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Pierre Joris, avant-garde poet, and winner of major prizes from PEN for his poetry translations, returns to UAlbany where he taught poetry for more than 20 years (1992-2013).


A native of Luxembourg, he received that tiny nation’s highest literary honor, the Batty Weber National Literary Prize, in 2020. His new collection is Interglacial Narrows (2023), featuring poems written between 2015 and 2021.


Experimental musician John Zorn said in praise, “Pierre Joris is a word-wizard who shines light on the soul itself.” Joris is also coauthor, with Florent Toniello, of Always the Many, Never the One (2022)— conversations that explore the idea of “in-betweenness” in life and poetry, “between languages, places, cultures, and states of being.” 

Cosponsored by the English Department’s Creative Writing Program and Young Writers Project

Multi-Purpose Room, Campus Center West Addition

1400 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12222  See map.

Pierre Joris

4:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 19, 2023
Interglacial Narrows by Pierre Joris

Video: In January 2021, Pierre Joris sat down for a Zoom conversation with NYS Director Paul Grondahl. Watch

About Pierre Joris, from his website:

"Although born on Bastille Day in 1946 in Strasbourg, France, Pierre Joris was raised in Luxembourg & has moved between the US, Europe & North Africa for 55 years by now, publishing more than 50 books of poetry, essays, anthologies, plays & translations.  In 1992 he returned to New York, first the state, where he taught poetry & poetics at SUNY-Albany until 2012,  but also, since 2008, the city — happily humming Bob Dylan’s “I’m going back to New York City, I believe I’ve had enough…”


When not on the road, he lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn — baptized Sorrentinostan by him — with his wife, painter, singer & multimedia artist Nicole Peyrafitte. More at

Pierre Joris, credit Joseph Mastantuono copy.jpg

(Photo credit: Joseph Mastantuono)

In the press 

"In his book of conversations Always the Many, Never the One, Pierre Joris notes that he likes to date his arrival in New York, in 1967, as being “three months after John Coltrane passed.” For a lad who had already left his native Luxembourg to go study medicine in Paris, where he discovered that poetry was his calling instead, the shift in direction could not be clearer. Coming from a multilingual environment, he had no trouble deciding which would be his language for writing—his fourth, in fact: English. He had first heard Charlie Parker while still in high school, when he was also picking up on the energy of the Beats, so he moved to the States and plunged into the new American poetry. By the end of that decade, under Robert Kelly’s guidance at Bard College, he began to translate Paul Celan’s poetry into English, a commitment that was to last him more than fifty years."

Read "Pierre Joris’s Interglacial Narrows and, with Florent Toniello, Always the Many, Never the One" by Jason Weiss at The Brooklyn Rail

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