2012 MLA Offsite Reading

Posted 1/17/2012 (link)

Contemporary American poetry is quite lucky to have not one, but two perennial favorite epic readings to look forward to every winter: the St. Mark's Poetry Project's New Year's Day marathon reading and the MLA Offsite Reading, held in conjunction with the annual conference. Thanks again to Aldon Nielsen and his Heatstrings archives, we're very proud to present this year's event from Seattle.

Held January 7th at Town Hall Downstairs and running nearly three hours, the event featured mini-sets by Greg Bern, Jasper Bernes and Joshua Clover, Julia Bloch, Amaranth Borsuk, Rebecca Brown, Don Mee Choi, Merrill Cole, Matthew Cooperman, Crystal Curry, Maria Damon, Christine Deavel, Sarah Dowling, William J. Harris, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Joel Felix, Sandy Florian, Jaime Gusman, Joseph Harrington, Jeanne Heuving (also heard as MC at beginning), Anna Maria Hong, Yunte Huang, Grant Jenkins, erica kaufman, Myung Mi Kim, Gregory Laynor, Karen An-hwei Lee, Alex Leslie, Stacey Levine, Suzanne Jill Levine, Sarah Mangold, Ezra Mark, John Marshall, Bryant Mason, Joe Milutis, Robert Mittenhal, Laura Moriarty (also heard in opening announcements), Laura Mullen, Paul Nelson, Melanie Noel, A.L. Nielsen, Doug Nufer, Vanessa Place, James Reed, Summer Robinson, Judith Roche, Linda Russo, Leonard Schwartz, Kathy Lou Schultz, Evie Shockley, Monica Storss, Daniel Tiffany, Nico Vassilakis, Catherine Wagner, Christine Wertheim, David Wolach, Deborah Woodard, Maged Zaher, and Julie Brown.

On our homepage for the MLA Offsite Readings, you can listen to recordings from ten of the twenty-two years that readings have been staged, from recent marathons from Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C., to vintage events, including the very first Offsite from 1989.

PoemTalk 49: P. Inman's "reception. theory." and "lac[e]y."

Posted 1/25/2012 (link)

Earlier today, we released the forty-ninth episode in the PoemTalk Podcast Series. Here's host Al Filreis' write-up of the new show from the PoemTalk blog on Jacket2:

Michael Golston, Danny Snelson, and Sarah Dowling joined Al Filreis this time to talk about two short poems by P. Inman from his book at.least. (published by Krupskaya in 1999). The poems are "lac[e]y." — dedicated to Tom Raworth — and "reception. theory." — which is "for Diane Ward." The text of the poems is available as a downloadable PDF, and the book is described and available here. Recordings of Inman reading the two poems, made in 2005, are available at Inman's PennSound page and as follows:

- reception. theory., for Diane Ward (1:06): MP3
- lac[e]y., for Tom Raworth (0:44): MP3

Sarah and Al in particular found Inman's presentation at PhillyTalks #14, curated by Louis Cabri and produced by Aaron Levy in November 1999, to be relevant to the at.least. poems. Inman's paper, presented on that occasion (a double reading and talk pairing Inman and Dan Farrell), is called "Notes on Slow Writing." The text is available, and here are several propositions from "Notes" that seemed to help us understand the "overpunctuation" of the poems.

Michael was fascinated with the title "lac[e]y." — noticing, as Sarah also did, that it's in part a reference to the saxophonist Steve Lacy (who has collaborated with Tom Raworth) and in part a way of describing the form of the poem: "almost like a lacing," Michael says, "there's a sense that you could visualize this as laced, the lines lace together and unlace, and so on." Danny, interested as always in textual variants, identifies possible vertical readings. Yes, the poem can be read downward. "What's nice about the poems," says Danny, "is that they leave a space open for readers to read the poem as they would like." That the poems, as printed, sit close to the gutter and "hang on the page" in a certain manner, "further destabilizes things."

Steve McLaughlin is our editor, as always, and James LaMarre was the director and engineer for this forty-ninth episode. PoemTalk is a collaboration of the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing, the Kelly Writers House, PennSound, and the Poetry Foundation. We are grateful to Michelle Taransky, Jessica Lowenthal, Mingo Reynolds, Chris Martin, Chris Mustazza, Stephanie Hlywak, and Catherine Halley.

PoemTalk is a co-production of PennSound, the Kelly Writers House, Jacket2 and the Poetry Foundation. If you're interested in more information on the series or want to hear our archives of previous episodes, please visit the PoemTalk blog, and don't forget that you can subscribe to the series through the iTunes music store. Thanks, as always, for listening!

New PennSound Classics Recordings from John Richetti

Posted 1/29/2012 (link)

It's always a true pleasure to have John Richetti join us for a new recording session, and this week we were graced by his presence once again with the results yielding two new PennSound Classics pages.

Having already joined us last spring to record more than three-and-a-half hours of excerpts from Paradise Lost (as discussed on PennSound Daily here), Richetti has augmented our Milton holdings with a new set of selected poems, which features thirteen tracks, including "On the Morning of Christ's Nativity," "L'Allegro," "Il Penseroso" and "Lycidas."

Richetti also recorded a dozen poems by Andrew Marvell, creating the foundations for a new author page for the metaphysical poet. Al Filreis has posted a new entry celebrating this latest addition on Jacket2, which lists its contents, including "On a drop of dew," "Bermudas," "To His Coy Mistress," "The Picture of Little T.C. in a Prospect of Flowers," "The Definition of Love" and "The Mower Against Gardens."

You can hear these recordings by following the respective links above, and don't miss out on Richetti's other sessions spanning the past seven years, including recordings of Pope, Swift and Dryden, his Paradise Lost selections, selections from Shakespeare's sonnets and perhaps his most impressive contribution, The PennSound Anthology of Restoration & 18th-Century Poetry. All of those pages, along with many more, are gathered on our PennSound Classics homepage.