Tom Weatherly on PennSound

Posted 8/4/2014 (link)

When news broke that poet Tom Weatherly had passed away last month many of us wished for an opportunity to connect with his work. Luckily, we've recently uncovered a very rare July 1971 recording of the poet reading in Grand Valley, Michigan.

Charles Bernstein has the full scoop on this wonderful recording in a recent Jacket2 commentary post: "Weatherly reads the complete serial poem 'Mau Mau American Cantos' for the first ten minutes of the reading ... after that he reads various poems, including 'Lady Fox' from Thumprint but nothing else from that book or Mau Mau." He continues, pointing out that "full texts of these powerful, brilliant, often volatile (and distressingly unacknowledged) books" are available at Eclipse and provides links to both, as well as a few supplemental links.

You can listen to the complete recording (21:07) here: MP3

(photo above: detail from the cover of Thumbprint by Elsa Dorfman)

Ginsberg, Fiedler, Layton, DeLoach, Orlovsky Read in Buffalo, 1978

Posted 8/6/2014 (link)

Here's a rather interesting gathering of authors gathered in one room thanks to the influence of the one and only Robert Creeley, whose reel to reel tape archives provided the recording. This nearly two-hour event, taking place at the Allentown Community Center in Buffalo, NY on October 6, 1978, featured a lineup of literary critic Leslie Fiedler, Canadian/Romanian poet Irving Layton, author and editor Allen DeLoach, and Allen Ginsberg, who's joined by Peter Orlovsky in song.

Amongst a diverse set of voices — conscious of being "mishpokhe" (Yiddish for all part of the same family) as Ginsberg acknowledges — one of the more noteworthy is Fiedler, not typically thought of as a poet, who reads a handful of poems including "No Ghost Is True" (from Thou Shalt Truly Die), his very first publication from Poetry in 1947, along with "Song for Buffalo" and "To Chookie."

Ginsberg's set draws largely from his then-latest collection, Mind Breaths (1977), beginning with a powerful reading of "Don't Grow Old," his elegy to his father, Louis Ginsberg (who's also mentioned fondly in Fiedler's between-poem comments), complete with a harmonium-accompanied rendition of "Father Death Blues." In his introductory comments, Ginsberg indicates that he's written new additions to this poem while in Buffalo, and indeed, here the poem later published as "'Don't Grow Old,'" in Plutonian Ode — its first two parts written two days prior in Amherst, MA, while its conclusion was written the day before — is here treated as a continuation of the former poem, with its three sections numbered as parts eight, nine, and ten. He concludes his first set in a very different mode with the raucous "Punk Rock Your My Big Crybaby." For his second set he's joined by Orlovsky to perform "two compositions dealing with wrath": William Blake's "The Tyger," and "Plutonian Ode," written the previous summer, which is given a lavish introduction here, spelling out its influences and intentions. For serious Ginsberg scholars and more casual fans, this is certainly a historic performance worth checking out.

(photo above: Allen DeLoach, Allen Ginsberg, Carl Solomon, and Peter Orlovsky, August 1973)

"Russian Poetic Counterpublics," ed. Kevin Platt at Jacket2

Posted 8/11/2014 (link)

Don't miss this very exciting new feature on "Russian Poetic Counterpublics", edited by Kevin Platt, which was recently published on Jacket2.

This ambitious feature includes both critical pieces and translations on a number of key figures in 20th C. Russian poetics. Polina Barskova offers up an article on "Poetry after the Siege of Leningrad: Montage, Ekphrasis, Allegory," along a translation (along with Platt) of Elena Shvarts' "A Portrait of the Blockade through Genre, Nature-Morte and Landscape." Platt writes on "Now Poet" Dimitry Golynko's "new social epic" as well as a translation of Golynko's "The Keys to Yonder." Stephanie Sandler writes on Arkady Dragomoshchenko as poet and photographer in a piece accompanying new translations of the poet's work by a number of authors. Finally, Eugene Ostashevsky traces the history of Alexander Vvedensky's 'The Soldier Ay Bee See' and offers a new translation of the poem to go alongside the Russian original.

This is also a wonderful opportunity to remind listeners of our author pages for both Dmitry Golynko and Arkadii Dragomoshchenko — both of which feature recordings curated by Platt — as well as Eugene Ostashevsky.

Fielding Dawson: New Author Page

Posted 8/15/2014 (link)

As we continue to make our way through the remaining tapes in Robert Creeley's tape archives some interesting surprises have turned up. The latest of these forms the basis of a new author page for Fielding Dawson — "Fee" to his friends — the Black Mountain and Beat-affiliated author and painter shown in-between Mark Hedden and Charles Olson in the photo at left.

Creeley's tapes have provided a pair of lengthy recordings from the Allentown Community Center in Buffalo, the first recorded on December 12, 1974, the second on October 9, 1975. We've also added a October 13, 1964 recording from SUNY-Buffalo to round out the set, yielding a total of nearly four hours of Dawson readings. Whether you're an old fan of his books — largely published by Black Sparrow during his lifetime — or newly-acquainted with his work, here's an excellent opportunity to connect through several stellar recordings.

Simone White and Divya Victor: Leslie Scalapino Memorial Lectures in Innovative Poetics

Posted 8/18/2014 (link)

Here's another wonderful addition to the site from Kush and his Cloud House Poetry Archives: this year's Leslie Scalapino Memorial Lectures in Innovative Poetics by Simone White and Divya Victor. Presented by Small Press Traffic in San Francisco, these talks were given on June 1, 2014. Thanks to X Poetics, we're able to provide the full text of each lecture.

On our Cloud House Poetry Archives series page, you'll also find video footage of last year's Scalapino Memorial Lecture, given by Joan Retallack, among many other historic Bay Area recordings from 1990 to the present.

Ted Greenwald: Three New Readings, 1979-1983

Posted 8/20/2014 (link)

Last month we unearthed historic recordings from the Ted Greenwald-curated reading series at New York's Droll/Kolbert Gallery from 1978–1980. Today, we'd like to highlight a trio of recordings of Greenwald from roughly the same time period, which also come to us from his personal archives.

First, from January 14, 1979, we have a forty-seven minute set from the Franklin Furnace. That's followed by a forty-four minute reading from Use No Hooks, recorded at San Francisco's Tassajara on March 24, 1980. Finally, from January 13, 1983, we have a forty-five minute recording from Detroit's Line Series. Altogether, that's more than two hours of new performances added to Greenwald's already-extensive PennSound author page. To start listening, follow the links above.

Peter Seaton Reads from 'The Son Master," c. 1980

Posted 8/22/2014 (link)

Here's another gem from the early NYC-based L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E set — a recording, circa 1980, of the late Peter Seaton reading from The Son Master (1982, Roof Books).

While Seaton's set begins in the same way as the published book — "I saw John writing the metaphysical poets today. It's an up to date way to read . . ." — he quickly diverges from the final version, and his asides to the audience suggest that this is a very different, in-progress version of the manuscript. For those interested in comparison, don't forget that you can browse and download an online copy of The Son Master at Eclipse, along with Seaton's Crisis Intervention and Agreement, and there are still 14 copies available for a very modest price from the fine folks at Small Press Distribution.

You'll find those text links and a link to a biographical sketch on Jacket2, on PennSound's Peter Seaton author page, along with eight other recordings — many from the Segue Series' original run at the Ear Inn — along with an interview of filmmaker Henry Hills and a lengthy set recorded at the Segue Foundation offices.

A Celebration of Emily Dickinson's Birthday at the Poetry Project, 1979

Posted 8/25/2014 (link)

We've recently begun digitizing some very exciting recordings from the Maureen Owen Collection of Greenwich Village Poetry, which comes to us via the Yale Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Here's a particularly interesting recording to introduce the collection: a December 1979 celebration of Emily Dickinson's birthday at the St. Mark's Poetry Project. Filling a ninety-minute tape, the complete event is broken down into two parts (one for each side) as well as individual sets for each of the participants — Jan Heller Levi, Charles Bernstein, Susan Leites, Charles Doria, Virginia Terrace, Barbara Guest, Madeleine Keller and Vicki Hudspith, Armand Schwerner, Karen Edwards, Jackson Mac Low, Maureen Owen, and Susan Howe, followed by Jay Leyda and a Q&A session. There are also twenty-five segmented tracks for selected poems from the reading: Bernstein reading "To fill a Gap," Schwerner reading "They say that 'Time assuages,'" Howe reading "Because I could not stop for Death," and so forth.

Fifty Years of Buffalo Poetics Readings on PennSound

Posted 8/27/2014 (link)

Today on Jacket2, Charles Bernstein has a new commentary post celebrating PennSound's archive of Buffalo recordings:

"We've been working on this page for a decade, but now near complete — 150 readings and events at Buffalo, from 1963 to 2003.

Most of the readings here are connected to two series: 'Walking the Dog' programs coordinated and recorded by Robert Creeley until 1990; 'Wednesdays@4 Plus' programs (1990-2003) coordinated and recorded by Charles Bernstein (working with Susan Howe, Raymond Federman, Dennis Tedlock, and Creeley). While the Poetics Program as such didn't begin until Fall 1991, we include on this page 50 years of readings in Buffalo, associated with the State University of New York's English Department."

On our Buffalo series page, you'll not only find an astounding archive of recordings, but also links to segmented versions of complete sets when they exist on PennSound author pages, along with links to a calendar of events from 1994-2005 (hosted at the Electronic Poetry Center) and a PDF of posters from the Wednesdays@4 Plus series from 1990-2003.

Vintage Segue Series Readings Recently Added

Posted 8/29/2014 (link)

We're closing out the week with a trio of recently-added Segue recordings from a period of transition around the turn of this century.

First, there's a February 7, 1998 reading recorded at HERE — an alternate venue during the series' tenure at its original home, the Ear Inn — featuring sets by Jen Hofer and Rachel Blau DuPlessis. Next, a February 10, 2001 event at Double Happiness showcasing the work of Lisa Lubasch, Rebecca Wolff, and Devin Johnson. And finally, also from Double Happiness, a March 17, 2001 reading by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge and Laura Moriarty.

You can browse for these recordings and many more from Segue's nearly forty years of existence at our pages for its iterations at the Ear Inn, Double Happiness, the Bowery Poetry Club, and the Zinc Bar.