Six Poets Each Teach One Short Poem to High School Students

Posted 6/1/2009 (link)


At PennSound, we pride ourselves on being able to provide our listeners with thousands of recordings of poets reading their own poetry, as well as numerous lectures, interviews and symposia, which grant the authors an opportunity to discuss their work with their audiences. It's a far rarer treat, however, to hear poets discussing the work of their peers and predecessors — the PoemTalk podcast series is one venue where we can witness this sort of discourse, and our latest addition, titled "Six Poets Each Teach One Short Poem to High School Students," is another.

On the morning of May 12th, eleven eleventh graders from Liza Ewen's English class at Friends' Central School visited the Kelly Writers House, at the invitation of Al Filreis, and met with a group of Philadelphia poets, including Sarah Dowling, Michelle Taransky (shown at left), John Timpane, CAConrad, Randall Couch and Thomas Devaney. Filreis challenged the poets to choose a short work by a favorite poet — something which would provide insights into both their love of poetry and their own lives as poets — and teach that poem to the students in a twenty-minute session.

The poets' choices — Dowling picks Lorine Niedecker's "[I married . . .]," Taransky chooses Robert Creeley's "The Sentence," Timpane speaks on Helen Chasin's "The Word Plum," Conrad chooses an excerpt from Frank Sherlock's "Wounds in an Imaginary Nature Show," Couch discusses Harryette Mullen's "Zombie Hat," and Devaney pairs John Ashbery's "37 Haiku" with one of Basho's haiku — offer us not only a glimpse into their own reading processes and inspirations, but also a wonderful opportunity to witness six distinct pedagogical approaches to poetry in action with an engaged and appreciative audience. Moreover, this spirited session serves as a rejoinder to those who think it's impossible to get students interested in poetry, or that "difficult" poetry makes for difficult teaching.

We've created a special page for this event, where all six poets' discussions are presented both in streaming MP3 audio and downloadable QuickTime video formats. Clicking on the title above takes you directly there.


In Memoriam: David Bromige (1933-2009)

Posted 6/3/2009 (link)


PennSound is terribly sorry to have learned of the passing of poet David Bromige early this morning at the age of seventy-five. Ron Silliman remembers him as "a unique poet, mostly due to his great powers of observation and keen wit," and also "the finest reader of his own poetry aloud I have ever heard," before adding a more personal note, "I dearly loved the man & learned more from him than I ever could hope to pay back."

When confronted by the death of an author who's become a part of our cultural (let alone personal) lives, there's perhaps some comfort in knowing that their work carries on, and so we humbly direct you to PennSound's David Bromige author page, where you can listen to a broad sampling of his writing spanning more than thirty years.

We begin with a trio of early Segue Series readings at the Ear Inn dating from 1978, 1984 and 1985. Paired with Carole Korzeniowsky for the first, recorded on December 2, 1978, he read eight pieces, including "In the Restroom at the Grand Piano," "Seven Postcards from Seven Who Know Best," "In the Kitchen with the Norwegian" and "The Romance of the Automobile." A brief set from March 3 1984 (which is comprised of "Red Hats" and "Lazy Susan") is followed by a much longer performance from October 5, 1985, during which Bromige read two excerpts from "UC or You See" and "Geographist's History." There's also a fifteen minute recording from an undated Segue Series reading at HERE.

Next, we have an otherwise unidentified recording dating from 1980 in New York City — a treasure trove of material including twenty-two pieces, such as "This Second Kind of Happiness," "Nevertheless the Winter Wears On," "You Discovered That There Was a Fork in the Road," "Hence the Air of Joyful Resignation," before concluding with a masterful twenty-seven minute rendition of "My Compensations (Glurk)."

Bromige was a guest on the first episode of the PhillyTalks program, appearing with Laura Moriarty. Recorded October 31, 1997, the show includes Bromige reading ten poems, including "T as in Tether," "The Signifier Known as George Bowering," "Another Refusal to Mourn," "Vulnerable Bundles Number Ninety-Two" and "Voracious Orifice I Cannot Express." A PDF transcript of the show, including all of the poems, is available on the program page.

For those looking to know more about the man and his work, we direct you to his EPC author page, and an excellent Bromige feature in Jacket 22 (2003) — which includes a selection of his writings, an interview by Doug Powell, and tributes by Robert Grenier, Gary Sullivan and Kathleen Fraser, among others — and Bromige's Wikipedia entry, which contains both biographical and bibliographical information. Tributes will be forthcoming on both Silliman's Blog and Charles Bernstein's Web Log, and the Bromige family has set up a blog where friends and fans can pay their respects. Our thoughts are with them in this very difficult time.


Spring Segue Series Readings at the Bowery Poetry Club

Posted 6/5/2009 (link)


Now in its seventh year of residence at the venerable Bowery Poetry Club, and its thirty-second year of existence overall, the Segue Reading Series is still going strong, as evidenced by a particularly strong schedule of weekly readings this spring, organized by Nada Gordon and Gary Sullivan in February and March, and Tim Peterson and Kristen Gallagher in April and May.

Unfortunately, due to unforeseeable technical difficulties, our recordings of a number of these fantastic events were damaged, rendering them almost unlistenable at times. Given the cultural relevence of these readings and the great many listeners who were unable to see them in person, we wanted to try to salvage as much as possible, and so over the past few weeks, our intern Rebekah Caton has been engaged in the painstaking work of editing these files to make presentable MP3s. Some recordings begin in the middle, or cut off abruptly halfway through, while we've only been able to preserve a few poems from others, however we think you'll agree that, in this case, anything is better than nothing.

Starting on Valentine's day, we have the pairing of Stephanie Young and Steve Benson, presented in its entirety, however at a low recording quality. Two weeks later on February 28th, the featured readers were a historic pairing of Brian Kim Stefans and John Giorno — three poems are presented from Stefans' set ("The New," two excerpts from "Third Season, Harold and Sonia," and "The Card Players"), while four were preserved from Giorno's set ("It Doesn't Get Better," "The Wisdom of Witches," "A Bad Tree" and "Thanks for Nothin'"). Next, we have the March 7th reading by Rachel Zolf and Jerome Sala: we're able to post Sala's reading in its entirety, while Zolf's begins in medias res.

While Adeena Karasick's reading one week later, also begins midway through, we're also able to provide a link to her video for "I Got a Crush on Osama," which concluded her set. Similar technical difficulties affected the subsequent readings by K. Silem Mohammad (on March 21st), James Sherry (on March 28th), though the recordings for their respective partners, Charles Bernstein, Cecelia Vicuña and Lytle Shaw were minimally affected, and so are presented in their entirety. Finally, though the same issues were present in the recording of Jennifer Bartlett and Ron Silliman's April 4th reading, we were able to salvage sizable chunks of each poet's set.

While we greatly regret that we're unable to present clean and complete recordings of all of these marvelous readings we're nevertheless glad to have an incomplete artifact from each, and are equally happy that these issues do not affect this spring's final six readings. PennSound and the wonderful staff at the Bowery Poetry Club have been working together on a new system of electronic transfers, which means that we'll now be able to post each week's reading within days of the event itself, rather than having to wait weeks or months to post an entire season's programming — welcome news for poetry lovers who can't be in New York City to witness the Segue Series in person. Next week, we'll shine a spotlight on highlights from this spring that weren't affected by these technical difficulties.


Patrick Durgin: Segue Series Reading at the Bowery Poetry Club, 2009

Posted 6/8/2009 (link)


We closed out last week by highlighting a number of recordings from this spring's Segue Series readings at the Bowery Poetry Club which unfortunately suffered from technical difficulties, and promised to focus on several of the unaffected recordings this week. Today, we begin that process by taking a look at Patrick Durgin's May 30th reading with Stacy Szymaszek — the final event until the fall.

After telling the audience about his recent detention by the Department of Homeland Security — attributable to, Durgin surmises, someone else with the same name "who's a very evil man" — his set begins with "More Familiars," followed by "More Familiars (coda)," an appropriate choice given the poem's assertions of identity and talk of sedition. From there, he moves on to "Everything From Surfaces," subject of a recent essay concerned with the difference between motive and intention, and "What Woe," inspired by a challenge to write lines as long as possible. He concludes with a pair of longer pieces: first, two excerpts from an untitled triptych, and finally "Color Music," first published by Cuneiform Press in an edition illustrated by Eric Troolin in 2002.

On Durgin's PennSound author page, you'll find a pair of brief readings from March 2008, recorded at Chicago's Myopic Books and the legendary Woodland Pattern in Milwaukee, as well as two individual poems taken from the MLA Offsite Readings in 2004 and 2006. There's also a wonderful appearance on KHSU's Mad River Anthology, Hannah Weiner's Open House, and shares his own creative work, both poetry and music.

You can listen to Durgin's reading and all of the aforementioned recordings by clicking on the title above. To hear Stacy Szymaszek's marvelous reading, which draws from her just-published book, Hyperglossia, and a new work-in-progress, Hart Island, click here.


Charles Bernstein: Segue Series Reading at the Bowery Poetry Club, 2009

Posted 6/10/2009 (link)


Here's another wonderful Segue Series reading from this past spring at the Bowery Poetry ClubCharles Bernstein's March 14, 2009 reading alongside Adeena Karasick, which is presented here as separate MP3s for each poem.

Introduced as "the CFO of the Center for Avant-Garde Comedy and Stand-Up Poetry," in a lavish introduction by Gary Sullivan (read by Nada Gordon), which also compares his work to both the Firesign Theatre and the Clash, Bernstein kicks off a set of new material with "Manifest Aversions, Conceptual Conundrums, & Implausibly Deniable Links," a manifesto published in last February's Poetry, and "Pompeii," published in the magazine last June. Texts to two of the other poems read here, "The Sixties, With Apologies" and "Death Rides a Pale Horse," were published on Jerome Rothenberg's Poems and Poetics blog last August, while the breathtaking "Morality" appeared in onedit #12.

In addition to these pieces, Bernstein's set also includes "The Moment is You," "Won't You Give Up This Poem to Someone Who Needs It?," "If You Say Something, See Something," "Today Is the Last Day of Your Life Until Now" and "Election Day," among others. He concludes with his translation of Charles Baudelaire's "Be Drunken," which he also read as part of the March 29th reading celebrating the launch of Poets for the Millennium III: the University of California Book of Romantic and Postromantic Poetry, edited by Rothenberg and Jeffery C. Robinson. We'll be making a recording of that event available in the near future. For the time being, however, those of us who've been eagerly awaiting the follow-up to Girly Man and Blind Witness can enjoy this set of brand-new Bernstein material.


PoemTalk 18: Lydia Davis' "A Position at the University"

Posted 6/12/2009 (link)


Earlier this week, we released the eighteenth episode in the PoemTalk podcast series: a discussion of Lydia Davis' prose poem (or short-short, or "poetic parable in prose," in Filreis' words), "A Position at the University." Joining host Al Filreis for this latest program are two first-time PoemTalkers — Adrian Khactu and David Grazian — along with veteran panelist Jessica Lowenthal.

Filreis begins by asking Khactu to qualify his statement that Davis' piece is reminiscent of "mundane SF" (a science fiction genre which eschews aliens and monsters for more quotidian horrors), which leads into a discussion of whether "A Position at the University" even qualifies as poetry — Lowenthal deems the program the inaugural episode of "PoemProseTalk" — or why Davis is included among the poets on PennSound. Sociologist Grazian is asked whether splitting hairs over genre matters, and he adds a third possibility, seeing it as an ethnographic field note in which Davis "draw[s] on her own personal experience to try to make a larger argument about the way that the world works," and more specifically, as "an argument about authenticity [...] essentially the idea that authenticity is based on the imagination, it's based on a set of characteristics that we attribute to things in the world as opposed to the way things actually are," namely the stereotypical caricature of professorhood and one's idiosyncratic expression thereof.

Lowenthal challenges this presumption, citing Davis' ambiguous and un-gendered language as a potential stand-in for numerous potential positions, and ultimately a subject-position relationship which determines identity, which leads to Filreis asking his panelists how comfortable they are with avowing that they have a position at the University of Pennsylvania and what baggage that might bring with it. He then broadens this question to a more general sense of identity and one's self-awareness of it, and the ways in which that might or might not fit with the characteristics of one who holds a position at a university before moving into a consideration of Davis' language, its "striking [...] turnings [and] commonplaces repeated in different arrangements" (which are reminiscent of Gertrude Stein). Lowenthal sees the piece's movement not only forces us to confront our associations with the titular phrase, but also mimics the speaker's own recursive process of coming to a decision as to what this phrase, this identity, means to her. Khactu points out not only the repetition, but also the effects of the piece's multiple layered variations, citing a recent interview in Bomb with Francine Prose in which Davis avers that "all rhythms are seductive." For Filreis, this density is mesmerizing in the same way that Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations are, thus the repetitions both musically pleasing, but also subtly trying to convince readers of something.

Grazian believes that both Davis' subject matter and use of language betray her knowledge of her audience, who are likely not only college-educated but also members of the academy, causing Lowenthal to partially recant her earlier statement (that one's "position at the university" could as easily be that of janitor as professor) due to the way in which Davis makes use of "the language of the university [...] formal argument, fact analysis, conclusion synthesis," and Filreis agrees, seeing the piece as a deconstruction and subversion of this sort of logical discourse and finding much pleasure there.

The panelists then listen to Davis' post-script to the piece, shared with the Kelly Writers House audience at her 1999 reading, to see whether it helps them better understand her aims in this piece. Grazian and Filreis ultimately feel that it seems to skirt the broader identity implications present here, while for Khactu its dynamic between high and low culture, its disavowal of conservative cultural roots, is emblematic of the "wanting to have it both ways" which is a central part of life in the academic sphere. Using this as a springboard, Filreis is able to bring the program to a close by framing Davis in comparison to many of the other writers featured on PoemTalk — while they often exist within the university, they like to see themselves on the fringe of that discourse, even as they engage with it, and in "A Position at the University," Davis is able to elegantly capture that relationship as well as "the philosophical problem of being and seeming" in a work which itself exists in the interstitial space between genres.

PoemTalk is a co-production of PennSound, the Kelly Writers House and the Poetry Foundation. If you're interested in more information on the series or want to hear the previous seventeen episodes, please visit the PoemTalk blog, and don't forget that you can subscribe to the series through the iTunes music store. Our next episode will feature a wonderful panel of Al Filreis, Sarah Dowling, Tom Mandel and Rodrigo Toscano discussing Bob Perelman's "The Unruly Child," while future programs in the series will include conversations on Amiri Baraka, Charles Bernstein, Louis Zukofsky and Cid Corman and Barbara Guest.


Tony Green: New Author Page

Posted 6/15/2009 (link)


After a long academic year of wonderful programming at the Kelly Writers House, we often settle into an uneasy lull over the summer months — suddenly, there are far less readings to go to, far less opportunities to convene with our community of fellow writers and readers. For those reasons and more, the June 4th performance by Tony Green (who came to Philadelphia all the way from New Zealand, his first visit in two decades) was greatly appreciated by a packed Writers House audience. We've now constructed a new PennSound author page for Green, where you can listen to his complete presentation, view selected video excerpts, and also hear a new PennSound Podcast featuring Green in conversation with Al Filreis.

Green reads nearly a dozen pieces during the course of the forty-five minute set, including poems such as "Rough Draft," "Picasso's Portrait of Gertrude," "An Accumulative Text" and "Circumference Center," as well as a number of his word sculptures or poem-objects, like "Big Mug Vodka Maker," "Loopy Almost" and "Blue Bottle Nos. 28-32," for which both video and audio clips are available. While Green's opening comments and introductions to individual pieces shed some light upon his creative process, you'll definitely want to listen to his lengthy conversation with Filreis for a thorough history of his development of these poetic pieces, his career in (and out of sorts with) the academy and his long friendship with Robert Creeley. Their discussion has also been released as PennSound Podcast #14, for those of you who've subscribed to the series through iTunes.

Green's visit has been the subject of quite a bit of blog chatter recently: Filreis has written two recent entries celebrating Green's visit, one brief recollection of the reading and a meditation on "Big Mug Vodka Maker,", a piece Green presented to him after he'd admired it from afar for years. Meanwhile, on the PhillySound blog, poet CAConrad shared an enthusiastic write-up of the event, which begins as such:

Magic is a word I want us to reclaim from rolling eyes. It's a word we can use everyday, make it everyday to us in every way in making poetry strong enough to need no other magic. It's my extreme pleasure to have met an elder who has been cooking all the best sense of magic for many decades, strengthening poetry for us all, everyday. Tony Green needs little prompting from us to pay attention, as once he gets going we truly are in his realm, we're right with him. And he's never asking that we orbit him, but orbit poetry with him.

If you'd like to view Green's work in person, local poet and puppeteer par excellence Ish Klein has donated the poem-tube in the photo above to the Penn Book Center at 34th and Sansom so that those unable to attend Green's reading can still see his work. If you're not anywhere near Philadelphia, however, you'll still be able to get a thorough introduction to Green's word sculptures by clicking on the title above


Bernadette Mayer and Lee Ann Brown: KWH 2007, Now Segmented

Posted 6/17/2009 (link)


Today, we're proud to announce that one of our favorite Kelly Writers House events in recent memory is now available as individual MP3 files. On September 13, 2007, friends and long-time compatriots Bernadette Mayer and Lee Ann Brown kicked off a marvelous year of programming at the Writers House with a joint reading, which featured new works, classic poems and a new collaboration, "You'll Be Hearing from Me" (a "very New York-sounding" title, as Brown notes). Because the two poets decided to read by alternating poems, rather than in two discreet sets, we'd originally left their seventy-minute performance (which also features lengthy, intimate introductions by Charles Bernstein and Jessica Lowenthal, and a guest appearance by CAConrad, who reads Mayer's "Sonnet: You Jerk, You Didn't Call Me") intact, however we've now gone back and carefully edited the session, marking individual titles and readers, so that listeners can find their favorite selections instantly.

Highlights from the reading include a number of favorites from Mayer's latest book, Poetry State Forest (including "Rural Drama," "Chocolate Poetry Sonnet," "Images and Phrases from Shakespeare's Sonnets and Jack Kerouac's Desolation Angels" and "Inky-Dinky Parlez-Vous: Variations on SpongeBob SquarePants") along with a few classic pieces ("Failure in Infinitives" and "Sci-Fi-ed Lee Ann"), however the real treat here is hearing as-yet unreleased work from Mayer and Brown, and in particular hearing these two process-driven poets, who've consciously made poetry an integral part of their process of daily living, describe the methods by which their works are composed. Both poets recorded individual Close Listening conversations with Bernstein earlier in the day, in which they discuss their own idiosyncratic poetics and projects both old and new.

We've put together a special page for this day's events, which contains both the reading and the two Close Listening programs, as well as portraits taken by Bernstein (seen above), and you can visit that page by clicking on the title above. Also be sure to visit PennSound's individual author pages for Bernadette Mayer and Lee Ann Brown, where you'll find a treasure trove of recordings by the two, dating from the late seventies to the present, including an October 15, 1988 Segue Series reading at the Ear Inn which also features the pair reading together.


Allen Ginsberg: New Recordings Courtesy of Robert Creeley

Posted 6/19/2009 (link)


In the past week or so, we've added a pair of vintage recordings of Allen Ginsberg to the site, both of which were uncovered during our continuing archival of Robert Creeley's personal collection of reel-to-reel tapes.

We begin with Ginsberg's complete historic reading at the Vancouver Poetry Conference in July 1963 — a raucous and entertaining eighty-minute set which finds the poet both settling into his role as one of America's preeminent poetic voices, and exploring the full breadth of more than fifteen years of poetic output. Indeed, he begins with a number of pre-"Howl" compositions, first collected in 1961's Empty Mirror: Early Poems (published by Hettie and LeRoi Jones' Corinth Press), such as "How Come He Got Canned at the Ribbon Factory," "The Brick Layer's Lunch Hour," "Marijuana Notation" and "The Archetype Poem," before launching into a number of his most-beloved poems from Howl and Other Poems, Kaddish and Other Poems and Reality Sandwiches, including "Sunflower Sutra," "A Strange New Cottage in Berkeley," "In the Baggage Room at Greyhound," "The Green Automobile" "Transcription of Organ Music," "My Sad Self" and ""Psalm III." While he reads a lengthy excerpt from one of his contemporary masterpieces, "Kaddish," to close the set, it's interesting that he only half-heartedly gets five lines into "Howl" before abandoning it, citing his lack of desire to read his best-known work.

The second recording — more esoteric, perhaps, but no less interesting — features the poet in conversation with Robert Creeley, who'd invited him to read as part of the Just Buffalo reading series in October 1978. While we have not yet been able to salvage the recording of the reading itself, due to its poor quality, this two-hour discussion is undoubtedly of far greater cultural value, offering listeners an insider's view of the friendship between these two titans of American arts and letters. Starting with a brief exploration of California's Proposition Six (also known as the Briggs amendment, which would ban homosexuals from working in the state's public schools, and which was eventually defeated by the efforts of Harvey Milk, among others), the two continue, touching upon topics including the relationship between poetry and politics, and a long history of American censorship of literature.

We're very glad to be able to add these two recordings to our Allen Ginsberg author page, where you'll also find a pair of 1950s readings from the Poetry Center at the San Francisco State University, the poet's three-night residence at the Knitting Factory in 1995 (where he read his epic poetic works, "Howl," "Kaddish" and "Wichita Vortex Sutra") and his 1970 LP of Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience, among other recordings.


Two New PennSound Podcasts: Dan Saxon and George Oppen

Posted 6/22/2009 (link)


Last Monday, as part of our write-up on Tony Green's visit to the Kelly Writers House, we mentioned that his conversation with PennSound co-director Al Filreis had been released as the fourteenth episode in the PennSound Podcast series. Since then, Filreis has put together two more podcasts, which we're proud to announce today.

We begin with episode #15, featuring Dan Saxon (above), a UPenn alumnus with many continued connections to the school, who is perhaps best known to fans of avant-garde poetics as the editor of the germinal rexographed journals, Poets at Les Deux Mégots and Poets at Le Metro. The history of these magazines, which chronicled the lively poetry scene in two venues predating the Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church in the Bowery, paralleled the explosion of mimeographed journals such as Ted Berrigan's "C", Lewis Warsh and Anne Waldman's Angel Hair, and Ed Sanders' Fuck You / a magazine of the arts, is recollected in Daniel Kane's marvelous All Poets Welcome: the Lower East Side Poetry Scene in the 1960s. Here, in conversation with Filreis, Saxon recollects his youthful inspirations as a poet, his introduction to the downtown poetry scene, the process of assembling each issue of the journal, and the eventual end of his publications. It's compelling testimony, which provides new insights into this tremendously important moment in the development of 20th century American poetics. You can read more about this podcast on Filreis' blog.

Next, we have episode #16, a 23-minute condensed version of one of the more exciting events at the Kelly Writers House in recent memory: our George Oppen Centennial Celebration in April 2008. Organized by Thomas Devaney, the evening featured recollections, meditations and poetry by an all-star lineup including Michael Heller, Tom Mandel, Ann Lauterbach, George Economou, Stephen Cope, Ron Silliman, Filreis and Devaney himself. The podcast presents the evening's contributions by Rachel Blau DuPlessis ("Section 9: Of Being Numerous") and Bob Perelman ("Oppen's Knowledge") in their entirety, with an introduction by Filreis. You can hear audio of the entire event, as well as see photos from the evening and scans of contemporary documents brought by Mandel and Economou on our Oppen Centennial Page, and read Filreis' write-up of this new podcast on his blog.


Anne Tardos: Refrigerator Defrosting and Cross-Cultural Poetics

Posted 6/24/2009 (link)


Today, we're very happy to present a number of new recordings by Anne Tardos — a newly recovered audio experiment from the mid-70s, and the poet, artist and composer's recent appearance on Cross-Cultural Poetics, where she reads a selection of her latest work.

Tardos recently sent us an MP3 digitization of a tape she'd made in 1975, transforming the mundane work of defrosting her refrigerator into a wonderful experiment in found sound, which revels in the icebox's deep metallic resonances and the steady tinkling syncopation of the freezer's dripping. On top of this incidental soundtrack, Tardos recorded a layer of vocal improvisations which waver between soprano drones and phonomenic pulses. Both the original audio of the defrosting alone and her duet with the refrigerator are included here, as well as a drawing she made of the recording setup, ("the score as it were"), an excerpt of which is seen at left. It's also worth noting that this raw track also served as the foundation of "Refrigerator Defrosting-Pseudoglossolallia," a track featuring Tardos and her husband and longtime collaborator, Jackson Mac Low, taken from the CD which accompanied Mac Low's 2006 Granary Books collection, Doings: Assorted Performance Pieces 1955-2002, which you can hear on Tardos' PennSound Author Page as well as a special page we've put together for that disc.

Our second new recording is Tardos' March 8, 2009 appearance on episode #186 of Leonard Schwartz's Cross-Cultural Poetics, "You and I," where she appeared alongside Charles Simic. In this program, Tardos discusses her latest collection, 2008's I am You (Salt Publishing) and reads from all three longform poems in the collection, starting with "Going Away" (the fourth and final section of "The Aim of All Nature is Beauty"), which is followed by the first six sections from "Letting Go" (the hundred-page centerpiece of the book), before she concludes with two excerpts from the final poem, "The Letter: A Bloodbath."

Earlier this spring, Tardos sent us a link to the scores of her 1992 performance work, Among Men, which you can also hear on her PennSound author page, along with numerous other readings, performances, musical compositions and interviews, spanning more than thirty years of her creative output, and we're very proud to have so grand a collection of her work available for our listeners. Click on the title at the top of the page to start exploring.


Laura Elrick: New Author Page

Posted 6/26/2009 (link)


We're closing out the week with a just-completed author page for poet Laura Elrick, who's currently at Naropa University as part of the Summer Writing Program at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Over the years, we've accumulated a number of recordings featuring Elrick, and are glad to have finally brought them together in one place, together with a number of additional recordings provided by the poet.

Most recently, we have "Stalk," a compelling 22-minute video/poem commissioned for the Positions Colloquium at Vancouver's Kootenay School of Writing last August, which traces the motions of an anonymous figure dressed in the manner of a Guantanamo Bay detainee as it filters through daytime street traffic in Manhattan, accompanied by excerpts from Department of Defense interrogation logs.

This is followed by an appearance on Ceptuetics Radio in April of the same year, in which she shares five multivocal audio pieces distilled from the text of her 2005 collection, Fantasies in Permeable Structures and chats with host Kareem Estefan about "constraint, chronologies and positioning the subject in permeable structures." Elrick also reads from that volume as part of her 2004 appearance on tangentradio, hosted by Kaia Sand and Jules Boykoff, while the poet's 2005 appearance on Cross-Cultural Poetics, hosted by Leonard Schwartz, showcases readings from from her earlier collection, Skincerity.

Finally, our archive is rounded out by a pair of pieces taken from the second issue of the online journal, textsound — "Zoon" and "Spool" — and Elrick's contribution to the Segue Series' 2006 Eco Panel at the Bowery Poetry Club, which also featured Ed Roberson, Jill Magi and Karen Anderson. We've also included a link to video of a wonderful performance of Hannah Weiner's "Romeo and Juliet" by Elrick, Kaplan Harris and Rodrigo Toscano, staged as part of the 2007 celebration of Hannah Weiner's Open House, edited by Patrick Durgin. We're happy to have formally added Elrick to our roster of poets, and look forward to adding new material from her in the future.


Tina Darragh: New Author Page

Posted 6/29/2009 (link)


As the summer slowly unfolds, our astounding army of interns — Rebekah Caton, Rebekah Larsen and Anna Zalokostas — continue to process tapes at an impressive clip, resulting in a slew of new recordings and new author pages, including our new Tina Darragh page, which we launched today.

Bringing together thirty years' worth of recordings, our Darragh page brings together a number of recordings that were already available on PennSound, along with a few new additions. We begin with a trio of Segue Series readings, including sets at the Bowery Poetry Club in 2009, 2007 along with a vintage reading at the Ear Inn in 1987. There's also a 2001 recording from the Lytle Shaw-curated Line Reading Series at New York City's Drawing Center, and a 1998 appearance on the fourth episode of PhillyTalks alongside Jena Osman, which is available as fourteen individual files (alongside a PDF transcription of the program). Finally, we've added a link to Charles Bernstein's miniature video portrait of Darragh, shot in 2006.

To this already-ample body of work, we've added two new additions. First, there's Darragh's 1994 reading at SUNY Buffalo as part of the Wednesdays @ 4Plus series, which includes the poems, "Scale Sliding," "A Pefect One of Those" and "The Adverb Fan," all three of which, in varying ways, "juxtapos[e] narrative explorations with dictionary transcriptions." We've also added the 1979 Widemouth Tapes release, Xa, which also features Doug Lang, and have also created a Doug Lang author page to house his half of that recording and a 1978 Segue Series Reading at the Ear Inn. Xa contains a number of poems which were eventually published in the 1981 Sun and Moon collection, on the corner   to   off the corner, which interested listeners can read in its entirety at Eclipse.

We're proud to be able to present a career-spanning selection of recordings from this influential poet, and encourage you to click on the title above to start exploring.