Gerrit Lansing (1928-2018): CRYSTALS OF TIMES

Gerrit Lansing (1928-2018): CRYSTALS OF TIMES

A film by:
Nicole Peyrafitte
Pierre Joris & Miles Joris-Peyrafitte
Runtime: 33″07′
2024 Version (footage from November 2012 & June 2013)

In 2012 Pierre Joris & I had the idea of making a short film about Gerrit Lansing & his work. We went up to Gloucester that November 2012 to visit Gerrit who welcomed the idea. We started documenting. Then in June 2013 we came back with much better equipment & with our son Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, who was then a film student at Bard College. We put together an early draft of the film, but realized there wasn’t enough material to make a feature documentary. We would need to come back to shoot more.

Gerrit saw a rough cut and he thought it wasn’t crazy enough! So there was more filming & thinking to do. But we were never able to get around to it as life scattered the three of us in many directions …Then Gerrit’s passed in 2018 & the project went dormant until we decided to come & spend some time in Gloucester this May (2024). We had not returned to Gloucester since Gerrit’s memorial. 

Because this place and its people always gave so much to us, we didn’t want to come back empty-handed. It was time to share what we had.  Though we realize the footage we have is not adequate to make a proper documentary, we think these recordings will be valuable to Gerrit’s friends, to scholars, & to poetry aficionados.

The footage above, Crystals of Times, is all from 2012 & 2013 & contains mostly readings by Gerrit of his poetry.
 It was shot at a number of his favorite places in & around Gloucester and includes footage of a reading he gave while visiting Thorpe Feidt in his studio, with some fascinating banter between Thorpe & Gerrit.

While in Gloucester we decided to screen the footage I had reworked from the 2012/2013 visits, while also sharing  a few videos of memorabilia from 2001, a slide-show of photos of Gerrit’s house from 2012 & 13, and Pierre would read the opening of his essay on Gerrit. You will find all this material on this page.

We deeply thank Jim Dunn for organizing the first screening of Crystals of Time at Paul Cary Goldberg’s studio; we are very grateful to Jim & Paul for setting up this event so efficiently & generously. We thank all who came, both old friends & new aficionados whose reception was so heartwarming & confirmed that this material was worth sharing & circulating. We also thank John & Cecilia for welcoming us at their/Gerrit’s house, Caleb Murphy for opening the archives of Hammond Castle & David Rich for writing a beautiful obit on the Gloucester Times that we used as biographical info in the film.

Below are additional materials we showed at the screening, plus Pierre’s complete essay on Gerrit (he read only a short section that evening). This page will evolve as we process more material from our archives.

Gerrit Lansing’s spirit runs deep in all those he has touched in person or through his poetry. We will always sense his aura upon us. 

Footage shot when Pierre Joris & Nicole Peyrafitte came to visit Gerrit in the summer of 2001: Nicole had recently gotten a video camera, was still learning, so it is not very good quality but we think it has some sentimental value, as least for us! & also good info.
The 4 sections are:
1: Gloucester Beach
2: Plumb Island
3: Visit to Olson’s grave
4: Dogtown Commons with Joe Torra & Patrick Doud & a quick shot of the dinner with the same + Amanda & James Cook

Slide show of Gerrit’s house 2012

Screening at Paul Cary Goldberg’s studio.
Photographs Jim Dunn
Gloucester, MA, 05/22/2024

New Film Trailer & Upcoming Travels

New Film Trailer & Upcoming Travels

Above is the trailer of my latest film:
Directed by Nicole Peyrafitte
RUN TIME: 57:43 m
A filmmaker invites 4 characters for a 5-day visit to Bagnères-de-Luchon, the once-upon-a-time famous and fashionable spa town in the French Pyrenees. The four visitors are Eric Sarner, a poet, translator and broadcaster born in Algeria, now living in Berlin; his wife Katalin Pataki, a Hungarian-born librarian — they met when both lived in Uruguay; and Yuko Otomo, a poet and visual artist born and raised in Japan, who lives in New York with her husband, Brooklyn-born poet, visual artist and jazz critic Steve Dalachinsky. The film follows this group of real-life characters as they are prompted to react to a daily itinerary of (old folklore) events, mysterious (burial) places, excursions, and locals revealing — or not — the connections to the many layers of the town’s and the filmmaker’s history. Can Karl Marx’s grandchild and swing era jazz violinist Michel Warlop meet? Can four languages find each other over lunch and be the talk of the town? Who is buried in what grave? Where did that wedding ring roll? Is he a real shepherd and who is riding on the one (town) horse? What is a better clue: a prehistoric cave or a Spanish border town? Jump on the train and ride that line: Things Fall Where They Lie, and not the other way around.

MAY 26-27
in the Black Mountains of Wales Glasfryn, Llangattock, Powys
Pierre Joris
Charles Olson now.
Nicole Peyrafitte
Basil King: Mirage. A film directed by Nicole Peyrafitte, co-directed by Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, starring Basil King.
Full program: here

JUNE 6-10
Marché de la Poésie
Nicole’s new book Land0scape out with éditions Plaine Page
Reading/Signature TBA

JULY 20-28
Festival Les Voix Vives de Méditerranée

Details TBA, but both Pierre Joris & Nicole Peyrafitte will present daily performance/readings
More info: here

Happy Trails!

Happy Trails!


A Happy New Year to Y’all! May the force of health & creativity be with you!

        Given our family’s nomadic proclivities, permit us a little résumé of ‘15 & a preview of ‘16 as we are readying ourselves to drive to Boise, ID at dawn on the New Year’s first morning. (We will therefore, sadly, not be able to take part in the 2016 annual Poetry Project Marathon readin’ & eatin’ fest for the first time in many years.)

     2015 started with a late January trip for readings & performances to Israel & Palestine, that took us into February, followed in March by a trip to the West Coast, then in April we were in  Minneapolis and after a few weeks home in Bay Ridge we lit out for two months in Alt Europa, specifically the South of France: Nicole had a show of her artwork in the Galerie Edouard Paradis in Marseilles, then at the May/June cusp a literary festival “Les Eauditives” in Barjol to celebrate the publishing of the French edition of Bi-Valve by Plaine Page, followed in early June by a collaborative performance at the “Jardin des 5 sens et des Formes Premières” in Aix-en-Provence, followed in turn by readings in Paris around the marché de la Poésie. 

      On 30 June we landed back in Nueva York & five days later flew off to Durango, Mexico to the Encuentro Internacional de “Escritores José Revueltas,” to celebrate the publication of Pierre’s Mawqif: Poemas y ensayos (Selected poems & essays). We then happily spent the remainder of the summer here with moult visits to Coney Island beaches.

Above is a 4 minutes résumé of Nicole & Pierre’s summer

    Pierre would fly off to Paris & Luxembourg in early September to get to work on the first of his shows as resident author of the Luxembourg National Theater— a show that premiered in early late October to excellent notices form the Luxembourg media. Meanwhile Nicole had also returned to Europe & we both did readings and talks at the University of Mulhouse, and in late October a joint reading in Toulouse under the aegis of our good friend Serge Pey. It was fun once again reading in the Cave Poésie a place we had worked in many years earlier.

    Nicole had already spent a few weeks in October in Luchon in pre-production of Things Fall Where They Lie a film she then shot during the first ten days of November: an amazing, tiring, inspiring experience with Nicole as director & Pierre as gofer & an excellent team including Steve Dalachinsky & Yuko Otomo, Eric Sarner and Katalin Pataki as protagonists and crew including Asa Westcott, Zia Anger,  Agnès Mathon, Jean-Louis Peyrafitte & in co production with Ecran Sud. While Nicole stayed in Luchon for an extra week to wrap things up, Pierre went off to Paris to be interviewed for a film on Osip Mandelstam & Paul Celan & was thus in that City on Friday 13. We flew back to New York on the 22nd. Also in 2015 Nicole had great the opportunity to perform with Michael Bisio, Connie Crothers, Steve Swell, Jason Hwang, Trio Erms, Denis Brun, Armoire Normande, Yoshiko Chuma. And we are now preparing our 4-months move to Boise Idaho. 

    2016 Preview:  At BSU Nicole will be teaching two courses, on on food and culture called What Do We Eat? Why Do We Eat It? Where Does It Come From? How Do We Cook It? & another one: Poetry Perfromance Practice, while Pierre teaches a grad seminar on poetry & poetics. We have already done out best to surround us with friends: in early February Jerry & Diane Rothenberg will be coming in to go to both our seminars & for Jerry to do a talk & reading; in late March Habib Tengour will come in from Paris for a 2-day conference Pierre is organizing around Arab literature & translation (More details t..b.a.).

    While Nicole will be off to the Coast at some point for performance & readings, Pierre will be doing a talk & reading at the U of Oklahoma in March or April. We will both be performing at The New Orleans Poetry Festival on April 16.

Meanwhile, son Miles, who finished his first feature film, As You Are, in November, on which his brother Joseph is producer & post-production editor, had the film accepted at the Sundance Festival in the US drama section competition. We will drive down to Park City from Boise to witness the premiere on January 25. 


    During the first week of May we will drive back (the Northern route through the Dakotas) to Nueva York, where after 10 days or so we’ll switch suitcases and then Pierre will be off to Luxembourg for work on the second play, a 3-act drama, that will premiere at the LNT on 14 June, while Nicole will wing it to Luchon where she has a one month one-woman show of her art plus performances June1-30. Après, on verra… Home in Bay Ridge would, we are sure, feel very, very welocme by then. dreaming of Coney Island beaches…

    Don’t worry, the car has been perfectly winterized, fitted out with 4 brand-new Michelin all-weather tires. We will of course keep you updated on the various twists our paths will take in 2016. We are planning to give updates of the road trip on Facebook/Blogs/Instagram….follow us!

   Bona anada, feliz anno nuevo, bonne année, e schei’nt neit Jo’er, a nappy ewe’s ear, & however else you want to say it,

Pierre & Nicole

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