A conversation about poetry, editing, and translation with Tony Barnstone. Barnstone is the recipient of many awards, including a Pushcart Prize, the Paumanok Poetry Award, the Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize, and the Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry. He is the author, editor, and translator of over a dozen books, including collections of poems and writings about poetry.
His poetry collections are Impure, Sad Jazz: Sonnets, The Golem of Los Angeles, and Tongue of War, a collection of dramatic monologues set in the Pacific during the Second World War. Yusef Komunyakaa says of Barnstone’s Impure, “I admire Tony Barnstone’s Impure because of the collection’s unrelenting believability and lyrical certainty. Plain-spoken and magical, this poet knows how to make imagination and the real world collide softly. There is a clarity in Impure that reaches beyond the formlessness of modern life. Borders are crossed in the psyche and the flesh, and this collection seems like an elongated song that embraces the most elusive moments buried in language and nuance through the pure naming of things – a mantra of what is and what is dreamt – that takes into the sacred territory what no ordinary compass can plot or unplot.”