New Harvey Shapiro Poems at Jacket2

Posted 9/2/2014 (link)

September is starting in grand fashion at Jacket2 with a short piece highlighting selections from Harvey Shapiro's forthcoming posthumous collection, A Momentary Glory, which will be published at the end of the month. In addition to five new poems — "For William Carlos Williams," "Reznikoff," "Song," "Brooklyn," and "Pardoned" — Norman Finkelstein, Shapiro's literary executor and editor of the new volume, has offered some insights into its assembly. He begins:

"Harvey Shapiro passed away on January 7, 2013, less than a month short of his eighty-ninth birthday. As his literary executor, I was given the task of looking over his remaining papers. I did not anticipate a big job: in 2009, Harvey moved from an apartment in a brownstone on Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights to a high-rise a few blocks away on Montague Street, and before the move he had sold most of his papers (notebooks, manuscripts, and letters of over fifty years) to the Beinecke Library at Yale, his alma mater. His collected poems, The Sights Along the Harbor, had appeared in 2006, including about twenty pages of new work. After its publication, in his last years, I knew he was continuing to write at a leisurely pace, and he would casually mention poems forthcoming in one publication or another. My impression, therefore, when I began to consider his remaining files, was that I would find only a handful of poems beyond the ones that he had published since Sights had appeared.

As it turns out, I was utterly mistaken."

You can read more at Jacket2, and don't forget to check out PennSound's Harvey Shapiro author page, which is home to two recordings from a 2005 visit to the Kelly Writers House by Shapiro and Finkelstein, with readings from both poets, as well as a discussion of the Objectivists moderated by Bob Perelman.

David Abel in Conversation, As Poet, As Archivist

Posted 9/5/2014 (link)

A number of the recent recordings we've been highlighting come from the relatively-new series page housing the archives of David Abel, and so we thought it was time to give those materials a proper introduction.

Starting in impressive fashion with a 1967 recording of George Oppen reading in New York City and a pair of vintage recordings of Jerome Rothenberg, Abel's collection of recordings includes large groups of material focusing on New York in the 1980s and early 90s (with recordings from the Ear Inn, La Locanda di Giotto Cafe, the Neither/Nor series, and the Granary Bookshop, among other locations, as well as four recordings from the Tangents series in Albuquerque, NM in the early 90s. Among many notable names, you'll find sets from Robert Creeley, Nathanael Tarn, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Ann Lauterbach, David Rattray, Jackson Mac Low, Johanna Drucker, and Lewis Warsh.

In addition to this wondrous set of recordings, listeners will also want to check out Abel's own PennSound author page, which is home to a lengthy recording of Float recorded especially for our site in March of this year, along with a long PennSound Podcast conversation between Al Filreis and Abel, in which they discuss the latter's work as a bookseller, convener of poetry communities (through readings series, etc.), librarian, and editor/publisher, as well as the poems and lives of Rattray and Frumkin.

Kenneth Goldsmith Sings Theory, 2005-2007

Posted 9/8/2014 (link)

Browsing today, I came across a link to Jarry Lee's recent piece in McSweeney's, "The Canon of Philosophy Student Karaoke Songs." While offerings such as "Total Eclipse of Descartes," "Love Voltaire Us Apart," "Psycho Schiller," and my favorite, "Don?t You (Foucault About Me)," are charming, I'd humbly suggest that a better alternative is offered up by our own Kenny Goldsmith in his series, "Kenneth Goldsmith Sings Theory," recorded at WFMU's studios between 2005–2007.

On our Goldsmith author page you'll find nine installments, including "Kenneth Goldsmith Sings Roland Barthes" (a setting of "Pax Culturalis" from The Rustle of Language to the Allman Brothers' "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed"), "Kenneth Goldsmith Sings Frederic Jameson" ("'End of Art' or 'End of History'?" meets John Coltrane's "My Favorite Things") and "Kenneth Goldsmith Sings Ludwig Wittgenstein" (in which The Rite of Spring serves as accompaniment to "Philosophical Investigations"), alongside selections from Freud, Benjamin, Baudrillard, Derrida, Adorno and Harry Potter. While these recordings have been part of PennSound's archives for a number of years (with most added in 2006 and a few the following year), I'm happy for any excuse to revisit them and to point our listeners in their direction.

PoemTalk 80: on Tom Leonard's "Three Texts for Tape: The Revolt of Islam"

Posted 9/9/2014 (link)

Today we launched the eightieth episode in the PoemTalk Podcast series, which discusses Tom Leonard's "Three Texts for Tape: The Revolt of Islam." The panel for this program featured a pair of Philadelphians — host Al Filreis and Jenn McCreary — along with a pair of visitors from Washington state: Leonard Schwartz and Joe Milutis.

In a post on the PoemTalk blog, Filreis begins by explaining the origins of the piece under consideration: "The piece is part of a work called 'Three Texts for Tape,' which was recorded by Leonard at his home in Glasgow in 1978 on the poet's TEAC A-3340S reel-to-reel tape deck. The part of the project discussed in this episode of PoemTalk is 'Shelley's "Revolt of Islam."' In this piece, Leonard repeatedly — although in voices ranging across class, age, and elocutionary mode — performs stanza 22 of canto 8 of Percy Shelley's twelve-canto, 5000-line poem." He continues, "In Shelley's 'The Revolt of Islam' Laon and Cythna incite a revolution to topple the despotic ruler of the fictional nation of Argolis, who seems to stand in for the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. It's generally agreed that the poem's narrative has nothing apparently to do with Islam in particular, but it has been read as a parable on revolutionary idealism." 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.

Happy Birthday, Jackson Mac Low!

Posted 9/12/2014 (link)

September 12th would have been the ninety-second birthday of the one and only Jackson Mac Low, and that's as good a reason as any to revisit some of the recordings housed on his PennSound author page.

There you'll find a wide array of audio and video spanning four decades, from the 1970s up till just a few months before his death in December 2004. In addition to numerous readings — including seven Segue Series sets, recordings from the St. Mark's Poetry Project, the Living Theater, the Line Reading Series, PhillyTalks, the Radio Reading Project, the Orono 40s conference, and more — along with talks from the St. Mark's Talks series, SUNY-Buffalo, the New Langton Arts Center, and LINEbreak, videos from Public Access Poetry and Mac Low's 75th birthday festschrift, and numerous complete album releases (often with Anne Tardos). You'll also want to check out the 2008 book launch event for Thing of Beauty: New and Selected Works, which features Tardos, Charles Bernstein, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Drew Gardner, Joan Retallack, Chris Mason, and others, ass well as PoemTalk #46 on Mac Low's "Words nd Ends from Ez." Finally, you'll find links to Mac Low's EPC author page, which is home to numerous texts, interviews, and tributes.

New at Jacket2: Amiri Baraka Interviewed in 2010

Posted 9/15/2014 (link)

Today at Jacket2 we launched a very exciting new interview by Dennis Büscher-Ulbrich — you might recall his all-encompassing interview with Bruce Andrews that we published two years ago — with the legendary Amiri Baraka. Subtitled "To Understand It As a Worker and Understand It As an Intellectual," this interview is, Büscher-Ulbrich believes, "the last scholarly interview with Amiri Baraka before his saddening passing on January 9, 2014." He continues: "Baraka here tackles subjects such as radical politics and aesthetics, Marxism and class struggle (in music), vanguardism, Black Arts poetry performance and activism, language writing, the modernist epic mode, and responses to 'Somebody Blew Up America' as well as anti-colonial and United Front politics." As the photo above attests, "although Amiri had originally given me 'one hour,' we all spent the rest of that sweet afternoon together, drinking strong coffee, eating strawberries (!), and talking radical politics, while Coltrane, Sanders, Shepp, et al. were taking turns and blowing choruses throughout."

After you've had a chance to read Büscher-Ulbrich's marvelous interview, don't forget to check out PennSound's Amiri Baraka author page , which is home to a modest collection of recordings spanning five decades, from a pair of powerful readings by a young LeRoi Jones in the mid-1960s to a 2007 appearance on Cross Cultural Poetics.

Today at KWH: Two Cid Corman Events

Posted 9/16/2014 (link)

Today the Kelly Writers House will host two events celebrating the work of Cid Corman. Both events will be webcast live, and you can watch the live video streams of both via KWH-TV. Here are the details for each event:

At 4:00 PM (EDT) Al Filreis will moderate a discussion about Corman's work featuring Thomas Devaney, Gregory Dunne, and Frank Sherlock.

At 6:00 PM (EDT) there will be a celebratory reading featuring eight poets, scholars, and fans of Cid Corman — Laynie Browne, Pattie McCarthy, Jenn McCreary, Joshua Moses, Devaney, Dunne, Sherlock, and Filreis — reading and briefly commenting upon selected Corman poems, one per person.

Of course, recordings of both events will be added to PennSound's Cid Corman author page in the near future, but here's your opportunity to catch them as they happen — and of course if you're in Philadelphia, please stop by to enjoy them in person (at 3805 Locust Walk).

Four Poets Read in Sydney, 2014

Posted 9/19/2014 (link)

Pam Brown has worked tirelessly over the past several years to document the poetry of her homeland, between the Jacket2 feature, "Fifty-One Contemporary Poets from Australia" and PennSound's Australia anthology page, organized as a complement to the J2 feature.

One thing that's been missing, however, is Brown's own formidable poetic voice, which is why we're glad to be able to present what we're calling Four Poets Read in Sydney: recordings from an event at the University of Sydney on May 21st of this year organized by Kate Lilley and recorded by John Tranter. The four poets, in order (and as shown above from left to right) are Fiona Hile, Kate Lilley, Louis Armand, and Pam Brown, and while their sets are brief, they're yet another opportunity to sample the diverse array of voices present in a thriving Australian poetry scene.

Charles Olson Reading in Berlin, 1966

Posted 9/22/2014 (link)

Thanks to Norbert Lange, we're able to make available a recording of Charles Olson reading in Berlin alongside his translator, Klaus Reichert, at the Akademie der Künste, on December 19, 1966. As Charles Bernstein observes in a recent Jacket2 commentary post, "This recording has by far the best version of 'Maximus, to Himself.' While PennSound has another recording, the quality is poor." The complete recording runs for nearly twenty-three minutes, and we've made several excerpts available as well, including Olson's reading of "To Gerhardt, There, Among Europe's Things..." (written in tribute to Rainer Maria Gerhardt) and some rather interesting comments: "The problem of the USA today is the power which is in the raiding party. But like it's an idea, a paramilitary idea, moves in advance of a nation, thereby eventually giving a language." To start listening click on the title above to visit our Charles Olson author page.

Joanne Kyger: Two Recent Additions

Posted 9/24/2014 (link)

We recently added two new recordings to our Joanne Kyger author page — one's very recent, the other a vintage set.

First, from this past May, we have Kyger's appearance at Cascadia Poetry Festival as part of "Cascadian Poetics Panel: Innovations from Here," alongside Jeanne Heuving, Stephen Collis, and George Stanley. We've provided the complete seventy minute discussion, as well as several clips of Kyger discussing San Francisco, sharing correspondence, reading Jack Spicer's "Psychoanalysis: An Elegy," and discussing identity.

Then, going all the way back to June 29, 1971, we have a half-hour recording of Kyger reading at San Francisco's Intersection for the Arts, for an audience of friends and poetic compatriots. It's one of the earliest recordings on Kyger's PennSound author page, and a welcome addition to the site.

Finally, if this hasn't satisfied your need for all things Kyger, don't forget the recently-released PoemTalk #79 — featuring a panel of Julia Bloch, Pattie McCarthy, Stephen Ratcliffe, and Al Filreis — which discusses Kyger's "It's Been a Long Time: Notes from the Revolution."

Allen Ginsberg on 'Stonewall Nation,' 1978

Posted 9/29/2014 (link)

Here's another treasure from the audio archives of Robert Creeley: Allen Ginsberg's October 6, 1978 appearance on Stonewall Nation, hosted by Alex Van Oss, on Buffalo's WBFO-FM. Joined by Peter Orlovsky and Al Hershberger, Ginsberg, no stranger to speaking candidly about his queerness (or any other topic), holds forth on a variety of topics, from his closeted youth and coming out to his family, along with the Beat Generation's relationship to nature, and contemporaneous political topics like California's Briggs Amendment — which he initially approaches from a literary perspective, highlighting classic authors (from Whitman to Wilde, Genet to Plato) who California teachers would be banned from assigning — as well as the Rocky Flats Nuclear Plant.

The show begins with a performance of "Gospel Noble Truths" (in a different arrangement than what would become Ginsberg's standard, and with some slight lyrical variations), and also includes excerpts from the recently-written "'Don't Grow Old,'" (cf. my August 6th PennSound Daily about the poet's reading of the poem in Buffalo the day after its composition) concerning Ginsberg's coming out to his father, and ends with a performance of "Everybody Sing" (which famously asserts that "everybody's just a little bit homosexual, whether they like it or not"). To listen, click the title above to visit our Allen Ginsberg author page.

Happy 70th Birthday to bpNichol!

Posted 9/30/2014 (link)

September 30th would have been the seventieth birthday of the legendary bpNichol, as noted by the equally-legendary Coach House Books, who invited a wide array of "authors, friends of bp, and poets influenced by his work to ask about their favourites of all things bp." You can read the gathered responses — from Paul Dutton, Christian Bök, Gary Barwin, among others — along with video footage of Nichol and the Four Horsemen and links to a number of online works on a special tribute page.

This is also a great occasion to draw our listeners' attention to PennSound's bpNichol author page, which is home to an impressive collection of recordings, curated by Lori Emerson, which come from a wide variety of rare releases (on flexi-disc, 45, LP, cassette, and even a floppy-disc "computer poem"), along with performance recordings, links, and other resources. Listeners might also be interested in the aforementioned page for the Four Horsemen, as well as the 1979 Six Fillious at the Ear Inn (which features Dutton reading Nichol's contributions to the book).