JUNIPER FUSE: Upper Paleolithic Imagination & the Construction of the Underworld-University Lecture Series - Carnegie Mellon University

Thursday, September 20, 2012

JUNIPER FUSE: Upper Paleolithic Imagination & the Construction of the Underworld

Victor M. Bearg Science and Humanities Scholars Speaker Series

Thursday, September 20, 2012     |    4:30 pm, Porter Hall #100

Book signing to follow talk.

“Archaeologists and artists have written on southwestern European cave art, but none have given us a book like this. Clayton Eshleman has explored and inspected almost all of the great cave art of southwestern Europe including many caves that are not open to the public and require special permission. Now with visionary imagination, informed poetic speculation, deep insight, breathtaking leaps of mind, Eshleman draws out the underground of myth, psychology, prehistory, and the first turn of the human mind toward the modern. Juniper Fuse opens us up to our ancient selves: we might be weirder (and also better) than we thought.”
                                        ~Gary Snyder, Pulitzer Prize winning American poet

Clayton Eshleman, American poet, translator and editor, Professor Emeritus, Eastern Michigan University, has been at the heart of American poetry since the early 1960s. His poems, critical essays, and translations of poets as important and diverse as César Vallejo, Aimé Césaire, Pablo Neruda, Antonin Artaud, Vladimir Holan, Michel Deguy, Henri Michaux, and Bernard Bador have earned him (and his fellow co-translators in some cases) international acclaim, as testified by a National Book Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and two Landon Translation Prizes from the Academy of American Poets.

Eshleman was also the founder and editor of two of the most important literary journals in the latter half of the 20th century: Caterpillar (1967-1973, 20 issues) and Sulfur (1981-2000, 46 issues). During his career he has published over forty books, including, between 2008 and 2012, three collections of poetry—The Grindstone of Rapport: A Clayton Eshleman Reader, Anticline, and An Anatomy of the Night; and three translations—Curdled Skulls by Bernard Bador, Endure by Bei Dao, with Lucas Klein, and Solar Throat Slashed by Aimé Césaire, with A. James Arnold. In the past decade he has also published three collections of prose—Companion Spider, Archaic Design and Juniper Fuse: Upper Paleolithic Imagination & the Construction of the Underworld. This last title is a groundbreaking collection of poetry and prose that is the culmination of Eshleman's twenty-five years of research into the origins of image-making via the Ice Age painted caves of southwestern France.

The Bearg Science and Humanities Scholars Speaker Series is supported by an endowed gift from alumnus Victor M. Bearg (S’64).