Donald Gardner (London 1938) has been writing poetry since the early 1960s. His first published poem was in the Paris Review in 1963. He has lived abroad a great deal. In the mid-1960s he lived in New York where he did readings with poets of that generation, Ginsberg, Corso and others – for instance, the celebrated East Village Theater reading of 1967, with an audience of 2000. His first book, Peace Feelers, was published by Café Books, a series edited by Christopher Logue in 1969. This was followed by For the Flames (Fulcrum 1974).
In the 1970s he was a street actor with the London Living Theatre. He moved to Holland in 1979, where he works as a freelance translator. In the 1980s he experimented extensively with poetry in performance. He played his long poem Chicken with Madness, (direction/choreography, Patrizia Filia) on many occasions in Holland, London and New York. In the 1990s he visited New York regularly for readings – for instance a two weeks’ run in 1997 at the 1st New York Fringe Theater Festival in 1997.
He is also a translator of poetry. His translation of Octavio Paz’s long poem ‘The Sun Stone’ was published in 1969 by Cosmos Publications, York. He has also translated poems by Ernesto Cardenal and he contributed to the anthology of Cuban poetry, Con Cuba. (Cape, 1970) His translations of Dutch poet Remco Campert will be published in a bilingual edition by Arc Publications in 2006.
In 2001 his collection How to get the Most out of Your Jet Lag was published by Ye Olde Font Shoppe, New Haven, Connecticut and, in 2006, his collection The Glittering Sea, published by Hearing Eye Press.
Comment on How to get the Most out of your Jet Lag :
“Donald Gardner is an aristocratic madman, observing a princely life with tongue firmly cheeked. His poems have that slightly wicked turn that evoke school lessons and a proper upbringing while rolling in the absurdity of life's mayhem and rainshine. […] Donald's writing and performance cover a unique and surreal vision of the world. He speaks of a life long-lived, a perpetual child in wonder at his own constant escapes from his brain. The sort of clever little naughty boy who questions everything and waits for an answer, bringing us into his madness.”
Edwin Torres, NY poet and performer
(Note: article "Cutting Losses: Translating Remco Campert" article has now been removed due to expiry of copyright permission)
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