World Poetry Loses A Great Master

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By Ataol Behramoglu

American poet and social activist Jack Hirschman died today (Sunday, August 22) at his home in San Francisco.

Born in New York in 1933, Hirschman published his first book of poetry in 1960: “A Correspondence of Americans”.

For a quarter of a century, he roamed the streets and cafes of San Francisco reading his poems.

Although close to the “Beat” generation, he managed to establish his own original poem.

He was at the forefront of intellectuals who opposed the Vietnam war.

From the 1960s to the 2000s,his  poetry books followed each other.

Jack Hirschman, one of the founders and directors of WPM (World Poetry Movement), was a close reader and audience of Turkish poetry, especially the poems of Nâzım Hikmet.

Hirschman’s farewell   at his Home in San Francisco a few minutes before the start of his speaking (from 5 p.m. Turkish time) on Sunday, August 22, in the last of our regular online interviews as the WPM coordinator board, is a big shock to us close friends and fellow activists. It  has been a great loss to American and world poetry.

Jack Hirschman, whose poems have been translated into major world languages, was also the pioneer and director of the Revolutionary Poets Brigade in San Francisco.

WPM and the poets of the world, who share his humanist and revolutionary ideals, will keep the memory of this great poet alive; will continue to work and activities for a freer, more just and egalitarian world.

While, we Turkish poets,  bow respectfully in front of the memory of the Jack Hirschman, we share the deep pain of his dear wife, comrade, poet and WPM activist dear Agneta Falk.

(*) For the Turkish news agents , dailies, TV’s.

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