M.C. Richards: New Author Page

Posted 4/1/2013 (link)

We're starting this week with a very exciting new addition to the PennSound archives: a new author page for the late M.C. Richards. A poet, potter and translator, Richards' astounding life included a stint teaching at the fabled Black Mountain College (where she also participated in the first happening), an early experiment in communal living at "the Land," in Stony Point, NY (along with John Cage, David Tudor and others), and friendships with Jackson Mac Low, Charles Olson, Paul Williams, Robert Rauschenberg and Franz Kline. She devoted her later years to working with the developmentally disabled at the Camphill Village in Kimberton, PA.

Our Richards author page is anchored by a 1997 recording made at Indre Studios in Philadelphia and comes to us courtesy of a close friend, Jasper Brinton, who provided us with a little background to the session. "She made this tape essentially under some strain: she did not live to see it published to any degree; but understood its importance for her legacy," he notes. "The quality of the recording is excellent. Her voice strong. Earlier in 1991 Station Hill Press published Imagine Inventing Yellow: New and Collected Poems of M.C. Richards. The tape includes a few of these poems but also later work she saw fit to preserve."

We're very glad to be a part of that preservation process, and you can listen to the seventy-five minute recording — which includes nearly two dozen poems and plentiful fascinating asides and remarks by the author — by clicking on the title above.

Aaron Shurin: New Author Page

Posted 4/3/2013 (link)

Another day and another new PennSound author page, this time for Aaron Shurin, bringing together a trio of vintage recordings of the San Francisco poet.

The most recent recording is Shurin's contribution to a November 1990 tribute reading to Robert Duncan, which comes to us courtesy of A.L. Nielsen's Incognito Lounge. This event also included sets by Jim Powell, Leslie Scalapino, David Bromige, Robert Glück and Nielsen. You'll also find a pair of Segue readings from the series' first home, the Ear Inn: one in June 1989, the other in April 1984.

Bill Berkson: New Session Recorded at UPenn, 2013

Posted 4/10/2013 (link)

Last week the legendary Bill Berkson was in town and stopped by the UPenn campus for a brief recording session for PennSound. Steve McLaughlin (shown at left with Berkson) served as engineer for the set, which fits twenty poems into twenty-six minutes. Titles recorded include "Without Penalty," "A Lady at Her Writing Table," "Landscape with Calm," "For the Heart of the Second Floor," "Poetry and Sleep," "Last Lines with George," and "Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea," with Berkson kindly providing introductions to each of the poems.

You can hear the complete set, and many more recordings new and old, on our Bill Berkson author page. Click the title above to start listening.

PoemTalk 65: Lisa Robertson's 'The Weather'

Posted 4/16/2013 (link)

Today we launched the latest PoemTalk Podcast — number sixty-five in the series — which focuses on the "Monday" section of Lisa Robertson's The Weather. This time around, host Al Filreis is joined by a stellar panel that includes Michelle Taransky, Rachel Blau DuPlessis and Kristen Gallagher.

Filreis begins his write-up of the episode on the PoemTalk blog by discussing the origins of The Weather — "The book-length project, organized as such by days of a/the/every week, was in part stimulated by the poet-researcher's experience during a six-month Judith E. Wilson Visiting Fellowship at Cambridge University: as a non-local, she found herself listening to late-night weather and shipping reports on the British radio, discerning there and elsewhere a specifically localized language that seemed abstract and was yet radically precise" — before moving on to discuss "the way in which a poetics can derive from meteorology and its importance in contemporary culture and history" as well as the way in which "the language of the poem brings together pastoral poetry, meteorological prose, Anglo-centric subjectivity, the Wordsworthian problem of sincerity, and the cloudy concept of the universal." 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.

John Tranter in Philadelphia, 2013

Posted 4/18/2013 (link)

Poet and Jacket Magazine founder John Tranter was in Philadelphia recently and paid a busy visit to the Kelly Writers House, as detailed by Al Filreis in a recent PennSound Podcast post on Jacket2: "[Tranter] participated in the recording of an episode of PoemTalk (about a poem by Ray DiPalma — to be released later), and then took time to record a conversation with Al Filreis about the founding of Jacket and various related topics. This recording is episode #31 in the PennSound podcast series. During the discussion Filreis asked Tranter to read a few recent poems; three poems can be heard in the whole recording, but have also been segmented." You can listen to the complete conversation and the individual poem tracks in Jacket2's newly-revamped Podcasts section by clicking the title above.

Pattie McCarthy and Jena Osman: Whenever We Feel Like It, 2013

Posted 4/22/2013 (link)

The amazing Whenever We Feel Like It series — organized by Michelle Taransky and Emily Pettit at our own Kelly Writers House and other venues throughout Philadelphia — is back with a newly-added reading from this past winter.

A potent duo of Philadelphian poets, Pattie McCarthy and Jena Osman were the featured readers for the series' latest event, which took place on January 23, 2013. The evening's readers were introduced by Taransky, who stressed that both women serve as "teachers, mothers and friends" to many members of the city's poetry community.

You can listen to this reading and many others spanning the past four years on PennSound's Whenever We Feel Like It series page.

Norman Finkelstein: Poets Meeting at Corpus Christi College, 2013

Posted 4/24/2013 (link)

Our latest addition to the site finds poet Norman Finkelstein traveling to the UK, at the invitation of Richard Berengarten, to appear at the Poets Meeting at Corpus Christi College.

Recorded on February 26, 2013, the fifty-minute recording features students singing, a lavish introduction by Berengarten and a lengthy Q&A session at its close. Finkelstein reads four poems: "Scribe," "Forevertron," "Advertising" and "Tour."

You can listen to this recording, as well as a number of other readings, talks and interviews spanning the past decade on PennSound's Norman Finkelstein author page. Click the title above to start exploring.

Robert Creeley at Zukofsky Centennial Conference, 2004

Posted 4/29/2013 (link)

Fans of both Louis Zukofsky and Robert Creeley will be excited by this recent addition to the PennSound archives. Creeley's twenty-minute talk at the Louis Zukofsky Centennial Conference — held at Columbia University and Barnard College on September 17-19, 2004 — has been broken down into eight thematic segments, including discussions of early advocates of Zukofsky work, Creeley's experiences visiting the Zukofsky family in Brooklyn, the poet's work as "an accomplished prosodist," and Creeley's work publishing and promoting Zukofsky's poetry after his death.

Click the title above to listen to these segmented tracks on our Robert Creeley author page. You can also visit our homepage for the Louis Zukofsky Centennial Conference to view other talks from the event by Norman Finkelstein, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Bob Perelman, Alan Golding, and Mark Scroggins, among others.