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definition - Andrei_Codrescu

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Andrei Codrescu

  Andrei Codrescu

Andrei Codrescu is a Romanian-born American poet, novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and commentator for National Public Radio.[1] He was Mac Curdy Distinguished Professor of English at Louisiana State University from 1984 until his retirement in 2009.



Born as Andrei Perlmutter on December 20, 1946 in Sibiu, Romania, he published his first poems in the Romanian language under the pen name Andrei Steiu. In 1965 he left the country to escape from the communist regime. After time in Italy, he emigrated to the United States in 1966, and settled in Detroit where he became a regular at John Sinclair’s Artists and Writers’ Workshop. A year later he moved to New York where he became part of the literary scene on the Lower East Side. There he met Allen Ginsberg, Ted Berrigan, and Anne Waldman, and published his first poems in English.

In 1970, his poetry book, License to Carry a Gun, won the "Big Table Award". He moved to San Francisco in 1970, and lived on the West Coast for seven years, four of those in Monte Rio, a Sonoma County town on the Russian River. He also lived in Baltimore (where he taught at Johns Hopkins University), New Orleans and Baton Rouge, publishing a book every year, and actively participating in literary life by writing poetry, stories, essays and reviews for many publications, including The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Harper's, and the Paris Review. He had regular columns in The Baltimore Sun, the City Paper, Architecture, Funny Times, Gambit Weekly, and Neon. He has been a regular commentator on National Public Radio’s news program, All Things Considered, since 1983. He won the 1995 Peabody Award for the film Road Scholar, an American road saga that he wrote and starred in, and is a two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize. He has been called “one of our most magical writers” by The New York Times.

In 1989, Codrescu's coverage of the Romanian Revolution of 1989 for National Public Radio and ABC NewsNightline, was critically acclaimed, and his renewed interest in Romanian language and literature led to new work written in Romanian, including “Miracle and Catastrophe”, a book-length interview conducted by the theologian Robert Lazu, and “The Forgiven Submarine”, an epic poem written in collaboration with poet Ruxandra Cesereanu, which won the 2008 Romania Radio Cultural award. His books were translated into Romanian by Ioana Avadani, Ioana Ieronim, Carmen Firan, Rodica Grigore, and Lacrimioara Stoie. In 2005 he was awarded the prestigious international Ovidius Prize (also known as the Ovid Prize), previous winners of which include Mario Vargas Llosa, Amos Oz, and Orhan Pamuk.

In 1981, Codrescu became a naturalized citizen of the United States. He is the editor and founder of the online journal Exquisite Corpse, a journal of “books and ideas”. He reigned as King of the Krewe du Vieux for the 2002 New Orleans Mardi Gras season. He has two children, Lucian and Tristan, from his marriage to Alice Henderson, and is currently married to Laura Cole.

  Chronological Publications List


  • 2011: Whatever Gets You through the Night: A Story of Sheherezade and the Arabian Entertainments (Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-1-4008-3801-1)
  • 2010: The Poetry Lesson (Princeton University Press)
  • 2009: The Posthuman Dada Guide: Tzara and Lenin Play Chess (Princeton University Press)
  • 2008: Jealous Witness: New Poems (with a CD by the New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars) (Coffee House Press)
  • 2007: Submarinul iertat, with Ruxandra Cesereanu. A long collaborative poem, Timişoara, Romania: Editura Brumar. Translated into English by Andrei Codrescu, as “The Forgiven Submarine,” published by Black Widow Press in 2009.
  • 2007: Femeia neagră a unui culcuş de hoţi, Bucharest: Editura Vinea. An art-book of early poetry recovered via the Rare Books collection at Emory University.
  • 2006: New Orleans, Mon Amour: Twenty Years of Writing from the City, New York and Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books. Essays, stories.
  • 2006: Miracol şi catastrofă: Dialogues in Cyberspace with Robert Lazu, Timişoara, Romania: Editura Hartman. A book-length interview in Romanian.
  • 2004: Wakefield: a novel New York and Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books.
  • 2003: It Was Today: New Poems Minneapolis: Coffee House Press
  • 2002: Casanova in Bohemia, a novel New York: The Free Press
  • 2001: An Involuntary Genius in America’s Shoes (and What Happened Afterwards) Santa Rosa: Black Sparrow Press, Re-issue of The Life & Times of an Involuntary Genius, 1976, and In America’s Shoes, 1983, with new forward and coda-essay..
  • 2000: The Devil Never Sleeps & Other Essays. New York: St. Martin’s Press. Essays.
  • 2000: Poezii alese/Selected Poetry, bi-lingual edition, English and Romanian Bucharest: Editura Paralela 45. Poetry.
  • 1999: A Bar in Brooklyn: Novellas & Stories, 1970-1978 Santa Rosa: Black Sparrow Press.
  • 1999: Messiah, a novel. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  • 1999: Hail Babylon! Looking for the American City at the End of the Millennium. New York: St. Martin's Press 1999, New York and London: Picador, 1999. Essays.
  • 1999: Ay, Cuba! A Socio-Erotic Journey. With photographs by David Graham. New York: St. Martin's Press, New York and London: Picador. Travel/Essay.
  • 1997: The Dog With the Chip in His Neck: Essays from NPR & Elsewhere. New York: St. Martin's Press, New York and London: Picador.
  • 1996: Alien Candor: Selected Poems, 1970-1995 Santa Rosa: Black Sparrow Press.
  • 1995: The Muse Is Always Half-Dressed in New Orleans. New York: St. Martin's Press. New York and London: Picador,1996. Essays.
  • 1995: The Blood Countess, a novel. New York: Simon & Schuster. New York: Dell.
  • 1995: Zombification: Essays from NPR. New York: St. Martin's Press. New York and London: Picador.
  • 1994: The Repentance of Lorraine, a novel. New York: Rhinoceros Books. Reprint with new introduction of 1976 Pocketbooks edition by “Ames Claire”)
  • 1993: Belligerence, poems. Minneapolis: Coffee House Press.
  • 1993: Road Scholar: Coast to Coast Late in the Century, with photographs by David Graham. A journal of the making of the movie Road Scholar. New York: Hyperion.
  • 1991: The Hole in the Flag: a Romanian Exile's Story of Return and Revolution (New York: Morrow. New York: Avon.
  • 1991: Comrade Past and Mister Present, poetry Minneapolis: Coffee House Press.
  • 1990: The Disappearance of the Outside: a Manifesto for Escape. Boston: Addison-Wesley Co.1990; reissued by Minneapolis: Ruminator Press, 2001, with new essay)
  • 1989: At the Court of Yearning: Poems by Lucian Blaga, translation of Romania's modern poet. Columbus: Ohio State University Press.
  • 1988: A Craving for Swan, essays. Columbus: Ohio State University Press.
  • 1987: Monsieur Teste in America & Other Instances of Realism, stories. Minneapolis: Coffee House Press.
  • 1987: Raised by Puppets Only to Be Killed by Research Boston: Addison-Wesley.
  • 1983: In America’s Shoes San Francisco: City Lights.
  • 1983: Selected Poems 1970-1980 New York: Sun Books.
  • 1982: Necrocorrida, poems. San Francisco: Panjandrum Books.
  • 1979: The Lady Painter, poems. Boston: Four Zoas Press.
  • 1978: For the Love of a Coat, poems. Boston: Four Zoas Press.
  • 1975: The Life & Times of an Involuntary Genius, memoir. New York: George Braziller.
  • 1974: The Marriage of Insult & Injury. Poems. Woodstock: Cymric Press.
  • 1973: The History of the Growth of Heaven, poems. New York: George Braziller.
  • 1973: A Serious Morning, poems. Santa Barbara: Capra Press.
  • 1971: Why I Can’t Talk on the Telephone, stories San Francisco: kingdom kum press.
  • 1970: license to carry a gun, poems. Big Table Poetry Award. Chicago: Big Table/Follet. Reprinted by Pittsburgh: Carnegie-Mellon University Press.

Note: Most of the fiction, poetry, and several of the essay books were published in translation in Romanian, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Greek, Czech, Slovak, and Russian.


  • 1983-1997 Exquisite Corpse: a Journal of Books and Ideas
  • 1997-2011 corpse.org, the online version
  • 2009-2011: The Exquisite Corpse Annual

  Anthologies Edited

  • 2000: Thus Spake the Corpse: an Exquisite Corpse Reader 1988-1998. Volume Two, Fictions, Travels, and Translations. Co-edited with Laura Rosenthal, Santa Barbara: Black Sparrow Press.
  • 1999: Thus Spake the Corpse: an Exquisite Corpse Reader 1988-1998. Volume One, Poetry and Essays. Co-edited with Laura Rosenthal, Santa Barbara: Black Sparrow Press.
  • 1996: American Poets Say Goodbye to the 20th Century. Co-edited with Laura Rosenthal, New York: 4 Walls/8 Windows Press.
  • 1988: American Poetry Since 1970: Up Late. New York: 4 Walls/8 Windows Press.
  • 1990: The Stiffest of the Corpse: an Exquisite Corpse Reader, 1983-1990. San Francisco: City Lights Books.

  Controversial comments

On the December 19, 1995, broadcast of All Things Considered, Codrescu reported that some Christians believe in a "rapture" and 4 million believers will ascend to Heaven immediately. He continued, "The evaporation of 4 million who believe this crap would leave the world an instantly better place."[2]

NPR subsequently apologized for Cordrescu's comments, saying, "Those remarks offended listeners and crossed a line of taste and tolerance that we should have defended with greater vigilance."[3][4]


  1. ^ John J. O'Connor (March 20, 1995). "TELEVISION REVIEW; Romanian Kerouac Is Back". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1995/03/20/arts/television-review-romanian-kerouac-is-back.html. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  2. ^ "NPR apologizes for Codrescu's remark that 'crossed a line of tolerance'". Washington, D.C.: [[Current (newspaper)|]]. 1996-01-15. 
  3. ^ "NPR replies to 40,000 complaints about Codrescu broadcast". Washington, D.C.: [[Current (newspaper)|]]. 1996-05-27. 
  4. ^ "Andrei Codrescu". NPR. 2010. Archived from the original on 26 October 2010. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=2100359. Retrieved 2010-10-22. 

Olson, Kirby. Andrei Codrescu and the Myth of America (McFarland Press, 2006). A book-length study of Andrei Codrescu and his work. Includes five interviews with Codrescu and a scholarly chapter by a Romanian professor about Codrescu from the Romanian perspective.

  External links



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