Max Jacob Zoom Reading

Coming up Sunday, October 15, at 5pm (UK time) the launch of Max Jacob's The Dice Cup (translated by Ian Seed) and MJ's The Central Laboratory (translated by Alexander Dickow), sponsored by Hopscotch Translation.

9/12/20232 min read

Hopscotch Translation invites you to a Zoom launch and celebration of Max Jacob’s The Dice Cup (translated by Ian Seed) and The Central Laboratory (translated by Alexander Dickow) published by Wakefield Press. The event will feature Ian Seed and Alexander Dickow reading from their translations of Jacob's work, and they will join their host, poet and academic, Vik Shirley, in conversation.

Max Jacob was born in Quimper in Brittany in 1876. Jacob left Quimper in 1894 to study law in Paris, but abandoned his studies to become an art critic. In 1899 he decided to become a painter, supporting himself through a series of menial clerical jobs. When he met Picasso in 1901, the two became friends immediately, and Picasso expressed his admiration for Jacob's poetry. From this time on Jacob regarded poetry as his true vocation. He became a central figure in the Cubist movement of poets and painters, a mentor to Pierre Reverdy, and produced an abundance of literature, including novels and plays. After a religious vision in 1909, he eventually converted from being an 'atheist Jew' (Jacob's own term), to Catholicism in 1915. This did not prevent his being arrested by the Gestapo, despite possessing a certificate of baptism from the archbishop of Paris, and transported in February 1944 to Drancy, a transit camp for Jewish deportees, where he died three weeks later.

Ian Seed’s latest publications are The Dice Cup (Wakefield Press, 2022), from the French of Max Jacob, The River Which Sleep Has Told Me (Fortnightly Review Odd Volumes, 2022), from the Italian of Ivano Fermini, and The Underground Cabaret (Shearsman, 2020). New York Hotel (Shearsman, 2018) was a TLS Book of the Year. His work appears in a number of anthologies, most recently Alcatraz (Gazebo Books, 2022), Dreaming Awake: New Contemporary Prose Poetry from the United States, Australia and United Kingdom (MadHat Press, 2022) and The Encounter: adventures in form (Parlor Press, 2022).

Alexander Dickow is a poet, translator, and scholar. He is professor of French at Virginia Tech. His books of poetry in English include Appetites (MadHat Press, 2018), Trial Balloons (chapbook, Corrupt Press, 2012) and Caramboles (bilingual, Argol Editions, 2008). He has translated works by Gustave Roud, Henri Droguet, Max Jacob and Sylvie Kandé.

Vik Shirley's publications include The Continued Closure of the Blue Door (HVTN), Disrupted Blue and other poems on Polaroid (Hesterglock) & Corpses (Sublunary Editions). Strangers Wave: Joy Division Photo Poems (zimZalla) and Notes from the Underworld (Sublunary Editions) are forthcoming this Autumn. She is Associate Editor of Sublunary Editions and Co-Editor of Surreal-Absurd for Mercurius magazine. She has a PhD in Dark Humour and the Surreal from the University of Birmingham.

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