Tinfish Press: Fifth Monthly Reading, 2015

Posted 9/1/2015 (link)

If you haven't already checked out our homepage for Tinfish PressSusan M. Schultz's Hawai'i-based publishing house dedicated to highlighting "experimental poetry (and some prose) from the Pacific," which is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year — here's an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with it: recently-posted audio from Tinfish's fifth monthly poetry reading.

Recorded on February 2nd of this year, this forty-minute reading features sets from Jay Vera Lee, Lynn Young, and Tim Dike. You'll find three other recordings on our Tinfish Press series page, including the third monthly reading from earlier this year, and a pair of recordings from October 2010: a reading celebrating Schultz's birthday, and another marking the launch of Tinfish #20. Featured poets include Jules Boykoff, Kaia Sand, Brandy Nalani McDougall, Bryant Webster Schultz, Janine Oshiro, No'u Revilla, Adam Aitken, and Kai Gaspar, along with Schultz herself.

David Biespiel on 'Between the Covers,' 2015

Posted 9/3/2015 (link)

Today we're highlighting a newly-added episode of Between the Covers — David Naimon's literary radio series broadcast on Portland, Oregon's KBOO 90.7 FM — featuring David Biespiel, poet, teacher, editor, and essayist.

He's also "the author of the longest standing newspaper column on poetry in the United States," and his latest book, A Long High Whistle collects his best essays, covering topics from "how to read a poem [and] how poets grapple with the poets that come before them," to "issues of poetry in translation [and] the challenges of political poetry" as well as "the role of engaged citizenry for poets in the world." In his description of the show, Naimon observes, "This collection will provide anyone, from the beginning poet to the mature writer to the lover of literature, with insights into what inspires poets, how poems are written and read, and how poetry situates itself in American life." While Biespiel's point of view isn't necessarily the sort that one might frequently find on PennSound, his perspectives are both thoughtful and interesting, and make for a fascinating listen.

You can listen to this program, along with previous episodes featuring Maggie Nelson, Claudia Rankine, Sarah Manguso, and Mary Ruefle, on our Between the Covers series page.

Summer Recap: New Additions

Posted 9/8/2015 (link)

Since the Labor Day holiday traditionally marks the end of the summer, we thought it might be worthwhile to use this week to take another look at what's been happening at PennSound during the months of June, July, and August — particularly for those of our listeners who spent their summers away from their computers. Today we'll highlight new additions to the site, and in our next installment we'll pay tribute once again to all of the poets we lost this summer.

We'll begin with newly-added episodes from our regular series. The summer months saw three new PoemTalk podcasts — on poems by Nathaniel Macket, Gertrude Stein, and Gil Ott — and two new PennSound podcasts on William J. Harris and Emji Spero. We also posted three new episodes from Cross Cultural Poetics, which included segments on Elizabeth Willis and Caroline Bergvall among others, and the latest Close Listening program where Charles Bernstein and Jay Sanders interviewed one another. Finally, we saw two new episodes from Between the Covers featuring Maggie Nelson and David Biespiel.

This summer saw new author pages created for Mina Loy (featuring a rare conversation with Paul Blackburn), Michael Ruby, Felipe Cussen, Edgar Lee Masters, and Paolo Javier, along with the astoundingly-comprehensive PennSound Italiana anthology, edited by Jennifer Scappettone.

Last but certainly not least, this summer saw new content added to our author pages for Steve McCaffery, Stephen Ratcliffe, and Etheridge Knight, along with new videos on our Woodland Pattern series page (Frank Lima and Susie Timmons) and the 2010 documentary The Sound of Writers Forum.

You can browse through individual PennSound Daily entries for each of these new additions by clicking the title above.

Summer Recap: Goodbyes

Posted 9/11/2015 (link)

Since this week's Labor Day holiday traditionally marks the end of the summer, we thought it might be worthwhile to use this week to take another look at what's been happening at PennSound during the months of June, July, and August — particularly for those of our listeners who spent their summers away from their computers. Last time we highlighted new additions to the site, and today we remember those we lost this summer.

While June was mercifully unmarked by death that was not the case in July, which started with the news of James Tate's passing, followed quickly by reports that David Gitin had died at the end of the previous month. Then, at the end of the month we learned that Kenneth Irby — subject of a recent, encyclopedic Jacket2 feature — had passed away.

Our very next post lamented the death of Lee Harwood several days earlier, and before the month of August was finished we also had to report the deaths of both Stephen Rodefer and Charles Tomlinson.

You can read individual PennSound Daily remembrances by clicking on the poets' names above, and will find links the the poets' respective author pages in those entries. Once more we share our condolences with those moved by the absence of these poets and are glad to be able to provide another means of connecting with their work.

Newly-Added Segue Series Readings from the Zinc Bar

Posted 9/14/2015 (link)

The mighty Segue Series will be starting its fall season shortly at the Zinc Bar, and to get you excited today we're highlighting several recently-added archival recordings from the spring and fall of 2014 that we just added to our Segue @ Zinc series page:

The new spring sets include Jocelyn Spaar from February 8th, Jim Fletcher from February 15th, Cecilia Corrigan and Sarah Schulman's February 22nd event, Cole Heinowitz and Josef Kaplan's March 1st reading, March 5th's dynamic duo of Mei-mei Berssenbrugge and Anne Waldman, a March 8th reading by Miles Champion and Jacqueline Waters, another potent double-bill with Rob Halpern and Ann Lauterbach on March 22nd, and Amy De'Ath's March 29th set. Finally, we've added one stray set missing from the fall 2014 season as well: Fia Backstrom's November 22nd reading.

You can listen to all of these recordings on our Segue Series at the Zinc Bar homepage and don't forget our pages for the series' previous homes — the Ear Inn, HERE Cafe, Double Happiness, and the Bowery Poetry Club.

PoemTalk 92: on Bob Perelman's "Confession"

Posted 9/22/2015 (link)

Today we released the latest episode in the PoemTalk Podcast series, its ninety-second overall, which addresses Bob Perelman's poem "Confession," taken from 1998's The Future of Memory (Roof Books). For this program, host Al Filreis was joined by a panel that included Kristen Gallagher, Kathy Lou Schultz, and Bruce Andrews.

Filreis starts his write-up on the PoemTalk blog with some background on the poem, "once introduced (jokingly, yes?) [by Perelman] as 'the inside story of Language writing'": "Its speaker satirically imagines that avant-garde poets had been abducted by aliens, in the manner of 1950s science fiction. As abductees (the speaker concedes he is one) they have been ... well ... transformed into the poets they are. At several points in his confession, the speaker wonders whether his and others' modes haven't indeed been programmed — haven't resulted from an alien intervention, been 'inculcate[d] ... with otherworldly forms.'" He continues, "Perhaps the 'variety' of poetic styles and forms is actually, when read through the sci-fi conspiracy theory, a totalized monoculture hatched by coup-minded Body Snatchers. In the course of this poem our poet-speaker begins to snap out of it, perceiving the putsch and feeling new self-doubt. And: 'Why don't [the abductors] ever / reveal themselves hovering over some New / York publishing venue?'" You can read more about the program 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.

PennSound Podcast 51: Teare Interviews Armendinger

Posted 9/24/2015 (link)

It's a big week for new podcasts here at PennSound, with the latest entry in the PennSound Podcast Series joining the new PoemTalk episode.

In PennSound Podcast #51, Brian Teare — an assistant professor of English at Temple University, poet, and editor of Albion Books — talks to Brett Armendinger about his work. Here's part of the show's description from the PennSound Podcast homepage:

The Los-Angeles-based poet Brent Armendinger visited Philadelphia and the Kelly Writers House in April 2015 during a book tour for the release of The Ghost in Us Was Multiplying, which Bhanu Kapil has described as a book that "traces the index of an intense need: the kind of contact that can't be assuaged by touch alone." Armendinger read from the book and then spoke with Brian Teare about queerness and medicalization of the body, about how poetry can explore the relationship between ethics and desire, about metaphor and embodiment, and more.

You can read the rest and listen to the program here.

Reina Maria Rodriguez: New Close Listening Program and KWH Reading

Posted 9/28/2015 (link)

We have a pair of new recordings from Cuban poet Reina María Rodríguez and her long-term translator, Kristin Dykstra, made during their recent visit to the Kelly Writers House as part of the Writers Without Borders series.

The first of these is a new Close Listening program hosted by Charles Bernstein, which he recently announced with a recent Jacket2 commentary post. Here's his description of the hour-long show:

"The Cuban poet talks to Charles Bernstein about the situation of poetry in Cuba over the past forty years and her work establishing alternative space for poetry in Havana. Rodríguez describes her focus on personal/subjective aesthetics as a contrast to an often imposed, bureaucratic public voice of the state. She also speaks about bending genres in her work. The blingual conversation, in which Reina also speaks of her connections to American poetry, is translated by Kris Dykstra, who also addresses about her relation to Rodríguez."

Bernstein also offered a lengthy introduction to Rodríguez's September 8th reading at the Kelly Writers House, professing his long-time admiration for her writing. Both video and audio of this nearly-eighty-minute program — which also features translations by Dykstra, along with a lavish introduction offering biographical information on Rodríguez and a slideshow of intimate photos — is available on her PennSound author page, alongside several other recordings and films made over the past fifteen years.

Congratulations to Prize-Winners Lerner and Rankine

Posted 9/30/2015 (link)

The last few days have brought some exciting news in the world of poetry as two PennSound poets have won major awards for their work.

First came news that Ben Lerner had been awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. In his introductory video on the foundation's site, Lerner, more recently thought of as a novelist, notes that "I was kind of a poet first, and poetry remains the core for me: that's kinda where my education was, and my community is, and who my heroes are." You can listen to two recordings from our own Kelly Writers House (from 2008 and 2014) along with a 2010 Segue Series reading at the Bowery Poetry Club, a 2010 reading and interview for BOMB, and the award ceremony for the 2011 Preis für International Poesie der Stadt Münster on PennSound's Ben Lerner author page.

Next we heard that Claudia Rankine's astounding Citizen: An American Lyric had been awarded the Forward Prize for Best Collection, by the Forward Arts Foundation, a British "charity committed to widening poetry's audience, honouring achievement and supporting talent." As The Guardian reported, prize jury chair A.L. Kennedy observed "This is writing we can recommend with real urgency and joy. It's a stylistically daring poetic project about the dehumanisation of those deemed outsiders — we found it exhilarating and genuinely transformative." On PennSound's Claudia Rankine author page you can listen to a wide array of recordings from 2002 to the present, including several readings from both Citizen and its spiritual forebear, Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric, along with Q&A discussions and interviews.

We heartily congratulate both of these poets on their well-deserved achievements and are grateful to be able to share their inspiring work with our listeners.