Mark Goldstein is a writer and translator whose poetry and criticism have appeared in both trade and limited editions as well as in periodicals and journals such as The Capilano Review, Brick, Open Letter and Jacket2.
Goldstein has facilitated workshops at the Toronto New School of Writing, SUNY Albany, and lectured on translation at George Brown College, York University, and in Paris at the École des hautes études en sciences socials.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Goldstein played drums alongside Leslie Feist and Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning in the indie rock band By Divine Right.
Blacktoll is a continuation of Goldstein’s trans- translational experiments first begun in After Rilke (BookThug, 2008) and continued in Tracelanguage (BookThug, 2010). Where Tracelanguage exemplifies a “shared breath” that seeks to break with tired translational orthodoxies, Blacktoll aims to embrace both old and new methodologies as singular.
“I believe that Goldstein has done something important and revivifying that honours both the female experience and Kafka.” – Phil Hall
“Things turn up in Goldstein’s work – the angst that is at the heart of Celan’s writing for example – that comes across very different [...] than it would playing ‘test of translation’ against Joris. And there is a sense of the source (or Ur-) text as other in Goldstein that is palpable....” – Ron Silliman
Form of Forms
Stretching out into poem-sections – “Creation,” “Preservation,” “Destruction” and “Quiescence” – Goldstein’s Form of Forms is highly charged, and the poem composes its own breakdown before attempting to re-assemble, through both form and content. “Mark Goldstein,” we learn, is adopted, and attempting to reconcile exactly what that might mean for who he is, who he was, and possibly, who he might have been. – rob mclennan
“I’m not sure what game Goldstein is playing with these Rilke translations – are they homophonic, or perhaps Oulipo-inspired versions of Rilke originals – but in the letters he has the Spicer voice down pat [...]. After a few pages I began to forget where I was and became interested in the game. Phil Hall’s blurb avers that ‘The author is soaking German for its English,’ and I like that verb, with its suggestion of a long, perhaps fatal immersion. A note from the author (‘the author,’ hard to say now with a straight face, after reading this work in which authorship is so challenged and laughed at) says that he was inspired by bpNichol’s ‘whimsical translations of both Catullus and Apollinaire,’ and afterwards Zukofsky’s Catullus proved a decisive stroke. I know, it seems like a heavily male rack of influence, and yet a surprising lightness and felicity animates the actual poems and letters that comprise this arresting collection, and it helps to read it aloud.” – Kevin Killian