New at the EPC: 4 Early Books by Leslie Scalapino

Posted 8/2/2010 (link)

We're starting this week off with news of an exciting new addition to our sister-site, the Electronic Poetry Center — namely, complete PDF versions of four early books by Leslie Scalapino. Click on the title above to download or browse through the following titles: O and other poems (Berkeley: Sand Dollar, 1976), The Woman Who Could Read the Minds of Dogs (Berkeley: Sand-Dollar,1976), This eating and walking at the same time is associated all right (Bolinas: Tombouctou, 1979) and Instead of an Animal (with drawings by Diane So, Cloud Marauder Press, 1978). Only small excerpts from some of these books appear in Scalapino's career-spanning selected poems, It's go in horizontal (University of California, 2008), so this is truly wonderful news for those who can't track down the rare and long out-of-print originals.

On the EPC's Scalapino author page you'll find additional selected poems and other writings from a number of sources, and another recent addition is a link to a tribute page on the site of Birkbeck College's Contemporary Poetics Research Centre, featuring memorials from Fanny Howe, Robert Grenier, Caroline Bergvall, Stephen Ratcliffe and Peter Middleton, among others. We've also added these four books to the PEPC Library, and don't forget to check out PennSound's Leslie Scalapino author page, where you can listen to a wide variety of recordings by the late poet, including her last visit to the Kelly Writers House in the fall of 2007 — a recording recently highlighted by Ron Silliman, who found it notable in particular for the lengthy (almost ninety-minute) discussion with audience members (including many students from Charles Bernstein's class). Finally, we'd like to thank E. Tracy Grinnell, Scalapino's literary executor, for her invaluable assistance in making the availability of these books possible.

Stephen Ratcliffe: Many New Resources, Including Conversations with Robert Grenier

Posted 8/4/2010 (link)

While we mentioned Stephen Ratcliffe in passing in our last Daily, today we're very happy to announce that an astounding array of new materials have just been added to our Ratcliffe author page.

We have a number of new readings, all of which are fully segmented, with individual files available for each poem. First up is a 1977 reading at UC Berkeley, featuring a wide array of Ratcliffe's early poems. Moving forward chronologically, we have a 1987 reading in Bolinas with Bill Berkson and Lyn Hejinian (whose segments we'll be posting shortly), 1990 sets in San Francisco (at Canessa Park in April) and San Diego (at UCSD in November), a 1991 reading at Buffalo's Central Park Grill and finally, a 2003 reading in Chicago as part of the Discrete Series. Also included in these new additions is video footage of a 2004 performance of human/nature in Mill Valley.

In addition to all of these wonderful readings, Ratcliffe was also kind enough to send us fourteen recordings from his ongoing conversation with Robert Grenier — an astoundingly intimate and endearing artifact that sheds light on the poets' creative process, as well as their friendship, which has spanned nearly a quarter of a century. Ratcliffe notes that according to Greiner the two "might have first met when he came to my house with David Bromige (whom I'd met in 1984 up at Sonoma State, where I was teaching for a semester that spring), sometime then in the middle eighties, before he actually moved to Bolinas (in 1989). That strikes a chord with me too — since I also have a sense of having met Bob through David, who did visit us several times during that time — and since then also, on David's trips down to Bolinas to see Bob, all three of us would often get together — once I remember them coming in the gate together over here, a bright summer day, David still in good health so it was a while ago, what a pleasure it was."

And here's how Ratcliffe describes the evolution and content of their conversation project:

On eight different occasions between 2001 and 2010, Robert Grenier and Stephen Ratcliffe sat down together in Bolinas (in Grenier's living room, and once in Ratcliffe's) to talk in an ongoing 'conversation' about things such as: "the particular," the cutting of trees in Bolinas, Grenier's drawn poems, Ratcliffe's ongoing 'consecutive days' poems, Grenier's work on Larry Eigner, Ratcliffe's work on offstage action in Hamlet, their domestic lives, and so on. They recorded such 'conversations' on a portable cassette tape deck, one of which (on November 17, 2001) has been transcribed and is now available at the EPC. Unscripted, unedited, unshaped by any other constraint than the 90 minute tape cassette recorder running on the table in front of them, these conversations present the real talk/ ('speech') of RG/SR taking place in the actual time/space in which it happened.

These new additions greatly augment our already-impressive Ratcliffe author page, anchored by a twelve-hour recording of human/nature from UC Davis in 2008, where you'll also find a number of readings, interviews and videos spanning several decades.

New Recordings of Basil Bunting Reading Whitman, Spenser, Pound and More

Posted 8/5/2010 (link)

It's been just over a year since we launched our Basil Bunting author page, and today, we're very happy to announce the addition of more than thirty new tracks from a 1977 reading at the University of Newcastle-on-Tyne. While our last installment of recordings were of Bunting reading from his own work — both The Odes and Briggflatts — these files showcase the poet reading some of his favorite pieces from a variety of poets.

Included in the set are works by Bunting's friends Ezra Pound ("Canto I" and part of "Canto II") and Louis Zukofsky (fifteen poems altogether, including excerpts from "Poem Beginning 'The'" and "A"-7) as well as British poets Thomas Wyatt (credited with introducing the sonnet to the English language and represented here by eleven poems) and Edmund Spenser (two fragments from The Shepheardes Calander) and Walt Whitman ("Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking").

We'd like to express our gratitude to the marvelous Richard Swigg (also architect of our author pages for William Carlos Williams and George Oppen), who was kind enough to pass along these recordings, and hope you enjoy listening to them.

New John Wieners Page at the Electronic Poetry Center

Posted 8/9/2010 (link)

We wish we could have something fantastic from the Electronic Poetry Center to highlight every Monday — certainly, we did last week with PDF copies of four early books from Leslie Scalapino, and today's news is just as exciting as we launch a new author page for John Wieners.

Charles Bernstein announced the page on his blog over the weekend, and CAConrad, who selected the poems and other resources for the page (which was designed by Jack Krick) wrote about the page on the PhillySound blog on Saturday. One of the most exciting things about the new page is the inclusion of recently uncovered materials that that didn't make it into Wieners' Selected Poems 1958-1984 (Black Sparrow). Here, Conrad describes how he discovered one such piece:

AN AMAZING FIND — by sheer accident — was when I was browsing the poetry section at the gay and lesbian library in Philadelphia and came across a couple of issues of LITTLE CAESARS magazine from the 1970's, published by Dennis Cooper. One of these had a Stephen Jonas tribute with an entry stating that the introduction to his 1965 collection TRANSMUTATIONS was written by John Wieners.

The love and magic of interlibrary loan then made TRANSMUTATIONS appear, and to my delight the introduction by Wieners was actually two separate poems (the first written in 1959, the second in 1965). Neither of these poems had ever been reprinted since this slender volume of Jonas's poems with the Basil King drawings in 1965. But Jack Krick has lovingly reprinted them here.

We're grateful to both Conrad and Krick for their hard work on this resource over the past year, and likewise extend our gratitude to Bill Corbett, Penelope Creeley, Jim Dunn, Raymond Foye, Jack Kimball and James Maynard for their help with this endeavor. Click on the title above to start browsing through the EPC's Wieners author page, and don't forget to check out PennSound's Wieners page for a wide variety of readings and conversations from 1965-1999.

Check Out PennSound's YouTube Channel

Posted 8/11/2010 (link)

One of our main summer projects has been augmenting PennSound's YouTube channel, with more than three dozen videos going up in the past 24 hours. The majority of these new additions are videos from Charles Bernstein's Portraits Series — intimate topical micro-portraits of many of Bernstein's old friends in the world of contemporary poetry, painting and film, including Jerry Rothenberg, Susan Howe, Bob Perelman, John Ashbery, Peter Gizzi, Tina Darragh Johanna Drucker, Ann Lauterbach and Bob Grenier.

In addition to these portraits, you'll also find select videos from readings at the Kelly Writers House — events from the Emergency and Writers Without Borders series among other offerings — Bernstein's Yellow Pages ads with John Lovitz, Henry Hills' Gotham, Laura Odell's Incident at Wal-Mart, or Where's My Daughter" and much more.

While we're glad that our faithful listeners will be able to find some of their PennSound favorites on YouTube and have greater accessibility on their smartphones, we're even more excited by the prospect that new audiences might be introduced to the site and our poets through this forum. To start exploring, click on the title above.

Brenda Iijima: Newly Segmented Segue Series Reading, 2008

Posted 8/13/2010 (link)

It's just about a year since we launched a new author page for Brenda Iijima, and today we're very happy to highlight a newly segmented version of her March 8, 2008 Segue Series Reading at the Bowery Poetry Club. This set consists entirely of selections from the then in-progress manuscript, rev. you'll-ution (Displaced Press, 2009) — drawing from two of the book's three poem types, Rev and Raw (the third being This is This) — including "Raw - The Meaty Meaty Essay," "Rev - Domestic Rainforest," "Rev - In All Cyber Seriousness," "Raw - Chomping at the Bit" and "Raw - Junk or Detritus, Destiny of a Plastic Bag." You can hear these poems and thirteen more by clicking on the title above.

On PennSound's Brenda Iijima author page, you'll also find a pair of older Segue Series events (from 2005 and 2006) as well as 2007 appearances on Cross Cultural Poetics and at the launch reading for O Books' War and Peace Vol. 3

Steve McCaffery: Newly Segmented Segue Series Recordings, 1985-2008

Posted 8/16/2010 (link)

This week kicks off with a trio of newly-segmented Segue Series recordings from Steve McCaffery, spanning a quarter century from the mid-80s to the present.

First up is a January 11, 1985 reading at the Ear Inn, where McCaffery read the pieces, "Possession," "The Prose Edda," "Mozart in Tibet," "The Black Debt" and "White Pages," each of which is preceded by a length introduction explaining the inspirations and conceptual origins of each piece.

Next, we have a May 21, 1990 reading, also at the Ear Inn, which largely consists of selections from the poet's 1991 collection, Theory of Sediment. A number of the poems have different titles at this stage, and so we've presented both the in-progress names given by McCaffery and the finalized versions. The reading concludes with another selection from "The Black Debt."

Finally, we jump ahead nearly two decades for McCaffery's Segue Series reading at the Bowery Poetry Club on November 15, 2008. Some of the titles included in this set are "The Dangers of Poetry and Spam," "Digital Poetics," "Still Life with Radishes and Counter-Intelligence" and "Little League."

On our Steve McCaffery author page, you'll find these three readings as well as interviews on LINEbreak and Cross Cultural Poetics, readings at SUNY-Buffalo, the Kelly Writers House and the Getty Research Institute, and much more, as well as a wealth of ancillary materials such as recordings from the Four Horsemen and the Six Fillious reading from 1979. To start exploring, click on the title above.

Robert Creeley: Four New Recordings from Videos

Posted 8/18/2010 (link)

One of our newest additions is a quartet of new recordings from Robert Creeley created by stripping the audio tracks from videos currently available on YouTube. Al Filreis discussed these tracks in a post on his blog yesterday afternoon:

Thanks to the work of Henry Steinberg, we've just added four new recordings of Robert Creeley reading his poems: "The Dishonest Mailman," "Please," "After Lorca," and "The Ballad of the Despairing Husband." We've also included links to four YouTube video clips of the same reading. Go to PennSound's Creeley page and scroll down to the bottom.

Our Robert Creeley page is one of PennSound's largest and most diverse archives, with recordings from 1954 to just a few months before his death in 2005, including interviews, lectures, class discussions, radio programs, musical collaborations and, of course, hundreds of individually-segmented recordings of poems. Among many highlights, one key resource is this page, where the table of contents to Creeley's Selected Poems 1945-2005 (edited by Ben Friedlander), is cross-listed with all available recordings of those poems — a wonderful reference for the classroom as well as casual listeners. PennSound's Creeley page is edited by Steve McLaughlin, and would not be possible without the support of Pen and Will Creeley.

Two New Readings from the Whenever We Feel Like It Series

Posted 8/20/2010 (link)

This week draws to a close with a pair of newly-added readings from the Whenever We Feel Like It series at the Kelly Writers House (and elsewhere). Those in the know will recall that Whenever We Feel Like It is organized by Michelle Taransky and Emily Pettit, members of the Committee of Vigilance, which is a subdivision of Sleepy Lemur Quality Enterprizes, which, in turn, is the production division of The Meeteetzee Institute.

First up is a March 27th event including Kaegan Sparks, Daniel Khalastchi and Srikanth Reddy. That's followed by an April 17th reading celebrating the journal, Supermachine, which features brief sets by Daniel Shurley, Nathaniel Otting, Douglas Piccinini, Genya Turovskaya, and Christian Hawkey, after introductions by Taransky and Supermachine editor Ben Fama.

Don't forget to visit PennSound's Whenever We Feel Like It series page where you can browse past recordings from Myung Mi Kim, Andrew Zawacki, Dara Wier and Natalie Lyalin, among others, and check out the series' blog for news of future events including sets by Jen Karmin, Pattie McCarthy and Carlos Soto Roman (on August 28th), Jon Cotner, Andy Fitch and Alex Phillips (on September 26th), CAConrad (on October 2nd) and Craig Santos-Perez, Kevin Varrone and Cynthia Arrieu-King (on November 12th).

Noah Eli Gordon: Two Newly Segmented Readings

Posted 8/23/2010 (link)

Our Noah Eli Gordon author page was first launched this past February, and we've recently gone back to segment two additional readings, so that now, the majority of the recordings on the site are now available as both complete files and individual tracks.

The first of these recordings is Gordon's March 22, 2008 reading at the Bowery Poetry Club, as part of the Segue Series. That afternoon he started off with "Scorched Anecdote," followed by "Eight Experiments in Artifice," then excerpts from his book-length projects, Novel Pictorial Noise and the forthcoming (and fascinating) Dysgraphia, before being joined by Joshua Marie Wilkinson for selections from their collaborative project, Figures for a Darkroom Voice.

We've also segmented Gordon's November 16, 2006 reading at the Kelly Writers House, as part of the Emergency Reading Series — an event that also included Kate Greenstreet and Jason Zuzga. His set from that evening also included "Scorched Anecdote" and readings from Novel Pictorial Noise, as well as the poems "Flag," "Four Allusive Fields" and "A New Hymn to the Old Night."

On PennSound Noah Eli Gordon author page, you'll also find 2008 readings from Milwaukee's Woodland Pattern, Denver's Tattered Cover and the MLA Offsite Reading, 2006 recordings from Denver's Dikeou Gallery and Boulder's Left Hand Reading Series, and earlier recordings from the St. Mark's Poetry Project, the Discrete Series, along with a handful of studio recordings.

PoemTalk 35: Bruce Andrews' "Center"

Posted 8/25/2010 (link)

Yesterday saw the release of the PoemTalk's thirty-fifth episode — a discussion of Bruce Andrews' "Center," from Moebius. Joining host Al Filreis for this program are Tan Lin, Chris Funkhouser and Sarah Dowling.

After discussing the relationship between sound and the poem's physical form, the panelists consider both the potential gender (and plurality) of the speaker in "Center," as well as the source of its syntax. What's curious, they notice, is that some of the published poem's most aggressively quotidian lines — "the incitement of the streets," in Andrews' own terminology — are those that don't exist in this early (1977) version.

The poem's meta-poetic implications are focused on next, centered on the lines, "Big production, no story," and "I'm a trained listener," along with the opening and closing lines: "I got a philosophy about things" and "I make the rules here." Funkhouser picks up on this notion of boundaries as being antithetical to the recursive endlessness implied by the collection's title, Moebius. Filreis continues, discussing Andrews' repeated use of the term in his poetics collection Paradise and Method.

Towards the end of the program, the panelists consider the conundrum (present in any PoemTalk program) of having a single poem in some sense stand in for the career-long work of an established poet. Their responses, which also address their varied personal responses to the work and how they prepare for a discussion such as this, serve as an illuminating meta-commentary of the multiple functions of the PoemTalk project, as well as a fascinating survey of how a diverse group of poets might critically interact with one of their own.

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 thirty-four episodes, please visit the PoemTalk blog, and don't forget that you can subscribe to the series through the iTunes music store. Stay tuned for future programs in the series which will address poems by Fanny Howe, Jena Osman, Norman Fischer, Ethridge Knight and Joan Retallack. Thanks, as always, for listening!

Three New Recordings by Dmitry Golynko, 2009

Posted 8/27/2010 (link)

Today we're highlighting three new recordings of Russian poet Dmitry Golynko, which come to us courtesy of Kevin Platt — Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania and a longtime friend and collaborator of Golynko's, who was kind enough to not only provide these recordings, but also segment them and provide bilingual titles. These events took place in close succession last fall in Berkeley, Boston and Cambridge during the poet's whirlwind tour of the US, which also brought him to the Kelly Writers House several days later.

We start on November 2nd with Golynko's reading at UC Berkeley with translator Rebecca Bella, who provides English-language versions of the poems from her translations, as well as those of Eugene Ostashevsky. Ostashevsky joined Golynko for the next two events — the first at the New England Poetry Club in Cambridge on November 12th (co-sponsored by the St. Petersburg Review), followed by a reading the next day as part of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies National Convention in Boston — reading his own translations of the poet's work along with those of Bella and Simona Schneider.

In addition to these three recordings, Platt also segmented Golynko's two-part appearance on Charles Bernstein's Close Listening program from November 10th, which also features Ostashevsky as translator, reader and interlocutor. Aside from being able to present these recordings in both Russian and English (including Cyrillic titles), we're particularly excited that there's practically no overlap in reading selections between the events, so our listeners will be able to enjoy a particularly broad overview of the poet's work, with more than forty individual poems represented here. To start listening, click on the title above.

New Recordings from the Key West Literary Seminars

Posted 8/30/2010 (link)

It's been two years since we first started archiving recordings from the Key West Literary Seminars, thanks to the efforts of Arlo Haskell (editor of the KWLS blog, Littoral) and over that time, we've been able to share recordings from the likes of John Ashbery, Maggie Nelson, C.D. Wright, Forrest Gander, James Tate, Charles Simic and Meghan O'Rourke.

Today, we're unveiling a number of new additions to our KWLS series page, the majority of which come from the conference's 2010 gathering, entitled "Clearing the Sill of the World," convened in honor of Richard Wilbur. Haskell writes:

"Sixty years ago, the work of the young poet Richard Wilbur caught the attention of Robert Frost and Wallace Stevens, two of that century's now-undisputed masters. Stevens and Frost were profoundly different poets, and in Key West, where both men wintered during the 1930s, they quarreled. For the modernist Stevens, Frost was "too academic." For Frost, Stevens's "poetry of the mind in the act of finding" was mere "bric-a-brac." But the two agreed about Richard Wilbur, in whose work each recognized the promise of a major American poet."

Poets participating in the seminar who are represented here through readings and lectures are Rita Dove, Matthea Harvey, Jane Hirshfield, Paul Muldoon, Kay Ryan, Mark Strand, Natasha Trethewey and Wilbur himself, and as is our custom, we've provided links back to Littoral, where you can read more about each recording, including lists of poems read in each set. In addition to these eight recordings, we've also added a reading by Tina Chang from 2008's "New Voices" seminar. All of the aforementioned tracks on PennSound's KWLS series page can be accessed by clicking the title above.