English 262

The Expanded Field of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E
contemporary North American poetry after 1975

(charles.bernstein @ english.upenn.edu)
Spring 2016
T/Th 3-4:30


Key E-Resouces:
Penn Library poertry guide
EPC Digital Library
Gale Literature Resource Center  
Literary Encyclopedia
Princeton Encylopedia of Poetry and Poetics 2012 edn
Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics 1993 edn
Twentieth-Century American Poetry

Required Books at Penn Book Center
Norton Anthology of Postmodern Poetry, ed. Paul Hoover (2d edn) (NPM): TOC
Elizabeth Willis, Alive: New & Selected
Bob Perelman, Iflife
Patricia Spears Jones: A Lucent Fire Selected
Charles Bernstein, All the Whiskey in Heaven

Digital Books:
Lyn Hejinian, My Life|
Douglas Messerli, From the Other Side of the Century (FOSC)

visitors Spring 2015:
Elizabeth Wills
Nick Thurstan
Patricia Speares Jones
Li Zhimin

Bob Perelman


The first thing to do is
subscribe to the course Discussion list (via Google groups): wreading
email to list: re-wreading -- @ -- sas.upenn.edu

•The second thing to do is
to pick three poets for which you will be the respondent. Two classes before the chosen poet is on the syllabus, send one or two quetions for class discussion.

My intro the course
note: some of these require the password I send by email, not PennKey

The Expanded Field of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E

"Abosorption" entry for the Princeton Encl. Poetry/Poetics: pdf
further reading (optional): Artifice of Absorption
"Language Sampler
The Paris Review, Number 86 (Winter, 1982)

43 Poets (1984)

special issue of boundary 2

"Further Reading" on poetics for "The Practice of Poetics"

American Poetry after 1975, boundary 2

boundary 2 feature on race & innovation, ed. Dawn Lundy Martin
(Volume 42, Number 4,  November 2015)


This syllabus is a work in progress and subject to change.

N.B. Alan Golding on the Messerli anthology a few years back: "... as a start I'd point to the title, "A New American Poetry"--with emphasis on the "A." In that title, Douglas was calling up the title of Donald Allen's massively influential The New American Poetry 1945-1960 (featuring all those crucial poets from the 1974 Stony Brook that you mention) and (1) investigating what happened next with the multifarious lines of possibility adumbrated in Allen's anthology; (2) asserting something like an alternative "tradition" (two terms--alternative, tradition--both of which obviously bear scrutiny). The goal is to represent particular lines, affiliations, developments, etc. in so-called experimental US American poetry, not to be inclusive or try to represent the range of practices that mark any given historical moment. The non-inclusion of, for instance, brilliant (as far as I'm concerned) poets like Rich and Lorde is explained by the fact that they come from very different lines (pun partly intended) from those that the anthology intends to represent. The anthology was part of a mid-1990s anthological reassessment / revisiting of the Allen anthology that includes Eliot Weinberger's *Outsiders* (hope I remember that title right) and the first edition of Hoover's *Postmodern American Poetry*. I for one think a lot of the choices in Douglas' anthology are interestingly independent and unpredictable--blessedly unaligned with the pieties of the "tradition" that he's partly representing--and I've always regretted its long-term non-availability. OK--sorry if that sounds as longwinded and pedantic as I fear it does."

1. (Jan. 14) Intro

2.(Jan. 19)
Aram Saroyan & Robert Smithson (Back to 1960s I)
as possible by now: but intoductory readings, listed above under "My Intro to the Course," but esp. "Expanded Field" [use psswd given in Welcome email!), which serves as a kind of introductory lecture for the seminar.
Robert Smithson, "A Heap of Language" (1966); commentary by Richard Sieburth

Aram Saroyan (Random House, 1968)

further reading (as time permits):
Pages (Random House, 1969)
Cloth: An Electric Novel (Big Table, 1971)

extensions: the Saroyan NEA scandal
Futher reading (optional):
this work opens onto a more extensive international movement in visual and concrete poetry form the 1950s and 1960s, as well as the "minimalist" poetry of Grenier and Coolidge and to the visual art movement of this name (Carl Andre, Richard Tuttle)
d.a. levy (1942-1968), Tibetan Stoboscope (1968); about this work; more works
Carl Andre poems: Map of Poetry, "now now" (1967), Sackner collection,
 Andrea Rosen (scroll down)
resondent (Saroyan): Marcos

Wreading assingments this week and after:
As a general rule, try to imitate the poems read either in form or style: make poems with similar structures or apply the strutcure to a pre-existing text (another poem from the syllabus; see wreading experiments). For this week, try to write imitations of the poems.

Journal response for this week: If this kind of material is new to you, comment on your initial reactions: anything you like or dislike, both specific and general. Of the poems in the introductory reading or by Saroyan: again, at first reading, what poems did you like best/least (or would you not make your response to specific sections of the work but to the work overall)? Why? Then try it out on Saroyan or d.a. levy or Smithson. Contrast Saroyan and Smithson (or levy). What happens when so much empahsis is placed on the visual arrangement of language? What is the relation to adverstings, graphic design, and visual art? Saroyan, Grenier, and Coolidge are not usually viewed as visual or concrete poets, if you know about visual/concrete: why?
Try the Poem Profiler as a self-test, if you have not used this before. In other words, run it on your own general preferences.

3. (Jan. 21)
Clark Coolidge
NPM & FOSC (567) read selection in the Hoover and Messerli anthologies, page number in FOSC is usually given, though not there is an index at back)
Coolidge Gale intro (by Bruce Campbell)
My 1978 essay on early Coolidge
PennSound page
from Code of Signals, from Notebooks 1976-1982 (pp. 43-56)
EPC Coolidge page selected:
from Space, from The Maintains, from Polaroid, from Own Face, from American One, from Mine: The One That Enters the Stories, from The Crystal Text, and from At Egypt
from Quartz Hearts
Further reading: many full text books from EPC and Eclipse linked at EPC page, various essays linked at EPC page.
•What is the vocalary of The Maintains and Poloroid (what part of speech are used). How does he use this to create sonic rhythms in these works? What (or where) is the "meaning" here?
•Discuss Coolidge's conception of "Arrangement"
•How does Coolidge use the line break versus prose format in his work?

•Compare Coolidge to Saroyan in terms of thier quasi-minimalist aesethic (in early Coolidge anyway).
•Cooidge use formal procedures and vocabulary and imporovidaiton to fashion poems. Contrast to Hill's juxtoposition/collage of imporivsing performers. One on the page, the other off?

Money (1985) by Henry Hills
: Contexts of art
PDF of the book related to the movie
Hills at PennSound

Money (1985) is a manic collage film from the mid-80s when it still seemed that Reaganism of the soul could be defeated. Filmed primarily on the streets of Manhattan for the ambient sounds and movements and occasional pedestrian interaction to create a rich tapestry of swirling colors and juxtaposed architectural spaces in deep focus and present the intense urban overflowing energy that is experience living here. MONEY is thematically centered around a discussion of economic problems facing avant-garde artists. Discussion, however, is fragmented into words and phrases and reassembled into writing. Musical and movement phrases are woven through this conversation to create an almost operatic composition. Give me money! Starring: John Zorn, Diane Ward, Carmen Vigil, Susie Timmons, Sally Silvers, Ron Silliman, James Sherry, Peter Hall, David Moss, Mark Miller, Christian Marclay, Arto Lindsay, Pooh Kaye, Fred Frith, Alan Davies, Tom Cora, Jack Collom, Yoshiko Chuma, Abigail Child, Charles Bernstein, Derek Bailey, and Bruce Andrews.
More information on the film

Wreading: try to transcribe segments of the soudtrack of the Hills film. Write a work in the style of Coolidge.

4. (Jan. 26)
Tuli Kupferberg (1923-2010): (Back to the 1960s II)
TK obit
Kupferg is from the prevous generation in terms of the other poets in this course. Included here to provide some context for other work presented. For context see English 288.
"Morning" -- Fugs performance (with text); text
1001 Ways to Beat the Draft (1966)
Kupferberg on PennSound
From No Deposit / No Return (1966) (on PennSound): Social Studies, Hidden Dissuaders, Lifetime Guarantee, Purina, No Deposit / No Return
Kupferberg frames each of the spoken word pieces in No Deposit, No Return as poems, by imaginary poets. Why? How abut 1000 Ways to Beat the Draft: what changes when that is viewed as a poem rather than prose satire. Are these works ironic, satiric, political, formal? What poetic forms are used?What is the politics? What is the relation of the politics to the form. Discuss "Morning."
Wreading: write your own poem realted to these.

5 (Jan. 28)
Ron Silliman
and Bruce Andrews
PROLOGUE for Silliman and Bruce Andrews: Mario Savio's 1964 speech, Berkeley"free speech" movement:


Ron Silliman@EPC
NPM (Norton Postmodern) & FOSC (From the Other Side of the Century)
PennSound: LINEbreak interview
Tom Marhall DLB/Gale intro; Poetry Fdn bio
"Disappearance of the Word, Appearance of the World": read; print (L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Supp. #3 via Eclipse)
Ketjak: pdf download, web doc (first section of The Age of Huts or buy full book from UC Press or read rest at EPC)
star"Sitting Up, Standing, Taking Steps" (Tuumba, 1978)
"The New Sentence"


Bruce Andrews @EPC
starfrom I Don't Have Any Paper So Shut UP from FOSC: pdf
PMP, FOSC (1056)
PennSound: LINEbreak interview & transcript
The Poetics of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E (2001)

"Love Song" #116 (mid-1970s)
Film Noir (1978): sample a few pages ...
Jeopardy (Awede, 1980)
from Live at the Ear: "I Knew the Signs by Their Tents" (1988): (5:43)  text & mp3
The Millennium Project (c. 1990): sample a few pages ...
Mistaken Identity: #1 & #4 (The East Village, 2001)

Discussion: Is there any connection that you can sense between Mario Savio's "Free Speech Movement" speech (clip above) and the work of these poets? Does the work of these two poets open up or require different approaches to reading than other writing (poetry or prose)? If so, detail. Andrews has written very long works, for example The Millennium Project: what does this scale suggest about readability: does is encourage you to read in different ways or does it test the limits of the readable? Ketjak is structured around each paragraph doubling the number of sentences from the previous paragraph and including all the words from that paragraph: how does knowing this affect your reading? What is your reaction to this kind of programmatic form? Jeopardy has an alphabetic arrangement: how does this effect your reading? Discuss and compare the essay styles of the two poets and comment/respond on their essays: what do you agree with most or least? These are both white male writers; how is this (if it is) reflected in their work; is this significant for a reading of their work?
Wreading: Try writing a work in any of the styles of one of these poems. Sample and recombine the poems to make a new work. Use material from Andrews to created a Silliman poem and vice versa (eg compose a Jeopardy-like work with words from Silliman). Procedural form (writing a poem according to some prescribed numeric pattern): try for example a Fibonacci (cf.  Silliman’s Tjanting): 1,1,2,3,5 to construct the units of a poem: words, phrases, lines, sentences. Invent new material or use anthologies for source texts. The Andrews System: Use a small cut-up blank pages or pad or memo book; over the week, write down from a couple of words to at most a couple of phrases on each page. Shuffle the pages to lose any temporal sequence. From the results, compose a poem.

6. (Feb. 2)
Gil Scott-Heron and The Last Poets
Gil Scott-Heron (1949-2011) (NY Times obit)
audio for the first three here (protected)
text: The Revolution Will not Be Televised (c. 1970), Genius annotated lyrics & youtube audio (of earliest version played just over congos & bongo drums)
text: Winter in America & youtube video
text: Enough;   youtube
text: Paint It Black; mp3, youtube
text: Who’ll Pay Reparations on My Soul;   youtube
•Is this a song?: what is the difference?
•Compare each poet in terms of familiar language/unfamiliar language: give examples.
•Scott-Heron is a singer-songwriter, lyricist, poet? What sense does it make to include him with mostly text-based poets in this class? Is he a poet or a lyricist? How does his work resemble/influence later developments in hip-hop and rap?
•(Also much more Scott-Heron on Spotify etc.)

The Last Poets, "When the Revolution Comes" (c. 1970) : text and other info
Respondent: Ray

7, (Feb. 4)
Nuyorican poets
Willie Perdoma — "Nigger Reecan Blues" on Def Jam Poetry: YouTube
; text
Pedro Pietri, "Puerto Rican Obituary": YouTube,   & ealier;   text ; "Telephone Booth"
Mayda Del Valle, "Tongue Tactics": YouTube
Felipe Luciano, "Jibaro, My Pretty Nigger": YouTube & at Sing-Sing & text

Maggie Estep: "I"m an Emotional Idiot"

Compare The Last Poets to Scott-Heron, & the others to both of these. How do the politics of these poems hold up over time, how do any limitations or problems strike you (can there be aesthetic value as against political value)? Compare written texts to performances: is this a lyrics vs poem issue?

8. (Feb. 9)
Lyn Hejinian
NPM (poems and poetics) & FOSC (584) (eg: Norton Postmodern and Messerli anthologies)
Lyn Hejinian (EPC author page)
My Life (Green Integer digital edn)
Hejinian LINEbreak interview and PennSound page
Hejinian EPC page (note Eclipse links to digital books)
Intro to Hejinian by Juliana Spahr (note also Spahr on My Life) (via Gale Literature Resource Center)
"Rejection of Closure"

Wreading: Write 20 sentences realted to your life. Permuste in the manner of My Life.
Repondent: Martha

Tues. Feb. 9, 6pm MARGARET CHRISTAKOS poetry reading KWH
JULIANA SPAHR: Thursday, Feb. 11, 8:00 pm, Temple Center City Campus, room 222

9. Feb 11 Armantrout / Scalapino
Rae Armantrout
star"The View" "Processenional""The Way" (see also PoemTalk for "The Way")
my intro
PennSound, including Close Listening
NPM, FOSC (722)
EPC page
Poetry Foundation: lots of poems on this site
Poets.org poems
Repondent: Amanda S.

Leslie Scalapino

NPM (poems and poetics), FOSC (1044)
LINEbreak at PennSound and other audio
star"Bum Series"(from Way): audio
EPC page:
Lyn Hejinian and my memorial/intro essays
complete pdfs of early books
Scalapino on Whalen
Elizabeth Frost, DLB/Gale intro
Extensions: "Disbelief" (language poetry, the body, identity, innovation)
Respondent: Eleanor

Use poem profiler. Discuss the form of each poem. How does Scalapino approach the problem of homelessness. Try to write a poem in the manner of either poet.

Feb. 15 at 6:30pm: Samuel Delany at KWH: must rsvp: whfellow @ writing.upenn.edu

10. (Feb. 16)
Etheridge Knight / Lucille Clifton
Etheridge Knight: wiki, Poetry Fdn, poets.org, PennSound
Haiku (via LION at library e-resources as are other poems below)
starThe Warden Said to Me the Other Day; audio at PennSound
For Eric Dolphy; audio at PennSound
Con/tin/u/way/shun Blues
A Poem for Myself,audio at PennSound
resondent: Marcos (Knight)

Lucille Clifton --(poets.org)
starfrom Good Woman selected (pdf; psswd req):
from Good Times Tyrone/Willie,
pp. 38-45 (note: "Buffalo Soliders" are Arfican-American soldiers)
from Good News About the Earth -- "Heroes" (whole sequence), pp.
from An Ordinary Woman, pp. 111-129
extensions: The Book Of Light (1993) [via 20th century American poetry]

11. (Feb. 18)
Nick Thurston visit
beyond skimming items at the EPC page, read Histroia Absconditaa, from The Remove of Literature (which is just notes on a book with main text removed), poetics statment on conceptualismm, and collaborative history & practice of DIY.
Thurston just sent this pdf of an essay on conceptual poetry.
The class will consist of discussion with Nick. In addition to commentary post, send a few questions you plan to ask to list. Wreading: Do a work inspired by Thurston.

12. (Feb. 23)
Elizabetth Willis class visit
Willlis reads at KWH at 6
Alive, selected poems, at Penn Book Center
Close Listening interview and reading at Willis PennSound page
EPC page
The class will consist of discussion with WIllis. In addition to commentary post, send a few questions you plan to ask to list.

13. (Feb. 25)
Bernadette Mayer (EPC author page)
NPM & FOSC (689)
PennSound Close Listening interview and PennSound page
Mayer intro by Peter Baker (DLB): Access via Gale Literary Resources Center about Mayer
Memory (via Ecplipse) (read opening pages, as time permits)
Mid-Winter Day (via Twenthieth Century American Poetry e-site) (read opening pages, as time permits) (note: for all poems on this site: use "text" view to get rid of the line #s.
Respondent: Ray
Further optional readings: More Mayer at "Twentieth Century American Poetry" (via library e-recources), included her selected poems.
Nick Piombino: "Writing and Free Association" and "Writing and Self-Disclosure" in L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E #s 1 & 3.
Discussion: compare and contrast Hejinian's measured and programmatic vs Mayer's "free" associative style (as in Memory). Which is more personal? (warning: sophistical question).
Write an argument against Hejinian's view of closure.
Discuss the role of memory in Mayer and Hejinian.

Write an imaginary dialogue between Mayer and Hejinian.
Or, it's a classic of Eng. 111: do a "free write": write as fast as you can without thinking/analyzing/trying to direct thoughts for at least one hour.
Write down autobiographical fragments and order nonsequentially with repeats, as in My Life.

Serial sentences:  Select one sentence each from a variety of different books or other sources or from the anthologies.  Add sentences of your own composition.  Combine into one paragraph, reordering to produce the most interesting results.

14. (March 1)
M. NourbeSe Philip
Discourse on the Logic of Language; mp3
Zong: pdf; cf: introduction, #1, a few more pages
Repondent: Martha


15. (March 3)
Robert Grenier
FOSC (603)
•Grenier at PennSound:  Start with the two Close Listening Radio shows
•Sentences (complete) from Whale Cloth Press. In 2003, twenty-five years after its publication of the original edition of 500 boxed 5" x 8" index cards, Whale Cloth Press has made available a web-based version of this work. Before viewing: read the NOTE on the web version of this poem. Also see: image of the original box.
•"Rough" translations from Drawing/Poems, 2004
A conversation with Charles Bernstein (Jacket, 2008
Repondent: Amanda S.


SUSAN HOWE: Thursday, March 10, 8:00 pm, Temple Center City Campus, room 222

16. (March 15)
Susan Howe
star Thorow (1990) (pdf)
NPM (poems and poetics) & FOSC (275)
EPC page
PennSound, esp. LINEbreak program
Poetry Foundation
•if you can, go to March 10 reading and write a report
• how does Howe relate to the poets we have read so far?
Repondent: Martha

Tues, March 15, 6:30pm, Anne Tardos at KWH

17. (March 16)
Ted Greenwald

Makes Sense (pdf)
FOSC (620)
EPC: start with this selection
PennSound: start with Close Listening
Redpondent: Amanda S

18. (March 22)
Christian Bok
PennSound page: Note Close Listening show with Penn students
EPC Page and esp. on Xenotext

19. (March 24)
Sharon Mesmer, "Annoying Diebetic Bitch": youtube and text; PoemTalk: "I Accidentally Ate Some Chicken and Now I'm in Love with Harry Whittington" & in NPM
Drew Gardner, "Chicks Dig War": youtube & text; NPM (poems and poetics)
K. Silem Mohammad, Deer Head Nation and Sonnagram & in NPM
"The Flarf Files." See also: a negative view of Flarf & Jacket's Flarf feature
Further reading:
Marie Buck, Life & Style
Nada Gordan NPM
Gary Sullivan, "Hello and welcome to poetry phone..." (3:58). NPM
Respondent: Eleanor & Hannah

20. (March 29)
Harryette Mullen
and Will Alexander

Muse & Drudge (pdf, restricted)
if you were to buy a book of Mullen's start with Recyclopedia: Trimmings, S*PeRM**K*T, and Muse & Drudge, In any case read the first 6 poems of Trimmings and the intro on the Amazon preview.
Muse & Drudge excerpt
Contemporary Authors (via GALE) intro
Poetry Foundation page
EPC page
MAPS page
Essay from 99 Poets (1999) (PennKey req.)
Audio (PennKey req.)
(optional): Interview 2000 African-American Review
Hogue interview
PMP ((poems and poetics)
PIP author page: "Haiti"
Poetry Fdn: The Psychotropic Squalls, Apprenticeship, Song in Barbarous Fumarole of the Japanese Crested Ibis
More: "The Pope at Avignon," "Inalienable Recognitions"
PennSound: start with first minutes of "Ignato Lounge" show ... more as possible
1984 poems from New Wilderness Letter.
2013 interview

21. (March 31) Tracie Morris
PennSound: Close Listening
"Chain Gang
"From Slave Sho to Video aka Black but Beautiful,"
"It All Started" (last of the segmented videos)
"Boating Douzetor" (double sestina)
& her article in boundary 2: American Poetry after 1975

Respondent: Hannah

22. (April 5) Artists Books
We will meet in the library right in front of the elevators on the 6th floor / Kislak Center, at Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center
The books will be on hold in the Reading Room. To view the books you need to have create a Research Account by going to https://aeon.library.upenn.edu (however you can also do that at the library if you fail to do it in advance). The Kislak Center reading room is on the 6th floor of Van Pelt, easy to spot, just to the left of the elevators; Hours are 10am-4:45pm Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, and 10am-7:45pm on Wed Usual reading room rules: there are lockers for bags, etc. Be sure to say you are from English 262,

Respondent: Eleanor

Drucker/Bee, A Girl's Life

Special focus on books by Johanna Drucker, Scalapino, Hejinian, Berssenbrugge, Howe, Susan Bee, Arakawa/Gins, Alison Knowles, and various Granary books collaborations by the poets otherwise on the syllabus.

I'd like each of you to pick a book to "present" at the meeting and we will go round for one to the next. Feel free to pick other books artists books from the collection. I am suggesing Drucker, Bee, Granary, and Arkawa/Gins just to keep it managable.

Johanna Drucker's Artists Book site (but view books in library)
Arakawa/Gins: The Mechanism of Meaning (but view book in library, though not on reserve; it's at the Fine Arts Libary): 14 sections on-line, each with multiple images available by clicking dots on top: look at images full size; note the link breaks after the 14 sections.

Granary Books:
The Dessert by Jen Bervin
Time Samples by Alison Knowles
Flicker by Emily McVarish
Francie Shaw and Bob Perelman, Playing Bodies
Arakawa/Gins, Mechanism of Meaning (Fine Arts Libarry): see above
Emilie Clark and Lyn Hejinian, The Lake
Susan Bee:
The Burning Babe & Other Poems, with poems by Jerome Rothenberg (Granary Books, 2005): complete book (pdf); page 1, page 9, page 12, page 13, page 17, page 19, page 26, page 30, page 31, page 35
•A Girl's Life, with writing by Johanna Drucker and collaborative design (Granary Books, 2002): page 5, page 43
•Bed Hangings, with poems bySusan Howe (Granary Books, 2001): image 1, image 2
•Log Rhythms, with poems by Charles Bernstein (Granary Books, 1998) (complete book at UBU)
•Little Orphan Anagram, with poems by Charles Bernstein (Granary Books, 1997) (excerpts from Riding the Meridian) complete book at Artists Books Online

These are the book on reserve:

 Susan Bee & Johanna Drucker, a Girl's Life
Bob Perelman and Francie Shaw, Playing Bodies 
Johanna Drucker, The Word Made Flesh 
Jen Bervin, The Desert 
ALison Knowles, Time Samples 
Emily McVarish, Flicker 
Emilie Clarke and Lyn Hejinian, The Lake 
Johanna Drucker, Testament of Women 
Johanna Drucker & Brad Freeman, Emerging Sentence 
Johanna Drucker, History of the/my Word 
Johanna Drucker, Luminous Volumes 
Johanna Drucker, Night Crawlers on the Web 
Johanna Drucker, Simulant Portrait 
Susan Bee & Charles Bernstein, Little Orphan Anagram 
Charles Bernstein & Susan Bee, Log Rhythms 
Jerome Rothenberg & Susan Bee, Burning Babe & other poems 
Clay, Steven, Granary Books, When will the book be done? 
Golem by Jack Spicer from Granary 
Mimi Gross & Charles Bernstein, Some of these Daze

23. (April 7)
Steve McCaffery, John Yau, Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha: Dialect / Ideolect / Other Language / The Real
EPC page
PMP (poems and poetics), FOSC (1008)
DLB/Gale intro
at PennSound: LINEbreak
"The Unreadable Text" from Code of Signals pp. 64-99 (pdf)
"The Kommunist Manifesto or Wot We Wukkers Want": MP3 & TEXT. This is a translation into Yorkshire dialect of Marx & Engels' Communist Manifesto
Homolinguistic translation: "101 0s 1n" (1979) (3:08): MP3
"Namings" (1997) (14:00): MP3
star"The Curve to Its Answer," from Theory of Sediment, & audio: Jan. 11, 1985 (5:10): MP3 (Live at the Ear)
star"Cappucino: a Suffix Structure" (2009) (2:55) : MP3
Zaum Acrostic for Marjorie Perloff (2009) (5:29) : MP3
starOpening pages of "Lag"

Lois-Ann Yamanaka: Hawai'i pidgen poems:
audio: "Sista Boss of the Food" (enter PennKey)
texts: "Dead Dog Rip", "My Eyes Adore You"

John Yau 
Hoover anthology selection 
John Yau on PennSound (not Close Listening converstion) 
"Ing Grish"; Yau reads this poem on Close Listening (text in Hoover)
"Kingdom of Poetry"

Theresa Hak Kyung Cha
Julian Spahr on Dictee (log in via e-resources/JStor)
Project Muse (library e-resources) features many articles on this work, including one by Josephine Parks.

Tues, Apri 5 at 6pm, Jason Zuzga and Anna Maria Hong at KWH
Tues., April 12, 6pm, book launch for Pitch of Poetry by Charles Bernstein at KWH

24. (April 12)
Tan Lin
EPC page: "Soft Index" and discussion) & starHeath (free pdf) (cp this to Amazon preview of First Edition); and at least glance at EDIT series
Insomnia and the Aunt
on Tan Lin: Danny Snelson on HEATH
Tan Lin on Kenny G & Disco
interviews: Jacket 2, Rhizome, Galatea Resurrects, Bombsite

PennSound audio: Close Listening shows
PennSound video
Print books: Heath (new edition) and Seven Controlled Vocabularies and Obituary 2004. The Joy of Cooking (Wesleyan)
Respondent: Hannah

Tues., April 12, 6pm, book launch for Pitch of Poetry by Charles Bernstein at KWH

Bob Perelman class visit
from Penn Book Center
PMP, FOSC (732)

Perleman Jacket feature as intro
EPC (see full text of his early books at Eclipse link, eg. A.K.A.
Poetry Fondation: "The Unruly Child"
Two poems in The Future of Memory: "Confession" and "The Manchurian Candidate"
I won't be in class. Post commentaries and then prepare two questons for Perelman, which please post in advance.

26. (April 19)
All the Whiskey in Heaven
from Penn Book Center.
A discussion of my book. Not necessary to post anything -- just be prepared to ask quesitons in class.

27. (April 21) Patricia Jones class visit
6pm reading at KWH

Reading: A Lucent Fire
In addition to commentaries, please post a couple of questions for Jones.

28. (April 26) Last Class
Contemporary Chinese Poetry, with class visitor Li Zhimin

go to page created by Li Zhimin

2008 Visit of Li Zhimin
PennSound page
Yunte Huang, SHI
Li Zhimin -- KWH lecture on Chinese & Western poetry, published in Internationa; Literary Quarterly, 2010.
starMao Zedong (1893-1976),  selected poems; notes; collected poems
Xu Zhimo (1897-1931), Ji Xian (b. 1913), Gu Cheng (b. 1956): pdf from Michelle Yeh anthology.
"Mity Poets" PM2  pp. 752-769, esp:
star     Bei Dao (b. 1949), "The Answer" and  Bei Dao in Jacket;
     Haun Saussy
on Bei Dao's "Huida/The Answer" and Tiananmen Square
     Mang Ke "Apeherd" (PM2)
     Gu Cheng (in Yeh pdf above)
      Shu Ting in PM2 and also her work in the Michelle Yeh anthology: pdf here
Language/Original poets:
      Yunte Huang, Intro;
       Original Manifesto;
       Huang Fan (b. 1963), "Poetry's New Shore,"
       Che Qianzi (b. 1963), "Flower of Two Persons" (1990);
       Yi Cun (b. 1954), "A Poet's Remark on a White Bird in Winter"
Yunte Hunag, from SHI
Ma Lan, selection
starXu Bing: "Art for the People" (
flag reads as English) & "New English Caligraphy" & images (Square word calligraphy), "Your Surname Please"
Xi Chuan and here
Yao Feng
Li Zhimin -- a selection and in Chinese
Chinese + American poets reading at St. John's Cathedral in NY, 2015, for Xu Bing's "Phoemix" and with Bei Dao.

• Mao is considered one of modern China's greatest poets: how is his role as a major (and, to put it mildly, troubling) political leader and revolutionary reflected in his poetry? What role does poetry play in his political leadership? Is there a conflict between being a lyric poet and Mao's political ideology and actions.
• Discuss Huang's approach to translation, taking up our discussion of translation in the second class.
• Compare the "Misty," "Language/Original Poets," and Li Zhimin. Do a close reading of a poem from each group, perhaps using the poem profiler. Discuss the politics of poetic form in the poems (how the chosen forms reflect political or social perspectives).
• Li Zhimin will be talking about the influence of Western poetry on modern Chinese poetry. One example (somewhat negative in his view) is Xu Zhimo's idealization of Cambridge Uniiveristy, But the influence is reflected in the selection of contemporary poets. What qualities in these poems reflect a distinctly Western and also a distinctly non-Western approach to poetry?
Write imitations of a couple of the poems in this week's reading. In other words, change the subject or place but write a poem in a manner as close to the "original" as possible.
For those of you who know any Chinese at all: do new translations of the poems for which the Chinese is provided

As a final post, please give your response to the course, focussed primarily on the poetry and poetics, but also the class and listserve discussion of the poetry and poetics, the web-based syllabus, PennSound, and the wreading experiments. Chart changes in your thinking about poetry and poetics from before the class began to now. Thinking back on all the poems read and heard, discuss/revisit some of the work that stays with you the most. If you were to change any part of the syllabus, what would you change? One final question (after Robert Duncan) and specifically in respect to the focus of this course: What don't you know? What would you like to pursue?

Further Reading:





Ann Lauterbach
Lauterbach has a new book that I recommend, Under the Sign: as a start read the parts on Amazon preview and get the book if you would like.
I also recommend her Selected Poems, If In Time; again read the preview but also consider getting new or used (seems like you can get that for the cost of shipping)
PLUS take out a book by Lauterbach from the library
Lauterbach intro
by James McCorkle
PennSound page: Close Listening, etc
If In Time: Selected Poems 1975-2000 from Penguin (excerpts)


Catriona Strang, Low Fancy (Toronto: ECW Press, 1993) (pdf via PEPC Library)

Diane Ward:
"Approximately" from "Language Sampler"
Tender Arc and Nine-Tenths of Our Body from Code of Signals, edited by Michael Palmer (PDF file at Duration Press, pp. 37-42)

P. Inman: EPC page: Ocker //// PennSound: Close Listening

Myung Mi Kim (epc)
& at PennSound (including a Penn Close Listening)
PF -- poems and bio


Mei-mei Berssenbrugge [EPC page]
Hello, the Roses

PennSound: Close Listening & other readings
DLB/GALE intro
Recommended: I Love Artists: New and Selected Poems; e-version of early poems pp. 1-14.
Poems linked from EPC page ("writings")
interview with Zhou Xiaojing



UbuWeb Conceptual Writing Anthology; introduction by Craig Dworkin

Robert Smithson, "A Heap of Language" (1966); commentary by Richard Sieburth 

Rosmarie Waldrop, Shorter American Memory

Joan Retallack, The Woman in the Chinese Room,  A I D /I/ S A P P E A R A N C E, and PennSound

Issue #1 and Issue #2 (Steve McLaughlin, Jim Carpenter)

Flarf vs. Conceptual Writing, Poetry Foundation Issue (Kenny G) and Icons (Brian Kim Stefans)


Nathaniel Mackey
Nathaniel Mackey (EPC page)
PMP (Poetry and Poetics), FOSC (1028)
PennSound; of specific interest here, beyond the Close Listening show, is the relation of "Chant des Andoumboulou"("Song of the Andoumboulou"), at end of PennSound pages, to Mackey's poems of this title. Plus "Close Listening" show
Note: go via library e-resources Project Muse to get the special issue of Callalloo & other essays on Mackey (see esp. Mackey issue and Brent Edwards essay): these articles are listed on EPC page but must be accessed via library Muse pages.
Mackey interview at Contemporary Literature (2012)
Mackey on duende, "Cante Moro"

Kamau Brathwaite (LION intro)
"Blues' "Caliban" "Harbour"(from Black + Blues, 1995 via LION); "Kumina"; "Wings of a Dove": text, audio on PennSound (Segue); see also (extenstions/optonal) poems here.

Michael Palmer
PMP, FOSC (664)
Palmer intro by Keith Tuuma (DLB/GALE)
via 20thC AmPo:
"Prose 9","Speech (Across Time)" from Blake's Newton
"Song of the Rounded Man" & "The Project of Linear Inquiry" from Notes from Echo Lake (2Oth c AmPo)
"Sun": text (public) text (Penn only) and audio: note there are two poems from the book of this title with the title "Sun"; this is the shorter; the other, on-line, is "Waste Land" length.
From Baudelaire Series: "Dear lexicon", "A man undergoes pain sitting at a piano"
Note: Selected poems via 20th c AmPo
The Gale introduction mentions how Palmer’s use of the wild lyric works against Anglo-American mpirical tradition. How does his politicization of form compare to the other poets we’ve studied? Is it any more or less effective than, say, Bruce Andrews? How does Palmer’s work with memory compare to Hejinian’s in My Life? Where does the lyric [traditional and wild] fit with the rest of our readings? Do you think the repetition/return of previous phrases and images jumble the sense of narrative, or help to create it?

David Melnick
David Melnick (EPC page) (1938- )
Ron Silliman's overview of Melnick's works
Read opening pages; beyond as time permits:
Men in Aida (homophonic tr. of Illiad) via Eclipse:
Men in Aida, Book One ; Men in Aida, Book Two
A Pin's Fee
(pdf) (1987-88)
further reading:
Mark Scroggins on Pcoet, including some biographical information
•Use the poem profiler on Pcoet and discuss results
•What meaning do you find in the poems of Pcoet; what formal devices do you find?
•Give your reaction to homophinic translation; for those of you who know the Zukofsky, dicscuss in that context.

Peter Gizzi:
EPC page:
Three Poems (2010) from Sybil 
Blue Peter from Conjunctions
Hard as Ash from Avec Books
A History of the Lyric from No: A Journal of the Arts
A Panic That Can Still Come Upon Me

PennSound: Close Listening

Anne Waldman in NAPM and on PennSound
"Make Up on Emptry Space"
"Fast Speaking Woman" on PennSound and Google book of part of the poem.

Maggie O'Sullivan
•my intro
•PennSound: Close Listening
Maggie'Sullivan's web page:
• "All Origins Are Lonely" (and see note on these).
•and "own land" (from Waterfalls).
•from Red Shift (99 Poets / 1999)
• "Courtship of Lapwings"
Veronica Forrest-Thomson, "Cordelia"
Out of Everywhere: An Anthology of Contemporary Linguistically Innovative Poetry by Women in North America & the UK, ed. Maggie O'Sullivan
Anthology of Twentieth-Century British and Irish Poetry, ed. Keith Tuma
Other: British and Irish Poetry since 1970
, ed. Richard Caddel and Peter Quartermain Bonus Track
Additional reading: Tom Raworth, Maggie O'Sullivan, J.H. Prynne in PM2
Veronica Forrest-Thomson, "Cordelia"
O'Sullivan on PennSound
O'Sullivan, "Red Shift" in 99 Poets
O'Sullivan books at Eclipse

Claudia Rankine

Bob Cobbing
Sockless in Sandals: Collected Poems of Bob Cobbing, Vol 6, introduction by Peter Finch (1985)

Tom Raworth
Tom Raworth on PennSound and at EPC
EPC: read poems in "Writings" section
PennSound: Close Listening
Listen Up: text, MP3 (from Close Listening)

J.H. Prynne
: "In Cimmerian Darkness" (Kitchen Poems)
Vernonica Forrest-Thomson (1947-1975), "Cordelia"(from late 1970s)
Extensions: More on Thomson: Prynne memoir; Brian Kim Stefans intro & Alyson Mark's intro; poems in Jacket

Caroline Bergvall
EPC page, carolinebergvall.com
see esp. introduction (my commentary on this and link to excerpt) and Chaucer pieces.
•"Via" & text (note text not linked at PennSound page)
"Say Parsley" (Shibboleth) & Video: Data piece conceived for the siting of our installation at MuHKa, Museum of Contemporary Arts (Antwerp, 28 May- 17 August 2008). The list of written Flemish, French and English words tries to match the spoken English list.
•from Drift

•What Do We Mean by Performance Writing?   
•Close Listening (aka Studio 111)
•Shorter Chaucer Tales
•"About Face": Early working notes towards Goan Atom 2 (2000); opening section
•Marjorie Perloff on "Via" and "About Face" (pp. 221-24) or better at Jacket (search).
•Brian Reed: Lost already walking: Caroline Bergvall's VIA

bpNichol, Translating Translating Apollinaire
& Nichol in FOSC

Robert Kelly's Celan

supplemental readings on Celan: optional!: Paul Celan (& Gale bio): "Todesfuge" audio (and other poems)  &  (commentary); Sprachglitter (commentary) [Unrestricted source for Celan sound files and poems]
Charles Bernstein, "Celan's Folds and Veils" (from Textual Practice 18:2, 2004) on "Todtnuaberg. "The Medidian" (1960), tr. R. Waldrop (note the book)

How do Kelly's translations differ from Melnick's or (for those of you familiar) Zukofsky? Even though this is a “translation,” does it have its own agenda? Does is operate on its own level or the same level as Celan's original work? Or both? Why only the short poems of Celan? Why not the longer ones too? Finally, does the knowledge that the words are approximations of German sounds enhance the sonic effects? Or, as Dragomoshchenko hinted, are the languages different enough that any attempt at approximation is primarily gestural rather than actual emulation?

Jordan Scott from Blurt
about the book (includes and excerpt)

See also Scott's lecture and reading on PennSound (search for both events)

  • "My viewpoint in the video is that of an autistic person. But the message is far broader than autistic people. It is about what kinds of communication and language and people we consider real and which ones we do not. It applies to people with severe cognitive or physical disabilities, autistic people, signing deaf people, the kid in school who finds she is not taken seriously as a student because she does not know a lot of English, and even the cat who gets treated like a living stuffed animal and not a creature with her own thoughts to communicate. It applies to anybody who gets written off because their communication is too unusual." (from Amanda Baggs Wiki page)
    see also Wired interview
    Baggs contorversy & her response in comments

  • watch this one below with the SOUND OFF!

Watch ASL Poets in the Spotlight on PBS. See more from Independent Lens

Claudia Rankin in NPM and Citizen
Ron Padgett -- Antlers in Treetops, with Tom Veitch & Padgett selected poems at LION
Rod Smith, Protective Immediacy (Roof, 1999) & selection of new poems at Sibyl
Susan Holbrook
Kit Robinson, The Dolch Stanzas (1976): facsimile (not this work compose of most commonly used words: see Wiki on "Dolch Words."
Indexes: Paul Violi "Index" poems, an instruction manual, a travel guide, a quiz or examination, etc.
Tan Lin index

Farrell Inkblot Record excerpt; flash version

Nick Thurston's Historia Abscondita (pdf), an appopriated index work.
Allen Fisher, The Poetics of Complexity Manifold (99 Poets/1999)
Vanessa Place, Statement of Facts


Further resources: Introduction to Electronic Literature