New at Jacket2: The Lyric Personal of Joe Ceravolo

Posted 3/1/2013 (link)

We wanted to make sure that you didn't miss a wonderful new feature on the life, work and enduring influence of Joseph Ceravolo that was published today at Jacket2. Edited by Vincent Katz, The Lyrical Personal of Joe Ceravolo" is a sprawling tribute to the late poet, bringing together materials both old and new.

John Coletti and Ron Padgett have provided poems dedicated to Ceravolo, with the later contributing a vintage review as well. There are essays by Katz, Charles North, Kimberly Lyons and Thomas Fink, a recollection by Bill Berkson, a 1965 letter from Ceravolo to David Shapiro, and rounding things out, the transcription of a panel discussion organized by Katz and Tim Trace Peterson, which also included Anselm Berrigan, Lyons and Phong Bui.

You'll find a complete table of contents and Katz's introduction here, and don't forget about PennSound's Joseph Ceravolo author page, which is home to readings from 1968 and 1978.


In Memoriam: Thomas McEvilley (1939-2013)

Posted 3/4/2013 (link)

This weekend brought the sad news of the passing of Thomas McEvilley, the noted scholar, poet, novelist, art historian, critic, and translator.

Over at Jacket2, Charles Bernstein has posted a lengthy tribute to McEvilley, which traces his career from his humble Cincinnati upbringing through his achievements in several discreet disciplines. He writes:

McEvilley is best known as a provocative and influential art critic. His art essays are collected in several books published by McPherson & Company: Art & Otherness: Crisis in Cultural Identity (1991), Art & Discontent: Theory at the Millennium (1992), Yves the Provocateur: Yves Klein and Twentieth Century Art (2010); Art, Love, Friendship: Marina Abramovic and Ulay (2010); The Triumph of Anti-Art: Conceptual and Performance Art in the Formation of Post-Modernism (2012). His other books of art criticism and history are Sculpture in the Age of Doubt (Allworth Press, 1999) and The Exile's Return: Toward a Redefinition of Painting for the Post-Modern Era (Cambridge University Press, 1994). In addition, McEvilley wrote monographs, catalog essays, and critical reviews of James Lee Byars, Carolee Schneemann, Julian Schnabel, Les Levine, Pat Steir, Antoni Tapies, Sigmar Polke, Dennis Oppenheim, Kara Walker, Nancy Spero, Thornton Dial, Leon Golub, Richard Tuttle, Agnes Martin, Joseph Beuys, Paul McCarthy, William Anastasi and many other artists.

Bernstein's commentary post also includes links to "Seventeen ancient poems, translated from Greek and Latin by Thomas McEvilley", recently published in J2, and Jerry Saltz's remembrance of the critic.

Here at PennSound, we're proud to host two sets of recordings highlighting McEvilley's work as a translator on his PennSound author page. First, there's a two-part Close Listening program with Bernstein recorded in 2006, which includes readings of Homer, Sappho, Aeschylus, and Meleajer in Greek with translations and commentary, along with a lengthy discussion between the two. That's very nicely complemented by a 2009 session of fragments from Sappho, which we announced alongside other new additions to PennSound Classics in May of that year.


photograph of Thomas McEvilley © Lawrence Schwartzwald


PoemTalk 63: Laynie Browne's "Daily Sonnets"

Posted 3/5/2013 (link)

Today we launched the sixty-third program in the PoemTalk Podcast Series, which explores a selection of works from Laynie Browne's 2007 Counterpath Press book, Daily Sonnets. For this show, host Al Filreis is joined by Jessica Lowenthal, Lee Ann Brown and Sueyeun Juliette Lee.

Filreis starts his write-up of the episode with a foundational sense of Browne's poetic practice in Daily Sonnets: "From her daily life, Browne derives a sense of writing written uncunningly, not so much by repudiating the made autotelic perfection of the traditional poem — of the sonnet in particular as a (holy) form — as by implying that in reality we don't live our writing lives that way. Her unsequential sonnet sequence explores the daily influxes of the moments of which and in which the poems are composed. She makes the ordinary extraordinary. There's a conceptualism here, and Jessica, Lee Ann and Juliette discuss it: the procedural constraint was to treat the regular work of making a book of sonnets as a specific daily habit or practice." You can read the rest of his introduction on Jacket2.


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.


New at Jacket2: 'M/E/A/N/I/N/G' (1986-1996)

Posted 3/8/2013 (link)

We've got the latest offering from Jacket2's Reissues section to close out this week and it's an exciting one: a complete ten-year archive of the influential journal M/E/A/N/I/N/G. Here's Reissues editor Danny Snelson providing a little background on the journal:

Founded in December of 1986 by editors Susan Bee and Mira Schor, M/E/A/N/I/N/G provided a timely vehicle for an expanded practice of art criticism from its locus in New York City. Reflecting on the origins of the magazine in an introduction to the final issue, the editors write: "we felt the need for an alternative to the market orientation of mainstream art magazines and the frequently exclusionary theoretical orientation of more academic journals, both of which seemed distant from the actual creative lives of a majority of thoughtful and informed working visual artists." In twenty issues published over the course of a decade, M/E/A/N/I/N/G indexes the most compelling questions of its time while offering a wide range of informative and provocative critical perspectives that remain contemporary.

You'll find the M/E/A/N/I/N/G archives in Jacket2's Reissues section, alongside Chain, Secession, Alcheringa, Combo, Zuk, and Roof. Future projects include Hills and Jimmy & Lucy's House of "K", among others.


Bob Perelman on William Carlos Williams' "The Sea-Elephant"

Posted 3/11/2013 (link)

It's entirely possible that you missed out on English Studies in Canada's special issue "On Discreetness: Event and Sound in Poetry," coedited by Louis Cabri and Peter Quartermain, which came out in the summer of 2009, but now you no longer have to miss out on one of the issue's most exciting pieces — Bob Perelman's "A Williams Soundscript: Listening to 'The Sea-Elephant'" — since it's just been republished in Jacket2.

I first met Bob at John Ashbery's reading at Haverford College in February 2008, not long after I started working here at PennSound, and one of the first topics we discussed was his piece for the forthcoming ESC special issue and his desire for the essay to be accompanied by a number of brief excerpts and composite tracks from William Carlos Williams' two readings of "The Sea-Elephant." Eventually, I'd step in at the last minute as sound editor for the issue and put together a CD of tracks to complement the various articles, but even with footnote-esque prompts in the text to indicate when readers should listen to a particular track, this was not the ideal presentation we'd imagined. That's why, jumping forward four years, we're very glad that the essay can finally be read as it was originally intended. The Jacket2 reprint includes 50 embedded streamable MP3s, which allow readers to hear illustrative snippets of Williams without having to leave the document. It's a truly marvelous piece, and even more so when made available in this fashion, so head on over to Jacket2 right now (by clicking on the title above) to start reading.


New Pope at PennSound (Courtesy of John Richetti)

Posted 3/13/2013 (link)

While we're proud that PennSound is a living document of contemporary poetry in practice, we're also quite glad to be able to offer new perspectives on poetry throughout the ages, which is why it's always a treat when the legendary John Richetti visits us for a new recording session.

Recorded late last month and engineered by PoemTalk editor Steve McLaughlin, Richetti's newest session includes more than three hours of new audio and focuses on the work of Alexander Pope as both poet and translator. The first set consists of books 1, 2 and 4 of The Dunciad (1943), while the second highlights selections from Pope's translation of Homer's Illiad (published 1715-1720) — specifically, books 1, 4 and 22.

You'll find a complete listing of Richeti's recordings for PennSound — which includes work by Donne, Dryden, Herbert, Marvell, Milton, Pope, Shakespeare and Swift, in addition to a complete anthology of Restoration and 18th century verse — on the PennSound Classics homepage, along with many other inspired interpretations of work from the ancient Greeks to Walt Whitman.


Adonis: New Author Page

Posted 3/18/2013 (link)

Our latest author page is for the Syrian poet, essayist and translator Adonis and comes to us courtesy of Pierre Joris (shown at left with the poet).

This PoetsHouse-sponsored reading took place on March 7th as part of this year's AWP conference in Boston. For this event, Adonis was joined by Khaled Mattawa, whose Adonis: Selected Poems was shortlisted for the 2011 Griffin Poetry Prize, and after the reading, the two engaged in a lively discussion about poetry and contemporary issues.

While it's a modest start for our Adonis author page, we're glad to be able to share this recording with our listeners.


Stephen Motika: New Author Page

Posted 3/20/2013 (link)

We've just created a new author page for poet, editor and Nightboat Books publisher Stephen Motika, containing a wide array of recordings spanning the last five years.

We begin with a trio of appearances on Cross Cultural Poetics that demonstrate the wide range of Motika's talents. First is 2008's episode #178, "Four Editors," where Motika discusses the work he's done with Nightboat Books. Two years later, in an episode dedicated to the press, Motika read from and discussed one of the latest books he edited for Nightboat, Tiresias: The Collected Poems of Leland Hickman. Finally, from a 2012 program, the poet shares selections from his debut collection, Western Practice, which addresses the life and work of maverick microtonal composer Harry Partch.

These three recordings are nicely complemented by "Queer Masculinity," a panel talk from this past March curated by Krystal Languell as part of the Belladonna* Reading Series, which also featured Brian Pietras, Mark Wunderlich, Ronaldo Wilson, and Jack Halberstam.


In Memoriam: Chinua Achebe (1930-2013)

Posted 3/22/2013 (link)

Today the world is mourning the death of Nigerian author Chinua Achebe at the age of 82.

While the author's name instantly conjures up the memory of Things Fall Apart — his stunningly influential 1958 literary debut — and his work as an essayist in addition to his fiction, many might not realize that Achebe also published several volumes of poetry. In 2005, he was the guest of host Leonard Schwartz on his Cross Cultural Poetics radio program, discussing and reading from his recently-published Collected Poems. The majority of this work, he explains, was written in the late 60s and early 70s during the Biafran War, and while much of his prose is written in English, his poetic expression frequently originated in his native Igbo tongue (as he demonstrates at Schwartz's request, reciting from his well-known "Dirge for Okigbo"). The author also discusses his early education, his work as a radio broadcaster and much more during this half-hour segment.

While we don't have a separate Chinua Achebe author page, you can listen to the program (Episode #64, "Language Falls Apart") by clicking here or the title above.


Frank Samperi Tribute Reading at Beyond Baroque, 2013

Posted 3/25/2013 (link)

We're starting this week off with a newly-added video of a tribute to the late Frank Samperi. Hosted by the poet's daughter, Claudia Samperi Warren, this event celebrates the impending publication of Trilogy, which collects three collections published in the early 1970s — Quadrifariam (1971), The Prefiguration (1971), and Lumen Gloriae (1973). The reading took place at Venice Beach's famed Beyond Baroque on March 10th of this year, and features performances by Conrad DiDiodato, Harry Northup, Phoebe MacAdams, S.A. Griffin, and Steve Goldman.

On PennSound's Frank Samperi author page you'll find this complete 68-minute reading, along with a 1987 Segue Series reading at the Ear Inn, and links to PDF version of four of Samperi's books at the PEPC library (the three mentioned above, along with 1998's Day, transcribed from a 1970 notebook). There are also links to Charles Bernstein's Jacket2 commentary posts announcing the availability of these books and the Samperi Blog, run by the poet's daughter.


PoemTalk 64: Caroline Bergvall's "VIA"

Posted 3/26/2013 (link)

We've just launched the sixty-fourth program in the PoemTalk Podcast Series, which focuses on Caroline Bergvall's "VIA." For this show, host Al Filreis is joined by the formidable trio of Amaris Cuchanski, David Wallace, and Laynie Browne.

Filreis begins his write-up of the episode on the PoemTalk blog with an explication of Bergvall's working methods in "VIA" and a blueprint of the ways in which the panelists will approach the work: "In the piece, Bergvall intones forty-seven English translations of the opening tercet of Dante Alighieri's Inferno (1321): 'Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita / mi ritrovai per una selva oscura / ché la diritta via era smarrita.' She arranges the translations alphabetically according to first word, from 'along' to 'when,' reciting the translator's name and date after each. Our PoemTalkers discuss the poem's pre-textual state as aural performance, the remarkable title which seems to connect every manner of issue and mode, the relative literary value and literary-historical place of individual verse translators, translation itself as inherently open, and, of course, the ur-relevance of Dante's always-interpretable infernal foray into the experience of being lost in words." You can read the rest of his introduction on Jacket2.


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.


A Busy Week at Jacket2

Posted 3/29/2013 (link)

It's been an exceptionally busy week over at Jacket2, and we wanted to make sure that you didn't miss any of the newly-posted content.

We've just launched "North of Invention," a feature organized by Sarah Dowling that serves as a companion piece to a 2011 Kelly Writers House conference of the same name, offering retrospective responses to its readings and talks.

Yesterday, we published "Dancing in a Straightjacket", Yasmine Shamma's sprawling interview with the one and only Ron Padgett, which took place in April 2011, around the time his latest collection, How Long was released.

Finally, on Monday, we published "Desiring Visual Texts: A Collage and Embroidery Dialogue" between Maria Damon and Rachel Blau DuPlessis that investigates the ways in which the hands-on practice of visual arts has influenced their respective poetics. We were very glad to see the Poetry Foundation's Harriet blog highlighted this article yesterday.

These three new pieces are in addition to the new PoemTalk podcast we discussed in our last PennSound Daily and new Jacket2 Commentaries by Laynie Browne, David Buuck, Jerry Rothenberg and others. To start browsing, click the title above to be taken to the Jacket2 homepage.