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(photography courtesy of Michael Meyers)


Stephen Ratcliffe

Reading at UC Berkeley, February 9, 1977

  • complete recording part one (32:19): MP3
  • complete recording part two (28:59): MP3
  1. introduction (2:20): MP3
  2. Waterfall (0:45): MP3
  3. El Capitan (0:25): MP3
  4. The Eagle's Song (1:56): MP3
  5. Readings from John Muir's Journal (3:46): MP3
  6. Spring, 1887 (1:10): MP3
  7. The View from Mono Pass (0:57): MP3
  8. Pause, Pico Blanco 0:41): MP3
  9. Summer Rain (0:39): MP3
  10. The Snake (1:07): MP3
  11. The Rat (0:41): MP3
  12. Logging (0:47): MP3
  13. Blood (0:36): MP3
  14. Flight (1:45): MP3
  15. Concert, London (0:55): MP3
  16. Air (0:29): MP3
  17. Milton (0:51): MP3
  18. Gioconda (1:35): MP3
  19. Still Life (1:23): MP3
  20. Versailles (0:20): MP3
  21. Horologe, Venice (0:26): MP3
  22. Postscript, on a name (0:34): MP3
  23. Blues, near Dubrovnik (0:47): MP3
  24. Postcard from Hemingway (0:25): MP3
  25. Pacheteaus (5:10): MP3
  26. Kauai (3:04): MP3
  27. South (8:47): MP3
  28. Domestic (1:39): MP3
  29. Aubade (0:21): MP3
  30. French Market Coffee (0:38): MP3
  31. Bobtail (0:41): MP3
  32. Poem (0:21): MP3
  33. Lunch (0:31): MP3
  34. Mistake (0:18): MP3
  35. Mint Juleps (1:11): MP3
  36. Surf Cottage, Bolinas (1:21): MP3
  37. The Vision (0:24): MP3
  38. Circle (0:14): MP3
  39. Fourth Month (0:38): MP3
  40. Grandmother (0:32): MP3
  41. Gris Gris (0:40): MP3
  42. Term (0:34): MP3
  43. Labor (1:08): MP3
  44. The Window (0:30): MP3
  45. Stanford Men's Room (0:46): MP3
  46. Interstate 280 (0:41): MP3
  47. A Book of Hours (0:43): MP3
  48. from The Afternoon of the Faun (4:49): MP3

Conversation with David Bromige, San Francisco State University, April 30, 1987

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Reading "Present Tense," Bolinas, July 16, 1987

  • part one (47:42): MP3
  • part two (47:35): MP3

Reading at San Francisco State University, October 15, 1987

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Reading with Lyn Hejinian and Bill Berkson, Bolinas, 1987

  • complete recording (47:27): MP3
  1. from MOBILE / MOBILE (6:27): MP3
  2. from Distance (with Lyn Hejinian) (9:26): MP3
  3. from Present Tense (10:35): MP3

Interview with David Bromige, January 6, 1988

  • part one (31:50): MP3
  • part two (35:20): MP3
  • part three (35:58): MP3

Reading at Canessa Park, San Francisco, April 22, 1990

  • complete recording (31:16): MP3
  1. Mallarme: poem in prose (15:50): MP3
  2. from Rhetoric (15:26): MP3

Reading at UCSD, San Diego, November 14, 1990

  • complete recording (58:03): MP3
  1. introduction by Rae Armantrout (1:39): MP3
  2. from MOBILE / MOBILE (4:32): MP3
  3. from Distance (4:33): MP3
  4. from Present Tense (7:08): MP3
  5. from [where late the sweet] BIRDS SANG (6:18): MP3
  6. from Mallarme: poem in prose (8:47): MP3
  7. from Selected Letters (9:40): MP3
  8. from spaces in the light said to be where one/ comes from (15:03): MP3

Reading at the Central Park Grill, Buffalo, NY, March 19, 1991

  • complete reading (31:25): MP3

Reading at the Faultline Theater, San Diego, 1999

Reading as part of the Discrete Series, Chicago, May 9, 2003

  • complete recording (31:03): MP3
  1. from SOUND/(system) (4:11): MP3
  2. from Portraits & Repetitions (7:35): MP3
  3. from HUMAN/NATURE (19:17): MP3

Performing human/nature, Mill Valley, 2004

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Reading for Double Change, Paris, May 12, 2007

Reading at the Point Éphémere, Paris, April 8, 2008



human/nature, recorded at UC Davis, June 6, 2008


cast: Dylan Bolles, Keith Evans, Michael Meyers, Stephen Ratcliffe, Edward Schocker, Zachary Watkins, and others

  • Part 1 (3:22:47): MP3
  • Part 2 (2:57:57): MP3
  • Part 3 (3:01:14): MP3
  • Part 4 (3:00:22): MP3

human/nature, which explores collaborative work in a variety of mediums, is based on Stephen Ratcliffe's 1,000 page poem, written in 1,000 consecutive days between 10.19.02 - 7.14.05. The performance extends his investigations into the integration/interaction of human beings and natural landscape: "the relation between things seen/observed in the natural world and how such things might be made (transcribed/transformed) as works of written (or visual) art." The reading of the poem will accompany sound, light, movement and sculpture in an open dialogue with the architecture of the surrounding space. Audience will be free to move between an activated courtyard area and a more focused interior environment, creating a dialogue between reception, memory and stimulus.

(see the flyer announcing the event here)

(see more photos of the event, by Michael Meyers: 1   2   3   4   5)

Reading at the Canessa Gallery, San Francisco, October 18, 2008

  • complete reading (14:35): MP3

Conversations with Robert Grenier, Bolinas, 2001-2010

On Natural Language: Four (2011) conversations with Robert Grenier (with images & 'rough translations' of RG color drawing poems discussed)

Remarks on Color / Sound, Marin Headlands Center for the Arts, May 16, 2010

  1. Remarks on Color / Sound (1) (50:07): MP3
  2. Remarks on Color / Sound (2) (55:13): MP3
  3. Remarks on Color / Sound (3) (1:06:42): MP3
  4. Remarks on Color / Sound (4) (59:16): MP3
  5. Remarks on Color / Sound (5) (1:13:38): MP3
  6. Remarks on Color / Sound (6) (59:59): MP3
  7. Remarks on Color / Sound (7) (48:10): MP3
  8. Remarks on Color / Sound (8) (1:35:46): MP3
  9. Remarks on Color / Sound (9) (53:00): MP3
  10. Remarks on Color / Sound (10) (1:40:34): MP3
  11. Remarks on Color / Sound (11) (1:09:07): MP3
  12. Remarks on Color / Sound (12) (1:26:08): MP3

Interview with Linda Russo, Bolinas/Pullman, WA, July 28, 2010

Reading with Donald Guravich, Joanne Kyger, and Robert Grenier, Bolinas Library, January 18, 2011

  • complete reading (1:01:20): MP3

"Ideas About Space," Mills College, March 9, 2011

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Interview with Jonathan Skinner, Bolinas, March 22 2011

Interview on KWMR, West Marin, California, April 17, 2011


The Process of Durational Performance talk, Mills College, Oakland, California, February 6, 2013

Temporality at Mills College Art Museum, February 9, 2013

  • Part 1 (2:01:11): MP3
  • Part 2 (2:04:40): MP3
  • Part 3 (2:18:53): MP3
  • Part 4 (2:59:06): MP3
  • Part 5 (1:43:18): MP3
  • Part 6 (2:54:39): MP3

  • (see more photos from the event: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

Reading of "On Robert Grenier's 'Drawing Poems': "CICADA / CICADA / CICADA / CICADA" (Thinking [Writing/Making] Things)". Meridian Gallery, San Francisco, March 15, 2013.

  • Complete Reading (26:41): MP3

Reading at Zinc Bar, New York City, May 11, 2013

  • Complete Reading (36:31): MP3

Reading with Robert Grenier at the Kelly Writers House, April 8, 2013

  • Complete Reading (1:06:59): MP3

Conversation with Robert Grenier at the Kelly Writers House, April 9, 2013

  • Full Discussion (2:47:02): MP3

On Poet as Radio, KUSF, San Francisco, December 8, 2013

  • Complete Recording (1:01:46): MP3

Complete reading of C o n t i n u u m at Kelly Writers House, March 25, 2014

"The latest installment of Stephen Ratcliffe's thousand-page projects triangulat[es] an eco-conceptual poetics through daily devotional practice, rigorous form, and lyrical attention." (The Other Room)

C o n t i n u u m, written between January 5, 2011 and September 30, 2013, is the fourth book in Stephen Ratcliffe's ongoing series of 1,000-page books, each written in 1,000 consecutive days.

Listening to Ratcliffe reading the words of the day on the page as it turns from one day to the next, one hears the poem's acoustic 'shape': the length and pitch of its syllables and words (plus those silences between them) sounding the air. What one doesn't hear is its visual 'shape': words set in Courier, font of equivalent spacing; the nine lines on the page divided into four stanzas; first three lines all the same length, followed by two pairs of indented lines (both first lines the same length, both second lines six spaces shorter), followed by two final lines (back on the left margin, both lines also the same length) (see photo of "9.30", top right). The visual 'shape' of the words on the page 'corresponds to' / 'performs' the 'shape' of 'things' / 'actions' / 'events' out there in the world, which are themselves being 'pointed toward' / 'simply recorded' / 'described' / 'transcribed' / 'enacted' / 'documented' / 'testified to' / 'celebrated' in the first and last stanzas and 'considered' / 'thought about' / 'reflected upon' in the two middle ones.

Ratcliffe's readings of the previous volumes in his series (HUMAN / NATURE, Remarks on Color / Sound, and Temporality), in collaboration with the musicians in Thingamajigs Performance Ensemble, are also available on PennSound. The texts of all four books are available at Editions Eclipse.

  • Part 1: 1.5 to 4.14 (56:50): MP3
  • Part 2: 4.15 to 7.23 (57:04): MP3
  • Part 3: 7.24 to 10.31 (58:14): MP3
  • Part 4: 11.1 to 2.8 (57:36): MP3
  • Part 5: 2.9 to 5.18 (56:37): MP3
  • Part 6: 5.19 to 8.26 (53:33): MP3
  • Part 7: 8.27 to 12.4 (55:10): MP3
  • Part 8: 12.5 to 3.14 (57:26): MP3
  • Part 9: 3.15 to 6.22 (55:21): MP3
  • Part 10: 6.23 to 9.30 (57:16): MP3

Stephen Ratcliffe on PennSound Daily

These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights to this recorded material belong to the author. © 2010 Stephen Ratcliffe. Used with the permission of Stephen Ratcliffe. Distributed by PennSound.