The Coffee with the Poet Series continues on Thursday, February 21st at 10:30 a.m. at City Lights Bookstore. Caleb Beissert will join us to share his poetry and translations.
Caleb Beissert was born in Washington, D.C., the son of journalists, and grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. Beissert attended Western Carolina University (WCU) in the Great Smoky Mountains, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in English/Professional Writing and Cultural Studies. Beissert set out translating the work of Federico García Lorca in early 2007 and soon began translating Pablo Neruda and several other Spanish-writing poets. In the spring of 2008, Beissert was selected to participate in the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series, culminating with his reading at WCU’s Literary Festival with North Carolina Poet Laureate Cathy Smith Bowers. Beissert studied poetry under Smith Bowers and also Mary Adams. He since has had his work published in Tar River Poetry and Smoky Mountain News. His poems also were featured on former North Carolina Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer’s website. Tapping into the tree of his literary ancestry, of which the writers of the Beat generation are the keystone, Beissert connected with American Baby Beat poet Thomas Rain Crowe. The two have worked closely together, giving a joint reading and talk for a Beat Literature class at Appalachian State University in 2010. During the summer of 2008, Beissert spent time traveling across Europe studying Reformation literature. Beissert traveled to San Francisco in summer of 2009, studying traditional Indonesian gamelan music and meeting with poets Neeli Cherkovski and Jack Hirschman. That fall, Beissert received publication of his translation of Neruda’s “The Lake” in the anthology Beatitude: Golden Anniversary, 1959-2009. From 2009 to the present, Beissert has been a contributor to WNC Magazine, and his work is published in International Poetry Review, Asheville Poetry Review, Pisgah Review, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, and Headwaters Creative Arts Magazine. Beissert’s article about Pablo Neruda in response to the earthquakes in Chile in 2010 appeared on the guest blog of Terrain.org.
Beissert resides in Asheville, where he works as a freelance writer, poet, translator, musician, and a tutor and mentor for children.