I would like to respond to the posts of Lawrence Venuti and Charles Bernstein on the "foreign" in the "office of the translator", as a poet, translator and foreigner in any English-language office. And also as one of the co-founders of this blog.
The word "exchange" in the title of this blog should be interpreted, in my opinion, as referring to "a place where poetry and poetics are exchanged", i.e. "offered, given, or received". The vehicle used for the offering is, for practical reasons, the English language. The very word "international" indicates that the activities are "reaching beyond national boundaries".
The aim of this initiative is not being an "Anglocentric" or "US" site. On the contrary. It searches as much "for modernist and postmodernist poetries" in the English language as it does in other languages.
The contributions to this blog are, up to now, for a not inconsiderable part from non-native English speakers. Only a third of the visitors is from the US.
Personally, when I'm reading this blog - or for that matter looking for interesting material to translate - I'm not after "resemblance, sameness, in poetic traditions and situations", the opposite is true, I'm searching for "poetic traditions and situations" that differ from those in The Netherlands. Out of curiosity, inquisitiveness? I don't know, but the desire is there.
And of course, foreign poetry is often unfamiliar, and "invention", in this context, only a relative notion, depending on the readers background - i.e. on his or her knowledge of foreign and native poetry - and the readers point of view. Poetry that is "inventive" within the framework of its own "poetic tradition" might be "out of date" within the scope of another, foreign "poetic tradition". Or the other way round.
"Invention" here is not necessarily pointing to a contrivance originated after experiment, but also to a, often personally, discovery of differences between familiar and foreign poetry and poetics. My own poetry is unmistakable influenced by the translations I've done.
On the other hand, a blog like this, also reveals, as Charles indicates, similarities between "homegrown" and foreign poetry and poetics, sometimes even totally unexpected.
Openness to foreignness, free from prejudices, is, to me, crucial in the concept of "invention as a voyage of discovery", that, above all, is a very personal trip.