only appear to be in control. The poets calling is to reach the place when the words only bare a family resemblance to each other. To find in each word, its own throbbing core, linked to all cores. The seed of an evolution of the human mind.”

to read the review

to read the first instalment

The defeat of time

Paul Stubbs reviews Mark Wilson’s “QUARTET FOR THE END OF TIME” (Editions du Zaporogue, 2011)

“Wilson’s Cross is, today, infested with eschatological woodworm. His church constructed of matchsticks and unable to withstand the weight of the papyrus that first created it. It is the guilt of sin squeezed from what Janos Pilinszky depicted as the “disaster-centre” of the modern world that this poet feels compelled to confront, the tragedies which have ruined nature and constructed an arch in time which man has called History, under which the unforgiven and the damned are unable to ever walk free of. Wilson writes of the death camps and of those who crawl still uselessly through the mud of man’s misinterpretations, of the crazed dictators (“Herod Hitler Pol Pot whoever/ working the damned crowd” — Massacre of the Innocents), those who in the end are still attempting to plug Hell’s blood-geysers with their thumbs, and failing. Wilson’s poetry is clearing the path for a better understanding and rationalizing of the aperçus and metaphysical puzzles of theology, especially when he questions how his ‘Messiah’ fits into it all. He writes of religion not as any kind of an intellectual impasse, but as a basis for both an ancient and modern reformulation of Christ in piety, for either we see an ‘idol’ as an inspired prejudice to overcome, or merely, like Wilson, we shape that idol from the clay of our own intuitive understanding of theology.”


Quartet for the End of Time

Oyez, oyez le noir héraut – par Frédéric Saenen

Fonder une revue de poésie, en misant de surcroît sur le polyglottisme, peut apparaître comme une entreprise insensée à l’époque actuelle ; un défi qui mise à la fois sur la confiance dans le support papier, sur la diffusion d’une parole exigeante et quintessenciée et sur une ouverture d’esprit à 180° – ce qui, dans le chef des contemporains, s’avère trop souvent une déclaration de principe plutôt qu’une authentique curiosité.

Le duo que forment Blandine Longre et Paul Stubbs a relevé le gant. Voici que leur Black Herald (le « Héraut noir », en référence peut-être au premier recueil du Péruvien César Vallejo, publié en 1919) s’avance, élégant et porteur d’illuminations à colporter. Le principe est fondé sur une dynamique simple : proposer des textes d’auteurs actuels ou passés dans leur langue d’origine et les traduire, tantôt en français, tantôt en anglais.

La deuxième livraison de cette jeune publication nous donne donc rendez-vous dans les couloirs de Babel et nous amène à de surprenantes découvertes. Ainsi de Dimíter Ánguelov, Bulgare exilé au Portugal qui livre dans la langue de Pessoa quelques pages de prose mordante, à la lisière du réalisme magique. Avec ses Petits films en prose, échos esthétiques de quelques paragraphes sur Jean Renoir ou Eisenstein, Jacques Sicard envisage chaque œuvre cinématographique comme « une singularité, à savoir une forme détachée de tout » et transmet subtilement l’intime perception qu’il en a reçue. John Taylor a quant à lui traduit des aphorismes de Georges Perros en anglais, dont celui-ci, qui pourrait tenir lieu de programme au Black Herald : « Le poème attrape toutes les maladies. Cobaye. Pour sauver le langage courant. » Et c’est sans compter l’ample équipée des Cavaliers de la nuit qu’évoque Laurence Werner David ou encore la très belle exploration des « territoires de l’absence » signée Jean-Baptiste Monat…

Les découragés d’office qui, à la feuilleter en hâte, ne verront qu’élitisme dans le parti pris de The Black Herald de se tenir au plus près du langage et des langues, passeront à côté d’une revue qui assume de se mettre pleinement au service de la littérature, en jouant son indispensable rôle de passeur. Passeur de mots, de vérités précaires, de risques aussi. Embarquement immédiat !

Frédéric SAENEN


article paru dans le n°33 du Magazine des Livres (en kiosque)

The Black Herald, Literary magazine / revue de littérature, n°2, septembre 2011, 162 pages, 13,90 €.

The Black Herald #2: Freedom from the necessity of success – by Lisa Thatcher

“If anything properly defines the beautiful work collected in The Black Herald #2 it is anti-establishment. The editors need the writers to be great – no more than great – they must also lack self-consciousness. They must hint at their age and be a whiff of something forthcoming. None of this, claims Paul Stubbs in his excellent introductory essay, is available to be ‘taught’ in the odious literary classroom and he infers, can’t be taught at all. Paul’s cry is that of the sackcloth wearing wilderness prophet – a contemporary Elijah – his Ba’al the sanitized classroom conversation preaching ‘creativity’ – instead Paul demands the best of what a human creature can produce.  Paul wants none of the domestic security produced by marrying literature (Ahab) with capitalism (Jezebel) to produce works of comfort and sanctuary – the taming of  perspicacity. He stands, wielding the works of Nietzsche and Rimbaud, unkempt and wild, demanding the writer produce the work

“… out of his own reality – to the point at which he is afterwards unable to endure his own work.”Nietzsche.

Paul Stubbs wants blood. And nothing other than blood is an answer to literatures call.”

Lisa Thatcher

To read the review 

The Black Herald 2 – L’éditorial / The editorial

The editorial of issue 2 can now be read online.

L’éditorial du numéro 2 est désormais en ligne. 

by Paul Stubbs

“In a recent essay, ‘The Mirage of poetic evolution in Britain since Eliot’, I wrote: ‘The poet of the 21st century will, like any animal, be subject only to the continuing processes of adapting to his own biological environment, to create a poetry that must strive in its imagination to actually affect the planetary balance (…) The pen in the hand today need be no more than the needle of the seismograph, recording and tracing across the page the polysemic tremors of the modern mind.

What will be required to make this happen is, among others, an end to the ‘creative classroom’ (this Anglo-Saxon invention—while a rarity in the major cities of Europe—was a trend started in the USA that then moved on to become a profitable plague that has completely saturated the universities and schools in Britain), or the ‘pedagogical trough’ as Rimbaud once so eloquently put it. The ‘poetry’ workshop must first, like a disused church, be boarded-up, closed down, and its ‘teachers’ forced once again to endure their own imaginative ‘slave-labour’, to pick up and use the pen (again?) as something akin to a pneumatic drill to smash and break up the rocks and gravel of those languages still trapped within the sediment of our ‘ancient’ brains. What is clear though is that these ‘facilitators’ are only capable of providing artificial respiration for ‘pupils’ unable yet to understand the imaginative measure of their own breathing.”

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“Dans un récent essai, « Mirage de l’évolution poétique en Grande-Bretagne depuis Eliot », j’écrivais : « À l’instar de n’importe quel autre animal, le poète du XXIe siècle sera seulement assujetti à s’adapter sans relâche à son propre environnement biologique, à créer une poésie dont l’imaginaire devra s’acharner à affecter réellement l’équilibre planétaire (…) Aujourd’hui, quedoit être la plume du poète, sinon l’aiguille du sismographe enregistrant et traçant sur la page les secousses polysémiques de l’esprit moderne ?»

Pour y parvenir, il sera entre autres nécessaire de mettre un terme aux « cours d’écriture créative » (cette invention anglo-saxonne, rarement mise en pratique dans la plupart des pays européens, fut lancée aux États-Unis avant de devenir un fléau lucratif qui a complètement saturé les universités britanniques) soit, selon les termes éloquents de Rimbaud, « le râtelier universitaire ». L’atelier prétendument poétique doit avant tout être condamné telle une église désaffectée, ses portes et fenêtres obturées, ses « enseignants » contraints d’endurer leur « travail imaginatif de forçat » et de s’emparer (de nouveau ?) du stylo pour s’en servir davantage comme d’un marteau-piqueur, afin que soient brisés rocs et graviers des langues encore figées dans les sédiments de nos cerveaux « antiques ». Il reste que ces « animateurs » d’atelier sont exclusivement capables de fournir une respiration artificielle à des « élèves » eux-mêmes encore inaptes à d’appréhender le rythme imaginatif de leur propre souffle.” (traduit de l’anglais par B. Longre)

Lire la suite

(photo : Romain Verger)

The 2nd issue of The Black Herald was released in September

Le 2e numéro du Black Herald a paru en septembre

#2 – September 2011 – Septembre 2011 / 162 pages – 13.90 € – ISBN  978-2-919582-03-7

Poetry, short fiction, prose, essays, translations / Poésie, fiction courte, prose, essais, traductions.

Online / En ligne

• Le sommaire / the contents

• A poem by Jos Roy in original version & translation / Un poème de Jos Roy, accompagné de sa traduction en anglais.

• Un texte inédit de Jacques Sicard (à propos de The Murderer de Na Hong-jin).

• Rimbaud & the New Inquisition (an excerpt from Paul Stubbs’s essay).

To order and/or know in which bookshops the magazine is stocked:

Pour commander et/ou trouver la revue :

Theoretical Animals

Paul Stubbs reviews Gary J. Shipley’s Theoretical Animals (BlazeVox books)

“Shipley’s prose prefers to steel-plate itself into inversion, mental tautness, deadly emanations, and we are all invited to wade through the desolate swamp of his imaginings as, like any truly radical writer, he unveils a world that seems to surpass our own cognizant capacity to believe in it. The writing is devastating enough to fossilize older, more redundant literary forms, his aphoristic litanies and murderous cacophonies glass-case our more conventional modes of writing forever, while breaking down the DNA of the traditional reader-writer relationship, just as Lautréamont believed that fiction writing served only its own tethered-end (“Even if I had no true event to recount to you, I would invent imaginary tales and decant them into your brain”). ”

Ex Nihilo, excerpts

Ex Nihilo, Paul Stubbs

Extraits en ligne / Excerpts online

Flesh (excerpt)

En excerpt of Flesh, a long poem by Paul Stubbs (yet unpublished) can be read here:

Heffers, Cambridge

EX NIHILO CLARITIES in Heffers, Trinity Street, Cambridge, UK (August 2011)

The Wolf 24

Issue 24 of The Wolf, magazine for new poetry,  is out.

with poems by Paul Stubbs (‘The Last Signs of Science’), Will Stone, Blandine Longre, but also Gabriel LevinJohn KinsellaAnne Waldman among others, critical prose and reviews (of Tabish Khair’s Man of Glass, Siddhartha Bose’s Kalagora, Charles Reznikoff’s Holocaust, etc.) and paintings by Bahram.

To buy The Wolf

The Vortex of being

The Vortex of being’: Paul Stubbs writes about Clarities.

“If we were to search for influences in the work of Blandine Longre then we might well re-open Donne’s door, unlock the flesh and bone shackles of his ‘hold’ on all vertiginous and physical writing. Closer in unique spirit would be the Modernist poet Mina Loy and the ‘oneness’ of the vision of Else Lasker-Schüler, and certainly when Loy writes that ‘self is the covered entrance to Infinity’ it is hard not to think of the work here, for certainly the poetry of Longre is as ‘modern’ and ‘ancient’ as Loy’s writing was; gender is incurable by poetry alone, and these poems give only the flimsiest utterance to an identity based on what Loy once described as the ‘Increate’ world before human existence. “

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Thus spoke Zarathustra

Thus spoke Zarathustra’ : a review of Paul Stubbs’s Ex Nihilo by Mark Wilson in 3:AM magazine.

“The poetry of Paul Stubbs is like a severe volcanic eruption within the landscape of British poetry. In fact, to say that this small corpus of work (as to date, three books) is part of ‘British poetry’ seems a massive perversion of terminology. His radical syntax, on more careful inspection, reveals closer ties to European and World masters (Rimbaud, Jozsef, Benn, Trakl, Pilinszky, Vallejo). This volcanic simile holds true as Stubbs’ work is both ‘visionary’ (in its sheer verbal/metaphorical pyrotechnics) and a searing critique scalding the jaundiced pastures of a British poetic terrain that Stubbs has long since viewed as insular and infertile.”


Paul Stubbs review ANTICLINE by Clayton Eshleman (Black Widow Press) in The Fiend magazine.

“Clayton Eshleman is one of America’s most pivotal visionary poets writing today, a word-creator and a language inventor whose work has delved deeper than nearly anyone else into the strata of the poetical core of this planet. He wasan editor of the influential literary magazine Caterpillar which survived, exploded and prospered for 20 issues between 1967 and 1973, and of the magazine Sulfur, published for 46 issues from 1981 to 2000. He is also recognized now as the leading translator of the poetry of Peruvian writer César Vallejo, the fruit of forty years work which culminated with the publication of The Complete Poetry of César Vallejo (California Press, 2007), shortlisted for the 2008 Griffin International poetry prize. Besides, he is the translator of Aimé Césaire, Antonin Artaud and Pablo Neruda, among others.”

Read the review

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