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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Congratulations to National Book Award Nominees Berssenbrugge, Choi

Posted 9/18/2020

The New Yorker has been announcing the longlists for this year's National Book Awards this week, with the ten books under consideration for the poetry category released yesterday. Their short article starts by highlighting Honorée Fanonne Jeffers' The Age of Phillis, inspired by pioneering Black poet Phillis Wheatley who died free but lived most of her short life as a slave. As the author notes, Jeffers' book is just one of many among this year's longlist that "observes the violence of empire and excavates histories that have been forgotten or erased," including Anthony Cody's Borderland Apocrypha, Natalie Diaz's Postcolonial Love Poem, and Don Mee Choi's DMZ Colony.

We were very excited to see Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, among the nominees for her most recent collection A Treatise on Stars, which the panelists hailed as "a lyrical work that reveals constellations of our connectedness to fuel introspection" and "implores that we connect with the larger natural and cosmic world." You'll recall that Berssenbrugge was one of our Kelly Writers House Fellows in 2019, and during her visit she read a number of poems from A Treatise on Stars, including "Star Beings," "Lux," and "Chaco and Olivia." You'll find audio and video from that visit hereOur PennSound author page for Berssenbrugge houses more than two dozen individual recordings going back as far as 1986, including interviews, radio programs, and many, many readings. 

While we don't have a PennSound author page for Don Mee Choi, you can also hear her reading her work as part of Poetry Politic and as part of the 2012 MLA Offsite Reading

We offer our congratulations to Berssenbrugge, Choi, and all of this year's worthy nominees. This year's panel, which will announce its final decision on November 18th, is chaired by Layli Long Soldier, and also includes Rigoberto González, John Hennessy, Diana Khoi Nguyen, and Elizabeth Willis.

Announcing the 2021 Kelly Writers House Fellows

Posted 9/16/2020

While we were only recently discussing Erín Moure's Kelly Writers House Fellows visit from this past spring, we've already got news concerning next year's group of fellows. Today Al Filreis announced the trio that will be joining us during winter/spring 2021, and as always they are an eclectic and exciting as a group. They include (from left to right) author and critic Hilton Als, chef and author Gabrielle Hamilton, and poet Erica Hunt. Details on their individual programs will follow in the near future, but we couldn't wait to spread the word.

Funded by a grant from Paul Kelly, the Kelly Writers House Fellows program enables us to realize two unusual goals. We want to make it possible for the youngest writers and writer-critics to have sustained contact with authors of great accomplishment in an informal atmosphere. We also want to resist the time-honored distinction — more honored in practice than in theory — between working with eminent writers on the one hand and studying literature on the other.

You can read more about the program and browse through past Fellows going back to the program's start in 1999 by clicking here.

Clark Coolidge reads 'Polaroid,' 1976

Posted 9/14/2020

We're starting off this new week by taking a dip back into the S Press Collection, highlighting a recording that was part of the PennSound archives since close to the site's inception. 

We first added Clark Coolidge's Polaroid to the site in December 2005, but it's only recently that listeners have been able to see it in its proper context within the full S Press catalogue, as well as read the liner notes. Released in 1979 as S Press Tonbandverlag #57, the cassette contains Polaroid (Adventures in Poetry / Big Sky, 1975) read in its entirety, as recorded by S Press head Michael Köhler on September 24th 1976 at University of Connecticut at Storrs. Excerpts from Polaroid are available on Coolidge's EPC page, while the entire book can be read or downloaded in PDF format from Eclipse.

Interestingly, given both Coolidge's own musical history as drummer for Tina and David Meltzer's San Francisco-based psych-folk band The Serpent Power and the liner notes' acknowledgment that "In addition to his books [Coolidge] has composed a number of word tapes, which have remained unpublished so far," this is Coolidge's first solo album. It would take another thirty-four years to see the release of Comes Through in the Call Hold, the first of two albums Coolidge recorded with Anne Waldman and Thurston Moore; Coolidge and Moore's Among The Poetry Stricken was released earlier this year. 

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