2:30-4:00 pm, December 6: join us in NYC or watch us stream LIVE!
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The Helix Center for Interdisciplinary Investigation is pleased to present:
A Helix Center Original Roundtable

French Surrealism



Saturday, December 6, 2014, 2:30 pm

The Marianne & Nicholas Young Auditorium of
The New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute 
247 East 82nd Street, NYC

Free and open to the public 
    Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis

French Surrealism is probably best known for its paintings–images of floppy watches or men in bowler hats and topcoats falling from the sky. But just as central to the movement was the poetry produced from the beginning by André Breton, Robert Desnos, Benjamin Péret, Louis Aragon, René Char, and a host of others. We will read samples of that poetry in translation and offer historical asides to provide context for activities that ranged from the mid-twenties to the late sixties

Anne-Marie Levine
Mary Ann Caws
Bill Zavatsky
Mark Polizzotti
ANNE-MARIE LEVINE lives in New York City. A poet and visual artist who began writing while touring as a concert pianist, she’s the author of three books of poetry: Euphorbia, Bus Ride to a Blue Movie, and Oral History; and a forthcoming artists book called Reculer Pour Mieux Sauter. Her work also appears in various journals and in anthologies such as Poetry After 9/11, Literature as Meaning, and Literature after 9/11. She has published essays on Gertrude Stein’s politics, on trauma and art, and on context, and has received grants from the NYFA, Puffin and Vogelstein Foundations for this work. She occasionally performs solo theater pieces based on her poems. She is as well a maker of box art, miniature paintings on wood, and digital prints, exhibited throughout the country.

MARY ANN CAWS is Distinguished Professor of English, French, and Comparative Literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, the recipient of Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and Fulbright fellowships, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, past President of the Modern Language Association, of the American Comparative Literature Association, of the Association for Dada and Surrealism, and of the Association of Literary Scholars. She is the author of The Modern Art Cookbook (Reaktion), The Surrealist Look: an Erotics of Encounter (MIT), Robert Motherwell: What Art Holds (Columbia University Press), To the Boathouse: a Memoir (University of Alabama Press), Picasso’s Weeping Woman: the Life and Art of Dora Maar (Thames and Hudson), Surprised in Translation (Chicago University Press), Provençal Cooking (Pegasus Books), Women of Bloomsbury (Methuen), Modernist Women Writing and Painting (Palgrave Macmillan), brief biographies of Henry James (Overlook), Marcel Proust (Overlook), Virginia Woolf (Overlook), Pablo Picasso (Reaktion Books), Salvador Dali (Reaktion Books), and catalogues on André Masson (Blain/DiDonna), Hans Arp (Blain/DiDonna), Surrealism and the rue Blomet (Eykyn Maclean), essay on Dora Maar for catalog for Picasso and the Camera (Gagosian) chapter on Painting and Sculpture for the Cambridge History of Modernism, and, forthcoming, Blaise Pascal: Renaissance Lives (Reaktion Books.). She is the editor of the Yale Anthology of Twentieth-Century French Poetry (now also an Oxford University Press ebook), Stéphane Mallarmé : Selected Poetry and Prose (New Directions), Stéphane Mallarmé : Mallarmé in Prose (New Directions), René Char: Selected Poems (New Directiions), St-John Perse: Selected Poems (New Directions), Pierre Reverdy (New York Review Books), Surrealist Love Poems (Tate Publishing and Chicago University Press), Surrealist Painters and Poets (MIT), and Surrealism (Phaidon), Vita Sackville-West: Selected Writings (Palgrave), and Pierre Reverdy: Early to Late (Black Widow Books) (ed. and translated, with Patricia Terry.)

MARK POLIZZOTTI's books include Revolution of the Mind: The Life of André Breton (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1995; revised ed., 2009), the collaborative novel S. (1991), Lautréamont Nomad (1994),  Luis Buñuel’s Los Olvidados (British Film Institute, 2006), and Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited (Continuum, 2006). His articles and reviews have appeared in The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, ARTnews, The Nation, Parnassus, Partisan Review, Bookforum, and elsewhere. The translator of over forty books from the French, including works by Gustave Flaubert, Patrick Modiano, Marguerite Duras, André Breton, Raymond Roussel, and Jean Echenoz, he directs the publications program at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

BILL ZAVATSKY holds B.A. and M.F.A degrees from Columbia University. He has taught at all levels of education since 1971. For many years he taught in the high school at the Trinity School in Manhattan, and most recently at the Eugene Lang College of the New School. His poetry-writing workshop has been ongoing at the Morningside Heights Library since May of 2013.
Bill has published three books of poems, Where X Marks the Spot, For Steve Royal and Other Poems, and Theories of Rain and Other Poems. His translation (with Zack Rogow) of André Breton’s Earthlight won the PEN/Book-of-the Month Translation Prize. His revised translation (with Ron Padgett) of Valery Larbaud’s The Poems of A.O. Barnabooth is also available. His translations of poems by Robert Desnos appear in The Random House Book of Twentieth Century French Poetry and in Essential Poems and Writings of Robert Desnos, edited by Mary Ann Caws
Bill has published in many magazines and anthologies and reads his work widely. His poems have served as liner notes for recordings by jazz pianists Bill Evans and Marc Copland.
The New York State Council on the Arts awarded Bill a fellowship in poetry, as did the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2007 and 2008 Bill received MacDowell Colony fellowships. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry in 2008.
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