Featured resources

  1. Charles Bernstein -
    St. McC. MP3
  2. Amiri Baraka -
    Against Bourgeois Art MP3
  3. Michael Palmer -
    Lies of the Poem MP3
  4. Henry Hills -
    Money MOV
  5. Barrett Watten -
    "I dreamed of a group of sociable foxes in the basement" MP3
  6. Steve McCaffery -
    The Baker Transformation MP3
  7. Bruce Andrews -
    Feature MP3
  8. Jackson Mac Low -
    Feeling Down Clementi Felt Imposed Upon From Every Direction (HSCH 10) MP3
  9. Ron Silliman -
    Quindecagon MP3
  10. Rod Smith -
    This is Such Total Bullshit MP3
  11. Rachel Blau Duplessis -
    Draft 72: Nanifesto MP3
  12. K. Silem Mohammad -
    Sonnet 154: The little love god lying once asleep MP3

Selected by Brian Ang (read more about his choices here)

PennSound Daily

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In Memoriam: Lee Harwood (1939-2015)

Posted 8/3/2015

PennSound Daily has far-too-often brought the news of passed poets lately, and sadly we have one more name to add to that eternal roster: British poet and translator Lee Harwood, who died at the age of seventy-six on July 26th.

His death was reported by The Argus, which remembered him not only as a prolific poet but for his political service "as a union official and as a member of the Labour Party during its most radical years." John Harvey also offered up a recollection of his long friendship with Harwood, including the memory of an event last fall when they both read their work with jazz accompaniment, which conjured up memories of the poet's formative experiences in New York during the 1960s. Finally, Enitharmon Press, publishers of Harwood's most recent collection, The Orchid Boat hailed him as "not only a highly gifted and skilled poet, but a man of immense kindness and thoughtfulness."

We created our Lee Harwood author page in May 2009 with two recordings: the career-spanning The Chart Table: Poems 1965-2002, released as part of the Rockdrill series, and a half-hour set with Nathaniel Tarn as part of the Shearsman Reading Series at London's Swedenborg Hall in June 2008. In December 2013, we added the marvelous "Chanson Tzara", an audio composition with text, translation, and narration by Harwood and sound and realization by Alexander Baker, rooted in the poet's formative encounter with the Dada master in Paris during the 1960s. You can listen to all of these recordings by clicking on the title above.

In Memoriam: Kenneth Irby (1936-2015)

Posted 7/30/2015

We're very sad to pass along the news that Kenneth Irby died this morning at the age of seventy-eight, shortly after entering hospice care.

While our Kenneth Irby author page is an excellent way to engage with the poet's work — housing a wide array of recordings from the late seventies right up to his reading from the 2011 colloquium at the University of Kansas honoring his life and work on the occasion of his seventy-fifth birthday — those looking for a greater sense of Irby's great and lasting influence upon his students and friends should peruse William J. Harris and Kyle Waugh's encyclopedic 2014 Jacket2 feature, which was born from the proceedings of that colloquium. You can read our PennSound Daily announcement of the feature, published on what would be the poet's final birthday, here.

In his introduction, Harris observes that "although Kenneth Irby, a distinguished innovative poet, has recently become better known, he deserves to be much better known than he presently is" and argues that he "should be ranked with such contemporary figures as Amiri Baraka, Robert Creeley, Lyn Hejinian, Ed Dorn, Robert Duncan, and Rae Armantrout." "I hope this feature will cause a bit of a stir, and help introduce this important poet to a larger audience," he concludes. "This audience needs this gentle but commanding presence." For those only hearing Irby's name now at the time of his passing — as well as those lovingly-acquainted with his work — here's a fine place to take up that challenge.

Edgar Lee Masters: New Author Page

Posted 7/28/2015

Chris Mustazza is at it again, this time combing through the archives of Columbia University's Rare Book & Manuscript Library to preserve vintage recordings of Edgar Lee Masters made by the university's Speech Lab in 1934. Recorded during sessions on January 16th and March 10th of that year by Barnard lexicologists George W. Hibbitt and W. Cabell Greet, these tracks have a new home on our new author page for the poet.

Altogether there are fifty-eight tracks, including selections from Songs and Satires (1916), The Great Valley (1916), Godbey: A Dramatic Poem (1931), Gettysburg, Manila, Acoma (1930), and Lichee Nuts (1930), as well as his classic Spoon River Anthology (1915) and its sequel, The New Spoon River (1924). As Mustazza notes in his introduction, "I made the decision to present the recordings in the order in which Columbia numbered the aluminum platters, except for where I reordered the sequence to keep parts of the same collection together. Sequence numbers, as well as record numbers, are available in the file names."

More recordings from the Columbia Speech Lab can be found on our homepage for that series, and you can read Mustazza's history of the Contemporary Poets Series produced by these same scholars on Jacket2.

PennSound Daily is written by Michael S. Hennessey.

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