Featured resources

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

  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
  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: Vito Acconci (1940-2017)

Posted 4/28/2017

Sadly, this week and month come to an end with the news of another creative titan lost: Vito Acconci, poet, performer, and architect, who passed away today at the age of seventy-seven. Even with short notice, his death has created a stir, with MoMA observing that "NYC has lost a legend," Jerry Saltz mourning "our mystical man in black," and ARTnews hailing Acconci's "poetic, menacing work [that] forms bedrock of performance and video art."

Before his prodigious career branched out to other modes and media, Acconci started as a poet, notably co-editing the legendary journal 0 To 9 with his sister-in-law Bernadette Mayer. Around the same time, he appeared on the influential 1969 audio anthology Tape Poems (edited by Eduardo Costa and John Perreault), starting the album off with a short untitled piece. Thanks to the efforts of Patrick Durgin, we're grateful to be able to present the entire record for your listening pleasure. We're also proud to be able to present Acconci's contribution to a 2009 Segue Series symposium on "Poetry and Architecture" curated by Trace Peterson that also featured Robert Kocik and Benjamin Aranda. You can watch video and listen to audio from that event here.

We send our condolences to Acconci's family, friends and fans worldwide, and encourage you to commemorate his life and work in the same way that we will: by reconnecting with his captivating work.

John Richetti Reads Yeats, Pope (2017)

Posted 4/26/2017

We were very lucky to have the one and only John Richetti — UPenn professor emeritus, British Lit specialist, and velvet-throated performer — join us early last month for yet another recording session for our PennSound Classics page.

This time around, he recorded two large blocks of material. The first is a rather extensive survey of the work of William Butler Yeats, with forty-two titles read in total, including "The Lake Isle of Innisfree," "September 1913," "Easter 1916," "Sailing to Byzantium," "Leda and the Swan," and "Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop," along with many more.

Next, he read Alexander Pope's "The Rape of the Lock,", and this is actually the second time he's read the poem for us, joining a earlier rendition from almost exactly twelve years prior, which allows for the interesting potential of comparing performances.

These new sessions, as impressive as they are in their own right, merely scratch the surface of the work that Richetti has recorded for us over the past dozen years. You'll find all of these on both his own author page and the PennSound Classics page. As always, we're grateful to John for sharing his ample gifts with us and look forward to his next session.

PoemTalk 111: two by Naomi Replansky

Posted 4/24/2017

We recently released the latest episode in the PoemTalk Podcast series (#111 altogether) in which two poems by Naomi Replansky — "In Syrup, In Syrup" and "Ring Song" — are the focus of the discussion. The panel for this program included host Al Filreis and Charles Bernstein, who recently conducted a lengthy interview with the poet, as well as Ron Silliman and Rachel Zolf.

After providing some bibliographical context for the poems and tracking their revision history in his introduction on the PoemTalk blog, Filreis offers some caveats for listeners: "historical knowledge of the ins and outs, ups and downs, of the literary left of the 1940s and 1950s (and specifically of the communist left) helps somewhat to make sense of Replansky's choice to convey irony through radical ideas in controlled poetic forms — Mother Goose-ish rhymed couplets ('Ring Song') and metrically tight two-stressed unrhymed couplets ('In Syrup'). So in this discussion there is some talk, which some listeners will find arcane, about the state of radical ideologies and poetics at various points in the life of these two poems as they have moved through the decades." You can read more — and both listen to and watch this special episode — on Jacket2.

PoemTalk is a co-production of PennSound, the Kelly Writers House, Jacket2 and the Poetry Foundation. If you're interested in more information on the series or want to hear our archives of previous episodes, please visit the PoemTalk blog, and don't forget that you can subscribe to the series through the iTunes music store.

PennSound Daily is written by Michael S. Hennessey.

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