Featured resources

  1. Charles Bernstein -
    St. McC. MP3
  2. Amiri Baraka -
    Against Bourgeois Art MP3
  3. Michael Palmer -
    Lies of the Poem MP3
  4. Henry Hills -
    Money MOV
  5. Barrett Watten -
    "I dreamed of a group of sociable foxes in the basement" MP3
  6. Steve McCaffery -
    The Baker Transformation MP3
  7. Bruce Andrews -
    Feature MP3
  8. Jackson Mac Low -
    Feeling Down Clementi Felt Imposed Upon From Every Direction (HSCH 10) MP3
  9. Ron Silliman -
    Quindecagon MP3
  10. Rod Smith -
    This is Such Total Bullshit MP3
  11. Rachel Blau Duplessis -
    Draft 72: Nanifesto MP3
  12. K. Silem Mohammad -
    Sonnet 154: The little love god lying once asleep MP3

Selected by Brian Ang (read more about his choices here)

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Rae Armantrout: Two Vintage Recordings Newly Segmented

Posted 4/17/2014

In anticipation of Rae Armantrout's April 28–29 visit as the last of this year's Kelly Writers House Fellows (following Buzz Bissinger and T.C. Boyle), we've segmented several vintage recordings from the poet.

First up, we have a Segue Series reading from its original home, the Ear Inn, recorded on April 14, 1979, when Armantrout read alongside Bernard Welt. Her twenty-four minute set, originally broken into two segments, is now available as thirty-three individual tracks, including the poems, "Natural History," "You Float," "Signs," "Generation," "Textron," "Vice," "Xenophobia," "Anti-Short Story," and "Special Theory of Relativity."

Next, there's Armantrout's half-hour reading from January 16, 1983 — she delivered a talk on "Silence" on the same day, though the location is unknown — which includes thirty poems, many overlapping with the aforementioned Segue recording. Some titles unique to this set: "Dark," "Postcards," "Admission," "Compound," "Secretly," "Precedence," "Round," "Atmospheric," and "The Music."

You'll find these recordings and a great many more on PennSound's Rae Armantrout author page. For more information on the poet's upcoming Fellows visit, click here.


Lynn Book Performs Kurt Schwitters' 'Ursonate'

Posted 4/15/2014

For the last month or so, Amy Catanzano has been writing a fascinating series of Jacket2 commentaries on "Quantum Poetics" that are well worth your attention, and today we're highlighting something else new and wonderful from Catanzano — a group of new recordings from Lynn Book's visit to Wake Forest University last November. Here's Catanzano's description of the visit:

Transmedia artist Lynn Book performed Kurt Schwitters' Ursonate (1922) in the Charlotte and Philip Hanes Arts Gallery at Wake Forest University in North Carolina on November 5, 2013. This performance marks the rare occasion of a woman publicly performing Schwitters' sound poem, first performed by Book in 1984 at Chicago Filmmakers and more recently at Roulette in New York, though never recorded until now. She is an associate teaching professor and associate director at Wake Forest teaching interdisciplinary creativity and developing projects for the Program of Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship. She is also a graduate advisor for Transart Institute, an international program in contemporary arts practice. Her performance of the Ursonate was part of the Letterforming exhibition, curated by Hanes Art Gallery Director Paul Bright and Assistant Director Marcus Keely. Book's performance was first introduced by Paul Bright, who discusses dada and Schwitters' stake in hybridity as an artist. Amy Catanzano, who serves as poet-in-residence, an assistant professor, and director of the Creative Writing Program at Wake Forest, then discusses the Ursonate in relation to historical and contemporary movements in poetry and introduces Lynn Book to the audience. Lynn Book's Performance Art students participated in parts of the performance from the audience. The Letterforming exhibition and this performance was sponsored by Wake Forest's Humanities Institute, Department of English, Program in Interdisciplinary Studies, Writing Program, and Interdisciplinary Performance and the Liberal Arts Center.

In addition to Book's performance, we also have two recordings from Book and Catanzano's interview by David Ford for NPR News and Triad Arts on 88.5 WFDD-FM several days earlier: a formal twelve-minute segment that appeared on the radio and a post-interview conversation running twice as long. To listen to all of these fascinating recordings, click on the title above.


PoemTalk 75: on Will Alexander's "Compound Hibernation"

Posted 4/8/2014

Today saw the release of the landmark seventy-fifth episode in the PoemTalk Podcast series — an exploration of Will Alexander's poem, "Complete Hibernation," which was first published in Zen Monster before appearing in the 2011 collection, Compression & Purity. For this program, host Al Filreis was joined by panelists Tracie Morris, Kristen Gallagher, and Michael Magee.

Here's how Filreis starts his write-up of this episode on the PoemTalk blog: "The group began by discussing the poem's relationship to the Ellisonian strategy (or condition) of invisibility, in which one 'ingest[s] ... a blackened pre-existence' through a glaring, nine-sun-sized brightness while maintaining the feeling that 'Those who glance about me / ... cannot know me.' Its poetics — or 'galvanics' — presents a speaker residing in 'a pre-cognitive rotation' in an 'invisible tremor' yet made of a complex compound, and 'aloof' because of such 'interior compounding.' Mike Magee observes that Alexander is attempting to locate the speaker 'in an other-wordly space,' possibly inside the sun, the ur-source of our light. Tracie Morris adds that magic (including sleight of hand) is about dispersing light, teaching us the misdirection of seeing, 'making you distracted by not seeing what is in front of you.' For Kristen Gallagher, all during the discussion, Alexander's interest in surrealist writing practice seemed not just important to our following, or not following, the words of the poem, but helpfully connects with the magic of distracted vision Tracie sees in misdirected (in)visibility." 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.


PennSound Daily is written by Michael S. Hennessey.

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