Jerome Rothenberg (born 1931) is an American poet and editor who is noted for his work in ethnopoetics.
Early life and work
Rothenberg was born in New York City and attended the City College of New York, graduating in 1952. In 1953, he got a Master's Degree in Literature from the University of Michigan. Rothenberg served in the U.S. Army in Mainz, Germany from 1953 to 1955, after which he did further graduate study at Columbia University, finishing in 1959.
In the late 1950s, he published translations of German poets, including the first English appearances of poems by Paul Celan and Günter Grass. He also founded Hawk's Well Press and the magazine Poems from the Floating World, publishing work by a number of the most important American avant-garde poets of the day and his own first book, White Sun Black Sun 1960. He published eight more collections between during the 1960s.
Rothenberg's interest in tribal poetry resulted in an anthology of poetry from Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Oceania called Technicians of the Sacred (1968). This anthology went beyond the standard collection of folk songs to include visual and sound poetry and the texts and scenarios for ritual events.
He co-edited Alcheringa, the first ever magazine of ethnopoetics and edited further anthologies, including Shaking the Pumpkin: Traditional Poetry of the Indian North Americas (1972), a number of collections of Jewish poetry and Symposium of the Whole: A Range of Discourse Toward An Ethnopoetics, co-edited with Diane Rothenberg.
Rothenberg was the theorist of the deep image group of poets. He has continued to be a prolific poet, publishing around another fifty books since 1971. These include New Selected Poems 1970-1985 (1986), Poems for the Game of Silence (2000) and Collaborations: Livres d’artiste 1968-2003 (2003). He has translated widely from German and Spanish poets. He is co-editor, with Pierre Joris, of Poems for the Millennium: The University of California Book of Modern & Postmodern Poetry (Volume One 1995, Volume Two 1998). He has also edited a number of other anthologies and published a number of plays and essays.