Featured resources

From "Down To Write You This Poem Sat" at the Oakville Gallery

Contemporary
  1. Charles Bernstein, "Phone Poem" (2011) (1:30): MP3
  2. Caroline Bergvall, "Love song: 'The Not Tale (funeral)' from Shorter Caucer Tales (2006): MP3
  3. Christian Bôk, excerpt from Eunoia, from Chapter "I" for Dick Higgins (2009) (1:38):  MP3
  4. Tonya Foster, Nocturne II (0:40) (2010) MP3
  5. Ted Greenwald, "The Pears are the Pears" (2005) (0:29): MP3
  6. Susan Howe, Thorow, III (3:13) (1998):  MP3
  7. Tan Lin, "¼ : 1 foot" (2005) (1:16): MP3
  8. Steve McCaffery, "Cappuccino" (1995) (2:35): MP3
  9. Tracie Morris, From "Slave Sho to Video aka Black but Beautiful" (2002) (3:40): MP3
  10. Julie Patton, "Scribbling thru the Times" (2016) (5:12): MP3
  11. Tom Raworth, "Errory" (c. 1975) (2:08): MP3
  12. Jerome Rothenberg, from "The First Horse Song of Frank Mitchell: 4-Voice Version" (c. 1975) (3:30): MP3
  13. Cecilia Vicuna, "When This Language Disappeared" (2009) (1:30): MP3
Historical
  1. Guillaume Apollinaire, "Le Pont Mirabeau" (1913) (1:14): MP3
  2. Amiri Baraka, "Black Dada Nihilismus" (1964) (4:02):  MP3
  3. Louise Bennett, "Colonization in Reverse" (1983) (1:09): MP3
  4. Sterling Brown, "Old Lem " (c. 1950s) (2:06):  MP3
  5. John Clare, "Vowelless Letter" (1849) performed by Charles Bernstein (2:54): MP3
  6. Velimir Khlebnikov, "Incantation by Laughter" (1910), tr. and performed by Bernstein (:28)  MP3
  7. Harry Partch, from Barstow (part 1), performed by Bernstein (1968) (1:11): MP3
  8. Leslie Scalapino, "Can’t’ is ‘Night’" (2007) (3:19): MP3
  9. Kurt Schwitters, "Ur Sonata: Largo" performed by Ernst Scwhitter (1922-1932) ( (3:12): MP3
  10. Gertrude Stein, If I Told Him: A Completed Portrait of Picasso (1934-35) (3:42): MP3
  11. William Carlos Willliams, "The Defective Record" (1942) (0:28): MP3
  12. Hannah Weiner, from Clairvoyant Journal, performed by Weiner, Sharon Mattlin & Rochelle Kraut (2001) (6:12): MP3

Selected by Charles Bernstein (read more about his choices here)

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Close Listening: ko ko thett, 2017

Posted 2/26/2017

PennSound co-director Charles Bernstein is back with two recently-recorded programs in his long-running Close Listening series, which is broadcast by Clocktower Radio. Today, we'll highlight the first of these shows, which features ko ko thett, a poet, editor and translator from Burma/Myanmar.

ko ko thett is the author of The Burden of Being Burmese (Zephyr Press, 2015), a book hailed by John Ashbery as "brilliantly off-kilter," and is co-editor (with James Byrne) of Bones Will Crow, an anthology of contemporary Burmese poetry. He also serves as translator for the speeches of Aung San Suu Kyi. A student activist during the military dictatorship in Burma, ko ko thett spent many years living in exile in Finland, Austria, and the U.S.. He has recently returned to Yangon.

The two-part program begins with the author reading before a live audience at the Kelly Writers House on January 23, 2017. In the second half, he and Bernstein discuss his decision to write in English; his 19 years in exile and the experience of returning home; the political situation in Burma at the time of his exile compared to the present; his sense of the futility of the student protests; and the international context of the poets he anthologized in Bones Will Crow. He also reads a recent poem in Burmese and offers a spontaneous translation.

In his Jacket2 commentary on the program, Bernstein also provides video footage of the two programs as well as a link to PennSound's anthology page for poets from Burma/Myanmar. You can start listening by clicking here.


Peter Jaeger Performed by the Yehudi Menuhin Music School, 2016

Posted 2/23/2017

Here's is the latest addition to our author page for poet and critic Peter Jaeger to get your toes tapping for the coming weekend.

Daniel Penny, winner of the BBC's young composer of the year award in 2015, set Peter Jaeger's poem "Sub Twang Mustard" to music. The piece is performed here by members of the Yehudi Menuhin Music School and trombone soloist John Kenny, under the direction of John Cooney. "Sub Twang Mustard" was originally published in Jaeger's 2004 book Eckhart Cars.

You can listen in here and be sure to check out the rest of the recordings archived on PennSound's Peter Jaeger author page, including sets from Manchester's The Other Room series, the if p then q series in London, and a 2013 reading at London's Kingsgate Gallery. There's also a 2003 radio appearance from Resonance FM's program "Up on Air," and a 2006 recording of "Prop" made at London's Regal Lane Studios.


New at J2: Chris Funkhouser on Cecil Taylor

Posted 2/22/2017

We've just published a wonderful new piece from Chris Funkhouser over at Jacket2. Titled "Being Matter Recorded: Cecil Taylor on/Poetry,", this essay serves as a complement to Funkhouser's participation in the Whitney Museum of American Art's exhibition focused on Taylor's work as well as "improvised is how the voice is used...", an interactive web-based matrix of excerpts from four hundred minutes of interview recordings (a large portion of which was published in Hambone #12).

More importantly, it traces Funkhouser's long and influential relationship with Taylor and his work over the past thirty years. Here's how he begins:

After my first firsthand encounter with Cecil Taylor's work in Charlottesville in November 1986, I never would have imagined having a series of extraordinary experiences with him across the decades that followed. Seeing him that first time, a two-hour solo concert during a thunderstorm, I didn't realize music could exist in such a different aesthetic universe — concert as a poem: words, movement, and sound, ominously beginning, "A stroke, the night." I had been exposed to all kinds of music and was a student of jazz via courses centered on the Smithsonian Collection, which included something of Cecil's work, but experiencing it live was as if someone from another planet came down to embody what music and performance could be — that every norm could be reshaped, if not broken altogether.

Funkhouser is a prolific and talented poet, critic, and archivist, and we're very lucky to have benefited to his generous contributions to both Jacket2 and PennSound over the years. You can start reading his latest here.


PennSound Daily is written by Michael S. Hennessey.

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