WARNING! EXPLOSIVE! KEEP AWAY FROM SAFE ACADEMIC WRITING CUBICLE OFFICES AND C.I.A. POETRY WORKSHOPS!
Charles Plymell, poet, novelist , publisher Cherry Valley Edition
To read Valery Oisteanu is to enter into yourself and emerge with a vocabulary you never knew existed. To read him is to regret the wasted life you lead before you read him.
Judith Malina, poet, playwright,actress, activist
Valery Oisteanu, king/queen/jack of all dada/east village “Absurdistan” – gallops on the hobbyhorse of our blasted times; and the poems here echo the blasts. Poems point to and mock the “Unending killing cycles,” while surreal images abound and become visual realities. Dada is reincarnated in Oisteanu’s troubling vision where “Darkness evaporates into more darkness.” Despite the hi-jinks, the ebullient sexuality, dadaistic lust, there’s a deep abiding sadness here – over deaths (see especially “Mostly Unavailable”) and universal madness: poetry “from the forbidden dreams of the Asylum.” Mid-way into the book he cries – “Freedom is still a foreign word,” well, not here, not in the voice of Valery Oisteanu.
Barry Wallenstein, poet
Geologists have labeled our age the Anthropocene because man has become the most powerful force on earth even as he heads towards extinction, surrounded by clichés and useless artifacts. Valery Oisteanu knows this, and like a surreal Atlas astride the rubble, he rails against the Absurd, but it is a warning sheathed in love. Anarchy for a Rainy Day is a book of poems by a romantic. Read this book, and then keep it close; it is a life preserver.
Ron Kolm, author of Suburban Ambush
and the Editor of the Evergreen Review
Valery Oisteanu is a poet, writer, and artist of the avant-garde. Born in USSR (1943) and educated in Romania. He debuted as a poet with the collection Prosthesis in 1970 (Litera Press, Bucharest). A the age of 20, he adopted Dada and Surrealism as a philosophy of art and life and a few years later English as his primary language. Immigrating to New York City in 1972, he has been writing in English for the past 43 years. He is the author of 12 books of poetry, a book of short fiction, The King of Penguins (Linear Art Press, 2000), and a book of essays, The AVANT-GODS.
Over the last 10 years he wrote art criticism for Brooklyn Rail, artnet.com, White Hot Magazine, and NY Arts. He is also a contributing writer for French, Spanish & Romanian art and literary magazines (La Page Blanche, Art.es, Viata Romaneasca, Observatorul Cultural, Artout.ro, levurelitteraire.com, etc.)
As an artist he exhibits collages and assemblages on a regular basis at galleries in New York and also creates collages as covers and illustrations for books and magazines.
He has performed in theater and in poetry-musical collaborations with jazz artists from all over the world in sessions known as Jazzoetry.
His work has appeared in international Surrealist publications of the last four decades, including Dream Helmet (1978), What Will Be (Brumes Blondes, 2014), A Phala (Sao Paola, Brazil), The Annual (Phasm Press, 2015).
Member of Poets and Writers, Inc., New York (1977-2015)
Founding member of PASS (Poets and Artists Surrealist Society) (1973-2015)
“It’s the End of the World As We Know It” Award (2000) (Vault Literary Society award for exceptional cutting edge artists who consistently take risks with their art)
Awarded CHIVOT Order of the Chevalier of the Tower, for the dissemination of Romanian Avant-Garde in Diaspora, 2010
Recipient of the Kathy Acker Award NYC 2013 for contribution to the avant-garde in Poetry Performance.