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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In Memoriam: Richard Swigg (1938-2017)

Posted 3/27/2017

This weekend we were contacted by Richard Swigg's daughter, Virginia, who shared the very sad news that her father had passed away a few days earlier after suffering a stroke. PennSound co-director Charles Bernstein has penned a tribute to Swigg for Jacket2, which begins to encapsulate what his herculean efforts meant to us:

"Richard Swigg was a great friend of PennSound, editing our extensive sound recording collections of Williams, Bunting, Tomlinson, Oppen, and Replanksky. His work was thorough, with the aim of archiving all the audio recordings of these poets. He was tireless in his efforts — he spent decades assembling the recordings — and worked with us in securing permission to make these recordings available on PennSound."

None of these author pages are modest by any means. The Williams page brings together more than thirty individual recordings, many of which include dozens of tracks each. The Tomlinson page includes a core collection of the poet reading his entire published output (653 poems!), which is supplemented by other recordings. Moreover, I think it's noteworthy that he approached the work of Tomlinson and Replansky with the same tireless enthusiasm and respect that he afforded to titans like Williams and Oppen, and that his passion was contagious, benefiting us all greatly. As Charles notes, "Richard urged Al Filreis and I to visit 100-year-old Naomi Replansky, whom he had recorded for PennSound. We did and that was a great experience for us."

While his work as both a scholar and archivist of recorded poetry was central to PennSound, I'd also like to highlight the fine work he shared with us at Jacket2 over the past few years. As the editor who worked most closely with him — particularly on Paul Auster's startling interview of the Oppens (which he toiled to uncover like a needle in the proverbial haystack, then transcribed from a poor-quality tape and edited for publication), and his mammoth collected correspondence between Oppen and Tomlinson (which is essentially a book-length manuscript) — I will miss our exchanges and everything I learned from chatting with him and reading his prose closely. As I told Virginia after hearing the terrible news, I'd been thinking of him recently (probably right around the time of his death) and getting ready to drop him a line to see what marvelous project he might be cooking up for us next. Certainly, the passing of such a generous and dedicated scholar leaves a void that's very difficult to fill. All of us at both PennSound and Jacket2 share our condolences with Richard's family, colleagues, and friends.


In Memoriam: Joanne Kyger (1934-2017)

Posted 3/23/2017

We're very sad to report the news that legendary poet Joanne Kyger — whose long career (starting more than fifty years ago with The Tapestry and the Web) bridged multiple schools and styles — has passed away at the age of eighty-two.

Just recently, we were proud to have Kyger as panelist for the latest PoemTalk Podcast on Philip Whalen's "Life at Bolinas. The Last of California", and Kyger's own poem "It's Been a Long Time: Notes from the Revolution" was the subject of PoemTalk #79 from 2014. Kyger was also the subject of an extensive feature in Jacket #11 (2000), which was edited by Linda Russo.

Of course, you'll also find am impressive archive of recordings on our Joanne Kyger author page, going as far back as her appearance at the Berkeley Poetry Conference in 1965. From there, we have numerous recordings from Bolinas and San Francisco (from the 1970s, the 2000s, and the 2010s), East Coast visits to read on Public Access Poetry (in 1978) and for Dia's Readings in Contemporary Poetry series (in 2015) and a handful of other interesting recordings from along the way.

We humbly acknowledge the void that Kyger's death leaves in the world of contemporary poetry and send our condolences to her family, friends, and fans.

The Four Horsemen Live in Toronto, 1984

Posted 3/21/2017

We have an exciting new performance from legendary Canadian sound poets the Four Horsemen that you'll want to check out.

Recorded on October 11, 1984 at the Tivoli in Toronto, this set runs just over forty minutes and features eight individual pieces. All four members of the group — bpNichol, Steve McCaffery, Paul Dutton, and Rafael Barreto-Rivera — are present, and McCaffery plays reeds in addition to vocalizing.

You'll find this new gem on our Four Horsemen author page along with three complete albums — Nada Canadada (1973), Live in the West (1977), and Two Nights (1988) — and a variety of links and other resources. Our individual author pages for members bpNichol, Steve McCaffery, Paul Dutton, and Rafael Barreto-Rivera — are also well worth checking out.

We're grateful to both Dutton and Gary Barwin for their help in bringing this recording to our site.


PennSound Daily is written by Michael S. Hennessey.

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