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)

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The School of Life Reading Series, Melbourne

Posted 5/23/2016

Here's an exciting new addition to our roster of reading series: the Poets in the Cafe reading series from the School of Life in Melbourne, Australia. The readings are curated and hosted by Robert Wood, who's produced several fantastic articles for Jacket2 on Australian Aboriginal poetry and poetics over the years and will be publishing a new piece with us in the near future.

Altogether we're presenting seven readings — by Bonny Cassidy, Luke Beesley, Jess Wilkinson, Matt Hall, Kent MacCarter, Melinda Bufton, and Autumn Royal — that took place over the last twelve months and we look forward to hosting more recordings as time passes. Those eager for more Australian poetry should check out our massive Anthology of Australian Poets, curated by Pam Brown as a complement to her equally-ambitious Jacket2 feature, "Fifty-One Contemporary Poets from Australia."

Robert Ashley: Music with Roots in the Aether (1974)

Posted 5/20/2016

We're wrapping this week up by taking another look at a remarkable series housed on our PennSound Cinema page: Robert Ashley's seven-part "opera for television," Music with Roots in the Aether. We've hosted a copy of this series for many years, and replaced our original lo-fi copies with new remasters in January 2011. Here's how Ashley descibes his ambitious project, first released in 1974:

Music with Roots in the Aether is a music-theater piece in color video. It is the final version of an idea that I had thought about and worked on for a few years: to make a very large collaborative piece with other composers whose music I like. The collaborative aspect of Music with Roots in the Aether is in the theater of the interviews, at least primarily, and I am indebted to all of the composers involved for their generosity in allowing me to portray them in this manner.

The piece turns out to be, in addition, a large-scale documentation of an important stylistic that came into American concert music in about 1960. These composers of the "post-serial" / "post-Cage" movement have all made international reputations for the originality of their work and for their contributions to this area of musical compositions.

The style of the video presentation comes from the need I felt to find a new way to show music being performed. The idea of the visual style of
Music with Roots in the Aether is plain: to watch as closely as possible the action of the performers and to not "cut" the seen material in any way — that is, to not editorialize on the time domain of the music through arbitrary space-time substitutions.

The visual style for showing the music being made became the "theater" (the stage) for the interviews, and the portraits of the composers were designed to happen in that style.

The seven installments focus on the work of (in order) David Behrman, Philip Glass, Alvin Lucier, Gordon Mumma, Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley and Ashley himself — representing the vanguard of contemporary composers — and include both lengthy interviews as well as performances. We've also included a link to a 2004 essay in The Brooklyn Rail by Kenneth Goldsmith: in it, Goldsmith appraises Music with Roots in the Aether as "a great snapshot of the period," and observes that "we're lucky that someone went through all this trouble to preserve a very valuable piece of musical history."

City Planning Poetics with Osman and Hillier, 2016

Posted 5/18/2016

Today we're highlighting the inaugural offering from a new series being held at our Kelly Writers House. Organized and hosted by Davy Knittle, "City Planning Poetics" will hold events once a semester "that invite one or more poets and one or more planners, designers, planning historians or others working in the field of city planning to discuss a particular topic central to their work, to ask each other questions, and to read from their current projects."

The first event, held this past February 24th, asked the questions "What is a map? What can a map do?" of guests Jena Osman and Amy Hillier. Osman is a Professor of English at Temple University, where she teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Program, and the author of a number of books, including her most recent, Corporate Relations (Burning Deck, 2014). Hillier teaches GIS courses in city planning, urban studies, and social work at UPenn's School of Design. Her research has focused on spatial health disparities including access to healthful foods and exposure to outdoor advertising.

You can either watch streaming video of this fascinating event or download the nearly-90 minute recording in MP3 format here. We'll look forward to new additions to this series.

PennSound Daily is written by Michael S. Hennessey.

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