Stanley Barkan

Published on 5 July 2024 at 06:45

Stanley H. Barkan

Interview of Stanley H. Barkan taken by Irma Kurti 


Poet, translator, editor, and publisher. Which one makes you feel the most like yourself?



How was your interest in other languages born?

I grew up In East New York, Brooklyn, with friends who all escaped from Nazi-occupied Europe.  They all spoke different languages—German, Polish, Russian.  I was very curious what they were saying to their parents and siblings.


You have published poets in 70 different languages up to date. Is this a passion or a challenge?

It's definitely both a passion and a challenge.


What book do you feel connected to the most?

Dylan Thomas’s Collected Poems.


What do the poets have in common?

Like Gabriel Preil, a desire To Be Recorded (the title of his book I published).


Poetry seems to be forgotten in today’s society. Is this true?

No, as it’s just taken on new forms—mostly in a variety of song.


A lot of poets find it hard to publish their books. What is your opinion as an editor about this?

The market for poetry is quite limited.  Poets should be content with print on demand.  If their aim is making a living at it, they’re in the wrong profession.  Most poets make a living as teachers and from high paid readings at colleges.  The age when Alexander Pope was paid the equivalent of $25,000 for a single heroic couplet is long gone.


Do you think poetry is a powerful means to unite people and promote peace in the world?

I think poetry can unite or divide people for peace or war.  It depends on the aim of the poet and the power of his product.  Personally, I think a poet should avoid being a propagandist.  If he has something to day, it should just result in an audience being moved emotionally or to sing or have his mind illuminated.


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