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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Studs Terkel Interviews Ginsberg, Corso, Orlovsky, 1959

Posted 8/24/2016

Last month, thanks to George Drury, we were able to bring you a studio recording of Tom Raworth reading his poetry made at Chicago's WFMT-FM in 1989, where he had once served as Spoken Arts Curator. Drury is currently working with the Studs Terkel archives and has once again graced us with a marvelous recording from WFMT's archives: Studs Turkel in conversation with Beat poets Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, and Peter Orlovsky in January 1959. The trio were in town for a benefit reading supporting Paul Carroll's Big Table #1, the repressed Winter 1959 issue of Chicago Review, which contained excerpts from William S. Burrough's Naked Lunch, Jack Kerouac's visionary "Old Angel Midnight," several prose vignettes by Edward Dahlberg, and a handful of poems by Corso.

After a shambling introduction, Terkel asks the assembled poets to discuss the etymology and philosophy of the Beat Generation and questions its inherent sense of defeatedness, which Corso counters, stating "I've reached God and now I wanna go beyond that now" and then goes on to read his poem "Hair" as a demonstration of that fact. Later, he asks the trio, "Do you believe you represent the young generation of poets today?" "No! No! No! No!" they exclaim, en masse. "We're pariahs," Ginsberg explains, "All we represent is ourselves," though later he acknowledges they represent "a lot of dead poets," like Walt Whitman, Hart Crane, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Louis-Ferdinand Celine, Christopher Smart, and Thomas Nashe. Terkel again asks Ginsberg for his feelings about the world, and he reads a new poem, "Poem Rocket," in response.

Terkel keeps coming back to defining the essence of Beat and seeking an admission from his guests that, rather than being disaffected youths, they are indeed engaged with the world. They offer playful feints — including a charming observation on the growing police state by way of Howard Johnson's comment cards — before clarifying that they are not "anti-life" and that their presence in Chicago is proof of that. Ginsberg goes on to assert the optimism present in the conclusion of "Howl," for example. He then asks them what made them poets. Ginsberg says "suffering," while Corso offers "God," and Orlovsky, "pennies, coke machines." Towards the end, Corso reads "The Last Gangster," a poem based in Chicago, and Terkel asks the poets for a credo: "Death is a letter that was never sent," Ginsberg says, while, after meowing, Orlovsky states "I walk over a bridge of flowers," and Corso once again offers his enigmatic "fried shoes." In a show of solidarity, Terkel offers his own credo, Woody Guthrie's "take it easy; but take it."

You can listen to this wonderful historic document here. Ginsberg's contribution to the Big Table reading can be heard here.

[ above, clockwise from top left: Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, and Paul Carroll, Chicago, 1959 ]





Harvey Shapiro: 2005 KWH Reading Now Segmented

Posted 8/22/2016

In the fall of 2005 Harvey Shapiro and Norman Finkelstein visited our own Kelly Writers House for a multi-day visit in which they gave readings and took part in a panel discussion on the Objectivists moderated by Bob Perelman. Today, we're highlighting Shapiro's reading from that visit, which was recently segmented into individual MP3s for each poem.

Altogether Shapiro read twenty-seven poems during his set that ran for a little over half an hour. Titles include "Brooklyn Heights," "Three Flights Down the Stairs," "The Librarian," "According to the Rabbis," "The Generations," "Night in the Hamptons," "Telling the Muse What its Like After 70," "Sky," "The Uses of Poetry," "At the Seminar," and "The Old Poet Sums Up."

Shapiro died just shy of his eighty-eighth birthday in January 2013. On his PennSound author page you'll find his 2005 KWH recordings along with his brief contribution to a 2008 Poets House tribute to George Oppen, a 2010 reading from the Key West Literary Seminar, and two singles from Cat Radio Cafe. There's also a 2014 celebration of Shapiro's posthumously-released A Momentary Glory, hosted by Finkelstein, his literary executor. You can read his introduction to that volume and a sampling of the poems contained therein at Jacket2.


In Memoriam: Dennis Tedlock (1939-2016)

Posted 8/18/2016

Earlier today, Charles Bernstein posted the news that Dennis Tedlock, a longtime friend and colleague, had passed away on June 3rd: "I worked closely with Dennis during our time in the Poetics Program at SUNY-Buffalo. I greatly admired Dennis's work and was lucky to get to know him."

He continues, offering a brief list of Tedlock's achievements: "Dennis Tedlock, poet, extraordinary translator of the Popul Vuh and other Mayan treasures over two millennia, editor with Jerome Rothenberg of Alcheringa and with Barbara Tedlock editor of American Anthropologist (1994-1998), essayist/scholar on ethnopoetics, orality, and translation. Dennis was the co-founder of the SUNY-Buffalo Poetics Program and held the James N. McNulty chair in the English department (beginning in 1987)."

Bernstein points his readers in the direction of his 1995 LINEbreak interview with Wedlock as well as the complete Alcheringa audio archives on PennSound. There are also a number of recordings of Tedlock on our SUNY-Buffalo page.





PennSound Daily is written by Michael S. Hennessey.

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