Featured resources

From "Down To Write You This Poem Sat" at the Oakville Gallery

  1. Charles Bernstein, "Phone Poem" (2011) (1:30): MP3
  2. Caroline Bergvall, "Love song: 'The Not Tale (funeral)' from Shorter Caucer Tales (2006): MP3
  3. Christian Bôk, excerpt from Eunoia, from Chapter "I" for Dick Higgins (2009) (1:38):  MP3
  4. Tonya Foster, Nocturne II (0:40) (2010) MP3
  5. Ted Greenwald, "The Pears are the Pears" (2005) (0:29): MP3
  6. Susan Howe, Thorow, III (3:13) (1998):  MP3
  7. Tan Lin, "¼ : 1 foot" (2005) (1:16): MP3
  8. Steve McCaffery, "Cappuccino" (1995) (2:35): MP3
  9. Tracie Morris, From "Slave Sho to Video aka Black but Beautiful" (2002) (3:40): MP3
  10. Julie Patton, "Scribbling thru the Times" (2016) (5:12): MP3
  11. Tom Raworth, "Errory" (c. 1975) (2:08): MP3
  12. Jerome Rothenberg, from "The First Horse Song of Frank Mitchell: 4-Voice Version" (c. 1975) (3:30): MP3
  13. Cecilia Vicuna, "When This Language Disappeared" (2009) (1:30): MP3
  1. Guillaume Apollinaire, "Le Pont Mirabeau" (1913) (1:14): MP3
  2. Amiri Baraka, "Black Dada Nihilismus" (1964) (4:02):  MP3
  3. Louise Bennett, "Colonization in Reverse" (1983) (1:09): MP3
  4. Sterling Brown, "Old Lem " (c. 1950s) (2:06):  MP3
  5. John Clare, "Vowelless Letter" (1849) performed by Charles Bernstein (2:54): MP3
  6. Velimir Khlebnikov, "Incantation by Laughter" (1910), tr. and performed by Bernstein (:28)  MP3
  7. Harry Partch, from Barstow (part 1), performed by Bernstein (1968) (1:11): MP3
  8. Leslie Scalapino, "Can’t’ is ‘Night’" (2007) (3:19): MP3
  9. Kurt Schwitters, "Ur Sonata: Largo" performed by Ernst Scwhitter (1922-1932) ( (3:12): MP3
  10. Gertrude Stein, If I Told Him: A Completed Portrait of Picasso (1934-35) (3:42): MP3
  11. William Carlos Willliams, "The Defective Record" (1942) (0:28): MP3
  12. Hannah Weiner, from Clairvoyant Journal, performed by Weiner, Sharon Mattlin & Rochelle Kraut (2001) (6:12): MP3

Selected by Charles Bernstein (read more about his choices here)

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PennNews covers Mustazza, PennSound's Frost Page

Posted 7/27/2016

Earlier this spring we were very happy to announce our new Robert Frost author page, made possible by our associate director, Chris Mustazza. That achievement was recently covered by Jeanne Leong of PennNews.

"Robert Frost enthusiasts are familiar with the poet's written work, and perhaps some recordings of his performances, but now they can hear previously unreleased recordings on PennSound, the free, web-based archive offered by the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing," she begins. "The recordings, made in 1933 and 1934, were discovered by Penn Ph.D. student Chris Mustazza while working on his dissertation about the history of the practice of recording poets and the birth of the poetry audio archive." The article continues, quoting Mustazza, both in regards to the obscurity of the recordings prior to his discovery of them — "It had just been lying dormant in the archives, totally un-digitized, unbeknownst to most people" — and the unique delights available to listeners of these well-known poems: "As he is speaking the parts of different characters in 'Mending Wall,' he's actually mimicking the dialect of the different characters speaking. You don't get that from the printed page."

You can read the complete article here. Our Robert Frost author page can be found here.

Fifty Years After Frank O'Hara's Death

Posted 7/25/2016

Today marks the 50th anniversary of a tragic event that greatly shaped the course of 20th century American poetry: Frank O'Hara's death after being run over by a dune buggy on Fire Island. It's hard to imagine what wondrous work might have emerged had he been allowed to live as full a lifespan as his friends and compatriots, though as key New York School scholar Andrew Epstein points out in a fascinating new piece published on the Poetry Foundation website, that "strange as it may seem now, O'Hara was better known at the time of his death for his work in the art world than as a writer." Nonetheless, as a core figure around whom the New York School's first and second generations buzzed, as well as a lifeline to other vital writers and artists in the city, O'Hara's death created a void that never could be filled.

Though we don't have the honor of being able to present O'Hara's work on our site (you can find some audio the website set up by the O'Hara estate), that doesn't mean that we don't have some interesting materials relating to his life and work. Chief among these is an April 5, 2011 discussion of O'Hara between Ron Padgett and John Ashbery, recorded as part of Harvard's Oral History Initiative, which is presented as both audio and video. Likewise, on our Marjorie Perloff author page, you'll find two radio appearances — the first part of a 2009 Close Listening broadcast, the second from a 1991 A.L. Nielsen — in which she discusses O'Hara's poetry, along with her 1999 Kelly Writers House talk, "Watchman, Spy and Dead Man: Frank O'Hara, Jasper Johns, and John Cage in the Sixties."

Beyond that we have a number of poetic tributes, including Anne Waldman's "A Phonecall from Frank O'Hara" (MP3) and two poems from fervent O'Hara acolyte Ted Berrigan: "Frank O'Hara" (MP3) and "Frank O'Hara's Question from 'Writers and Issues' by John Ashbery" (MP3). There's also Ashbery's "Street Musicians" (MP3; which Epstein argues "can be read as a subtle elegy for O'Hara"). Finally, though we don't have a copy of it in our archives, we can't overlook Allen Ginsberg's paean to the fallen poet, "City Midnight Junk Strains."

On Hart Crane's Birthday

Posted 7/21/2016

Iconic poet Hart Crane was born one hundred and seventeen years ago, and though his life was tragically short he left behind an influential body of work that continues to captivate readers to this day.

To mark the occasion we're pointing readers towards PennSound's Hart Crane author page. While it's not exactly comprehensive, it does offer up a few worthwhile resources and give you a chance to reflect on Crane's life and work. The main attraction here is a January 24, 2007 event at our own Kelly Writers House commemorating the publication of the Library of America's Complete Poems and Selected Letters (edited by Langdon Hammer), which was co-sponsored by the Library of America, the Poetry Society of America, Temple-Penn Poetics, UPenn's Creative Writing Program, and the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing. After introductory comments by Charles Bernstein there are talks by Brian Reed, author of Hart Crane: After his Lights and Samuel R. Delaney, followed by a half-hour discussion of Crane's legacy that also featured Rob Casper, Programs Director of the Poetry Society of America. Additionally, via the website Brain Pickings, we have links to Tennessee Williams reading two of Crane's poems, "The Broken Tower" and "The Hurricane."

To listen to these recordings, click the title above.

PennSound Daily is written by Michael S. Hennessey.

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