Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Coleman Barks Featured on New Tuatara CD

Coleman Barks is a poet who is widely known for his bestselling translations of Rumi, the thirteenth-century mystic poet. The Press recently published a career retrospective of Barks's own poetry, WINTER SKY: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS, 1968-2008. "Barks is a master of the complicated human poem," commented Robert Bly. "Some poets open their poems to what is Significant. Barks sets down the remarks that a waitress said to him one night in a late-night restaurant. There is a great unfolding of the world here."

Just released this month by Fast Horse Recordings is a new album from the band Tuatara, THE HERE AND THE GONE, featuring Barks reading from his poems and Rumi translations. The album is getting great early reviews including this one just published on Blogcritics Magazine.

The collaboration between Tuatara and Barks began in 1997 at a show in Athens, Georgia, when Barks read one of his poems while the band improvised backing music. Small guest appearances on two Tuatara albums followed. THE HERE AND THE GONE was recorded in Santa Fe with group founders Barrett Martin (former Screaming Trees drummer) and Peter Buck (R.E.M.) joined by such guests as Rahim Alhaj (Iraqi oud master), Scott McCaughey (R.E.M. backing guitarist), and Kai Riedl (UGA professor and musician).

Left: Coleman Barks by Anne Richmond Boston

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