Serge Gavronsky

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Serge Gavronsky (born 1932) is an American poet and translator.


Gavronsky was born in Paris. He fled Nazi-occupied France in 1940. Gavronsky received his A.B. in European History and French in 1954 from Columbia College and an M.A. in European History in 1955 and a Ph.D in European Intellectual History in 1965 from Columbia University,[1] and is now professor emeritus in the French department at Barnard College.[2] He lives in New York City.[3]

Gavronsky is currently[when?] working on his sixth novel and in the process of co-translating, with François Dominique, writer, the majestic poem "A" by Louis Zukofsky.


  • 1979 Guggenheim Fellowship[4]
  • 1980 Camargo Foundation Fellowship[5]
  • 1990 Sole judge appointed by the Academy of American Poets for the Harold Morton Landon Prize in Translation [6]
  • 1991 French Government, Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques
  • 1997 French Government, Officier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres



  • The German Friend, a novel (New York, SUN, 1984.)
  • The Name of the Father, a novel (Spiralli, 1993) Translated into Italian with a preface by Harold Bloom.
  • L'Identita, a novel, a novel (Spiralli, 2006.) Translated into Italian.
  • The Sudden Death of…, a novel (NY: Spuyten Duyvil, 2009.)
  • Silence of Memory, a novel (Spuyten Duyvil, 2014.)


Books of Poetry:

  • AndOrThe: Poems Within a Poem (Talisman House, 2007)

Gavronsky has appeared in over thirty French and American poetry magazines including:

  • Lectures et compte-rendu, poèmes. Coll. "Textes," Flammarion, 1973.
  • Je le suis, poème, illustrations by Michel Kanter, artists’s edition, 1995.
  • L’interminable discussion, poem with six original woodcuts by JM. Scanreigh. Editions Philippe Millereau, 1996.
  • Reduction du tryptique, poem with 4 original woodcuts by JM. Scanreigh, Philippe Millereau, 1996.
  • Il était un dire, poem for artist's book by Patricia Erbelding (Mémoires Collections, 2007)


A selection of books in translation:

  • Poems & texts; an anthology of French poems: translations, and interviews with Ponge, Follain, Guillevic, Frénaud, Bonnefoy, DuBouchet, Roche, and Pleynet. October House. 1969. 
  • Patricia Terry, Serge Gavronsky, ed. (1975). Modern French Poetry : a Bilingual Anthology. Columbia University Press. 
  • Serge Gavronsky, Francis Ponge: The Power of Language. (1979). University of California Press.
  • Le mecanisme du sens (Paris: Maeght, 1979).
  • Joyce Mansour, Cris/Screams, trans. with an Introduction by Serge Gavronsky (Sausolito, CA: Post-Apollo Press, 1995.)
  • Serge Gavronsky, eds. (1997). Six contemporary French women poets: theory, practice, and pleasures. Southern Illinois University Press. 
  • Toward a new poetics: contemporary writing in France : interviews, with an introduction and translated texts. University of California Press. 1994. ISBN 978-0-520-08793-4. KrGO4IrgcgsC&dq=Serge+Gavronsky&printsec=frontcover&source=an&hl=en&ei=BThASpvSN8bKlAeliZjKAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5. 
  • Translator and author of introduction, Joyce Mansour Essential Poetry and Prose (Boston: Black Widow Press, 2008.)
  • Co-Translator with François Dominique, writer, "Louis Zukofsky’s “A” – 13 - 18 (Dijon: Virgile, 2012).
  • Co-Translator with François Dominique, "Louis Zukofsky’s “A” – 19 - 23 (Dijon: Virgile, 2014).

A selection of anthologized poems in translation:

  • Jean Follain, Modern European Poetry, Bantam Classics, 1967.
  • René Depestre, The World, Special Translation Issue, 1973.
  • Aragon, For Neruda/For Chile, Beacon, 1975.
  • Francis Ponge, Contemporary World Poetry, Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1979.
  • Marcelin Pleynet, André Frénaud, Francis Ponge, Random House Anthology of Twentieth-Century French Poetry, 1982.
  • Monique Buri, The Defiant Muse, French Feminist Poems from the Middle Ages to the Present, The Feminist Press, 1986.
  • Jean Frémon, Denis Roche and Marcelin Pleynet in Violence of the White Page: Contempo-rary French Poetry, Tyuonyi, 1992.
  • Francis Ponge, Against Forgetting, Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness, Norton, 1993.
  • Francis Ponge, "The Sun...," Poems for the Millenium, The University of California Press, I, 1995.
  • Francis Ponge, "Rhetoric," World Poetry, Norton, 1998.
  • Francis Ponge, “The Object is Poetics,” in Mary Ann Caws, ed. Manifesto: A Century of Isms, Nebraska University Press, 2001.


  • The French Liberal Opposition and the American Civil War. (New York, The Humanities Press, 1968.)
  • Francis Ponge and the Power of Language. (Berkeley, California, The University of California Press, 1979.)
  • Culture/Ecriture, essais critiques. (Rome, Bulzoni, 1983.)
  • "BLACK THEMES IN SUREAL GUISE". The New York Times. February 19, 1984. 
  • Gavronsky, Serge (November 5, 1989). "'DON'T ASK. ACT'". The New York Times. Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  • Towards a New Poetics (Berkeley, California, The University of California Press, 1994.)


  1. ^ [1] Archived September 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "French | French". Retrieved 2015-02-18. 
  3. ^ "Serge Gavronsky | Directory of Writers | Poets & Writers". 2013-05-20. Retrieved 2015-02-18. 
  4. ^ "Serge Gavronsky - John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation". Retrieved 2015-02-18. 
  5. ^ "Fellow Project Details". The Camargo Foundation. Retrieved 2015-02-18. 
  6. ^ "Harold Morton Landon Translation Award | Academy of American Poets". Retrieved 2015-02-18.