Hirschman, Jack 1933-

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HIRSCHMAN, Jack 1933-

PERSONAL: Born December 13, 1933, in New York, NY; son of Stephen Dannemark and Nellie (Keller) Hirschman; married Ruth Epstein (a radio programmer), December 25, 1954 (divorced, 1974); married Agneta Falk, 1999; children: (first marriage) David (deceased), Celia. Ethnicity: "Jewish-American," Education: City College (now City College of the City University of New York), B.A., 1955; Indiana University, A.M., 1957, Ph.D., 1961. Politics: "Communist."

ADDRESSES: Offıce—P.O. Box 26517, San Francisco, CA 94126.

CAREER: Poet, 1952—; Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, instructor, 1959-61; University of California, Los Angeles, assistant professor of English, 1961-66. Painter and collagist, with exhibitions in Los Angeles and Venice, CA, 1972.

MEMBER: Union of Street Poets, Union of Left Writers, Roque Dalton Cultural Brigade, Jacques Roumain Cultural Brigade, Communist Labor Party, League of Revolutionaries for a New America, Labor Party.

AWARDS, HONORS: American Book Award, Before Columbus Foundation, 2002, for lifetime achievement.



Fragments, privately printed, 1952.

A Correspondence of Americans, introduction by Karl Shapiro, Indiana University Press (Bloomington, IN), 1960.

Two, lithographs by Arnold Belkin, Zora Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), 1963.

Interchange, Zora Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), 1964.

Kline Sky, J. Brandi, 1965.

Yod, Trigram Press (London, England), 1966.

London Seen Directly, Cape Golliard (London, England), 1967.

Wasn't It Like This in the Woodcut, Cape Golliard (London, England), 1967.

Ltd. Interchangeable in Eternity: Poems of Jackruth-davidcelia Hirschman, privately printed, 1967.

William Blake, Love Press, 1967.

(With Asa Benveniste) A Word in Your Season, Trigram Press (London, England), 1967.

Jerusalem: A Three-Part Poem, Love Press, 1968.

Aleph, Benoni and Zaddik, Tenfingers Press, 1968.

Jerusalem, Ltd., Trigram Press (London, England), 1968.

Shekinah, Maya, 1969.

Broadside Golem, Box Zero, 1969.

Black Alephs: Poems, 1960-1968, Phoenix Book Shop (New York, NY), 1969.

NHR, Christopher's Books (Goleta, CA), 1970.

Scintilla, Tree Books (Bolinas, CA), 1970.

Soledeth, Q Press (Venice, CA), 1971.

DT, Yes Press, 1971.

The Burning of Los Angeles, J'Ose Press, 1971.

HNYC, Skyline Press, 1971.

Les Vidanges, Beyond Baroque, 1972.

The R of the Ari's Raziel, Press of the Pegacycle Lady, 1972.

Adamnan, Christopher's Books (Santa Barbara, CA), 1972.

Aur Sea, Tree Books (Berkeley, CA), 1973.

Cantillations, Capra, 1973.

K'wai sing: The Origin of the Dragon, a SurrealistText, Beyond Baroque, 1973.

Djackson, Rainbow Resin, 1974.

Cockroach Street, Street, 1975.

The Cool Boyetz Cycle, Golden Mountain (San Francisco, CA), 1975.

Kashtaninyah Segodnyah, Beatitude (San Francisco, CA), 1976.

Lyripol, City Lights (San Francisco, CA), 1976.

The Arcanes of Le Compte de St. Germain, Amerus (San Francisco, CA), 1977.

The Proletarian Arcane, Amerus (San Francisco, CA), 1978.

The Jonestown Arcane, Poetry for the People, 1979.

The Cagliostro Arcane, Michael Hargraves, 1981.

The David Arcane, Amerus (San Francisco, CA), 1982. Class Questions, Retribution Press, 1982.

The Necessary Is, Fishy Afoot, 1984.

Kallatumba, Ruddy Duck, 1984.

The Bottom Line, Curbstone Press (Willimantic, CT), 1988.

The Triana Arcane, Deep Forest (San Francisco, CA), 1991.

The Satin Arcane, Zeitgeist Press (Oakland, CA), 1991.

Endless Threshold, Curbstone Press (Willimantic, CT), 1992.

The Xibalba Arcane, Azul Editions (Washington, DC), 1994.

The Arcane on a Stick, Roadkill Press (San Francisco, CA), 1995.

The Graffıti Arcane, Deliriodendron Press (San Francisco, CA), 1995.

The Green Chakra Arcane, Deliriodendron Press (San Francisco, CA), 1996.

The Grit Arcane, Spout (West Yorkshire, England), 1997.

The Open Gate, Express Press (San Francisco, CA), 1998.

The Archaic Now Arcane, Deliriodendron Press (San Francisco, CA), 2000.

Front Lines: Selected Poems, City Lights (San Francisco, CA), 2002.

Fists on Fire, Sore Dove Press (San Francisco, CA), 2003.


(With Victor Erlich) Vladimir Mayakovsky, ElectricIron, Maya, 1970.

Antonin Artaud, Love Is a Tree, Red Hill (Fairfax, CA), 1972.

Rene Depestre, A Rainbow for the Christian West, Red Hill (Fairfax, CA), 1972.

Luisa Pasamanik, The Exiled Angel, Red Hill (Fairfax, CA), 1973.

Stephane Mallarme, Igitur, Press of the Pegacycle Lady, 1973.

Ait Djafer, Wail for the Arab Beggars of the Casbah, Papa Bach Bookstore, 1973.

Jean Cocteau, The Crucifixion, Quarter Press (Bethlehem, PA), 1975.

Johann Maier, The Book of Noah, Tree Books (Berkeley, CA), 1975.

(With Alexander Altmann) Eleazer of Worms, ThreeTracts, Beatitude, 1976.

Alexander Kohav, Orange Voice, Beatitude, 1976.

Kohav, Four Angels in Profile, Four Bears in Fullface, Beatitude, 1976.

Robert Rodzhdestvensky, Requiem, Beatitude, 1977.

Natasha Belyaeva, Hunger, D'Aurora Press, 1977.

Kohav, Emigroarium, Amerus (San Francisco, CA), 1977.

Eliphas Levi, Dove Rose, Viscerally Press, 1979.

Depestre, Vegetations of Splendor, Vanguard Press, 1980.

Santo Cali, Yossiph Shyryn, Antigruppo (Sicily, Italy), 1981.

Cali, Jabixshak, Amerus (San Francisco, CA), 1982.

Katerina Gogon, Three Clucks Left, Night Horn, 1983.

Pablo Neruda, Elegy, David Books, 1983.

Sarah Kirsch, Poems, Alcatraz Editions, 1983.

Agim Gjarkora, Communist, Fishy Afoot, 1984.

Roque Dalton, Clandestine Poems, Solidarity (San Francisco, CA), 1984.

Paul Laraque, Slingshot, Seaworthy Press, 1987.

Ambar Past, The Sea on Its Side: Poetry, Post-Apollo Press (San Francisco, CA), 1994.

Ferruccio Brugnaro, Fist of Sun, Curbstone Press (Willimantic, CT), 1997.

(With Boadiba, and editor, with Paul Laraque) OpenGate: An Anthology of Haitian Creole Poetry, Curbstone Press (Willimantic, CT), 2001.

Martin Heidegger, Fling of Flame, Ezioni Gutenberg (Salerno, Italy), 2002.

Alberto Masala, In the Executioner's House, CC. Marimbo (Berkeley, CA), 2003.

Pierre Molinier, The Magic Glee Clubs, CC. Marimbo (Berkeley, CA), 2003.

Edvino Ugolini, Incandenscences, CC. Marimbo (Berkeley, CA), 2004.

Ismael Ait Djafer, The Wail of the Arab Beggars of theCasbah, Curbstone Press (Willimantic, CT), 2004.


Antonin Artaud, Artaud Anthology, City Lights (San Francisco, CA), 1965.

Efrain Huerta, Five Hundred Thousand Azaleas: TheSelected Poems of Efrain Huerta, Curbstone Press (Willimantic, CT), 2000.

Art on the Line: Essays by Artists about the PointWhere Their Art and Activism Intersect, Curbstone Press (Willimantic, CT), 2002.

Editor, Compages: International Translations, 1982-89; editor, Poetry USA, 1996. Also associated with Tree magazine, Bolinas, CA.

WORK IN PROGRESS: "The Arcanes are a continual work in progress."

SIDELIGHTS: Jack Hirschman lives in the North Beach district of San Francisco, where he is a member of the Union of Street Poets, a group that distributes leaflets of poems to people on the streets of the bay city. He has also been instrumental in the formation of the Union of Left Writers of San Francisco. Hirschman's poems, which have been compared to those of Hart Crane and Dylan Thomas, often reflect the poet's leftist political views and are noted for their novel treatment of language. Hirschman told CA: "It is vitally important at this time that all poets and artists collectivize and form strong socialist cadres in relation to working-class cultural internationalism."

"Jack Hirschman's work as a poet, translator, and radical theorist is wide-ranging, prolific, energetic, and crackling with passionate alertness and utopian zeal," according to a Contemporary Poets critic. "He is one of the left's most prolific and consistent poetic voices, and his work resonates with an insistent reminder of the American and international radical continuum." Part of his dedication to politics and poetry lies in his numerous translations of radical poets from around the world. The many languages he has translated include Russian, French, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Albanian, Yiddish, Vietnamese, and Creole. Hirschman both coedited and cotranslated the 2002 collection Open Gate: An Anthology of Haitian Creole Poetry, which World Literature Today contributor Chris Waters called "a necessary acquisition by libraries and scholars. It's a voice infrequently heard but one which should be." Kai Maristed remarked in the Los Angeles Times Book Review that this "politically conscious" work could use "a second volume that is inclusive of a broader sensibility." Nevertheless, the critic concluded, "With Open Gate in hand, one is tempted to say that news of the death of responsible American publishing may be premature."

Hirschman continues to explore the political nature of poetry. In 2003 he edited Art on the Line: Essays by Artists about the Point Where Their Art and Activism Intersect, which includes writings from Amiri Baraka, Roque Dalton, Martín Espada, George Grosz, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Margaret Randall, James Scully, and César Vallejo, among others. While coming from different points of view, the essays consider how art is naturally ideological; "the result, while thought-provoking, is not light reading," Library Journal contributor Scott Hightower noted in recommending the book. Whether as editor, translator, or poet-performer, Hirschman remains dedicated to the power of poetry. As the Contemporary Poetry critic concluded, "He is a tireless presence at rallies, demonstrations, and benefits, and he remains one of the most galvanizing readers of poetry performing today."



Contemporary Poets, 7th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2001.


Library Journal, June 1, 1992, Daniel L. Guillory, review of Endless Threshold, p. 132; January, 2003, Scott Hightower, review of Art on the Line: Essays by Artists about the Point Where Their Art and Activism Intersect, p. 108.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, August 25, 2002, Kai Maristed, "Poetry's Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose," p. 4.

Publishers Weekly, May 11, 1992, review of EndlessThreshold, p. 65.

World Literature Today, spring, 2002, Chris Waters, review of Open Gate: An Anthology of Haitian Creole Poetry, p. 129.