very pleased to say that I’m now in possession of three unpublished manuscripts
of Michael Benedikt’s poetry. Family
Bessings / Family Curses, TRANSITIONS, and OF:.
They’re incomplete, and with many variants, but they’re here. If anyone has any poems of his published in literary journals since 1980, please email me (jjgallaher AT hotmail DOT com). There are poems still missing. But this is a great start, yes?
These may well be the only folders of these poems in existence.
I'm a little amazed at my good fortune.
seems fitting that since his papers were saved from a dumpster, I should put
them in a little suitcase my neighbor had out at the curb. You should have seen
me running home with it. I was very pleased with myself.
project continues. I’ve gone through all
his published work, putting together a wish list of selected poems. And now, part two. His work can be divided into three
phases. The first phase, for which he
was best known, was his Surrealist phase, which was then followed by his
prose-poetry phase, which was still heavily influenced by Surrealism, but more
prosaic, and his final phase, which he worked in for the last 30 years of his
life, could be called his pedagogical phase, for want of a better term. The poems in this phase are highly
conversational and explanatory of things as he saw them. It makes a fine arc. I’m pleased that these unpublished
manuscripts will be part of his story.