Georg Trakl: In the late 1960s, encouraged by John Logan, Robert Bly, Robert Hass and Michael Hamburger, I began producing English versions of work by this remarkable and tragic Austrian expressionist. I eventually translated all of Trakl’s Collected Poems. Some of them appeared in journals and the whole book was, in fact, accepted for publication by Swallow Press. Unfortunately Swallow’s translation series went bust before the volume could be brought out. (Luckily, the acceptance alone helped to get me tenure.)
Torquato Tasso’s Gerusalemme Liberata: Although I had often taught Dante’s Divine Comedy in translation before, my serious engagement with Italian began after I participated (on an NEH grant) in the Dartmouth Dante Seminars in 1985, easily the most satisfying educational experience in my adult life. During the summers that followed, I learned Italian at the Università per Stranieri in Perugia, Italy, and eventually felt competent enough to tackle Tasso’s epic masterpiece. My version was completed in 2005 and published four years later under the title The Liberation of Jerusalem in the Oxford World’s Classics series.
Miscellaneous Translations: In the ‘60s and ‘70s I also tried my hand at translations from both French and Spanish. A notably pleasant experience was collaborating with José Angel Figueroa on a version of Garcia Lorca’s Poet in Harlem. (It never saw print, but a selection appears in An Outriders Anthology). As for Italian, long before embarking on Tasso, I produced a version of Guido Cavalcanti’s “Donna mi priegha” which was featured at the UB Poetry Collection’s Robert Graves Celebration in 1995. An oddity is my co-translation (with Hubert Kulterer), from English into German, of Tuli Kupferberg’s 1001 Ways to Live Without Working. It appeared as 1001 Wege ohne Arbeit zu leben (Vienna, Austria: Eröffnungen, 1970); in 2009, it was reissued in Germany by Stadtlichter Presse in a handsome illustrated edition. I have also tried my hand at Miscellaneous Translations from various languages.
Recent work: My version of Andrea da Barberino's The Royal House of France (a 500 page abridgment of the ca. 1000 page original) is so far only available on this website. Please note that it is copyright protected. My translation of Torquato Tasso's Love Poems for Lucrezia Bendidio was brought out by Italica Press in 2011. My rhymed version of Tasso's twelve-canto first epic, Rinaldo, has been accepted for publication by Italica and will appear in Spring 2017.