about tuumba

Lyn Hejinian
48 pages
ISBN 1-931157-02-2


According to the author, the poem Slowly was instigated slowly and simultaneously from several sources. Prominent among them are the films of Peter Hutton and the Tai Chi practice of Lin-yi Wu, under whom the author studied briefly. It is only under the pressure of slowness that the temporal nature of a place or of the action taking place in it is revealed. The slow are recalcitrant, resistant, suddenly. They frequently delay, linger, and digress. The slow rarely reach a terminus and if they do they do so late, which puts them in time to see that what one does is equivalent all at once to how one does it.

Lyn Hejinian is a poet, essayist, and translator. She was born in the San Francisco Bay Area and lives in Berkeley. Published volumes of her writing include Writing is An Aid to Memory, My Life, Oxota: A Short Russian Novel, Leningrad (written in collaboration with Michael Davidson, Ron Silliman, and Barrett Watten), The Cell, The Cold of Poetry, and Sight (written in collaboration with Leslie Scalapino). Her most recent books are A Border Comedy (Granary Books, 2001) and Slowly. The University of California Press published a collection of her essays entitled The Language of Inquiry in 2000. Translations of her work have been published in Denmark, France, Spain, Japan, Italy, Russia, Sweden, China, and Finland. She is the recipient of a Writing Fellowship from the California Arts Council, a grant from the Poetry Fund, and a Translation Fellowship (for her Russian translations) from the National Endowment for the Arts; she received an Award for Independent Literature from the Soviet literary organization "Poetic Function" in Leningrad in 1989. She has traveled and lectured extensively in Russia as well as Europe, and Description (1990) and Xenia (1994), two volumes of her translations from the work of contemporary Russian poet Arkadii Dragomoschenko, have been published by Sun & Moon Press. Since 1976 Hejinian has been the editor of Tuumba Press and from 1981 to 1999 she was the co-editor (with Barrett Watten) of Poetics Journal. She is currently the co-director (with Travis Oritz) of Atelos, a literary project commissioning and publishing cross-genre work by poets. Other collaborative projects include a work entitled The Eye of Enduring undertaken with the painter Diane Andrews Hall and exhibited in 1996, a composition entitled Quê Trân with music by John Zorn and text by Hejinian, a mixed media book entitled The Traveler and the Hill and the Hill created with the painter Emilie Clark, and the award-winning experimental documentary film Letters Not About Love, directed by Jackie Ochs. In the fall of 2000, she was elected the sixty-sixth Fellow of the Academy of American Poets. She teaches at the University of Califormia, Berkeley.