Marjorie Perloff KWH Fellows Events Now Available

Posted 5/3/2011 (link)

We're very happy to announce that audio and video from Marjorie Perloff's Kelly Writers House Fellows visit last week are now available on her PennSound author page. This includes her talk on the evening of Monday, April 25th as well as a Q&A session hosted by Al Filreis the following morning.

Filreis recently discussed the Monday night event in a post on Jacket2, observing:

[Perloff] gave a 55-minute talk that, in part, offered the full context for Marcel Duchamp's attempt to exhibit his pseudonymous readymade, "Fountain" (1917). At the time Duchamp was a board member of the Society of Independent Artists, and submitted the piece under the name R. Mutt to the group's 1917 exhibition, which, it had been proclaimed, would show all work submitted. After consternated discussion by members of the board about whether "Fountain" was art, it was decided that the work should not be shown. Perloff looked at many of the thousands of paintings and sculptures that were on display at the exhibit, and researched some of the mostly unknown exhibiting artists — and offers us a series of surprising contextualizations, including at least one connection that might provide a pleasant shock.

I was lucky enough to attend the event in person and it was a truly illuminating talk, providing both vital historical contexts for the work as well as a detailed account of some of the mischevious, Duchampian hijinks surrounding the exhibition. Perloff's Q&A the following day, which included some incisive remarks on the current state of English departments, is also well worth your time.


PennSound Senior Editor Kenneth Goldsmith to Perform at the White House

Posted 5/5/2011 (link)

Earlier today, PennSound co-director and Jacket2 publisher Al Filreis happily announced that Kenneth Goldsmith — PennSound Senior Editor, professor in UPenn's Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing and founder of UbuWebwould be performing at the White House next week as part of an event dubbed "An Evening of Poetry." Goldsmith will also lead a poetry workshop for children with Michelle Obama. Here's the complete press release from the White House:

"An Evening of Poetry"

Event Continues Arts Education Series at the White House on May 11th

The President and Mrs. Obama will host a celebration of American poetry and prose by welcoming accomplished poets, musicians and artists as well as students from across the country to the White House next week. Participants include Elizabeth Alexander, Billy Collins, Common, Rita Dove, Kenneth Goldsmith, Alison Knowles, Aimee Mann and Jill Scott who will read, sing, and showcase the impact of poetry on American culture. The President will make opening remarks at this event held in the East Room, which will be pooled press and streamed live on www.whitehouse.gov starting at 7:00 p.m. ET.

As part of this special event, Mrs. Obama will host a daytime workshop for hundreds of students from California to New York on May 11th at 2:00 p.m. ET, where students will work with and learn from many of the evening's performers. First Lady Michelle Obama and administration officials will deliver brief remarks to highlight a new study detailing the importance of arts education. This event will be streamed live on www.whitehouse.gov and students all over the country will be invited to watch the workshop. This event is open press but space is very limited so please RSVP to firstladypress@who.eop.gov.

First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off the White House Music Series in 2009 with a Jazz Studio, and since then has hosted a celebration of Country Music, Classical Music, Motown, a Fiesta Latina, a salute to Broadway, Music of the Civil Rights Movement and a dance tribute to Judith Jamison. Many of these events included evening performances as well as daytime educational workshops designed to educate and inspire talented young people to use their gifts to develop a future for themselves in the arts community whether as a hobby or as a profession.


Harry Mathews: New Author Page

Posted 5/6/2011 (link)

This week comes to a spectacular close with a new author page for American Oulipian extraordinaire, Harry Mathews. The new page was curated by PennSound Senior Editor, Chris Funkhouser, who gathered the majority of these materials while doing research last fall in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at UPenn's Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center.

In addition to a 2002 set from the Lytle Shaw-curated Line Reading Series, the new additions include a 1999 reading at MIT, an appearance on Michael Silverblatt's Bookworm radio program and a 1997 Friends of the Library Reading at UPenn, along with a dozen tracks from a CD that accompanied the first issue of The Sienese Shredder.

While I'm very excited about the new page, I'm equally happy to launch "Bringing Harry Mathews to PennSound (and you)", a brief article I invited Chris to write for Jacket2, in which he describes his process of uncovering these materials and his correspondence with Mathews. It's a fascinating look at the behind-the-scenes events that lead to recordings being added to our archive, something most of our listeners don't necessarily consider while enjoying the site. As Chris notes, "Eventually someone would have transported these recordings from Penn's library to PennSound; serendipity brought me the opportunity and privilege to tackle — and have all-around support for — this multitiered, intrainstitutional task." We're very glad he did, and no doubt you will be as well.


Notes on PennSound: Back of: Index, Bibliography, Catalog, List

Posted 5/9/2011 (link)

Eric Baus has posted a new "Notes on PennSound" commentary for Jacket2 entitled Back of: Index, Bibliography, Catalog, List", concerned with "the poem as index, bibliography, catalog, or otherwise arranged list."

"I want to consider the ways each piece overflows, suggesting threads that the listener might follow or complicating the idea of order under the guise of an ordering structure," Baus explains. "I want to pay attention to the ways these recordings open up into the works of other writers and artists in addition to reflecting back upon the concerns of their respective authors. I am interested in what the arrangement and interplay between selected materials suggests as well as how indexical forms often point to the hidden, the unacknowledged, the invisible, the partial. The poems in this playlist investigate what is 'back of' a poem, a poet's life, a place, or a sound."

The commentary takes its name from a recent Andrew Joron poem Baus recorded at Denver's Dikeou Gallery that was inspired by his work indexing Robert Duncan's H.D. Book for republication. In addition to that piece, Baus has written about recordings from Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Ann Lauterbach, Tonya Foster, Fred Moten and Alice Notley. You can read the full piece, and all of Baus' previous` "Notes on PennSound" commentaries on Jacket2.


Reminder: Kenny Goldsmith Live at the White House Today

Posted 5/11/2011 (link)

Don't forget that Kenneth Goldsmith — PennSound Senior Editor, professor in UPenn's Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing and founder of UbuWebwill be taking part in two events at the White House today. In addition to taking part in an evening event dubbed "An Evening of Poetry," Goldsmith will also lead a poetry workshop for children with Michelle Obama. Here's the complete press release from the White House:

"An Evening of Poetry"

Event Continues Arts Education Series at the White House on May 11th

The President and Mrs. Obama will host a celebration of American poetry and prose by welcoming accomplished poets, musicians and artists as well as students from across the country to the White House next week. Participants include Elizabeth Alexander, Billy Collins, Common, Rita Dove, Kenneth Goldsmith, Alison Knowles, Aimee Mann and Jill Scott who will read, sing, and showcase the impact of poetry on American culture. The President will make opening remarks at this event held in the East Room, which will be pooled press and streamed live on www.whitehouse.gov starting at 7:00 p.m. ET.

As part of this special event, Mrs. Obama will host a daytime workshop for hundreds of students from California to New York on May 11th at 2:00 p.m. ET, where students will work with and learn from many of the evening's performers. First Lady Michelle Obama and administration officials will deliver brief remarks to highlight a new study detailing the importance of arts education. This event will be streamed live on www.whitehouse.gov and students all over the country will be invited to watch the workshop. This event is open press but space is very limited so please RSVP to firstladypress@who.eop.gov.

First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off the White House Music Series in 2009 with a Jazz Studio, and since then has hosted a celebration of Country Music, Classical Music, Motown, a Fiesta Latina, a salute to Broadway, Music of the Civil Rights Movement and a dance tribute to Judith Jamison. Many of these events included evening performances as well as daytime educational workshops designed to educate and inspire talented young people to use their gifts to develop a future for themselves in the arts community whether as a hobby or as a profession.


Stanley Burnshaw: New Author Page

Posted 5/13/2011 (link)

Out latest PennSound author page is for author, scholar and translator Stanley Burnshaw, and the two recordings you'll find there amply demonstrate all of those facets of his writing career.

First, from May 16, 1963 we have a half-hour reading of Burnshaw reading a total of nineteen poems, including his translations of Anna Akhmatova ("The Muse"), Rafael Alberti ("The Good Angel"), Paul Eluard ("L'amoureuse" and "Passé"), Stefan George ("Denk nicht zu viel") and André Spire ("Nativity" and "Nudities"), along with a selection of his own poems from the series "Thoughts about a Garden." This is followed by a brief lecture on Robert Frost presented for the Academy of American Poets on October 9, 1990.

These recordings come to us courtesy of the Lee Anderson Papers, part of the Yale Collection of American Literature at Yale University's Beinecke Library. We're grateful to Nancy Kuhl who made these recordings available to us, and also to Robert Zaller, executor of the Burnshaw estate, who kindly granted permission to use them.


Joanne Kyger: New Author Page

Posted 5/16/2011 (link)

Another recent PennSound author page of note is a long-overdue archive of recordings from Joanne Kyger, which brings together readings spanning more than forty years.

We begin with a thirty-minute set by Kyger at the legendary Berkeley Poetry Conference in 1965, which is followed by several recordings from the 1970s — a Bolinas reading from 1971, a 1972 conversation with Robert Creeley and Greg Hewlett, a 1972 set with Tom Clark and a 1976 reading at San Francisco's Intersection for the Arts — all of which come to us courtesy of Creeley's tape archives. These vintage recordings are joined by "Visit to Mayaland," Kyger's contribution to The World Record: Readings at the St. Mark's Poetry Project, 1969-1980 and an undated set from the same venue.

Jumping forward several decades, we have a ten-minute set from the SPD Open House in 2008, courtesy of A Voice Box and our newest recording: a reading with Donald Guravich, Stephen Ratcliffe and Robert Grenier at the Bolinas Library this past January.

You can listen to all of these recordings on PennSound's new Joanne Kyger author page by clicking on the title above.


Vanessa Place: FEMINISM/S Reading at the Kelly Writers House, 2011

Posted 5/18/2011 (link)

We recently added audio and video of a reading by Vanessa Place at the Kelly Writers House on March 24, 2011 as part of the FEMINISM/S, "[a]n interdisciplinary series exploring how art, criticism, political action, and community building can create structural and cultural solutions to gender hierarchies."

Fans of Place's work will also want to check out Divya Victor's "Seven Discourses with Vanessa Place" in Jacket2, part of Victor's larger "Discourses on Vocality" project, which we'll be hosting, and it goes without saying that you'll also want to visit PennSound's Vanessa Place author page, home to a half-dozen recordings from 2008 to the present, including appearances on Cross Cultural Poetics, A Voice Box, LA Lit, Double Change and the Segue Series at the Bowery Poetry Club.


"Poetry in 1960, a Symposium" in Jacket2

Posted 5/19/2011 (link)

Today we're extremely proud to announce "Poetry in 1960, a Symposium", a Jacket2 feature edited by Al Filreis in coordination with an event held at the Kelly Writers House last December

This new feature includes "somewhat revised versions" of that evening's presentations — Danny Snelson on Cartridge Music by John Cage, Erica Kaufman on The Location of Things by Barbara Guest, Bob Perelman on The New American Poetry edited by Donald Allen, Mel Nichols on Hymns of St. Bridget by Bill Berkson & Frank O'Hara, Ron Silliman on The Opening of the Field by Robert Duncan, Judith Goldman on The Bean Eaters by Gwendolyn Brooks, Chris Funkhouser on Stanzas for Iris Lezak by Jackson Mac Low, Kristen Gallagher on Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note by LeRoi Jones, Rachel Blau DuPlessis on Second Avenue by Frank O'Hara, Michael S. Hennessey on A New Folder edited by Daisy Aldan and Charles Bernstein on On My Eyes by Larry Eigner — along with Filreis' introduction and a transcription of the lengthy Q&A session that followed the talks.

However, Filreis has greatly expanded the feature beyond that evening's participants, commissioning a number of new commentaries including Jerome Rothenberg's "1960 a First Remembrance," Josephine Park's "Rexroth to Kerouac," Curtis Faville's "Commentary on Larry Eigner's On My Eyes," Dorothea Lasky's "Breathing a Fire of Risk," Fred Wah's "On Ed Dorn, The Newly Fallen," David Wyatt's "On Gary Snyder, Myths and Texts" and Maria Damon's "On Bob Kaufman, Does the Secret Mind Whisper?" These essays are augmented by Anne Tardos' "Nines 51 to 56 (January 2011)" (written in response to some of the evening's participants) and a scan of Robert Duncan's annotated copy of Silliman's essay "Opening."

You can watch complete audio and video coverage of the KWH event on our homepage for the 1960 Symposium and read all of the essays, both old and new, Jacket2's homepage for the complete Poetry in 1960 feature.


Joe Milutis: Two New Videos

Posted 5/23/2011 (link)

This week kicks off with two new videos from Joe Milutis. First up is "Flaw," recorded as part of the Live Sound Reading Series at the University of South Florida. In this sound/performance piece, Milutis uses a Boss DD-20 Giga-Delay pedal to loop and manipulate both his voice and the sound of a hammer striking the floor and wall, transitioning from quickly percolating lines that slur assonant As into long, meditative drones.

The second video is for "Битница," a "translation from the Russian of a poem by Evgeny Evtushenko" "I don't know Russian," Milutis explains at the start of the video, "but it's fairly common knowledge that this character is translated, typically, as 'spider vehicle." So given that knowledge of the visual ease in which one should be able to read Russian, I endeavored this translation." Milutis' irreverent homolexic translation is coordinated with the Cyrillic original in the video so that viewers can watch and attempt their own recreation of the original.

These two videos are joined, on PennSound's Joe Milutis author page, by a segmented November 2010 Segue Series reading at the Bowery Poetry Club, and we look forward to adding more recordings from Joe in the near future.


Notes on PennSound: "What is a Question?"

Posted 5/24/2011 (link)

Eric Baus has posted a his latest "Notes on PennSound" commentary for Jacket2. Titled "What is a Question?", [t]his playlist is comprised of recordings related to questions," Baus explains.

"Bhanu Kapil, in her recent post on Harriet, Notes on Mutation, asks: 'What is a question? How do questions work in your writing? What do they perform? What happens when you ask them?' Today's commentary might be considered an appendix to Kapil's post, paying particular attention to the relationship between composition strategies, recording technology, and public performance. I'm also interested in grouping these recordings together in a playlist so that the questions from one piece might circulate through the others."

In addition to Kapil, Baus' post addresses work by Jena Osman, Steve Benson, Tan Lin, Tracie Morris and Rosmarie Waldrop. You can read the full piece, and all of Baus' previous` "Notes on PennSound" commentaries on Jacket2.


Bill Berkson Radio Reading and Interview, 2004

Posted 5/27/2011 (link)

We recently added a two-part radio appearance from Bill Berkson, who read and was interviewed by Carlos Villa on San Francisco's KUSF-FM (the University of San Francisco's station) on September 4, 2004. Presented in two parts, the recording lasts for nearly an hour.

The first segment begins with Berkson reading a handful of poems from his recent collections, including "Domino," "Poem," "Fourth Street, San Rafael" from Serenade (Zoland Books, 2000) and "A Finial," "Clerical Workers" and "Signature Song" from Fugue State (Zoland Books, 2001), which are followed by a lengthy conversation between Berkson and Villa. The second segment starts with "A New York Beginner," the concluding essay in The Sweet Singer of Modernism & Other Art Writings 1985-2003 (Qua Books, 2004), which concerns Berkson's early acquaintance with the New York School painters and poets, and is followed by a discussion of the poet's long career as an art critic and his views on the world of contemporary art.

Those interested in hearing additional interviews with Berkson should visit his PennSound author page, where you'll find a pair of appearances on Leonard Schwartz's Cross Cultural Poetics and a 1979 episode of In the American Tree, along with a wide array of readings from 1971 to the present.


Muriel Rukeyser: New Author Page

Posted 5/31/2011 (link)

Our latest author page is, quite justifiably, the cause of some excitement. Al Filreis recently wrote an introduction to the recordings on Jacket2:

Some years ago, while reading around in the Poetry magazine archive in the Regenstein Library at the University of Chicago, I ran into a stack of letters to and from Lee Anderson. Anderson had just made an arrangement to present his archive of reels of audiotape to the Beinecke Library of Yale University. He would deliver recordings he'd made of poets to that date, and then would continue to record and deposit subsequent reels later. I took a mental note, but then forgot all about the project. Then, later, came PennSound; we began of course to collect and borrow recordings to add to the quickly growing online archive. More years went by. Last year I was back at the Regenstein, as it happens, giving a talk on Henry Rago at a conference there, and met the poet-archivist Nancy Kuhl, another of the presenters. Nancy is one of the head librarians at the Beinecke; we talked; then the fact of Lee Anderson's recordings came back to me. I asked Nancy about them, and, as it happens, she'd already started the process of digitizing a few of the old reels. Were we interested in perhaps requesting some as a priority? Yes. The result is, among other recordings we will present over the coming weeks and months, the 1959 recording of Muriel Rukeyser made by Anderson. Just today we have created our new Rukeyser author page, and, thanks to Anna Zalokostas, we have already segmented the poems in the reading and the discussion.

Nancy Kuhl's (and her colleagues') generosity made this possible. William ("Bill") Rukeyser, the poet's son, readily agreed that it was a good thing to make Muriel's recordings available. We are thrilled by this Beinecke/PennSound partnership and can hardly wait to bring you more from the Anderson tapes.