Featured resources

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

Contemporary
  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
Historical
  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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Poetry in Conversation at the Centre for Stories, Northbridge, Western Australia

Posted 5/26/2017

One of our latest series pages is for "Poetry in Conversation," hosted at the Centre for Stories in Northbridge, Western Australia, the aim of which is "to tell good stories in the hope of strengthening connections between people and encouraging a more inclusive and informed community."

The series' host is Robert Wood, who's also curated some terrific Oceania-centric critical work for Jacket2. We're able to present five events in total that took place between February and May of this year, which includes four solo conversations with Sampurna Chattarji, Siobhan Hodge, Jeremy Balius, and James Quinton, and a Westerly Reading event showcasing the work of Amy Hilhorst, Chris Arnold, and Wood himself.

For those interested in more Australian PennSound content, don't forget to check out our Australian Poets audio anthology (curated by Pam Brown in conjunction with the Jacket2 feature, "Fifty-One Contemporary Poets from Australia") and our series page for the School of Life: Melbourne reading series (also curated by Wood).


Fred Wah, Daphne Marlatt, Colin Browne on Tour, 2017

Posted 5/24/2017

Earlier this spring a trio of formidable Canadian poets — Fred Wah, Daphne Marlatt, and Colin Browne — set out on a tour of the US. Their Philadelphia stop included a reading at the Penn Book Center on March 15th, which we are very happy to make available in both audio and video format.

In addition to that recording, Marlatt and Browne — both being somewhat less represented in the PennSound archives than Wah — were invited to stop by our Wexler Studio at the Kelly Writers House to record brief sets of their work, and when the trio visited New York a week earlier, PennSound co-director Charles Bernstein also invited the pair to record episodes for his long-running radio series Close Listening (n.b. Wah recorded a fantastic set of programs for the series in 2010).

These three sets of recordings form the basis for new author pages for both Marlatt and Colin Browne, which you can visit by clicking on each linked name. Wah's contrbutions can be found on his PennSound author page.


New Belladonna* Recordings from 2016 to Present

Posted 5/18/2017

We recently added several new recordings to our homepage for Belladonna*, the venerable "reading series and independent press that promotes the work of women writers who are adventurous, experimental, politically involved, multi-form, multicultural, multi-gendered, impossible to define, delicious to talk about, unpredictable, and dangerous with language."

The earliest of these readings took place on March 14, 2016 at Queens College, CUNY, and featured sets from Natalie Diaz and Sandra Lim. That was followed by an April 12, 2016 event at Shoestring Press, New York with readings by Megan Kaminski, Rachel Levitsky, and Yanyi Luo." Jumping forward to the fall, we have November 22, 2016 event cosponsored by Lambda Literary at BAM with a line-up including readings by Theodore (ted) Kerr and Jamara Wakefield, and Keelay Gipson, along with a performance by t?ai freedom ford.

Our last two events come from this past March. First, from the 4th, there's "Great Waves: Annual Intern/Volunteer Reading" hosted by Krystal Languell with sets from Sarah Francois, Ananya Kumar-Banerjee, Marines Gonzalez-DeJesus, Belynda Jones, Krystal Languell, Savannah Hampton, and Yoomee Ohayon. Finally, from the 30th, we have an event co-presented by Belladonna* Vetch Magazine at New York's Bureau of General Services — Queer Division with performances from Aristilde Kirby and Samuel Ace.

You'll find these and a great many more recordings going back to the collaborative's founding in 1999 on our Belladonna* homepage.


PoemTalk 112: on Patrick Rosal's "Instance of an Island"

Posted 5/16/2017

Today saw the release of the latest program in the PoemTalk Podcast series (episode #112 in total), which focuses on Patrick Rosal's poem "Instance of an Island." Joining host Al Filreis for this discussion are Ross Gay, Josephine Park, and Herman Beavers.

After setting up the provenance of the recording and offering two separate versions of the podcast — the finished edit and an uncut video of the discussion before a live audience at our Kelly Writers House — Filreis' introduction on the PoemTalk blog dives right in to one of the poem's more memorable images: "The group begins with the remarkable jam performed by Filomena and Josefa together as an art-making body — each incomplete, but together far more than even an oceanic whole. The poem at the moment of this countercolonial antisynthesis jams — itself jams. And at its essence the discussion that ensues explores the many ways in which Rosal has crafted an ars poetica, a defense of poetry made from the 'invention' of 'cracked' unbroken song. The fingers of these two players, 'joined by that third / body of wood,' remake the body forced into exile by the finger-wiggling world-naming 'great emperor' who had pointed with imperial denotation toward the far-off island." 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.



Happy 80th Birthday to Michael Heller

Posted 5/11/2017

We send birthday greetings out to Michael Heller (shown at left in a well-known, vertigo-inducing photo by Lawrence Schwartzwald), who turns eighty today. There will be a celebration at Poets House this Saturday in his honor, but if you can't make it there you can honor this milestone in your own way by browsing some of the selections on his PennSound author page.

There, you'll find numerous recordings going back more than forty years, including readings, musical performances, panel talks, and lectures (on Oppen, Zukofsky, and their Objectivist peers) from Naropa, Woodland Pattern, Poets House, the annual Louisville Conference, and more. To start browsing, click here.


Peter Gizzi Reads from 'The Outernationale' for 'The Nation,' 2010

Posted 5/8/2017

This week starts off with a recent addition to our Peter Gizzi author page: a trio of poems from the poet's 2007 collection, The Outernationale (Wesleyan), which were recorded at the offices of The Nation on September 17, 2010. The three titles are "Matthew Brady Photographs," "Homer's Anger," and "Beacon."

You'll find these new tracks here, along with numerous other recordings from 1992 to the present. Other poems from The Outernationale are highlighted in Gizzi's 2008 appearance on Close Listening and his 2007 appearance on Cross Cultural Poetics. Other collections including Periplum and Other Poems, Artificial Heart, and Some Values of Landscape and Weather are read from in these recordings as well.


Chinese Poets at the Kelly Writers House, 2017

Posted 5/4/2017

At the end of March, our Wexler Studio at the Kelly Writers House was proud to play host to a group of visiting Chinese poets who were taking part in "A Dialogue in English and Chinese Poetics" — a week-long seminar at Princeton University organized by Susan Stewart. Our guests shared their own work as well as the poetry of others.


The session begins with a brief introduction by Stewart, which is followed by Peter Feng reading "Dwelling" by Lu Dong and Ayin Wang reading "Lying in Me" by Anna Akhmatova. Next up is Yanni Lei, who reads his poems "A Vacant City" and "On a Windy Night," then Xiaohong Chen who reads a trio of poems by others: "Maple Bridge Night Mooring" by Zhang Ji, "At Maple Bridge" by Gary Snyder, and "The Sound of Billows" by Chen Xiaoqi. Zhimin Li is next with two of his own poems, "I Ate Ants: A Story of Chinese Food" and "Who I Am: A Prose Poem," then Qingji He reading "A Lane in the Rain" by Dai Wangshu. Finally, Zhuo Wang brings the session to an end with "Darkroom" by Yi Lai.

You can listen to all of these poems here, and read more about "A Dialogue in English and Chinese Poetics" at Princeton here.


In Memoriam: Vito Acconci (1940-2017)

Posted 4/28/2017

Sadly, this week and month come to an end with the news of another creative titan lost: Vito Acconci, poet, performer, and architect, who passed away today at the age of seventy-seven. Even with short notice, his death has created a stir, with MoMA observing that "NYC has lost a legend," Jerry Saltz mourning "our mystical man in black," and ARTnews hailing Acconci's "poetic, menacing work [that] forms bedrock of performance and video art."

Before his prodigious career branched out to other modes and media, Acconci started as a poet, notably co-editing the legendary journal 0 To 9 with his sister-in-law Bernadette Mayer. Around the same time, he appeared on the influential 1969 audio anthology Tape Poems (edited by Eduardo Costa and John Perreault), starting the album off with a short untitled piece. Thanks to the efforts of Patrick Durgin, we're grateful to be able to present the entire record for your listening pleasure. We're also proud to be able to present Acconci's contribution to a 2009 Segue Series symposium on "Poetry and Architecture" curated by Trace Peterson that also featured Robert Kocik and Benjamin Aranda. You can watch video and listen to audio from that event here.

We send our condolences to Acconci's family, friends and fans worldwide, and encourage you to commemorate his life and work in the same way that we will: by reconnecting with his captivating work.


John Richetti Reads Yeats, Pope (2017)

Posted 4/26/2017

We were very lucky to have the one and only John Richetti — UPenn professor emeritus, British Lit specialist, and velvet-throated performer — join us early last month for yet another recording session for our PennSound Classics page.

This time around, he recorded two large blocks of material. The first is a rather extensive survey of the work of William Butler Yeats, with forty-two titles read in total, including "The Lake Isle of Innisfree," "September 1913," "Easter 1916," "Sailing to Byzantium," "Leda and the Swan," and "Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop," along with many more.

Next, he read Alexander Pope's "The Rape of the Lock,", and this is actually the second time he's read the poem for us, joining a earlier rendition from almost exactly twelve years prior, which allows for the interesting potential of comparing performances.

These new sessions, as impressive as they are in their own right, merely scratch the surface of the work that Richetti has recorded for us over the past dozen years. You'll find all of these on both his own author page and the PennSound Classics page. As always, we're grateful to John for sharing his ample gifts with us and look forward to his next session.


PoemTalk 111: two by Naomi Replansky

Posted 4/24/2017

We recently released the latest episode in the PoemTalk Podcast series (#111 altogether) in which two poems by Naomi Replansky — "In Syrup, In Syrup" and "Ring Song" — are the focus of the discussion. The panel for this program included host Al Filreis and Charles Bernstein, who recently conducted a lengthy interview with the poet, as well as Ron Silliman and Rachel Zolf.

After providing some bibliographical context for the poems and tracking their revision history in his introduction on the PoemTalk blog, Filreis offers some caveats for listeners: "historical knowledge of the ins and outs, ups and downs, of the literary left of the 1940s and 1950s (and specifically of the communist left) helps somewhat to make sense of Replansky's choice to convey irony through radical ideas in controlled poetic forms — Mother Goose-ish rhymed couplets ('Ring Song') and metrically tight two-stressed unrhymed couplets ('In Syrup'). So in this discussion there is some talk, which some listeners will find arcane, about the state of radical ideologies and poetics at various points in the life of these two poems as they have moved through the decades." You can read more — and both listen to and watch this special episode — 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.



Congratulations to Griffin Prize Short-Lister Hoa Nguyen

Posted 4/11/2017

Today, the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry announced the international and Canadian shortlists for the 2017 Griffin Prize and among the very worthy nominees was PennSound poet How Nguyen for her Wave Books release Violet Energy Ingots. Here's the judges' citation in full:

"Hoa Nguyen's poems tread delicately but firmly between the linear demands of narrative and syntax on the one hand and between registers of speech and forms of address on the other. There are spaces for breath, and asides hovering in parentheses. There are also the slippages in language, in the slide from, say 'staring' through 'starving' and 'starring' to 'scarring'. Everything is at once tangential yet surprisingly direct. This is where the pleasure and depth reside: in the off balancing of the language and its pure, uncalculated tone. What are the poems about? Many things, often simple and direct, like food, or sex, or rivers, or sickness. The poems are packed with fine precisions and particulars. But there is politics too, sometimes startlingly straight as in the poem about Andrew Jackson or sharp-edged as in 'Screaming'. Violet Energy Ingots is a fully mature work in that it is confident of both its voice and its readers' alertness. It makes its own space. It demands it and holds it."

You can listen to a sampling of Nguyen's poetry on her PennSound author page, which is home to a 2016 reading from the St. Bonaventure Visiting Poets Series showcasing selections from Red Juice, four individual tracks from PoetryPolitic (a project undertaken by Wave Books in the lead-up to the 2008 presidential election), and a 2010 reading as part of the Chapter and Verse Series in Philadelphia.


Fatemeh Shams: New Author Page

Posted 4/5/2017

Our latest author page is for Persian poet, translator, and scholar Fatemeh Shams, who recently joined the UPenn faculty as Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.

On March 2nd of this year she and translator Dick Davis took part in a lunchtime event at our own Kelly Writers House on Persian Literature in Translation, which is available in video and audio form. Later that day, the two stepped into the Wexler Studio for a bilingual reading, with Shams reading in Farsi and Davis sharing his translations in English. In total, the pair read ten poems including "Mashhad," "Three Years Later," "Never to Fall Asleep," "Ash and Mist," "In Search of a Homeland," "Home," and "Persecution."

You can listen to both of these recordings on PennSound's Fatemeh Shams author page, and we look forward to hosting more work from our colleague in the future.


In Memoriam: Yevgeny Yevtushenko (1932-2017)

Posted 4/1/2017

It's a rare occurrence to have a poet's death officially verified by a governmental news agency, but then again Yevgeny Yevtushenko was an uncommon talent. The Russian new agency TASS confirmed with close friend Mikhail Morgulis that Yevtushenko passed away earlier today in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he taught for many years at the University of Tulsa. He was eighty-four.

The New York Times' obituary hailed Yevtushenko as "an internationally acclaimed poet with the charisma of an actor and the instincts of a politician whose defiant verse inspired a generation of young Russians in their fight against Stalinism during the Cold War." Meanwhile, the Guardian's memorial recalls the early work that brought him renown outside of the Soviet Union: "He gained international acclaim as a young revolutionary with "Babi Yar," an unflinching 1961 poem that told of the slaughter of nearly 34,000 Jews by the Nazis and denounced the antisemitism that had spread throughout the Soviet Union."

Fortunately, we only recently added a wonderful recording of Yevtushenko to our site — via George Drury's amazing "Word of Mouth" archive — produced by Drury and Lois Baum and recorded on April 3, 1987 at the Chicago Cultural Center. The program's introduction provides a wonderful encapsulation of his life and career up to the mid-1980s (where he was still battling with the powers that be, challenging the openness of Gorbachev's glasnost policies) and from the very start, the qualities of his work, both on the page and in performance, are evident.


Cross Cultural Poetics: Thirteen New Episodes, 2016-2017

Posted 3/31/2017

Your weekend listening plans are set now, because we have thirteen new and exciting episodes of Cross Cultural Poetics — the long-running and much-beloved program hosted by Leonard Schwartz (shown at right) and broadcast on Olympia, Washington's KAOS-FM — have just been posted to the site.

We start with Episode #353, "Konundrum," in which Peter Wortsman talks about and reads from his new translations of Franz Kafka in Konundrum: Selected Prose of Franz Kafka. He's followed in episode #354, "Sowing the Wind," by Edward Foster who shares selections from his new book of the same name. Episode #355, "Gretl," shifts gears to opera with Anya Matonovic, soprano, discussing her playing one of the title roles in Engelbert Humperdink's opera Hansel and Gretel for Seattle Opera. Then for episode #356, "Thomas Traherne Series," Susan M. Schultz reads from her latest collection, Memory Cards: Thomas Traherne Series.

Episodes #357 and #358 feature one long conversation spread across the pair, with Paul Vangelisti discussing his co-translation (with Lucia Re) of Italian poet Amelia Rosseli's War Variations. Episode #359, "The Poet Ida Perkins," is named after the protagonist of Jonathan Galassi's debut novel, Muse, while episode #360, "Opera," tackles that topic from two angles with guests Dean Williamson, conductor (who's worked with the Nashville Opera and NYC's City Opera) and poet Edwin Frank, (who talks about his poem "Opera: Die Meistersinger misremembered in two broken parts").

Episode #361, "Writing During War," features Palestinian poet Somayo el-Sousi, co-author of a 2014 text with the same title. For episode #362, "Fiery Jade," composer Greg Youtz and librettist Zhang Er discuss their new opera Cai Yan (Fiery Jade), based on the life of the great classical female Chinese poet. We travel to Sudan with poet Najlaa Osman in episode #363, while in episode # 364 we travel to Central Asia with Afghan-American poet Zohra Saed, author of Langston Hughes: Poems, Photos, and Notebooks from Turkestan.

Finally, in episode #365, "The Trump Era," Political philosopher Michael Hardt talks about forms of resistance in the era of Trump, as well as his forthcoming book, with Antonio Negri, Assemblage.

You can listen to all of these new programs, as well as hundreds more going all the way back to the program's 2003 debut on our Cross Cultural Poetics series page.


Rankine and Mackey Receive LOC's Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry

Posted 3/29/2017

After a harrowing few days we're happy to have some good news to report, involving PennSound poets Claudia Rankine and Nate Mackey (who was in town recently as one of this year's Kelly Writers House fellows). Earlier this week, the Library of Congress announced that were the recipients of the 2016 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry. Rankine's prize honors her groundbreaking book, Citizen: An American Lyric, while Mackey is being recognized for his lifetime achievements. The awarding panel included "Boston Poet Laureate Danielle Legros Georges, selected by 21st Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry Juan Felipe Herrera; National Book Award-winning poet Mary Szybist, selected by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden; and scholar Betty Sue Flowers, selected by the Bobbitt family."

As the LOC press release explains, "The Bobbitt Prize, a biennial $10,000 award, recognizes a book of poetry written by an American and published during the preceding two years, or the lifetime achievement of an American poet. The prize is donated by the family of Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt of Austin, Texas, in her memory, and awarded at the Library of Congress. Bobbitt was President Lyndon B. Johnson's sister. While a graduate student in Washington, D.C., during the 1930s, Rebekah Johnson met college student O.P. Bobbitt when they both worked in the cataloging department of the Library of Congress. They married and returned to Texas."

The two winners will accept their awards and give a reading in Washington, D.C. on April 20th. In the meantime if you'd like to get a preview of the festivities, or sample the work that earned them this recognition, then check out the numerous readings you'll find on their PennSound author pages: you'll find Rankine's here and Mackey's is here.


In Memoriam: Richard Swigg (1938-2017)

Posted 3/27/2017

This weekend we were contacted by Richard Swigg's daughter, Virginia, who shared the very sad news that her father had passed away a few days earlier after suffering a stroke. PennSound co-director Charles Bernstein has penned a tribute to Swigg for Jacket2, which begins to encapsulate what his herculean efforts meant to us:

"Richard Swigg was a great friend of PennSound, editing our extensive sound recording collections of Williams, Bunting, Tomlinson, Oppen, and Replanksky. His work was thorough, with the aim of archiving all the audio recordings of these poets. He was tireless in his efforts — he spent decades assembling the recordings — and worked with us in securing permission to make these recordings available on PennSound."

None of these author pages are modest by any means. The Williams page brings together more than thirty individual recordings, many of which include dozens of tracks each. The Tomlinson page includes a core collection of the poet reading his entire published output (653 poems!), which is supplemented by other recordings. Moreover, I think it's noteworthy that he approached the work of Tomlinson and Replansky with the same tireless enthusiasm and respect that he afforded to titans like Williams and Oppen, and that his passion was contagious, benefiting us all greatly. As Charles notes, "Richard urged Al Filreis and I to visit 100-year-old Naomi Replansky, whom he had recorded for PennSound. We did and that was a great experience for us."

While his work as both a scholar and archivist of recorded poetry was central to PennSound, I'd also like to highlight the fine work he shared with us at Jacket2 over the past few years. As the editor who worked most closely with him — particularly on Paul Auster's startling interview of the Oppens (which he toiled to uncover like a needle in the proverbial haystack, then transcribed from a poor-quality tape and edited for publication), and his mammoth collected correspondence between Oppen and Tomlinson (which is essentially a book-length manuscript) — I will miss our exchanges and everything I learned from chatting with him and reading his prose closely. As I told Virginia after hearing the terrible news, I'd been thinking of him recently (probably right around the time of his death) and getting ready to drop him a line to see what marvelous project he might be cooking up for us next. Certainly, the passing of such a generous and dedicated scholar leaves a void that's very difficult to fill. All of us at both PennSound and Jacket2 share our condolences with Richard's family, colleagues, and friends.

[n.b. this remembrance is also posted as a Jacket2 commentary post here]


In Memoriam: Joanne Kyger (1934-2017)

Posted 3/23/2017

We're very sad to report the news that legendary poet Joanne Kyger — whose long career (starting more than fifty years ago with The Tapestry and the Web) bridged multiple schools and styles — has passed away at the age of eighty-two.

Just recently, we were proud to have Kyger as panelist for the latest PoemTalk Podcast on Philip Whalen's "Life at Bolinas. The Last of California", and Kyger's own poem "It's Been a Long Time: Notes from the Revolution" was the subject of PoemTalk #79 from 2014. Kyger was also the subject of an extensive feature in Jacket #11 (2000), which was edited by Linda Russo.

Of course, you'll also find am impressive archive of recordings on our Joanne Kyger author page, going as far back as her appearance at the Berkeley Poetry Conference in 1965. From there, we have numerous recordings from Bolinas and San Francisco (from the 1970s, the 2000s, and the 2010s), East Coast visits to read on Public Access Poetry (in 1978) and for Dia's Readings in Contemporary Poetry series (in 2015) and a handful of other interesting recordings from along the way.

We humbly acknowledge the void that Kyger's death leaves in the world of contemporary poetry and send our condolences to her family, friends, and fans.


The Four Horsemen Live in Toronto, 1984

Posted 3/21/2017

We have an exciting new performance from legendary Canadian sound poets the Four Horsemen that you'll want to check out.

Recorded on October 11, 1984 at the Tivoli in Toronto, this set runs just over forty minutes and features eight individual pieces. All four members of the group — bpNichol, Steve McCaffery, Paul Dutton, and Rafael Barreto-Rivera — are present, and McCaffery plays reeds in addition to vocalizing.

You'll find this new gem on our Four Horsemen author page along with three complete albums — Nada Canadada (1973), Live in the West (1977), and Two Nights (1988) — and a variety of links and other resources. Our individual author pages for members bpNichol, Steve McCaffery, Paul Dutton, and Rafael Barreto-Rivera — are also well worth checking out.

We're grateful to both Dutton and Gary Barwin for their help in bringing this recording to our site.


PoemTalk 110: on Philip Whalen's "Life at Bolinas. The last of California"

Posted 3/9/2017

Earlier this week we released the latest episode in the PoemTalk Podcast series, its 110th in total, which addresses Philip Whalen's poem, "Life at Bolinas. The last of California," written between 1968–69. Appropriately enough, for this program, host Al Filreis hit the road to the Bolinas home of poet Stephen Ratcliffe, where, together with Joanne Kyger and Julia Bloch, they conducted a lengthy discussion of the work.

In his introduction on the PoemTalk blog, Filreis starts his discussion of the poet itself by considering the one word in its title that seems somewhat out of place: "What does Whalen mean by 'last'? Is this a farewell to Bolinas? Is there something final about the experiences reported here in this collage of memories and scenes? Joanne at several points observes that at least parts of the poem seem to have been written in Kyoto, and that Kyoto scenes are a presence in its lines, mixed with memories of Bolinas, a recent past seen from afar. Even 'Duxbury Pond,' as locally specific a reference to Bolinas as could be, is pronounced unlocally (as Stephen and Joanne both notice). The outsider's enunication suggests that the poem is the ode to places composed from beyond them. Then again, there's a precise evocation of the late Bolinas autumn ('Blithering dead leaves along the ground / Crooked sunlight'); the desolate, windy scene intruded upon only by very particularized raccoons; and the real clock Whalen broke at the Doss house where he was staying as a guest. The speaker is there." You can read more — and both listen to and watch this special episode — 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.



Jacket2 welcomes Divya Victor

Posted 3/7/2017

Jacket2 is delighted to welcome Divya Victor to our team as our new guest editor. Divya has long been a friend of the journal: she has curated and edited two extraordinary features, "Discourses on Vocality" and "Conceptual writing (plural and global) and other cultural productions" — the latter of which is one of our most massive and ambitious features to date — and written insightfully on her time in Singapore as part of our Commentaries section. She is a prolific poet whose titles include the award-winning Natural Subjects (reviewed here), UNSUBThings to Do with Your MouthSwift Taxidermies 1919–1922Goodbye, John! On John Baldessari, PUNCH, and the Partial trilogy, as well as a number of chapbooks. Her next book, Kith, includes poetry, prose, and essays on globalization and the South Asian diaspora, and is forthcoming from Fence and BookThug. Divya currently teaches poetry and poetics at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and has previously been a Mark Diamond Research Fellow at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, a Riverrun Fellow at the Mandeville Poetry Collections at University of California San Diego, and a writer in residence at the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibit (LACE). We at Jacket2 are thrilled to have such an insightful and brilliant editor and writer join us. Welcome, Divya!


New Series Page: Kootenay School of Writing

Posted 3/6/2017

We have recently created a new series page for the Kootenay School of Writing, the venerable, Vancouver-based writing collective now in its thirty-third year of existence.

Encapsulating what you'll find there will not be easy. As you might expect, there are a lot of Canadian authors, and non-Canadian authors as well. There are a lot of recordings in general — hundreds, in fact, with the majority of them coming from the 1990s and 2000s, though the 80s and teens are well-represented as well. Some of the names you might encounter there: Carmen Aguirre, Ken Belford, Bruce Boone, George Bowering, Dionne Brand, Suzanne Buffam, Alice Burdick, Danika Dinsmore, George Evans, Marwan Hassan, Jeanne Heuving, Brook Houglum, Kevin Killian, Dorothy Trujillo Lusk, Nicole Markotic, Daphne Marlatt, Barry McKinnon, Duncan McNaughton, Peter Nichols, Douglas Oliver, Michael Palmer, Meredith Quartermain, Peter Quartermain, Sina Queyras, Denise Riley, Stuart Ross, Jordan Scott, Nico Vassilakis, Melissa Wolsack, and many, many more.

This impressive roster of poets really needs to be seen to be believed, so you should just check out our KSW series homepage and find one (or several) of your favorite poets to start with. Better yet, this is just the start of KSW recordings that we'll be adding to the site in the near future!


New at Jacket2 Reissues: 'Aufgabe' (2001-2014)

Posted 3/3/2017

This week draws to a close with a very exciting new addition to our Jacket2 Reissues section: a complete run of the much-beloved journal Aufgabe.

As Reissues editor Danny Snelson notes, "The task of recounting the work of Aufgabe is formidable." He continues: "Founding editor E. Tracy Grinnell initiated the magazine in the Bay Area in 1999. Over the next fifteen years, Aufgabe has featured seventy editors, roughly 700 writers, nearly 150 translators, and twenty artists from twenty-three countries. The magazine was uniformly released from 2001 until 2014 in perfect-bound 6" x 9" format with one thousand copies printed per issue. In each issue, Aufgabe 'challenges static cultural modes of thinking and being' through a dense global network of innovative poetry and poetics." Snelson's introductory note continues acknowledging the geographical diversity of the journal's participants and guest editors, along with its stated privileging of "the editorial art itself," which is clear from a mere moment's glance at the tables of contents for each of Aufgabe's thirteen issues.

You can browse those issues, or download bookmarked PDF files of each here, and don't forget to visit our Reissues homepage, where you can survey the many other journals that have been preserved by Snelson and his crew.


Close Listening: Tyrone Williams, 2016

Posted 3/1/2017

As we mentioned in our last post, we have two exciting new Close Listening programs from PennSound co-director Charles Bernstein to discuss this week. Last time, we introduced his episodes focused on Myanmar poet ko ko thett, and today we're highlighting a new episode featuring poet Tyrone Williams. Born in Detroit, Williams is the author of c.c., On Spec, The Hero Project of the Century, Adventures of Pi, and Howell. He's taught at Xavier University in Cincinnati since 1983.

Over the course of forty-five minutes, Williams talks to Bernstein about "growing up working class in Detroit; bookishness and the role of education and his early teachers; assimilation versus resistance and formal innovation in American poetry in relation to his dissertation on ?Open and Closed Forms In 20th Century American Poetics?; his practice of ?eshuneutics? (after Yoruba spirit Eshu); the use of appropriation in his poetry and the necessity of research and reading beyond one?s immediate knowledge context; and the politics and history of English for African-Americans."

On Williams' PennSound author page, you'll find a wide array of readings spanning the past decade, including his February 7th reading at our own Kelly Writers House that followed this Close Listening recording session. Click the title above to start listening.


Close Listening: ko ko thett, 2017

Posted 2/26/2017

PennSound co-director Charles Bernstein is back with two recently-recorded programs in his long-running Close Listening series, which is broadcast by Clocktower Radio. Today, we'll highlight the first of these shows, which features ko ko thett, a poet, editor and translator from Burma/Myanmar.

ko ko thett is the author of The Burden of Being Burmese (Zephyr Press, 2015), a book hailed by John Ashbery as "brilliantly off-kilter," and is co-editor (with James Byrne) of Bones Will Crow, an anthology of contemporary Burmese poetry. He also serves as translator for the speeches of Aung San Suu Kyi. A student activist during the military dictatorship in Burma, ko ko thett spent many years living in exile in Finland, Austria, and the U.S.. He has recently returned to Yangon.

The two-part program begins with the author reading before a live audience at the Kelly Writers House on January 23, 2017. In the second half, he and Bernstein discuss his decision to write in English; his 19 years in exile and the experience of returning home; the political situation in Burma at the time of his exile compared to the present; his sense of the futility of the student protests; and the international context of the poets he anthologized in Bones Will Crow. He also reads a recent poem in Burmese and offers a spontaneous translation.

In his Jacket2 commentary on the program, Bernstein also provides video footage of the two programs as well as a link to PennSound's anthology page for poets from Burma/Myanmar. You can start listening by clicking here.


Peter Jaeger Performed by the Yehudi Menuhin Music School, 2016

Posted 2/23/2017

Here's is the latest addition to our author page for poet and critic Peter Jaeger to get your toes tapping for the coming weekend.

Daniel Penny, winner of the BBC's young composer of the year award in 2015, set Peter Jaeger's poem "Sub Twang Mustard" to music. The piece is performed here by members of the Yehudi Menuhin Music School and trombone soloist John Kenny, under the direction of John Cooney. "Sub Twang Mustard" was originally published in Jaeger's 2004 book Eckhart Cars.

You can listen in here and be sure to check out the rest of the recordings archived on PennSound's Peter Jaeger author page, including sets from Manchester's The Other Room series, the if p then q series in London, and a 2013 reading at London's Kingsgate Gallery. There's also a 2003 radio appearance from Resonance FM's program "Up on Air," and a 2006 recording of "Prop" made at London's Regal Lane Studios.


PennSound Daily is written by Michael S. Hennessey.

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