In Memoriam: Anne-Marie Albiach (1937-2012)

Posted 11/5/2012 (link)

We received word yesterday of the passing of French poet Anne-Marie Albiach after a long illness.

Over at Jacket2, Charles Bernstein has posted a brief biographical note and tribute to the poet, including his own appraisal of her work, written in conjunction with the publication of the collection Figured Image: "Anne-Marie Albiach's words are never alone on the page, having each other for company, just as they find here ideal companionship in Keith Waldrop's translation. In Figurations de l'Image, Albiach pursues her rigorous investigation into the possibilities of measure, the perceptible, luminescence, vulnerability, memory, contour, ardor, breath, oscillation, remonstration, trajectory, disparity, abstraction, antecedence, disparity, refraction, trace, tapestry, rehearsal, reverberation, and the irreparable. In these poems, the figures refute image as they bank, relapse, surge, palsy, recollect. Albiach scores space to twine time, abjures rhyme to make blank shimmer in the mark."

Meanwhile, on Facebook, Patrick Durgin notes that "One of the first pages to go up on PennSound was the Kenning anthology (audio CD), which, thanks to the efforts of Jonathan Skinner, featured [a] recording by Anne-Marie Albiach." You can hear that seven minute recording, which includes selections from ETAT (ENIGME IX) and MEZZA VOCE (Esquisse: << le froid >> ), and was recorded by Skinner in the poet's mother's apartment during the summers of 2000 and 2001 here.

A Blast from PennSound's Post-Election Past

Posted 11/7/2012 (link)

Four years ago at this time, as American celebrated the election of President Barack Obama, we ran a special PennSound Daily playlist of presidential poems, and today we're revisiting that post as we look to four more years under the current administration.

Our original list consisted of a dozen poems, from a wide array of poets, which "remember, critique, lampoon and sympathetically address presidents past including Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, William McKinley and both George H.W. and George W. Bush," and we've added a few newer additions to the PennSound archives

Walter Lowenfels — "Mr. President" (12:23): MP3

Paul Blackburn — "The Assassination of President McKinley" (3:04): MP3

Kathy Acker — "President Bush" (5:15): MP3

CAConrad — "Dear Mister President there was Egg Shell under Your Desk Last Night in My Dream!" (3:26): MP3

Gary Sullivan — "That a Hamster Could be President" (0:20): MP3

Jaap Blonk — "What the President Will Say and Do" (1:30): MP3

Tracie Morris — "My Great Grand Aunt Meets a Bush Supporter" (2:01): MP3

Ed Dorn — "Paralyzing Affability: an Analysis of the Reagan Voice" (0:28): MP3

President of the United Hearts — from The Big Melt (16:39): MP3

Tina Darragh — "Bill Clinton Plane Ride Dream" (2:07): MP3

Brendan Downing — "GWB" (1:41): MP3 and "GWB" (1:12): MP3

Brian Boyles — "Ulysses Clinton" (1:10): MP3

Kaia Sand — "The President Probably Talks" (1:35): MP3

Mac Wellman — "President Hayes" (1:38): MP3

New York Talks (1984) Curated and Moderated by Charles Bernstein

Posted 11/15/2012 (link)

We have a very exciting new addition to announce today: five events from the New York Talks series, curated and moderated by our own Charles Bernstein at 300 Bowery (the home of the Segue Foundation and James Sherry) during the first half of 1984.

The five talks collected here follow the same pattern — one not dissimilar from the more recent Threads Talk Series (from which we'll have a new recording shortly) — beginning with the featured speaker's presentation, which is followed by a long discursive interaction with the audience members.

The featured talkers are all quite stellar, beginning with Bruce Andrews' "Rewriting Society: Poetics, the Self, Ideology" on January 31st, which is followed by Susan Howe's "My Emily Dickinson" on February 24th, Alan Davies' "If Words Had Meaning" on March 27th, Madeline Gins and Arakawa's "Blank and Other Relatives of Indeterminacy" on April 22nd, and finally, Johanna Drucker's "On Writing as the Visual Representation of Language" on June 5th. The audiences — which include, at various times, Erica Hunt, Doug Lang, Abigail Child, Ted Greenwald, Lydia Davis, Michael Gottlieb, Susan Bee, Hannah Weiner, Mitch Highfill and Steve Benson among many others — are not too shabby, either.

You can listen to complete recordings of all five events, which altogether total more than eleven hours of audio, on the New York Talks series page we've put together.

C.S. Giscombe on CFUR Fireside Chats, 2012

Posted 11/19/2012 (link)

Here's another exciting new addition to our archives: poet C.S. Giscombe's October 16th appearance on the fourth episode of CFUR's Fireside Chats, hosted by Geoff Dickieson and broadcast from the University of Northern British Columbia. Here's Dickieson's brief description of the program: "Cecil Giscombe discusses his views on art, poetry, culture and society as well as reading from his book Prairie Style. The musical intro and outro are Nat King Cole's version of the classic folk song "Nature Boy" which is mentioned by Cecil in the interview." It's a fascinating discussion with a charming and effusive author, guided by a thoughtful interviewer, and a great addition to our site.

You can listen to this show on our C.S. Giscombe author page, which is also home to a wide variety of recordings spanning two decades, including interviews (on Cross Cultural Poetics, PhillyTalks, and the CBC) and a number of readings (from the Heatstrings archives, A Voice Box, the Line Reading Series, the Segue Series at Double Happiness, and many other venues).

the Threads Talk Series: Emily McVarish, "Page Space," 2012

Posted 11/21/2012 (link)

As promised in last week's PennSound Daily writeup of the Charles Bernstein-curated New York Talks series, we've got an exciting new recording from the Threads Talk series to share with you. Recorded on October 10th of this year, this latest event features a talk by "writer, designer, teacher and book artist" Emily McVarish entitled "Page Space," which ambitiously takes on an admittedly "huge topic," as guided through the perspectives of Henri LeFebvre and Johanna Drucker.

Curated by Steve Clay and Kyle Schlesinger, Threads "is devoted to the art of the book featuring poets, scholars, artists, and publishers. The objective for the series is to build on the discourse within book arts to explore and enrich relationships between various strands of book culture that are often approached in isolation, for example poetry and writing, visual and performing arts, collaboration, design, printing, independent publishing, literary history, critical theory, and material culture to name a few." While the events themselves take place in front of small audiences, we're honored to be able to share these recordings with our listeners in advance of the eventual publication of the talks in book form. You can listen to previous events featuring Alan Loney, Charles Alexander, Simon Cutts, Buzz Spector, Jerome Rothenberg, Cecilia Vicuna, Jen Bervin Kathleen Walkup, Johanna Drucker, Keith Smith and Richard Minsky on PennSound's Threads Talk Series homepage.

New at Jacket2 Reissues: "Zuk" (1987-1989)

Posted 11/26/2012 (link)

Thanks to Jacket2 Reissues editor Danny Snelson, we're very excited to announce the launch of the Zuk archives. Here's part of his introduction to the journal:

"Edited by Claude Royet-Journoud Zuk was published monthly by Emmanuel Ponsart's Editions Spectres Familiers out of Le Revest-les-Eaux, France. The precision of Zuk is unparalleled in poetry magazines of the era: each of the twenty-four issues published between October 1987 and September 1989 featured a tightly constructed interplay of short works of poetry. In these pages, the reader may find an intimate conversation among poets in the tradition of Louis Zukofsky on both sides of the Atlantic. With just four slender pages to each issue, the magazine published works in French alongside translations of new works by poets loosely associated with Language poetry in the United States."

In addition to the twenty-four issues (available individually and in one large zip file), Snelson has assembled "selected ephemera mailed out with the magazine, including three special inserts devoted to single-author publications," and included a link to an informative interview between Royet-Journoud and Jacqueline Pluet on the magazine's history.

Zuk now joins Chain, Secession, Alcheringa, and Combo, among the journals archived in Jacket2's Reissues section. Stay tuned for forthcoming archival projects including Roof, M/E/A/N/I/N/G, Hills, and Jimmy & Lucy's House of "K" are all forthcoming.

PoemTalk 59: Paul Blackburn's "7th Game : 1960 Series"

Posted 11/27/2012 (link)

Today we're launching the fifty-ninth episode in the PoemTalk Podcast Series, in which host Al Filreis leads a discussion of Paul Blackburn's "7th Game : 1960 Series," with a panel that includes Ron Silliman, Daisy Fried and Joel Lewis.

Here, in the beginning of his write-up of the episode on the PoemTalk blog on Jacket2, Filreis provides a little background info on the poem itself, as well as useful context for the fateful game discussed therein: "Paul Blackburn performed his poem '7th Game : 1960 Series,' which had been written in 1960, on or near the first day of the 1971 baseball season, during a reading he gave at SUNY Cortland. The poem was later republished in Blackburn's Collected Poems. The New York Yankees (Blackburn's team) were heavy favorites in their series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and vastly outscored the underdogs in the seven games. But the Pirates won on a home run by a light-hitting second baseman in the final at-bat of the final game (what we now call a 'walk off'). As Blackburn introduces the poem, the Cortland audience laughs; listeners to the audio-only recording now might be confused by this, but we think you can safely guess that Blackburn had just put on his Yankee cap." You can read more, and warm up your chilly hot stove season with a little postseason glory, here.

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!

Films from Rudy and Jacob Burckhardt

Posted 11/30/2012 (link)

We're very proud to bring this week to a close with a trio of newly-added films from Rudy and Jacob Burckhardt.

Our Rudy Burckhardt page features two films not included in Microcinema's recently-released three-disc retrospective of the filmmaker's work (read Charles Bernstein's Jacket2 commentary on the set): Central Park in the Dark (a 1985 collaboration with Charles Ives, Christopher Sweet and Yoshiko Chuma and the School of Hard Knocks) and The Automotive Story (a 1954 film featuring Jane Freilicher's narration of a Kenneth Koch script and the oft-forgotten piano skills of Frank O'Hara, who navigates a score featuring Debussy, Poulenc and Scriabin). There, you'll also find a link to the transcript of a 1976 interview of Burckhardt and Edwin Denby on New York's WBAI-FM, which appeared in Jacket #21 in 2003.

We've also created a new Jacob Burckhardt page, where you'll find his 1974 film, Yaknetuma From the Lower East, which includes, as critic Bruce Bennett noted in the New York Sun, "such varied delights as noted film critic and theoretician Laleen Jayamanne performing a Sri Lankian ritual dance on a tenement rooftop after polishing off a 32-oz. beer."

PennSound has been happy to play host to work by both father and sun over the years — specifically our Edwin Denby author page, which features photographs from Rudy and recordings made by Jacob — but it's a real treat to be able to share their films with our listeners. Click on the individual links above to start watching.