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Transom:
How did you come to translate Šalamun’s work?

Taren:
Tomaž was a visiting professor at my school, The University of Pittsburgh, in 2006 when I was still an undergrad. I took his class. He'd already been working with another poet, also his student, Thomas Kane. It all unfurled from there. It has been Tomaz's ambition always to fold the latest generations into the translation of his still growing oeuvre. The thing of main importance is that we began to trust each other's instincts and judgments. So I came to co-translating his work because we began to trust one another. Now, as I approach my third decade, I expect anytime to be sent to sea on a burning raft. I equate this to the apotheosis that marriage is.

Transom:
What relationships do you see between Šalamun’s work and your own?

Taren:
A tendency to disguise, via squalls of passion, impotence and stupidity, our deeply bred sense of entitlement to liberty, gratitude, disdain and love.

Transom:
The voice of this poem pushes toward honesty through wild abandon, but the coda collapses that energy into a ridiculously measured bit of self-awareness. How do you find where to land when balancing the explosive and cohesive forces in your poems?

Taren:
As I become fatigued, the poem acquires cohesion. "Wild abandon" but oppositely founded. The fatigue doesn't express from wildness, it expresses from the attempt to abandon wildness, on the scale of letters. This poem is more like a successful abortion, that is, the foetus (chaos, failure) is successfully dead, no matter how many parts now exist to prove what was its now bygone wholeness and mechanical splendor. Also, because the end is much more uncomfortable than the beginning.

Sample Translations:
Chapbook: Curtis Harnack Wrapped Me in a Shawl
Typo
Drunken Boat