Half a century ago, when I was living in Buffalo, N.Y., having labored for a PhD in Modern American Poetry, I launched a “little magazine” (as we called them back then) The Niagara Magazine, that I edited and published for eight years.

The Premier Issue, Summer 1974, an exemplar of my youthful “spirit of place” ethos, was devoted to Poets of Western New York and Ontario. The Canadian contingent included Joyce Carol Oates (at that time teaching at the University of Windsor), Greg Gatenby, and James Reaney; the Western New Yorkers rallied around Jerome Mazzaro, Judith Kerman — and Jerome Rothenberg, deeply remembered for his monumental anthology, Technicians of the Sacred, who passed away two weeks ago at his home in Encinitas, California.

When I met Rothenberg, and he kindly offered me (…fledgling editor) a portion of his new poem in process, Seneca Journal, he was living with his wife, Diane, an anthropologist, and son, Matthew, on the Allegany Indian Reservation in Salamanca, Cattaraugus County, New York, about sixty miles due South of Buffalo, and, with Dennis Tedlock, was masterminding Alcheringa, the original journal of ethnopoetics, “poetry from Indigenous and other non-Western cultures, often rendered in ways very different from the strictly textual, including oral, performance, ritual and myth,” as Clay Risen writes in today’s New York Times.

Through his entire career, Jerome Rothenberg advocated, with Whitmanesque passion, that “we see a greater range of poetry in places and cultures distant from us.”

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