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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Robert Duncan Reads "Passages" at the Berkeley Poetry Conference, 1965

Posted 10/27/2021

Today we're highlighting a newly-added recording of Robert Duncan reading at the historic Berkeley Poetry Conference. Recorded on July 16, 1965, this is ostensibly Duncan's reading from that day, introduced by Thomas Parkinson, and the one hour and forty minute set includes sections 1–25 of "Passages," Duncan's series that stretched across Bending the Bow (1968) Ground Work (1984), and Ground Work II (1987).

This new addition complements another recording of Duncan at the Berkeley Poetry Conference, presumable from during his seminar held July 12–16, which includes the titles"Often I am Permitted to Return to a Meadow," "Structure of Rime" numbers 9–11, "Apprehensions," "Osiris and Set (from Roots and Branches)," "A Poem Beginning with a Line by Pindar," "The Continent," and "The Multiversity." Taken together they present a fuller portrait of Duncan's influential presence at this landmark conference, though sadly we still do not have a recording of his July 13th lecture "Psyche-Myth and the Moment of Truth." Listen to both Berkeley recordings by clicking here

On PennSound's Robert Duncan author page you'll find a wide array of readings, talks, films, and more from 1951–1986, along with a 1990 memorial reading. Click here to start browsing.


Bern Porter on PennSound

Posted 10/25/2021

Today we're highlighting our holdings from the influential author, artist, and publisher Bern Porter, perhaps best known for his pioneering work in the field of Found Poetry.

Our earliest recording is parts one and two of "For Our Friends in Germany," recorded by Mark Melnicove in 1979 at the Eternal Poetry Festival in South Harpswell, Maine. Then there's "Aspects of Modern Poetry," a 1982 WBAI program with Bob Holman that was broadcast live. It's presented in two parts that are roughly a half-hour each.

Next, we have the New Wilderness Audiographics cassette release, Found Sounds, whose two sides consist of two separate sessions, the first made on December 2, 1978 with Dick Higgins and Charlie Morrow; the second from May 9, 1981 and featuring Patricia Burgess (tenor saxophone), Glen Velez (bodhrán, cymbal, tambourine), and Morrow (brass, ocarina, and voice). 

Jumping forward to December 1989, we have a recording from "Williamson Street Night" at the Avant Garde, Museum of Temporary Art in Madison, Wisconsin with contributions by Malok, Elizabeth Was & mIEKAL aND, and our final recording is an interview with Higgins and aND from Woodland Pattern Book Center on March 16, 1990. You can browse all of the aforementioned recordings by visiting our Bern Porter author page.

Remembering Kerouac on the 52nd Anniversary of His Death

Posted 10/21/2021

This October 21st marks 52 years since the passing of legendary Beat Generation author Jack Kerouac (1922–1969). While we don't have permission from the Kerouac estate to share recordings of the poet's work — multiple albums, including collaborations with Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, along with polymath Steve Allen, are widely available — we do have a few noteworthy recordings of others reading him within our archives.

Of course, you'll recall that we only recently announced Vivien Bittencourt and Vincent Katz's short film documenting a 1988 tribute reading of Kerouac's Mexico City Blues, which took place at the Knitting Factory. This stunning half-hour video includes live performances by Barbara Barg, Charles BernsteinLee Ann Brown, Maggie Dubris, Allen GinsbergRichard HellBob Holman, Lita Hornick, Vicki Hudspith, Vincent Katz, Rochelle Kraut, Gerard Malanga, Judith Malina, Eileen MylesSimon Pettet, Hanon Reznikov, Bob Rosenthal, Jerome Rothenberg, Tom Savage, Elio Schneeman, Michael Scholnick, Carl Solomon, Steven Taylor, David Trinidad, Lewis Warsh, Hal Willner, and Nina Zivancevic, while Mark Ettinger, Dennis Mitcheltree, Charlie Morrow, and Samir Safwat, among others, providing live, improvised accompaniment. Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Michael McClure also appear in brief interview segments. You can watch here.

Then we have another old favorite from the archives: Clark Coolidge and Michael Gizzi reading Kerouac's iconic spontaneous prose piece, "Old Angel Midnight," taken from a 1994 recording session at the West Stockbridge, MA home studio of Steve Schwartz. Coolidge is, of course, well-known for, as Al FilreisAl Filreis phrases it, "his advocacy for Kerouac as properly belonging to the field of experimental poetry and poetics." Here's how he lays out his sense of what he refers to as Kerouac's "babble flow":
[S]ound is movement. It interests me that the words "momentary" and "moments" come from the same Latin: "moveo, to move. Every statement exists in time and vanishes in time, like in alto saxophonist Eric Dolphy's famous statement about music: "When you hear music, after it's over it's gone in the air, you can never capture it again." That has gradually become more of a positive value to me, because one of the great things about the moment is that if you were there in that moment, you received that moment and there's an intensity to a moment that can never be gone back to that is somehow more memorable. Like they used to say, "Was you there, Charlie?" 
Kerouac said, "Nothing is muddy that runs in time and to laws of time." And I can’t resist putting next to that my favorite statement by Maurice Blanchot: "One can only write if one arrives at the instant towards which one can only move through space opened up by the movement of writing." And that’s not a paradox.
Here's how Kerouac himself described the project (which famously appeared in the premier issue of Big Table, along with excerpts from William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch — content liberated from the suppressed Winter 1958 issue of The Chicago Review): 
"Old Angel Midnight" is only the beginning of a lifelong work in multilingual sound, representing the haddalada-babra of babbling world tongues coming in thru my window at midnight no matter where I live or what I'm doing, in Mexico, Morocco, New York, India or Pakistan, in Spanish, French, Aztec, Gaelic, Keltic, Kurd or Dravidian, the sounds of people yakking and of myself yakking among, ending finally in great intuitions of the sounds of tongues throughout the entire universe in all directions in and out forever. And it is the only book I've ever written in which I allow myself the right to say anything I want, absolutely and positively anything, since that's what you hear coming in that window... God in his Infinity wouldn't have had a world otherwise — Amen."
You can listen to Coolidge and Gizzi's rendition of this classic here, and might also want to check out PoemTalk #124, wherein Coolidge and Filreis, along with J.C. Cloutier and Michelle Taransky, discuss their recording of the poem.


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