William Seaton will present a program of his translations from German Dada poets as well as a general account of the Dada movement at 7:30 p.m., March 9 at the Kurt Seligmann Art Galleries and Homestead at 23 White Oak Dr. in Sugar Loaf. His presentation is titled "A Word that Means Nothing," referring to Dadaist Tristan Tzara's comment that Dada means nothing. (Embracing contradiction, Tzara also said Dada was "a roaring of tense colors, and interlacing of opposites and of all contradictions, grotesques, inconsistencies.")
According to Seaton, "The Dadaists established all the major trends of experimentation that have prevailed for the last hundred years. Their work is the most significant source from which Surrealism emerged. No one has established an artistic position more radical than theirs."
Seaton's Dada Poems from the German with an introduction by Timothy Shipe, curator of the University of Iowa's Dada Archive, has just been published by Nirala Publications. His translations of German Dadaist poetry have earlier appeared in Adirondack Review, Read and Destroy. Mad Blood, Maintenant, and Chelsea.
Seaton has been translating poetry since his versions of Sappho were published in Oblique when he was an undergraduate at the University of Illinois in 1967. He later studied literary translation under Anselm Hollo and Stavros Deligiorgis at the University of Iowa's Translation Workshop. He directs the Poetry on the Loose Reading/Performance Series, teaches at the College of Poetry (www.collegeofpoetry.com), and posts five essays, literary and familiar, on the first of every month at williamseaton.blogspot.com.
This event is part of a Surrealism Festival paying homage to Kurt Seligmann, an émigré artist who made his Sugar Loaf home a center for Surrealism in America. Under the auspices of the Orange County Citizens Foundation, the Festival includes performance events, exhibits, films, and workshops.