New Directions 40
Since its inception in 1936, the New Directions in Prose and Poetry anthologies have been at the very core of the ND list. Essentially a literary magazine in book form, each issue has necessarily given primary attention to the written word, with occasional space devoted to unusual graphic material. In this the fortieth number of the series, the exiled Estonian poet and critic Aleksis Rannit introduces a selection of drawings by the Russian émigré artist Mihail Chemiakin, resident in Paris since 1971. Of special interest as well are: the first translation of Jean Cocteau’s long poem sequence “The Crucifixion”; Robert Duncan’s “An Alternate Life”; new work by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Toby Olson, and Jerome Rothenberg; two poems by Nicanor Parra (Chile); James Purdy’s short play “Clearing in the Forest”; and the “Selected Poems of Patience Worth,” produced through automatic writing some fifty years ago by a St. Louis housewife in the voice of a prolific eighteenth-century personality, one “Patience Worth,” whose great body of writing is considered a landmark among contemporary psychic phenomena. Other contributions include: poems by John Allman, Horst Bienek (West Germany), Annalisa Cima (Italy), David Giannini, Sidney Goldfarb, Carlos Nejar (Brazil), Aleksis Rannit; short fiction by Doug Crowell, William Heinesen (Faroe Isles), Wolfgang Hildesheimer (West Germany), and Brett Masseaux.