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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Kathy Acker: SUNY-Buffalo Talk and Creeley Interview, 1979

Posted 11/20/2020

Here's a fascinating document from our archives that certainly merits your attention. On December 12–13, 1979, Kathy Acker was a guest of Robert Creeley's at SUNY-Buffalo. Over those two days she read from her own work, delivered a talk on French novelists, and was interviewed by Creeley. Both events have been segmented, and are available on our Kathy Acker author page.

After introductory comments by Creeley, Acker begins with "Tangier," a long chapter (the recording is forty-six minutes long) from Blood and Guts in High School about meeting Jean Genet in Tangiers. She and Creeley then talk briefly about Erica Jong before the first day's event ends. 

The second day begins with Acker offering introductory comments on the pair of French novelists "whose work I'm absolutely fascinated with" that she'll be discussing in this session: Pierre Guyotat and Laure (the pen name of Colette Peignot). "You can't get these books in this country. Don't even try," Acker warns, however she explains that "I wanted to present what I'm doing with their work to you" — even though her translations are rough first drafts and "my French is very bad," ("I knew it enough to know I didn't know it," she later tells the audience) — because of how captivated she became with these authors on a recent trip to France. Specifically, this interest ties into language: both her experience of their language and mediation inherent to encountering a foreign language of which one only has a basic knowledge, but also concerns that have followed her for much longer: "It seemed to me that more and more — I've lived in New York for the last seven years — [that] language is almost impossible now. It's as if ... to have a language, to be able to really speak to someone, seems to be almost like total freedom, in my mind."

She then reads brief translations from each author's work: an excerpt from Guyotat's novel, Eden, Eden, Eden, followed by a piece by Laure about her childhood.  A half-hour lecture on the two authors comes next, with a discussion session of about the same length wrapping up the event. That conversation has been segmented into five thematic parts: "on self-expression," "on self-reflection," "on subjectivity and perception," "on the writer's perspective," and "on the divided self." You can listen in by clicking here


Congratulations to National Book Award Winner Don Mee Choi

Posted 11/18/2020

We have been very excitedly following news of this year's National Book Award nominations — particularly PennSound poets Mei-mei Berssenbrugge and Don Mee Choi as they made it from the longlist to the group of five finalists. In ceremonies held earlier this evening it was announced that Choi's DMZ Colony had been selected by judges Layli Long Soldier, Rigoberto González, John Hennessy, Diana Khoi Nguyen, and Elizabeth Willis as this year's winner.

In their citation, the judges hailed DMZ Colony as an "urgent" text that "captures the migratory latticework of those transformed by war and colonization." "Homelands present and past share one sky where birds fly," they continue, "but 'during the Korean War cranes had no place to land.'" They conclude: "Devastating and vigilant, this bricolage of survivor accounts, drawings, photographs, and hand-written texts unearth the truth between fact and the critical imagination. We are all 'victims of History,' so Choi compels us to witness, and to resist."

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 congratulate Choi and Wave Books for this well-deserved honor.



In Memoriam: Lewis Warsh (1944–2020)

Posted 11/16/2020

We start this new week off with sad news to report that broke overnight: poet and publisher Lewis Warsh, a much-beloved member of the New York School's second generation has passed away just a few days after his 76th birthday.

It's hard to underestimate the impact that Warsh has had upon the field of contemporary poetry through the work of his two presses: Angel Hair (co-founded with Anne Waldman) and United Artists (co-founded with Bernadette Mayer), which continues to release books to this day. Both projects served as essential extensions of the thriving socio-poetic scene, centered around the St. Mark's Poetry Project, that just as easily could have found its nexus in Waldman and Warsh's Lower East Side apartment, as evidenced by the latter's well-known "New York Diary 1967." United Artists in particular shows us the evolution of that scene beyond its vibrant first flourish, as marked by a series of departures — the death of Frank O'Hara, Ted Berrigan's departure to Iowa and Chicago, and Warsh and Mayer's move to Western Massachusetts, chief among them.

Of course, it would be a mistake to overlook Warsh's prolific output as both poet and novelist as well, and that's where humbly direct our listeners towards our Lewis Warsh author page, where you'll find a variety of recordings spanning six decades, starting with "Halloween" (an excerpt from "New York Diary 1967") from Tape Poems (edited by Eduardo Costa and John Perreault) and a 1972 reading in Oakland. Other interesting selections include Warsh's contribution to a 2006 Barbara Guest Day Tribute, a two-disc album of Warsh's long-poem The Origin of the World released by Deerhead Records and Ugly Duckling Presse in 2006, and Warsh and Mayer's appearance on Public Access Poetry in 1978. Click here to start browsing. Those eager to learn more about Angel Hair and its history will want to start with the retrospective feature on the press published in Jacket #16 in 2002, and Laura Sims' 2016 Jacket2 commentary series "Reports from the Archives" also showcases a number of publications from the press.

We send our deepest sympathies to Warsh's family, his friends, and his many fans in the poetry world as they come to terms with his death.



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