Throughout his career as a very prolific poet and editor he has been a pioneer and has manifested a daring dynamic sensibility that has brought the innovative excitement of contemporary painting and sculpture to poetry.... His new book, A Seneca Journal, is patently an important and exciting work and another significant contribution by a remarkable poet, Jerome Rothenberg.—Rochelle Owens, Contact II
Vienna Blood & Other Poems is in some ways the most synthesizing of Jerome Rothenberg’s recent collections, pulling together work from the 1970s that stands apart from Poland/1931 (1974) and A Seneca Journal (1978) yet at the same time continuing the enactment of past and present begun in those books. But where before he chose to restrict his exploration to ancestral Jewish and Amerindian poetries, Rothenberg now takes us on a series of broader journeys through the collapsed landscape of what he calls the ’new wilderness," evoked as place, as structure, as mind. Written both to be read quietly on the printed page and aloud in performance, the poems in Vienna Blood, though experimental and language-centered, are nevertheless the work of a poet who, by his own admission, is "crazy for content, make no mistake about it." As if to underscore this point, he has appended brief comments to most of the major sections of the book, in order, as he says, "to give it some context in the way of ’oral tradition’ usually reserved for poetry readings, etc., a little of which I now commit to writing."