Peter J. Grieco is a Ph.D graduate of SUNY Buffalo where he wrote his dissertation on working-class poetry. A former school bus driver, he has taught at universities in Ankara, Turkey; Seoul, South Korea; and Buffalo, NY, his native city where he studies French and is finishing his degree in Mathematics Education. Publications include At the Musarium, a chapbook of semi-procedural verse based on word frequency lists, and the essay “The Clabber Dreg in the Glom,” (Published in New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing) which reflects on the composition of that series.
Announcing: RÉCEPTION DONNÉE CHEZ UN RICH MARCHAND ARABE
Available July 30th at the New York City Poetry Festival from UndergroundBooks
This poem is inspired by images taken from the collection of paintings by Yahya ibn Mahmûd al-Wâsitî based on the Maqâmât (Séances or Sessions), a collection of poetic vignettes written in Arabic by Muhammad al-Qâsim al-Harîrî (1054-1122). The manuscript of 99 miniatures, whose completion is dated to 1237, is held by the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. Very little is known about the painter, except that his native city is thought to have been Wâsit on the Tigris, which is within the precincts of modern Baghdad and that he was born circa 1200. The al-Wâsitî paintings are unparalleled in Arab art and are celebrated for their depictions of everyday life in the Arab world of the early 13th century (see Oleg Grabar’s Masterpieces of Islamic Art,2009). “Réception donnée” is number (47v) in the BNF manuscript. The poem is intended to highlight shared cultural inheritances in place of cultural divisions.