Pierre Joris, born in Strasbourg, France, in 1946, was raised in Luxembourg. Since age eighteen, he has moved between Europe, the U.S., and North Africa and holds both Luxembourgian and American citizenship.
Joris has published more than seventy books of poetry, essays, translations, and anthologies, including Diwan of Exiles: A Pierre Joris Reader (Black Widow Press, 2023), coedited with Ariel Resnikoff; Always the Many, Never the One: Conversations In-between (Contra Mundum Press, 2022) with Florent Toniello; Interglacial Narrows: Poems, 1915–2021 (Contra Mundum Press, 2022); Meditations on the Stations of Mansur al-Hallaj (National Centre for Translation, Cairo, Egypt, 2022), in an Arabic translation by Safaa Fathi; the two final volumes of his Paul Celan translations, Microliths They Are, Little Stones (Contra Mundum Press, 2020) and Memory Rose into Threshold Speech: The Collected Earlier Poetry (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020); Arabia (not so) Deserta (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2019); Conversations in the Pyrenees (Contra Mundum Press, 2018) with Adonis; The Book of U (Editions Simoncini, 2017) with Nicole Peyrafitte; Stations d’al-Hallaj (Apic Editions, 2018), translated by Habib Tengour; his translation of Egyptian poet Safaa Fathy’s Revolution Goes Through Walls (SplitLevel, 2018); his play The Agony of I.B. (Editions Phi, 2016), produced by the Théâtre National du Luxembourg in June 2016; An American Suite (inpatient press, 2016); Barzakh: Poems, 2000–2012 (Black Widow Press, 2014); Breathturn into Timestead: The Collected Later Poetry of Paul Celan (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014); A Voice Full of Cities: The Collected Essays of Robert Kelly (Contra Mundum Press, 2014), coedited with Peter Cockelbergh; and Volume IV of the University of California’s Poems for the Millennium series, The University of California Book of North African Literature (University of California Press, 2012), co-edited with Habib Tengour.
In 2011, Litteraria Pragensia published Pierre Joris: Cartographies of the In-between, edited by Peter Cockelbergh, with essays on Joris’s work by, among others, Mohammed Bennis, Charles Bernstein, Nicole Brossard, Clayton Eshleman, Allen Fisher, Christine Hume, Robert Kelly, Abdelwahab Meddeb, Jennifer Moxley, Jean Portante, Carrie Noland, Alice Notley, Marjorie Perloff, and Nicole Peyrafitte.
Other works from Joris include Canto Diurno #4: The Tang Extending from the Blade (Ahadada Books, 2010); Justifying the Margins: Essays, 1990–2006 (Salt Books, 2009); Aljibar I (Editions Phi, 2007) and Aljibar II (Editions Phi, 2008); A Nomad Poetics (Wesleyan University Press, 2003); and the CD Routes, not Roots (Ta’wil Productions, 2007) with Munir Beken, Mike Bisio, Ben Chadabe, and Mitch Elrod. Further translations include his translation of Paul Celan’s The Meridian: Final Version—Drafts—Materials (Stanford University Press, 2011); Paul Celan: Selections (University of California Press, 2005); and Paul Celan’s Lightduress (Green Integer, 2005), which received the 2005 PEN Poetry Translation Award. With Jerome Rothenberg, he coedited Poems for the Millennium, vol. 1 & 2: The University of California Book of Modern & Postmodern Poetry (University of California Press, 1995–98).
When not on the road, Joris lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, with his wife and oftentimes collaborator, multimedia artist Nicole Peyrafitte.