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To The Editor

Hey, Thanks, Hassanal. You’re a gentlemean and a scholar, as they say. Happy New Year, if it’s not too late to wish you one. May 2011 be the best ever.

Tino Villanueva, Boston
Feb 5, 2011

Dear Hassanal,
Thank you so much for the latest, more and more professional issue of Shabdaguchha.

I am delighted to see how well you provided a printed tribute to Aleksey, the first so far, with such friends as Maria Mazziotti Gillan, too, included in it, on an incidental basis.
There are some minor flaws and one major one:
1. You misspelled my name in your editorial: Stanly—>Stanley.
Nothing to get excited about.
2. I misspelled a word in my tribute: Fragmant—Fragrant.
Also nothing to get excited about.
3. And this is more significant: You insisted on footnoting a different birth year for Aleksey and repeated the mistake in his bio, when I sent you a corrected bio, despite our telephone conversation about this. And you omitted (1976-2010) from the title of my piece. Hassanal, when I tell you something about something as significant as this, you must show me the respect of honoring my statement. I didn't make this change in his birth year lightly. I was given this information from his very best Russian friend, Mark Polyakov, who spoke with Aleksey's mother about this. Do you think his mother doesn't know the year of Aleksey's birth?! It's no big deal that you have printed this in a way that brings into question my ability to accurately provide significant facts. What IS significant is that you question my judgment, my assurances, and that impacts on your respect or lack of respect for me.

Regarding this issue, I'd like to buy some more copies to send to those who are mentioned in it (or we could swap some copies of Breath of Bengal, whichever you prefer). We can do this on Sunday, January 16, at the Literary Tribute, at which time I hope you would read one of the poems of Aleksey's you've published in Shabdaguchha, or a translation of one of his poems, should you care to do it. To repeat myself, although the Literary Tribute is not for commercial purposes, I still think it would be good for you to bring enough copies for possible purchase by those who honor Aleksey's memory; and do think that supporting you magazine, in view of your generous first printed tribute to Aleksey should be acknowledged in this manner.

All good wishes to you and Seamon and Ekok, and belated Happy Birthday! to both of the latter. With appreciation,

Stanley H. Barkan
Dec 31, 2010

Dear Hassanal,
Thanks for the reply—and the idea of mentioning the Poet To Poet shows (that we're currently putting up at YouTube) in the next Shabdagucha. That's very kind of you. It takes about two hours to digitize and re-master each show, put on the new credits, cut it into two short segments, and render it as a video file. Then, to finally uploading it to YouTube can take another two hours—but we really feel the shows come off well, considering that they were done on VHS and in the early 1990's. I'm expecting that we'll get to all the videos eventually, but at this point—and since the several cartons filled with the old VHS tapes are up at Bob's place in CT—we'll have to upload them as Bob pulls them out of the boxes. We're trying to not favor any P2P featured guest over another—I could ask him to look for your tape (you featured with Irene Mallinger, wasn't it?) but he's been basically asking me to NOT make him locate any individual tapes because there's too many cartons of tapes, and it's a bit of a hassle for him to find any one particular tape among them. Nevertheless, I'll mention that you're hoping he finds your tape—if he has extra time, maybe he'll locate it. Then again, I might be going up to CT in the next month or so —if I do, I'll try to find it for you, so we can work on it sooner, rather than later. It's just that there are a lot of boxes with a lot of tapes in each one.... Warm regards, as always,

Leigh Harrison
Feb 4, 2011

Shabdaguchha, an International Bilingual Poetry Journal, edited by Hassanal Abdullah