James Brook

James Brook Photo by Lori Fagerholm

James Brook is a poet and translator living in the San Francisco Bay Area. His translations include works by Guy Debord, Henri Michaux, Gellu Naum, Benjamin Péret, and Alberto Savinio. His poems, essays, and translations have appeared in Big Bridge, City Lights Review, Exquisite Corpse, Gare du Nord, Montana Gothic, Mudlark, New American Writing, Poésie, Science as Culture, Two Lines, Volt, and other journals. He is the principal editor of Resisting the Virtual Life (with Iain Boal) and Reclaiming San Francisco (with Chris Carlsson and Nancy J. Peters). The New York Times named his translation of Jean-Patrick Manchette’s The Prone Gunman a Notable Book.


A Blaze in a Desert: Selected Poems

A Blaze in a Desert: Selected Poems

SKU: 9781629633824
Author: Victor Serge • Editor and translator: James Brook • Afterword: Richard Greeman
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 9781629633824
Published: 05/2017
Format: Paperback, ePub, mobi, PDF
Size: 5 x 8
Page count: 192
Subjects: Poetry


“Victor Serge was a major novelist, a revolutionary, and a historical witness, so it is perhaps not surprising that his poetry has been overlooked. But his poetry is for real. It is as grounded in specifics as you might expect from a fighter in some of the twentieth century’s great struggles, and as visionary as you’d hope from a disciple of Rimbaud and a friend to the Surrealists. Reading it is like coming upon an unsuspected corridor in the house of literature. James Brook’s lucid translation does it full justice.”
—Luc Sante, author of The Other Paris and translator of Novels in Three Lines by Félix Fénéon

“In these dark times, the poetry of Victor Serge illuminates the deep continuum of revolutionary history. As all great work, it shows the power of both resistance & acceptance. Serge is noted for his prose but his poetry is in many ways more moving. It inspires the reader to stay true to the revolutionary spirit and will in its compassion, defiance, and outrage.”
—David Meltzer, author of San Francisco Beat: Talking with the Poets, When I Was a Poet, and Two-Way Mirror: A Poetry Notebook

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Check out a reading of A Blaze in the Desert by writers Luc Sante, Lawrence Joseph, Thomas Sleigh, Richard Greeman, Allan Graubard, Edwin Frank, and Harry Newman of the poetry of Franco-Russian writer and revolutionary Victor Serge at the Cornelia Street Cafe, New York, NY, October 25, 2017.