David Antin in Paris, 2011

Posted 9/2/2016 (link)

There's no better way to ease into a long holiday weekend than spending some time with David Antin. Specifically, we're focusing on a pair of recordings made in Paris in June 2011.

The first of these is Antin's appearance as part of the formidable Double Change series. Recorded at Galerie Éof on June 17, 2011 it features a talk poem by Antin that runs just shy of an hour. This performance is available in both audio and video format with the former broken down into five subsections at pauses to make navigating the piece a little easier for listeners.

From two days earlier, we also have two lengthy discussions at Université Paris Est Marne-la-Vallée, as part of the Poets and Critics series, framed in relation to Antin's (then-)recent book, Radical Coherency: Selected Essays on Art and Literature, 1966–2005. The first of these recordings is approximately one hundred minutes long, the second runs for fifty-six minutes.

These two recordings are the merest introduction to the nearly forty years worth of audio and video you'll find on PennSound's David Antin author page.

New at Jacket2 Reissues: Calque (2007-2009)

Posted 9/6/2016 (link)

Today, Jacket2 Reissues editor Danny Snelson announced the latest addition to that section: Calque (2007–2009), originally edited by Brandon Holmquest and Steve Dolph, and readied for publication here by editorial assistant Mel Bentley. Here's how the journal's editorial introduction, coauthored by Bentley and Snelson, begins:

"Over the course of five voluminous issues, Calque published a tremendous set of translations of new and archival works with an emphasis on the transformative poetics of translation as a creative act. In an editorial introduction to the first issue, co-editor Brandon Holmquest notes: 'We queried a prominent academic in the field [of translation] who, in response, assured us that the kind of journal we were planning 'doesn't, and can't, exist in English.' This was precisely the motivation we required.' During its blazing two-year run, Calque shot like a star through the dark sky of literary translation in the United States. Drawing from a global range of experimental poetry, Calque distinctively includes extensive translators' notes preceding translations published en face with the original texts. The complete run features over fifty translations from dozens of languages — many of which appear in English for the first time — as well as a rich series of essays, reviews, and interviews on translation."

As the authors note, "the contributors are too numerous to list" and the authors being translated run the gamut from "Dante Alighieri to Severo Sarduy." You can download a complete set of all five issues as a ZIP file or browse individual issues in PDF format here.

Dennis Tedlock: New Author Page

Posted 9/8/2016 (link)

Last month we paid tribute to the late Dennis Tedlock, a co-founder of the legendary SUNY-Buffalo Poetics Program, who shaped innumerable students' minds. As part of that post we pointed readers in the direction of a number of Tedlock recordings scattered throughout the PennSound archives. Today, however, we're happy to announce a new author page for Tedlock, which brings together those resources and more.

The exciting new addition to the set is video footage of Dennis and Barbara Tedlock's talk, "Sacred Healing Transmission Ethnopoetics," which was delivered at the University of California San Francisco on December 3, 2009, and comes to us courtesy of Cloud House Poetry Archives. Aside from that you'll find Tedlock's 1995 LINEbreak interview with Charles Bernstein as well as the complete audio archives of Alcheringa, and a number of recordings from SUNY-Buffalo.

William Bronk: Poems to a Listener, 1984 and 1989

Posted 9/12/2016 (link)

Here's a terrific new addition to our site to start off the new week: a pair of appearances by poet William Bronk on "Poems to a Listener," a pubic radio program hosted by Henry Lyman, which was produced for 88.5 WFCR-FM in Amherst, Massachusetts between 1976 and 1994. Bronk's two appearances took place in 1984 and 1989, and these half-hour programs are now available for your listening pleasure.

Both programs are content-dense yet remarkably intimate, with Bronk offering poems at his own pace and Lyman posing questions, often hinging on a certain turn of phrase or image, as they come to him. Sometimes they're quick exchanges, sometimes protracted. Lyman isn't afraid to needle, and Bronk is willing to tussle as well — at one point, he says "I'm not going to tell you what the light is," then, after a pregnant pause, adds, "you know what the light is!" — and occasionally, if the edit's a bit too tight, it almost feels like Bronk offering his dissension to the line of questioning by moving on to the next poem, but that only makes the back-and-forth more charming. Both are fine examples of why we find public radio compelling, and, of course, recorded poetry as well: there's nothing more than human voices and the breathing space between them, and that's enough. Play one (or both) of these programs through a good set of speakers, sit back, and get carried away for half an hour.

On the 45th Anniversary of Paul Blackburn's Death

Posted 9/13/2016 (link)

As Ron Silliman pointed out, today is the forty-fifth anniversary of poet, translator, and editor Paul Blackburn's premature death from esophageal cancer. To mark the occasion he's shared "Paul Blackburn and Me," a truly wonderful recollection by Edie Jarolim, editor of the indispensable Collected Poems of Paul Blackburn.

"Paul Blackburn died on September 13, 1971 — exactly forty-five years ago today. He was forty-four," she begins. "I never met him, but I spent more than half a decade with him, writing my dissertation and editing his collected and selected poems. When I started this three-pronged project, it seemed to me that Blackburn had lived a reasonably long life. By the time I finished, I thought he'd died tragically young." She continues: "As they say on Facebook, it's complicated. Bear with me here. I never wrote down this story before, so I'm relishing the details." What follows is a rollocking tale, not just of how that volume came together but also the way in which its assembly shaped (and continues to shape) its editor.

For those who'd live even more ways in which to reminisce about Blackburn, we humbly offer up our Paul Blackburn author page, which is home to two recordings from the last six months of Blackburn's life (a lengthy one from SUNY-Cortland and a briefer set from San Francisco), along with another marathon reading from Bard College in 1968, and a half-hour set whose date and location are unknown. Beyond that there's also a comprehensive feature on Blackburn in Jacket #12 from October 2000.

PoemTalk 104: on Akilah Oliver's "Is You Is or Is You Ain't"

Posted 9/15/2016 (link)

This week saw the release of the latest episode in the PoemTalk Podcast series — its 104th in total — which focuses on Akilah Oliver's poem "Is You Is or Is You Ain't." The panel joining host Al Filreis this time around consists of Yolanda Wisher, Patricia Spears Jones, and Charles Bernstein.

In his introduction on the PoemTalk blog Filreis begins with the provenance of both the poem itself and the recording under discussion before moving into the panelists' conversation: "During the discussion we work through a number of terms, tropes, and concepts important to Oliver's poetics. Flesh memory, for starters: 'that which my body recalls,' Oliver once said, 'has to do with the task of remembrance and its narrative reinvention ... what gets abandoned. My body has always been a dialogue with the impossible and the apparent.' Apparent in that statement seems to be meant as a kind of apparition, for instance the unforgettable reflection of 'ed sullivan introduc[ing] diana ross. & the supremes,' or this uncanny numen: 'nobody's home in my body,' which is our poem's opening sentence. " You can read more 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.

Charles Bernstein Remembers Ted Greenwald

Posted 9/19/2016 (link)

Over at Jacket2, Charles Bernstein has posted the text of his contribution to last week's Ted Greenwald tribute at the St. Mark's Poetry Project. You can read it here.

"I first met Ted Greenwald in 1975, in and around the Poetry Project," he begins. "He was my guide to much of what interested me among the local poets: he never hesitated to say what he liked and didn't in the poems and people around us. It's not just that he didn't suffer fools easily, but he was hilarious in skewing pretenses and false premises. We always had a good time talking, with my indirectness dancing with his blunt wisdom like two people doing the cha-cha on the point of a fountain pen."

Elsewhere, in a particularly inspiring passage, Bernstein discusses the long conversational lunches the two shared at the Queensborough Bar and Grill: "Ted always said we lived like rich people because we had our time to ourselves: he was working delivering the Village Voice once a week and I was on and off unemployment. For Ted, free time, making time free, time to write and think and talk, that was everything. And that never changed."

You can read more of Bernstein's recollections here, and don't forget to check out our Ted Greenwald author page, where you can enjoy audio and video recordings from the early 1970s up to the present decade.


New Series Page: City Planning Poetics

Posted 9/21/2016 (link)

Last May, we announced an exciting new series being held at our own Kelly Writers House, "City Planning Poetics," which is organized and hosted by Davy Knittle. Held once per semester, this series' mission is to "invite one or more poets and one or more planners, designers, planning historians or others working in the field of city planning to discuss a particular topic central to their work, to ask each other questions, and to read from their current projects."

Today, we're unveiling a new series page for "City Planning Poetics,", along with its Fall 2016 installment. Recorded on September 6th, this event was framed by these questions: "What are the tools that shape the built environment? Where did they come from? How have they been used?" The panelists offering answers were Francesca Russello Ammon, an assistant professor of City & Regional Planning and Historic Preservation in the School of Design, and Philadelphia-based poet Jason Mitchell, who also organizes the Frank O'Hara's Last Lover reading series.

You can listen to and/or watch the seventy-five minute event here, along with the first event in the series, recorded last February, in which Jena Osman and Amy Hillier explored the questions "What is a map? What can a map do?"

Congratulations to MacArthur Fellows Nelson and Rankine

Posted 9/22/2016 (link)

Amidst a very competitive field — that also included cultural historian Josh Kun, author Lauren Redniss, and art historian Kellie Jones (daughter of Hettie Jones and Amiri Baraka) — we were very excited to see PennSound authors Maggie Nelson and Claudia Rankine amongst this year's MacArthur Fellows.

Nelson is hailed as "a writer forging a new mode of nonfiction that transcends the divide between the personal and the intellectual and renders pressing issues of our time into portraits of day-to-day lived experience." The citation continues: "In all of her work, Nelson remains skeptical of truisms and ideologies and continually challenges herself to consider multiple perspectives. Her empathetic and open-ended way of thinking—her willingness to change her mind and even embrace qualities of two seemingly incompatible positions—offers a powerful example for how very different people can think and live together." You can read more here.

Rankine is recognized as "a poet illuminating the emotional and psychic tensions that mark the experiences of many living in twenty-first-century America" by way of "a[n] accessible and pluralistic approach [that] portray[s] how external, public forces in American life can impinge on one's emotional state." In the Los Angeles Times Rankine reflected that "The MacArthur is given to my subject through me. The subject of trying to change the discourse of black people being equated with criminality and murdered inside a culture where white fear has justified the continued incarceration, murder of blacks and other people of color. I do feel like I am just incidental in a certain way to the prize, and that the prize is being given to the subject — that I am completely invested in." Read her complete citation here.

We send our heartiest congratulations to these two very deserving authors, and couldn't be prouder to share their groundbreaking work with our listeners.

Joseph Massey Reads from 'What Follows' at KWH, 2016

Posted 9/26/2016 (link)

Joseph Massey was in town last week to record an upcoming PoemTalk episode and take part in a ModPo live webcast, and while we had him at the Kelly Writers House we invited him to pop into the Wexler Studio to record some more of his poetry. This time around, he recorded his 2015 Ornithopter Press chapbook, What Follows in its entirety. In total there are fourteen poems: "Scotoma," "Forced Perspective," "Late August," "Blight,"House at Night," "Northeast Regional," "Sentence," "Measures," "What Follows," "Hex," "South Station," "Holy Name," "Two Days," and "Hour to Hour."

You'll recall this past January Massey popped by KWH to record a career-spanning set in the Wexler Studio, which formed the foundation for his PennSound author page. You'll find those two sessions, as well as a 2015 reading at KWH, here.

Rachel Blau DuPlessis at Penn State, 2016

Posted 9/28/2016 (link)

Thanks to the good graces of Aldon Nielsen, we're able to bring you the latest addition to his Heatstrings archive page: a reading by Rachel Blau DuPlessis at Penn State University on September 9th of this year.

"As many of you know — and those of you who don't know are certainly going to find out — I write long poems," DuPlessis begins, however she sees it as "a kindness to everybody" to start with a few short pieces to warm up the audience. Thus, she begins with the final segment of "Draft 95: Erg" and "Ledger 11" from her first post-Drafts book, Interstices. From there, she moves into "Draft 104: the Book," "Of the Dead" (the first section of "Draft 109: Wall Newspaper," inspired by Eliot's "The Waste Land"), "Draft CX: Primer" (read as the collage poem was displayed for the audience), "Draft 82: Hinge," and finally, several sections from her most recent book, Graphic Novella. Along the way she offers a coughing audience member a lozenge, ends her set with a triumphant mic drop, and then entertains questions from the audience.

It's a marvelous set, not that that should come as a surprise to faithful listeners, and a treat for completists to see a few more titles added to the rather comprehensive collection of recordings from DuPlessis' Draft series, which you'll find scattered throughout nearly thirty years of readings housed on her PennSound author page.

New at 'Jacket2': The Inside Story of 'Public Access Poetry'

Posted 9/30/2016 (link)

In September 2011, we launched a preliminary installment of preserved and digitized episodes of the groundbreaking television program Public Access Poetry, in collaboration with the St. Mark's Poetry Project. In May 2012 a second installment followed.

If you're not already familiar with these remarkable programs — which included readings by Jim Brodey, Paul Violi, Eileen Myles, Alice Notley, John Godfrey, John Yau, Ted Berrigan, Tim Dlugos, Bob Holman, Ted Greenwald, James Sherry, Tony Towle, Simon Pettet, Jackson Mac Low, Ron Padgett, Joanne Kyger, Lewis Warsh, Michael Lally, Charles Bernstein, and Hannah Wiener, among others — then you've got a long weekend ahead of you. But before you get started, or if you already know and love the series, you'll want to read "'Readers of the Future' Would Be Interested: Gary Lenhart on Public Access Poetry," just published at Jacket2

In this terrific interview (to borrow the superlative Berrigan adjective), Ben Olin talks with Gary Lenhart, a key member of the group of St. Mark's-affiliated poets (that also included Greg Masters, David Herz, Daniel Krakauer, Bob Rosenthal, Rochelle Kraut, and Didi Susan Dubelyew) responsible for producing the series, and traces the entire project in great depth from its initial spark of inspiration through the show's two seasons to its eventual preservation and considerations of its legacy. Olin asks all the right questions, and Lenhart, nearly forty years after the show's launch, hasn't forgotten a single detail, so what emerges is a straightforward story that's capable of effortlessly indulging all sorts of fascinating tangents — from technical arcana to snapshots of the downtown scene in the late 70s. See for yourself here.