W e b l o g Archive 2007 -- Charles Bernstein
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Selected Archive

about one month of postings are on the main web log page
some items will be available only for that month
this archive page covers 2007

see also
2006 Archive

Charles Bernstein

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Susan Bee

Childhood's End
( 20 x 16")

link    |  12-31-07                                             

Kurt Schwitters

from the PennSound Schwitters Page

The Ursonate (or: Sonate in Urlauten)


"Ur Sonata" performed by Kurt Schwitters at Ubu & PennSound:
sound files and score

View just the score

Other recordings of the work by
Christian Bok mp3
Butterfield at Ubu)
Jaap Blonk at Ubu at
Adrian Khactu mp3.
Khactu has also written a listening guide to Schwitter's performances (2007)

The Movements of the Poem:
einleitung und erster teil: rondo
zweiter teil: largo
dritter Teil: scherzo
vierter teil: presto -ablösung

Deformative versions:
Luke McGowan, Robo Ursonate (2005) (18:36)
"The physical generation of the piece was a remarkably effortless process on the part of the artist: Schwitters' score was simply cut and pasted into a commercial text-to-speech synthesis program with all further performative/compositional decisions made by the computer.  There was no attempt to correct interpretive error, nor was there any tinkering with the program's default prosody settings."

Linnunlaulupuu (Finland 2005)

Kun Jia, Simultaneous Ursonate (2006) (audio of Kurt Schwitters, Christopher Butterfield & Eberhard Blum) (13:38)

Primiti Too Taa, an animated short produced on a typewriter.
Produced and Directed by Ed Ackerman and Colin Morton in 1988

Schwitters' comments:

"The Sonata consists of four movements, of an overture and a finale, and seventhly, of a cadenza in the fourth movement. The first movement is a rondo with four main themes, designated as such in the text of the Sonata. You yourself will certainly feel the rhythm, slack or strong, high or low, taut or loose. To explain in detail the variations and compositions of the themes would be tiresome in the end and detrimental to the pleasure of reading and listening, and after all I'm not a professor."
"In the first movement I draw your attention to the word for word repeats of the themes before each variation, to the explosive beginning of the first movement, to the pure lyricism of the sung "Jüü-Kaa," to the military severity of the rhythm of the quite masculine third theme next to the fourth theme which is tremulous and mild as a lamb, and lastly to the accusing finale of the first movement, with the question "tää?"..."
The fourth movement, long-running and quick, comes as a good exercise for the reader's lungs, in particular because the endless repeats, if they are not to seem too uniform, require the voice to be seriously raised most of the time. In the finale I draw your attention to the deliberate return of the alphabet up to a. You feel it coming and expect the a impatiently. But twice over it stops painfully on the b..."
"I do no more than offer a possibility for a solo voice with maybe not much imagination. I myself give a different cadenza each time and, since I recite it entirely by heart, I thereby get the cadenza to produce a very lively effect, forming a sharp contrast with the rest of the Sonata which is quite rigid. There."
"The letters applied are to be pronounced as in German. A single vowel sound is short... Letters, of course, give only a rather incomplete score of the spoken sonata. As with any printed music, many interpretations are possible. As with any other reading, correct reading requires the use of imagination. The reader himself has to work seriously to becomew a genuine reader. Thus, it is work rather than questions or mindless criticism which will improve the reader's receptive capacities. The right of criticism is reserved to those who have achieved a full understanding. Listening to the sonata is better than reading it. This is why I like to perform my sonata in public."

from the PennSound Schwitters Page

link    |  12-30-07

The Collected Poems of Philip Whalen
Wesleyan University Press
932 pp.& with 92 "doodles"
Michael Rothenberg, ed.
Gary Snyder, forword
Leslie Scalapino, introduction

sorrow where there is no pain

                      what marks here? score skids, fill up

like the ice-tea truck my grandmother kept forgetting

                                                        before the wave closed over the gap

            & none the wetter for it

                        or that gives you something to wail in

for Philip Whalen

Whalen at EPC
Whalen at PennSound

link    |  12-29-07

Brent Cunningham
Interview with Robert Creeley
[May 1992, Buffalo]
(Oakland: Hooke Press, 2007).
Creeley talks about Pound and Olson, meeting Penelope, creative writing workshops, the anthology wars (in which he recounts some anecdotes from his Harvard days).

“Go to all the poetry readings and read all the magazines and whatever but don’t for Christ sake buy into the workshop ethos of ‘you show me your poems, and I’ll show you mine,’” which I really dig, but which gets nowhere frankly. I mean it isn’t that you’re going anywhere anyhow, but you won’t get anywhere at all. Those poems will just be a compromise of every instinct you have. If you make your writing into consensus you’ll have compromised everything that is specific in what you’re doing, unless you’re the king of the mountain for some reason, unbeknownst."

link    |  12-28-07

Henry Parland
Ideals Clearance
translated from Swedish by Johannes Gõransson
Ugly Duckling Press
Brooklyn: 2007
Second-Wave modernist Henry Parland's centennial is coming up this new year, though his work will be new to most English language readers. (Parland's work can be provisionally located in the vicinity of the Objectivists.) One of the instigators of radical modernist poetry in Swedish, Parland died when he was just 22. Like his great supporter Gunnar Björling (1887-1960), whose You Go the Words, tr. Fredrik Hertzberg, was published by Gõransson’s Action books earlier this year, Parland’s Swedish comes via Finland. Parland was born in Russia and grew up in Finland, only learning Swedish as a teenager; he lived for the final part of his short life in Lithuania. Perhaps this distinctly non-national poet speaks to us with all the more telegraphic intensity because his true home are these poems.

just consider these two from Socks:


Jag trodde:
det var en människa,
men det var hennes kläder
och jag visste ej
att det är samma ej
att de tar samma sak
och att kladder kan vara mycket vackra

I thought:
it was a human being,
but it was her clothes,
and I didn’t know
that that’s the same thing
and that clothes can be very beautiful

– ni sager, den har redan börjat
men jag sager
vi mǻste ytterligare sänka prisen.

The Clearance Sale of Ideals
– you say it has already begun.
But I say:
Better cut the prices.


& this from Flu

Jag sǻg ett hav
av blod,
dykvalmiga vindpustar
piska dess yta
till tungt, rott skum.

trasigt stympade
kring en gall affisch,
skriker ut over vidden:
här parsidset legat!

I saw an ocean
of blood,
muggy breezes
lashed the surface
into the heavy, red foam.

trashed and mutilated
crowding around a shrill poster,
screamed out across the expanse:
used to be paradise!



link    |  12-26-07

Guan Shan Yue (Mountain Pass Moon)' by Dai Shulun (732-789), translated word-for-character &
in seeded-elaboration by John Cayley for 2007/8. Calligraphy by Gu Gan from the book 'Tangshi Shufa'.
John Cayley author page

link    |  12-25-07


Charles Bernstein and Régis Bonvicino


Brazil is located on the southern tears of the Americas

Brazil is a jungle with snakes who eat cakes

Brazil speaks Lebanese, Portuguese, Japanese, Guarnaríse, Tupiese, Inglese

Brazil is an adulterating medley of intoxicated syncopations

Brazil has no relationship with itself because it has a relation only to itself

Brazil lays its cool hands on your hot head

Brazil was colonized by Indians who turned the Portuguese into natives

Brazil’s Tolstoy is now doing tricks in a favela

Brazil is a land of palms and psalms

Brazil is the model of a model

Brazil is a charm bracelet that has become the necklace of the continent: São Paulo more European than St. Paul, Brazillia more bureaucratic than Geneva, Rio more alluring than Boca

“They've got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil”

In Brazil, the cuckoo sings “macaw, macaw, macaw”

Brazil is private property of no man’s God and no woman’s Fury

The patron saint of Brazil is its dreams, just as is its Devil

Brazil is a carioca not a polka

Brazil is Carmen Miranda’s Tutti Frutti hats, Caetano Veloso’s all-weather tropicalismo, Bebel Gilberto’s number on the charts.

Brazil is the Elis and Tom “Waters of March” International Airport and Spa

Brazil is caipirinha with feijoada (caipira with fedora)

Brazil is home of the cassava or tapioca, what you call yuca, or mandioca or aipim or moogo or macaxeira or singkong or tugi or balinghoy or manioc

Brazil is the black mask of the PCC inscribed with the words traitor, betrayer

Brazil is 186 million stories, 186,000 poems, but only these definitions

Put your stocks in Brazil and your bonds in China, or is it the other way around?

Brazil is a figment of the imagination of the Amazon

If Pelé is poet laureate of Brazil, without ever writing a word, then Ronaldo Gaúcho

is the Nijinsky, without ever having set foot in the Ballet Russe

Brazil is not emerging it’s proliferating

The official religion of Brazil is not just samba but macumba and umbanda, tarantella and churrasco

Candomblé is the Brazil wood of world philosophy

Brazil is Fred & Ginger Flying Down to Rio with Dolores Del Rio

Under the veneer of its vivacity, Brazil is violent, a vile viper playing a violet viola.

In Brazil, anything goes for a chance, for a price, for a piece, for a dance, for a fight, for a night; jeitinho brasileiro is born free but everywhere in chains

Brazil’s face never shows its heart even when they are identical

Brazil stars Bob Hoskins, Jonathan Pryce, and Robert DeNiro

Brazil was written by Terry Gilliam and Tom Stoppard

Brazil is concrete and syncretic

Brazil is impenetrable and forgiving

Brazil is cannibalizing and carnivallizing

Brazil is a baroque barcarolle with a bossa nova beat

Brazil’s Lula is a little loco, but not as loco as Lucy

On Ipanema beach, at the very moment when dusk turns to night, you can hear Orpheus singing for Eurydice; he sings an elegy called Brazil

In Brazil, the real is the only currency that counts


from SYBIL
English language web site for SIBILIA
link    |  12-22-07

Thom Donovan
on the New York celebration
of Hannah Weiner's Open House
in Fanzine


Steve McCaffery
in Rain Taxi


Maggie O'Sullivan evening reading at Penn on Oct. 11
(note: this has been recently added to the Close Listening performance
from the same day)
for PennSound news subscribe to our RSS feed
written by Mike Hennessey
where you will find, announced today
that we have all the William Carlos Williams readings
available as singles.


Great Moments in Taches Blanches
(my blank investigations)

link    |  12-21-07

Two not very good shots of a marvellous artist's book by Louise Bourgeois
Hours of the Day
now on display in New York at the Carolina Nitsch Project Room.
25 cloth panels 17.5' x 27"
published in 2006 by Carolina Nitsch and Lison Editions, NY
The show is up till January 26 at
534 West 26th (NY)



Bill Berkson
reading last night in New York
Sudden Address
from Cuneiform Press

link    |  12-19-07

PEPC Edition

link    |  12-17-07

an off-site event coinciding with the 2007 Modern Language Association convention FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28th from 7-9:30pm at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago 112 S. Michigan Avenue, in the Ballroom FREE and ADA accessible to the public Co-sponsored by the the Writing Program at the School of the Art Institute and the Poetry Foundation OVER 50 POETS:
Quraysh Ali Lansana, Joe Amato, Robert Archambeau, Dodie Bellamy, Ray Bianchi, Tisa Bryant, Charles Cantolupo, Stephen Cope, Josh Corey, Joel Craig, Elizabeth Cross, Garin Cycholl, Michael Davidson, Patrick Durgin, Joel Felix, Kass Fleisher, C. S. Giscombe, Renee Gladman, Chris Glomski, Steve Halle, Duriel Harris, Carla Harryman, William R. Howe, Pierre Joris, Jennifer Karmin, Kevin Killian, Petra Kuppers, David Lloyd, Nicole Markotic, Cate Marvin, Philip Metres, Laura Moriarty, Simone Muench, Aldon Nielsen, Mark Nowak, Kristy Odelius, Bob Perelman, Kristen Prevallet, Jen Scappettone, Robyn Schiff, Susan Schultz, Don Share, Ed Skoog, Kerri Sonnenberg, Chuck Stebelton, Mark Tardi, Catherine Taylor, Tony Trigilio, Nick Twemlow, Lina Ramona Vitkauskas, Barrett Watten, Tyrone Williams, Tim Yu A DISPLAY OF CHICAGO JOURNALS & PRESSES: *ACM, http://anotherchicagomagazine.org *The Canary, http://canariumbooks.blogspot.com *Columiba Poetry Review, http://english.colum.edu/cpr *Court Green, http://english.colum.edu/courtgreen *Cracked Slab Books, http://crackedslabbooks.com *Dancing Girl Press, http://www.dancinggirlpress.com *Flood Editions, http://www.floodeditions.com *Hotel Amerika, http://www.hotelamerika.net *House Press, http://www.housepress.org *Journal of Artists' Books, http://jab-online.net *Kenning Editions, http://www.kenningeditions.com *Make Magazine, http://www.makemag.com *March Abrazo Press, http://www.marchabrazo.org *MoonLit, http://moonlitmag.blogspot.com *Sara Ranchouse, http://www.sararanchouse.com *Switchback Books, http://www.switchbackbooks.com *Third World Press, http://www.thirdworldpressinc.com *TriQuarterly, http://www.triquarterly.org AND MUCH MUCH MORE: Refreshments! Select books by the readers for sale from Small Press Distribution. The MLA Off-Site Marathon Reading is a satellite tradition coinciding but unaffiliated with the Modern Language Association's annual convention. This event is curated by Robert Archambeau and Patrick Durgin. The Chicago publications display is curated by Jennifer Karmin.
link    |  12-16-07-PM

link    |  12-16-07

Rod's Postal Poetics

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Rod Smith
Every time I publish a book I go to Bridge Street Books, in Washington, to do a reading at one of the most amiable and intimate spaces around. And I hang out with Rod, who has made the place a poetry hub. We usually go to a few museums – on this trip we went to the Societé Anonyme at the Phillips and then over to the Smithsonian. Fruitcakes?
November 19, 2006
(29 seconds, 4.7 mb)
download for best viewing

Portrait Series One
: Scalapino, Bergvall, Lakoff, Gross, Bonvicino, Hills, Glazer
Portrait Series Two: Drucker, Grenier, Joris, Lehto, Curnow, Sherry
Portrait Series Three: Lauterbach, Mac Cormack, McCaffery, Berssenbrugge, Piombino, Tuttle

link    |  12-15-07

L=A=N-G=U=A=G=E Lines
L=A=N-G=U=A=G=E Lines  L=A=N-G=U=A=G=E Lines
L=A=N-G=U=A=G=E Lines  L=A=N-G=U=A=G=E Lines L=A=N-G=U=A=G=E Lines  L=A=N-G=U=A=G=E Lines

edited by
Bruce Andrews and Charles Bernstein

[pdf here]

The Line in Postmodern Poetry
edited by
Robert Frank and Henry Sayre
Chicago: University of Illinois Press

praxis & theory from
Johanna Drucker, Lyn Hejinian, Ron Silliman, Hannah Weiner, P. Inman, Tom Mandel,
Steve Benson, Steve McCaffery, Susan Howe, Robert Grenier, Charles Bernstein, Bruce Andrews

PEPC Library PDF

L=A=N-G=U=A=G=E Lines  L=A=N-G=U=A=G=E Lines L=A=N-G=U=A=G=E Lines  L=A=N-G=U=A=G=E Lines
L=A=N-G=U=A=G=E Lines  L=A=N-G=U=A=G=E Lines
L=A=N-G=U=A=G=E Lines

link    |  12-13-07

PEPC Library

Robert Kelly


(homeophonic translations of Paul Celan)

= = =
ANGER IMPELLED by faun gone
from eye on the lass:
greened and shore up, shore up and greened.
In this laugh’s wretched gain, o eye mill.

= = =
UNLICKED AT they came, he
did each in dear
or swarm,
fly garuda art
the known one ― see,
be far on the engine,
eye in seeking spoke, horn,
balled each
sore wetter feeling in

full text of

link    |  12-12-07

link    |  12-11-07

Yellow Pages: Outtakes

Nine years ago I went to Los Angeles to shoot the
Yellow Pages ads
with Jon Lovitz
(radio and TV)

Here are the complete outtakes for the Yellow Pages Ads

note: for best playback, click on links below each image to download

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Outtake 1: Plottless Prose
December 10, 1998
(6 min. 16 sec., 15.6 mb)

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Outtake 2: An Imagined Life
December 10, 1998
(11 min., 27.4 mb)

Outtake 3: The Ordinary
December 10, 1998
(11 min. 10 sec., 27.8 mb)

Outtake 4 : Time Capsules
December 10, 1998
(11 min. 08 sec., 27.7 mb)

Outtake 5 : A Real Truck
December 10, 1998
(11 min. 09sec, 27.8 mb)

Outtake 6 : Comparing Editions
December 10, 1998
(1 min. 38 sec., 4.0 mb)

link    |  12-08-07


Michael Golston
Rhythm and Race in 20th century Poetry and Poetics:
Pound, Williams, ad Modern Sciences of Rhythm
Columbia University Press

Here is a Golston abstract relating the book:
"Phonoscopic Fascism: Rhythm, Race, and Poetic Form"
The early twentieth century saw a remarkable interest in the subject of rhythm, an interest that transgressed discursive boundaries and linked scientific and humanistic disciplines and the arts in unusual ways. In my paper, I trace this phenomenon from the 1890’s to 1945, showing how experimental work on rhythm done in fields including psychology, biology, physiology, musicology, dance, and poetics produced a general theory of rhythm as an indicator of racial identity. Bringing together texts from a variety of sources­including turn of the century French experimental work on dialect and the vocal apparatus; Dutch phonological reviews from the 1920’s; The Harvard Psychological Review; the founding documents of Eurhythmics; Karl Bücher’s Arbeit und Rhythmus; works by Carl Jung, Ludwig Klages, and Oswald Spengler; and Nazi treatises on music and racial science, I show how these ideas of racial rhythm ultimately came to play a role in Nazi social policy, particularly in the musical pedagogy of the Hitler Youth.

Here is my own brief note on Golston's book:
Essentially, Golston reads poetic rhythm through the essentialist beliefs of his modernist subjects. While Golston doesn’t pose the issue as essentialism vs social constructivism, that is one way to understand his point. Key is his discussion of  such racially/ethnically essentialist view of rhythms as “Eurhythmics.” Golston quickly establishes the racist ideology that underlies a number of modernist ideas of rhythm, in particular in the work of Pound and Yeats, but with much wider implications, including for Eliot. The idea that there are essential rhythms for each race or people, mapped onto the body, combined with the conviction that some rhythms are better than others (the belief in Aryan superiority is foreshadowed) is a toxic mix. In this way, Golston ups the ante on what otherwise might be viewed as a kind of nostalgic idealization of the “folk” (and folks rhythms: explicit or ghostly) as counter to urban alienation, regimentation, and modernization. However, Golston’s book  is not scolding or dismissive of Pound or Yeats. He has absolutely stellar readings and quotes from both poets and his critique does not attempt to debunk the value of their poetry or dismiss their poetics tout court. Indeed, given the more censorious tendency among much contemporary cultural criticism, Golston’s approach is exemplary of how to delve into the most disturbing aspects of a poetic practice while leaving the reader, if anything, even more interested in the poetry.
            Golston’s first chapter, with its emphasis on devices for showing rhythmic patterns, and his emphasis on Abbée Pierre Jean Rousselot's "phonoscope" (College de France) brings some otherwise esoteric material to the forefront of the socio-cultural, aesthetically engaged poetics that he articulates.
— CB

fyi: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Pierre_Rousselot

link    |  12-7-08

new at PEPC library

Susan Bee & Jerome Rothenberg
Burning Babe
(Granary Books, 2005)
[pdf, complete book)

page 1, page 9, page 12, page 13, page 17, page 19, page 26, page 30, page 31, page 35

link    |  12-5-07


OCHO # 14
guest edited by Nick Piombino.
Charles Bernstein, Alan Davies, Ray DiPalma, Elaine Equi, Nada Gordon, Kimberly Lyons, Gary Sullivan, Mitch Highfill, Brenda Iijima, Sharon Mesmer, Tim Peterson, Corinne Robins, Jerome Sala, Mark Young and Nico Vassilakis.
Cover art by Toni Simon
181 pages, 6" x 9"


a few thoughts on
Todd Haynes's movie I'm Not There
The Poetics List

(founded 14 years ago & now moderated by Amy King)
General Information
Early Archive

Water Control Officer Report
The New Yorker
percent of poems with water images: 100
Charles Simic, line one: “I’m a child of your rainy Sundays”
D. Nurkse, title: “Picnic by the Island Sea”
Kevin Young, penultimate line: “in the rain”

The New Yorker
poetry like a warm bath

Mike Hennessey continues to put together a
daily RSS feed
of PennSound highlights & new acquisitions
most recently In the American Tree
radio show from the Bay Area from the late 70s
1 December 2007
“we interact as presence within presence
as spirit twice its equal in spirit
so that a range of beasts burns between us”
Will Alexander, Exobiology as Goddess  

Dear Poetry Community,
Will Alexander
one of our most original and energetic lights, is ill with cancer.
The last few months have seen Will in and out of County USC, and otherwise unable to maintain his teaching and reading schedule. Will was freelancing, so his resources to financially cope with this situation are exhausted.
We are collectively asking you to help fund Will's living expenses while he is in treatment and working on recovery. Sheila Scott-Wilkinson, Will's long-term partner, is acting as Will’s primary caregiver and financial manager. She and Will have opened a special joint checking account to receive these monies. Checks can be addressed to 'Sheila Scott-Wilkinson', and mailed to the following address:
Sheila Scott-Wilkinson
400 South Lafayette Park Place, #307
Los Angeles , CA 90057

Love and Peace,

Thérèse Bachand
Jen Hofer
Andrew Joron
Harryette Mullen
Diane Ward

Plese use this address
not Poets in Need
for contribution for Will.

Will Alexander on PennSound

link    |  12-03-07

Susan Bee's
poster (1970)

more juvenilia
In 1970 I directed a production of Marat/Sade
with Leonard Lehrman doing an astounding job as music director.
David Ignatius reviewed it



and appallingly similiar
reviews of Ashbery and Whalen
in today's SF Chronicle


just in

NO: A Journal of the Arts #6

Issue Six:
Charles Altieri, Beth Anderson, John Ashbery, Oana Avasilichioaei, Charles Bernstein, Miles Champion, Evan S. Connell, Guy Debord (a book-length film transcription, intro. by Joshua Clover, tr. Lucy Forsyth), Allen Grossman, Camille Guthrie, Alexander Kluge (tr. Hughes & Brady), Chris Nealon, Gale Nelson, Geoffrey G. O'Brien, Joan Retallack, Lisa Robertson, Michael Zanzone, Ulf Stolterfoht (tr. Rosmarie Waldrop), Arthur Sze, Fiona Templeton, Jalal Toufic, Magdalena Zurawski


Thom Donovan
on Hannah Weiner

(from his remarks last Wednesday at the Poetry Project event)


My Ashbery piece now on-line
(as I learned from reading Ron Silliman's blog)

link    |  12-2-07

Here is my essay from
Lori Emerson's EBR poetics feature

Speed the Movie or Speed the Brand Name or Aren't You the Kind that Tells: My Sentimental Journey through Future Shock and Present Static Electricity. Version 19.84

[Note this document is best heard with
Tympanic Membrane Firmware
bundled to the CNS 98 operating system.
Upgrade now.]

A lion, a flinch, and an extraterrestrial were in a lifeboat together and supplies were dwindling. Finally, the lion asked the extraterrestrial, "So what's the big deal about the Internet?" "Speed" said the flinch in a blink of a wince.

No matter how you look at it, speed is a morally coded concept. With its etymological roots tied at the groin to success, to think speed is to invoke a java applet alternating flashing



all Others Pay Cash

Is it possible to imagine an ethics of speed to contrast with the moral insistence on speed as success, efficiency, progress? That is, to interrogate speed not in terms of whether it is good or bad but by means of reciprocal values in which rate is one among many factors, gauged for its aesthetic articulation more than as an absolute measure of anything? In other words, to break the moral coding of speed in order to release its many valences for aesthetic experience and ethical consideration?

Speed is always, anyway, relative to background, context, observer, observed, expectation, desire, loss, habit; what Einstein called the Special Theory of Relativity, as in: the station moves along the tracks looking for the train.

An ethics of speed might begin by noting that human sexual response is often enhanced by prolongation, actively slowing down, what's the rush, it's not a race, it's not the goal but the getting there, getting by, the doing not the done, energia not kinesis, distraction not attention, digression not forward movement.

What Muriel Rukeyser calls "the speed of darkness"
(70 beats per minute at rest, doubled in motion).

"Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive," it's John Henry versus the steam shovel in three rounds at the Garden, with running commentary by Bob, or is it Ray?, Slow Talkers of America, or then again the tortoise beating the hare, Charlie Chaplin deranged by Taylorization, Marinetti writing odes to acceleration, Ozu head to head with Jacki Chan in Swift Justice: The Bonneville 500 Story, XT, AT, 286, 386, 486, Pentium 1, 2, you're out.

As if the choice were between the assembly line and the verse line.

When I was 12 years old I enrolled in a summer Evelyn Wood speed reading course, lured by the image of the man who read a dozen books a day, itself echoing that mad desire Thomas Wolfe writes of in Of Time and the River when as a student at Harvard he wanted to read all the books in Widener library. After getting a hang for the Evelyn Wood system, I was able to read Albert Camus's The Stranger in twenty-five minutes. "Mother died today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can't be sure." I still remember the starting line, and it is the sort of blur Camus evokes here that is the sensation of this kind of speed reading. You might call it virtual reading. But the Wood people made a disclaimer that would be welcome in today's cultural speed-up: You can only read as fast as you think.

When I was in college we made the distinction between books we would like to read and books we would like to have read. Or then again there was the legendary story of the student who writes the best exam of his life on speed, the only problem being that he writes over and over on the same line of the page.

the poster said, but it also chills and chills out.
Up to speed but off the wall.

Looking at something fast you get the advantage of an overview, you see patterns not discernible up close, but you may lose the detail. Can't see the thread only the weave. Is that a technical problem to be solved, an aesthetic problem to be explored, or an ethical problem to be acknowledged?

Efficiency without reason is desperation.

One wants - I want - to slow reading down and speed it up at the same time. That is, I want to have thick meaning and then accelerate it, as if the reader might download a zipped poem that proceeds to unpack itself in the mind, over time. By this method, one combines quick delivery - condensare - with "heavy reason." (Laura Riding, in "By a Crude Rotation": "To my lot fell /... A slow speed and a heavy reason, / ... And then content, the language of the mind / That knows no way to stop.")

Art is the ketchup that loses the race.

The political unconscious of postmodern speed is the transcendence of the body and of history, of the resistance in the materials, of the space between here and there, of the time it takes (that time takes as much as it gives); that is, of our animalady, the limits that we live inside of (as Charles Olson put it), our grounding in and as flesh.

(As if you could accelerate the pace of recovery without wounding healing.)

Which is to say that there is in our culture, an intense dissatisfaction with the pace of things, the planned obsolescence now known as obsessive-compulsive upgrade disorder (UCUD), with a culture driven by the values of efficiency, celebrity, market penetration, and disposability. In equal proportion to being beneficiaries of this culture, we feel betrayed by it and beholding to it (as the drug is the master of the addict). We have alternatives, but it is our habit to deride these because they offer resistance instead of assimilation, purposelessness instead of profit, blank spaces in place of demographic rationalization, reflection rather than production, inquiry in place of accumulated knowledge. The alternative is to acknowledge the value of stopping, of derailing, of getting off the machine, in which case we may find that we were not speeding at all, just spinning our wheels without traction. I know I am - and I want to do that some more.

If technology is the answer, what is the question?

Our halls of culture boast newly efficient systems designed to maximize the flow of people through spaces that tokenize the aesthetic experience into voiceover tours with take-home souvenirs, making a trip to some museums more like a walk in a mall than contemplating a bust of Homer. Instead of making ourselves tourists to our own culture, we might create ever more dwelling spaces in which to reflect on art, salons that stop the flow of traffic, that encourage the viewer to rest, to flounder, even to be confused - indeed to be consumed by the art rather than to consume its representations.

Much of the prized and popular writing of our time is written to increase the speed with which it can be read. Our colleges are charged with teaching students a kind of expository writing that emphasizes efficient expression and plainness and that demonizes complexity, ambiguity, contradiction, or anything else that might bog readers down in the writing. Such ideologically blindered writing is governed by the three Cs of Strunk and White Elements of Style fundamentalism: Clarity, Concision, Coherence. In this context, it is useful to note how close this ideology of writing is to the moral discourse of speed. Yet there is another kind of writing, a writing that slows you down, that makes space for the reader to think, to respond, to wander, to savor. That takes pleasure in complexity and finds complexity in pleasure, that isn't interested in producing a meaning for the reader to skim off the top but to provide a pool of thought - a sound - in which to swim.

How can we find ways to support that, to support a writing - and more generally noncommerical contemporary art - that does nothing concrete, that is noninstrumental, that raises questions more than providing answers. One way is as simple as could be: direct support for the production of works through those independent presses or writing centers or web sites, as well as noncommerical art spaces, that publish and present and distribute art. Without direct support for literary publishing, the small presses will not be able to survive in their present form - and the same could be said for the nonprofit sector of the other contemporary arts. And I am not talking about seed money, or money to build better bureaucratic and promotional structures, which are two favored ways to mime, while actually undermining, direct support for the production of literary works and works in other art media.

When the hare always wins, that's morality - speed as success - not ethics. And it sure isn't aesthetics either.

God speeds but she also breaks for humans.


Written for "Key Words" conference (speed, betrayal, healing) at the Rockefeller Foundation, June 12, 1998 and originally published in Shark #2 (1999).


new gathering of 19 esssays on the new poetry in the electropoetics thread
asssembled by Lori Emerson including
Introduction: ceci n'est pas un texte Lori Emerson
Biopoetics; or, a Pilot Plan for a Concrete Poetry Eugene Thacker
Speed Charles Bernstein
The Database, the Interface, and the Hypertext: A Reading of Strickland's V Jaishree Odin
Robert Creeley's Radical Poetics Marjorie Perloff
An Inside and an Outside Robert Creeley's last published books Douglas Manson
Perloff on Pedagogical Process: Reading as Learning Douglas Barbour
How to Think (with) Thinkertoys: Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 1 Adalaide Morris
Letters That Matter: The Electronic Literature Collection Volume 1 John Zuern
Electronic Literature circa WWW (and Before) Chris Funkhouser
Eshleman's Caves: a review of JUNIPER FUSE Jay Murphy
The Linguistic Cartography of Toilets and Ginger Ale on Canadian poet Stephen Cain Angela Szczepaniak
Three from The Gig: New Work By/About Maggie O'Sullivan, Allan Fisher, and Tom Raworth Greg Betts
Soft Links of Innovative Narrative in North America on Biting the Error: Writers Explore Janet Neigh Seeing the novel in the 21st Century
on Steve Tomasula Mike Barrett
The Comedy of Scholarship om HughKenner Katherine Weiss

& & more &&

link    |  12-01-07

where death cannot find him


link    |  11-30-07

I saw the figure H in silver & gold
(2007, dumpster, New York)

link    |  11-29-07

Harry Partch’s
Delusion of the Fury
Dean Drummond, Musical Director, with Newband
John Jesurun, Stage Director
Japan Society (NYC)

Tuesday, December 4 and 
Thursday through Saturday, December 6 - 8  at 7:30 pm
First restaging of this major work by Second Wave American modernist composer Harry Partch.


two recent readings of mine on PennSound

Yale University Beinecke Library
Oct. 16, 2007
MP3 (49:49)

Mo Pitkin's, New York
June 6, 2007
reading with John Ashbery
Sponsored by Poetry magazine & McSweeney's
"Chain" issue
Opening comments on Ashbery (4:04): MP3
2. Design (1:12): MP3
3. Sad Boy's Sad Boy (1:38): MP3
4. "Dew and Die" from Shadowtime (4:47): MP3
5. "One and a Half Truths" from Shadowtime (2:30): MP3
6. " Madame Moiselle ...." from Shadowtime (0:48): MP3
7. "every lake ..." from Girly Man (1:39): MP3
8. A Theory's Evolution (1:57): MP3
9. The Honor of Virtue (0:24): MP3
10. Loneliness in Linden (1:28): MP3
11. Kiss Me Tommy (Brush Up Your Chaucer) (4:48): MP3


Haven't as yet seen this, but here's the announcment of another from the very energetic Louis Armand:

COMPLICITIES: British Poetry 1945-2007
eds. Robin Purves & Sam Ladkin ISBN 978-80-7308-194-2 (paperback). 261pp. Publication date: November 2007
Litteraria Pragensia

This collection of essays does not seek to fashion a bespoke 21st-century Albion from the remnants of Britain's various poetic traditions. The poetry considered here, and its criticism too, is by and large critical of the"new imperial suitings" beneath which the old and new networks of power run. The work gathered in these pages knows language and culture to be profoundly complicit across the board in the extension of acts of domination, from the preparation for and execution of war, to the composition of the suicide note, from the overt corrupting of the democratic franchise, to cold calling's interpellation of the human subject as consumer-in-waiting.

Contributors to this volume include:
Thomas Day, Keston Sutherland, Alizon Brunning, Robin Purves, J.H. Prynne,
Bruce Stewart, D.S. Marriott, Stephen Thomson, Craig Dworkin, Sophie Read,
Sara Crangle, Malcolm Phillips, Tom Jones, Josh Robinson, Sam Ladkin, Jennifer Cooke, Ian Patterson. Robin Purves is a Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Central Lancashire. Sam Ladkin is a researcher at the University of Cambridge.


link    |  11-26-07

now out

Redefining the Boundaries of Contemporary Poetics, in Theory & Practice, for the Twenty-First Century

Edited by Louis Armand
ISBN 0-8101-2359-2 (paperback). 384pp.
Northwestern University Press, Evanston.

  from the publisher:
Exploring the boundaries of one of the most contested fields of literary study--a field that in fact shares territory with philology, aesthetics, cultural theory, philosophy, and even cybernetics--this volume gathers a body of critical writings that, taken together, broadly delineate a possible poetics of the contemporary. In these essays, the most interesting and distinguished theorists in the field renegotiate the contours of what might constitute "contemporary poetics," ranging from the historical advent of concrete poetry to the current technopoetics of cyberspace. Concerned with a poetics that extends beyond our own time, as a mere marker of present-day literary activity, their work addresses the limits of a writing "practice"--beginning with Stephane Mallarme in the late nineteenth century--that engages concretely with what it means to be contemporary.
Charles Bernstein's Swiftian satire of generative poetics and the textual apparatus, together with Marjorie Perloff's critical-historical treatment of "writing after" Bernstein and other proponents of language poetry, provides an itinerary of contemporary poetics in terms of both theory and practice. The other essays consider "precursors," recognizable figures within the histories or prehistories of contemporary poetics, from Kafka and Joyce to Wallace Stevens and Kathy Acker; "conjunctions," in which more strictly theoretical and poetical texts enact a concerted engagement with rhetoric, prosody, and the vicissitudes of "intelligibility"; "cursors," which points to the open possibilities of invention, from Augusto de Campos's "concrete poetics" to the "codework" of Alan Sondheim; and "transpositions," defining the limits of poetic invention by way of technology.
Charles Bernstein
How Empty is my Bread Pudding?
Marjorie Perloff
After Language Poetry: Modernity & its Discontents
Kevin Nolan
Getting Past Odradek
Donald F Theall
The Avant-Garde & the Wake of Radical Modernism
Bob Perelman
Doctor Williams's Position, Updated
Simon Critchley
Wallace Stevens and the Infinite Evasion of As
DJ Huppatz
Corporeal Poetics: Kathy Acker's Writing
Michel Delville & Andrew Norris
Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, and the Secret History of Maximalism
Ricardo Nirenberg
Metaphor: The Colour of Being
Keston Sutherland
DJ Huppatz, Nicole Tomlinson & Julian Savage
Bruce Andrews
Readings Notes
Bruce Andrews
Lost and Found
Augusto de Campos
Concrete Poetry: A Manifesto
Augusto de Campos
Questionnaire of the Yale Symposium
Darren Tofts
Epigrams, Particle Theory and Hypertext
Gregory L Ulmer
Image Heuretics
J. Hillis Miller
The Poetics of Cyberspace: Two Ways to Get a Life
McKenzie Wark
From Hypertext to Codework
Alan Sondheim
Louis Armand
Techno-Poetics in the Vortext
Steve McCaffery
Parapoetics and the Architectural Leap
Allen Fisher
Traps or Tools and Damage
Steve McCaffery
Discontinued Meditations
Marjorie Perloff
Screening the Page / Paging the Screen: Digital Poetics and the Differential Text
link    |  11-25-07

Just in —

Jackson Mac Low
Thing of Beauty
New and Selected Works
Edited by Anne Tardos
University of California Press

In this generous selection of Jackson Mac Low's work, we can see, first hand, the poet's profound understanding of the physics of language and his exuberant articulation of the sounds of words in unpredictable motions. The multiplicity of Mac Low's forms and his rejection of any hierarchy among the forms of poetry (objective and subjective, expository or nonrepresentational, lyric and epic), along with his refusal to identify poetic composition with a characteristic "voice" of the poet and his rejection of traditional aesthetic standards of beauty, are among the chief marks of his iconoclastic genius. Mac Low's magnificent and multidimensional poems open vast expanses for the imagination to inhabit.

Mac Low EPC page
Mac Low PennSound page

link    |  11-24-07

PennSound's new Bob Cobbing page
was curated in conjunction with the Cobbing show
"Make Perhaps This Out Sense Of Can You"
at the Van-Pelt Dietrich Library
University of Pennsylvania

While she was at Penn, Maggie O'Sullivan made available
for the PEPC Library

Bob Cobbing's
Sockless in Sandals

link    |  11-23-07

This is one of my first collaborations with Susan Bee
from 1971.

link    |  11-22-07

Matvei Yankelevich & Lev Rubinstein
Dmitri Alexandrovich Prigov memorial, Bowery Poetery Club (NY), November 18. 2007

Marina Temkina at the Prigov memorial

Lev Rubinstein reading Prigov

photos: ©2007 Charles Bersntein
link    |  11-21-08

I will be reading with
Charles North
on Sunday, December 2, 2007, 7pm
Zinc Bar
90 W. Houston St
New York


Art Theory Now: from Aesthetics to Aesthesis

Johanna Drucker

School of Visual Arts: Tuesday, December 11, 7pm
209 East 23rd Street, 3rd floor, free and open to the public

If the job of art criticism is interpretation, the task of art theory is to offer foundational principles for understanding the identity and cultural function of works of art. But what aesthetic theory accommodates Damien Hirst’s In the Name of God, Phil Collins’ The World Won’t Listen, Jennifer Steinkamp’s digital video works, the books of Dean Dass, or Robert Longo’s drawings of deep space or atomic blasts? How do we formulate aesthetic theory after Adorno? This lecture outlines a shift from aesthetics as the study of objects to aesthesis as a mode of experience and knowledge, and draws on ideas sketched in the author's recent article, "Making Space: Image-Events in an Extreme State," published in Cultural Politics.

Johanna Drucker is Robertson Professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia and the author of Sweet Dreams: Contemporary Art and Complicity (University of Chicago, 2006) and The Century of Artists' Books (Granary, 2004).
Presented by the MFA Art Criticism and Writing Department.


The active networks of writers exchanging works through an engagement with translation is the most important counterweight to nations, states,and transnational corporations. The Internet makes possible an unprecedented scale, depth, and quality of exchange; but these possibilities will only be realized through complex organization and editorial imagination. In this brave new world, literacy is necessary but not sufficient. We have also to consider the role of activist literary writing and translation in our post-literate world, where readers and writers need both cultural and technological literacy to be fully enfranchised in the global and local polis.
These are some of the themes I expect to see addressed at

The organizers provide this introduction
on their new website, together with registration info

The first ever WALTIC congress will be held in Stockholm 29 June-2 July 2008. Our aim is to create a forum of exchange of experience amongst writers, literary translators and researchers engaged in and committed to the strengthening of democracy and human rights. Our ambition is to achieve new insights into reading and literature as tools for analysis of contemporary society, social development and change.

The main themes for WALTIC 2008 are world literacy, intercultural dialogue and digitalization. The congress will focus on the narratives as mediators of knowledge and bearers of culture and collective memory, with a view to developing guidelines for reinforcing the role of literature in global society.


Yvonne Rainer's
RoS Indexical
at Performa 07 (NY)
Pat Catterson, Emily Coates, Patricia Hoffbauer, and Sally Silvers
Photo by Paula Court.

link    |  11-20-07


features a John Ashbery
tribute in honor of his 80th birthday
edited by Peter Gizzi and Bradford Morrow

Reginald Shepherd on Some Trees (1956)
Peter Straub on The Tennis Court Oath (1962)
Charles Bernstein on Rivers and Mountains (1966)
Brian Evenson on A Nest of Ninnies, co-written with James Schuyler (1969)
Marjorie Welish on The Double Dream of Spring (1970)
Ron Silliman on Three Poems (1972)
David Shapiro on The Vermont Notebook (1975)
Susan Stewart on Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1975)
Brenda Hillman on Houseboat Days (1977)
Kevin Killian on Three Plays (1978)
Ann Lauterbach on As We Know (1979)
Rae Armantrout on Shadow Train (1981)
Graham Foust on A Wave (1984)
Eileen Myles on April Galleons (1987)
Jed Perl on Reported Sightings (1989)
Ben Lerner on Flow Chart (1991)
Cole Swensen on Hotel Lautréamont (1992)
Marcella Durand on And the Stars Were Shining (1994)
Christian Hawkey on Can you Hear, Bird? (1995)
Anselm Berrigan on Wakefulness (1998)
Joan Retallack on Girls on the Run (1999)
Richard Deming on Your Name Here (2000)
Geoffrey O'Brien on Other Traditions (2000) and Selected Prose (2004)
Robert Kelly on Chinese Whispers (2002)
James Longenbach on Where Shall I Wander? (2005)
Susan Wheeler on A Worldly Country (2007)

Here is a short excerpt from my essay:

Certain pervasive features in John Ashbery’s work make their first appearance, full-blown, in Rivers and Mountains, which was published in 1962, four years after The Tennis Court Oath and the same number of years before The Double Dream of Spring. In the poems of this collection, and especially “The Skaters,” Ashbery introduces a nonlinear associative logic that averts both exposition and disjunction. Ashbery’s aversion (after The Tennis Court Oath) to abrupt disjunction gives his collage-like work the feeling of continuously flowing voices, even though few of the features of traditional voice-centered lyrics are present in his work. The connection between any two lines or sentences in Ashbery has a contingent consecutiveness that registers transition but not discontinuity. However, the lack of logical or contingent connections between every other line opens the work to fractal patterning. “The Skaters” brushes against this approach by suggesting that the point of contact between the lines is a kind of “vanishing point.” In order to create a “third way” between the hypotaxis of conventional lyric and the parataxis of Pound and Olson (and his own “Europe” in The Tennis Court Oath), Ashbery places temporal conjunctions between discrepant collage elements, giving the spatial sensation of overlay and the temporal sensation of meandering thought. Skating is the adequate symbol of this compositional method.

Marjorie Perloff on Ashbery's new selected
Notes from the Air
in Bookforum
(Dec/Jan 2008)

link    |  11-19-07

Erica Hunt & Marty Ehrlich
performed together on Friday night
at Cue Art Foundation in New York.
It was a very rare opportunity to
see them collaborate.

photo: ©2007 Charles Bersntein
link    |  11-18-07

[from the archive]

Doping Scandal Rocks Poetry

 by Mike Freakman

July 30, New York (AHP2 News Service) – The poetry world has been rocked by recent revelations that several of the most prestigious national poetry contest winners in 2005 and 2006 were written with the aid of performance-enhancing drugs.

“Over the past decade, poetry contests have emphasized our openness to all participants, with the promise that each manuscript is judged on its merits along,” said Guadalupe Maximino Glumstein, the Chancellor of the International Poetry Contests Federation (IPCF). “Doping is a huge step backward in our efforts, since it gives an unfair competitive advantage to those who are willing to do anything, including risk long-term damage to their bodies and minds, in order to write the best poem.”

The IPCF advocates testing for performance-enhancing drugs as a prerequisite for national book publications, slam competitions, as well a poetry contests. Poets that violate IPCF rules would be ineligible for prizes or anthologies for penalty periods of one year for first offenders to eternity for repeat offenders. Poets that comply with IPCF guidelines get a sticker to affix to all their publications certifying their poems as doping-free.

“Unless we want poetry to sink back into the margins of society, we must assure readers that poets produce their work with their own sweat and imagination. When we teach a poem to a young person in a school setting, to inspire and instruct, we need to be able to say that anyone can aspire to write a poem as good as this. We can’t afford to send a message that doping is necessary to write the best poems. We have to have an even playing field.”

Several leading poets were asked to comment on the scandal but refused to talk on the record, for fear of provoking IPCF investigations of their conduct. Unlike the use of doping in baseball, track, and cycling, poets often use poetry-performance-enhancing drugs to cause temporary physical and mental impairment or paralysis, in order to hyperactivate their imaginative capacities. The practice has been shown to cause a number of long-term physical and mental maladies.

But 11-year old Daisy Threadwhistle of Incontrobrogliaria, New Jersey, was eager to speak on the record. Ms. Threadwhistle said she was very disappointed when a poem from her school reader was removed when its author tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. “ ‘The Moon Is My Revenge, Venus My Soldier of Midnight’ ” was my favorite poem this year. I feel cheated. I don’t think I want to read any more poems.”

In early 2006, IPCF introduced a battery of blood and psychological tests to detect poetic doping. An IPCF study group is now investigating whether the use of certain computer programs and search engines also should be banned from poetry.

link    |  11-17-07

photo:© 2007 Bernstein/PennSound

Leslie Scalapino read on Tuesday
at the Kelly Writers House at Penn.
Her selected poems
is due out this Spring
from the University of California Press.
Introduction by Charles Bernstein (3:33): MP3
Complete Reading (41:28): MP3
Discussion with Penn Students (1:25:43): MP3

Lori Emerson and Darren Wershler-Henry
have edited
Alphabet Game
a bpNichol reader

just out from Coach House


Kenneth Goldsmith gives New York Times
blog readers
a playlist
(a baker's dozen mp3s)



photo courtesy Ugly Duckling Presse

with Lev Rubinstein, Charles Bernstein, Vitaly Komar, Marina Temkina, Christopher Mattison, Grisha Bruskin. Hosted by Ugly Duckling Presse.

Readings in Russian and English, plus a film screening.
Sunday, November 18th, 6pm - 8pm
Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery, between Houston and Bleecker
New York


link    |  11-15-07

link    |  11-11-07

opening January 17, 2008

Foreman's complete production notes (120pp pdf)

Foreman @ EPC
Foreman Close Listening conversation (28:30): MP3

PennSound Daily
Will Alexander NY Benefit Reading
Devaney, kari edwards,
Girly Man Cue reading

link    |  11-09-07

Hannah Weiner

Saturday, November 17th
Red Rover Series Experiment #17
Silent Teaching.  A Tribute to Hannah Weiner. 
A multi-media celebration of and response to the life and work of Hannah Weiner,
featuring Mark Booth, Maria Damon, Patrick Durgin,
Judith Goldman, Roberto Harrison, Todd Mattei, Jenny Roberts,
Jen Scappetone, and Tim Yu.
Plus, a surprise or two.
 7:00 PM
at the Spare Room, 4100 W. Grand Avenue, 2nd floor, suite 210-212, Chicago, IL. 
Suggested donation $3.00

Wednesday, Nov. 28th
New York
A reading to celebrate the vision of poet Hannah Weiner
and the publication of Hannah Weiner’s Open House by Kenning Editions,
featuring readings, performances and recollections by
Charles Bernstein, Lee Ann Brown, Abigail Child, Thom Donovan,
Patrick Durgin, Laura Elrick, Kaplan Page Harris, Andrew Levy,
John Perreault, Rodrigo Toscano, Carolee Schneemann,
James Sherry, Anne Tardos & Lewis Warsh.
Poetry Project, St. Mark's Church
10th Street and Second Avenue


link    |  11-7-07

from SoundEye by Adam Wyeth and Keith Walsh.
made at the SoundEye festival in Cork, Ireland in the summer of 2005
... reading "Thank You for Saying Thank You" (Girly Man)
intercut with short interview about Shadowtime

link    |  11-04-07

A Helen Adam Reader

ed. Kristin Prevallet
(Orono: National Poetry Foundation, 2007)

Helen Adam makes the strange beautiful and the beautiful strange.
With echoes of the Rossettis and Poe,
Adam is the most exuberantly anachronistic of
Second Wave modernist poets.
(While often associated with the New American Poets,
Adam, who was born in 1909, is a second waver.)
Her magical, macabre, magnificently chilling ballads open a secret door
into the Dark
with rimes both gruesome and sublime.

Kristin Prevallet provides an informative introduction
& comprehensive editorial oversight.

Helen Adam on PennSound

link    |  11-03-07

Carolee Schneemann
at her birthday party last week

Alan Davies interview

(Exchange Values)

Maggie O'Sullivan
Close Listening
Studio 111 recording session at the University of Pennsylvania
October 11, 2007

Close Listening full reading (26:54): MP3
O'Sullivan reads from Body of Work (London: Reality Street, 2006)
1. Introduction (0:58): MP3
2. Most Incomplete (sec. 3 of A Natural History in Three Incomplete Parts) (19:24): MP3
3. The Walks (3:47): MP3
4. Malevich (2:17): MP3

A Conversation with Maggie O'Sullivan
questions from Penn students (26:53): MP3

photo: ©2007 Charles Bersntein
link    |  10-28-07

308 Bowery / F to 2nd Ave, or 6 to Bleecker
$10 suggested donation, more if you can

Poet and artist Will Alexander has become seriously ill and has no health insurance. In order to help him defray the cost of treatment his friends will gather and read Will’s work as well as poems for Will.


When we started PennSound, Will was in touch almost immediately to work
with us on getting some of his work on the site.
Listen now:

Segue Series reading at the Bowery Poetry Club, New York, March 17, 2007: MP3

Segue Series reading at the Bowery Poetry Club, New York, April 3, 2004: MP3

From Kenning:
"A National Day in Bangladesh" - Text originally published in Caliban #10, 1991, Lawrence R. Smith, ed. Will Alexander recorded by Chris Funkhouser, August 1993, at The Grassy Knoll, Los Angeles, California: MP3(4:27)

link    |  10-25-07

Richard: Living Latin, Dying English

Richard Tuttle
I talked to Richard right after taping our Close Listening show at WPS1 at the Clocktower studios.
December 4, 2006
(49 seconds, 7.8 mb)

link    |  10-20-07

Emma & Nona on the Road

Emma Bee Bernstein & Nona Willis-Aronowitz
are on a road trip across America
to ask young women of their generation
& women of their mothers' generation
about their engagements with feminism.
& they've just started a blog called

with Emma's photos & Nona's reports.

link    |  10-18-07

        photo © 2007 Emma Bee Bernstein

Susan Howe's
My Emily Dickinson (reissue)
Souls of the Labadie Track
(new collection of poems just out)
both from New Directions
are reviewed in the new Bookforum
by John Palattella

when will Bookforum
feel it can use the "P" word (poetry)
instead of listing its poetry coverage
under the rubric of Fiction?.


I've annotated some of the new Olson singles from Vancouver (1963)
on PennSound
(more work needed & help always welcome:
contact pennsound-at-writing.upenn.edu)
Maximus, to Himself   ("I have had to learn the simplest things / last ..." (2:26)
Kingfishers  (6:31)
In Cold Hell, In Thicket (8:38)

At the New York Film Festival
seen & recommended

The Romance of Astree & Celadon
billed as Eric Rohmer's final film:
Poet's Theater
that combines Socratic dialog on fidelity
with a filmic informalism (costume & camera)
& an effervescent nuttiness that
happily resists all the clichés of contemporary movies
Child Labor
Ken Jacob's mesmerizing work based on a single photo
that opens a cut in time (the fourth dimension)
then move latter into it (the fifth dimension),
the vibrations creating a Messianic moment
for the eyes' imagination
Henry Hills's
Hills's absence from the festival in years' past
has been a mark against the curators
which only added to the electricity of having his most recent work
premiere at the festival .
Carlos Saura's

with Amalia Rodrigues, Argentina Santos & Mariza presiding sports
& a striking emphasis on African and Brazilian extensions
(including an appearance by Caetono Veloso0
Saura presents a form of Portuguese folk song that has strong connections to poetry.
While the lip-synching undercuts the direct treatment of the subject
this is a superb tribute to the singers and the songs. .

I missed the Ernie Gerhr's program
but will soon be going to his installation and show at
The Museum of Modern Art


Interdisciplinary Arts – Assistant Professor, tenure-track, or Associate Professor, tenured (one full-time position). The Interdisciplinary Arts, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Program (IAS) at the University of Washington Bothell seeks candidates who practice, teach, and research interdisciplinary arts and work in more than one art form. Possible arts practice areas include dance, theater, music, and multimedia and visual arts, among others. The successful candidate will join a faculty working across the arts, humanities, and social and natural sciences in an integrative curriculum with an emphasis on experiential and community-based scholarship and pedagogy. Two-years teaching experience and PhD required. For more information about UWB, IAS, and the position, see www.uwb.edu. Preferred deadline: 22 October 2007. Applications should include a letter addressing the candidate’s scholarly, pedagogical, and artistic qualifications for working in this type of program, a CV, a statement of research and teaching interests, and a sample syllabus from an interdisciplinary course. Address applications to Pam DePriest, Interdisciplinary Arts Search, University of Washington Bothell, Box 358530, 18115 Campus Way NE, Bothell, WA 98011. University of Washington faculty engage in teaching, research and service. The University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.


link    |  10-15-07

Sigmund Laufer
(Feb. 3, 1920 - October 9, 2007)

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Sigi's Berlin
I met Susan’s father Sigi in 1968. He had grow up in Berlin, left for Palestine on a youth aliyah in 1936, and then come to New York, with Susan’s mother Miriam, in 1948. Both Sigi and Miriam were artists. On the boat from Palestine, Sigi got a connection for a New York apartment on Lex and 85th. He lived there for the rest of his life.

December 20, 2006
(2 min. 16 sec., 26.2 mb)
link    |  10-10-07

New @ PennSound
Segue Series at the Bowery Poetry Club
October 6, 2007

Jennifer Moxley [below] MP3 (34:40)
Maggie O'Sullivan [above] (MP3 (31:17)
(intros: Gary Sullivan, Nada Gordon)

O'Sullivan will be reading at
Belladonna (NYC) on Oct. 9
Penn on Oct. 11
(with cris cheek)

photos ©2007 Charles Bernstein/PennSound
link    |  10-07-07


Announcing the latest volume in the
Modern and Contemporary Poetics
University of Alabama Press

An Archaeology of Forms, 1959–1995
C.T. Funkhouser

Here's my comment:

"In Prehistoric Digital Poetry: An Archaeology of Forms, Chris Funkhouser provides a comprehensive historical, descriptive, and technical account of early works of computer-assisted poetry composition. This is essential reading for anyone interested in digital poetics, constraint-based writing, or, indeed, the possibilities for new poetry in the 21st century."

C. T. Funkhouser is Associate Professor of Humanities at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and author of Technopoetry Rising: Essays and Works (forthcoming) and Selections 2.0, an eBook.

Sales Code FL-115-07 30% Discount good thru 10/31/07
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link    |  10-02-07

photo: ©2007 Charles Bernstein

Friday night, Bill Corbett turned over the terrific series he has been curating at CUE Art Foundation, in Chelsea (NY), to Marshall Reese. These events often pair a musician with a poet, and Friday we heard the spectacular tuba player, Bob Stewart, along with "national treasure" Anselm Hollo, who read from his new collection of 14-line poems, Guests of Space (Coffee House, 2007); and signed copies of his recent book from Salt Publishing, Braided River: New and Selected Poems 1965-2005.

from Guests of Space

When you're feeling
about as
bad as your

English translation
of Goethe you must
go see the
Parrot of Penance

and he will
say unto you
"Way around it?"
Way around it?

There's never been
any way around it."


I will be reading at the Beinecke Library
Yale University
Tuesday, October 16th, 4 pm
121 Wall Street
Yale Collection of American Literature Reading Series

link    |  10-01-07

The Noulipian Analects
edited by Christine Wertheim and Matias Viegener
Los Angeles: Les Figues Press. 2007
(available from SPD)
Caroline Bergvall, Christian Bök, Johanna Drucker, Paul Fournel, Jen Hofer, Tan Lin, Bernadette Mayer, Ian Monk, Joseph Mosconi, Harryette Mullen, Doug Nufer, Vanessa Place, Janet Sarbanes, Juliana Spahr, Brian Kim Stefans, Rodrigo Toscano, Matias Viegener, Christine Wertheim, Rob Wittig, Stephanie Young. The collection is based on a conference  at Cal Arts on Oct. 28 and 29, 2005.

An Alpha Bestiary of Exogenously Exotic Essays and Dazzlingly Delectable Design,
Complexly Charismatic Constraints and Occasional Oulipian Outrages,
Thoughtful Theoretical Threads and Lusicrously Ludic Limits,
Gutsy Gender Gaiety and Dantesque destinies Detourned,
Quixotic Queneau Quests and Cocky Combinatorial Collisions,
Real Rubber Roses & Radiantly Removed R’s…
What We Wanton Woeful Whimsical Wanderers Willingly Want.


Rachel Blau DuPlessis
Torques: 58-76
Cambridge, UK: Salt Publishing, 2007

DuPlessis writes against the ravages of the torn world.
After each draft another, blown in the winds.
A loop, a map, a stare, a tone.
There are folds inside these verses.
Begin anywhere.
Begin now.


Rachel and I are teaching a course together as part of Temple-Penn poetics

Major and the Minor
Keynotes of 20th and 21st Century Poetry

syllabus here


link    |  09-26-07



Nick Piombino
Nick and I met at Artie's to discuss the book version of his Fait Accompli blog. I had the pastrami on rye with Russian. We were sitting in the glass-enclosed porch when I saw my mother walk by, which was curious because I had just been talking about her. She came in to say hello to Nick.
December 11, 2006
(43 seconds, 6.9 mb)


Segue/Bowery Poetry Club
Fall Schedule

Will Rowe's obituary
Bill Griffiths

in yesterday's Guardian:
He published more than 80 volumes of poetry, but never lived much above the poverty line - and a good deal of his life was spent below it. Years of poor diet no doubt hastened his death. The absence of public support for the British poetry revival of the 1970s certainly did not help. For more than one fellow poet, he was the only one of whom they would use the word genius. It is a scandal that a poet of such exceptional powers should have received so little support."

link    |  9-23-07

Literature Department
University of California, San Diego
Associate or Full Professor
Job Number:  4-949-AD
Associate to Full Professor of Poetry or Fiction Writing University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Department of Literature  
Seeking a creative writer at a senior level to teach in a thriving undergraduate program and new MFA program. We invite applications from poets and fiction writers for this tenured position, and we welcome candidates with interdisciplinary and innovative approaches to narrative and/or poetics. Applicants should have a distinguished record of publication and a history of effective teaching, as well as an interest in teaching within a world literature department with a focus on cultural, ethnic, and gender studies and critical theory. Members of the Department's Writing Section share administrative duties on a rotational basis, so evidence of administrative talent and experience, and a willingness to serve, is desirable. Immigration status of non-citizens should be stated in CV.
Salary commensurate with experience and based on UC pay scale.
Closing Date:
Closing date is November 15, 2007
To Apply:
Send letter of application, CV, dossier, and writing sample(s) of published work to:
Writing Search Committee Chair
Department of Literature 0410
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0410
Applicants are encouraged to include in their cover letters a personal statement summarizing teaching experience and interests, leadership efforts, and/or contributions to diversity. Refer to position #149MLA / 4-949-AD. No electronic applications are accepted. For return of writing sample(s), enclose a large self-addressed envelope with adequate postage.
  For questions regarding recruitment status or other inquiries, please contact the recruiting department directly using the information above.
  Please refer to position #4-949-AD in your response.
Posted on 09/14/07.


The Rev. John Boyd S.J. Chair honors the distinguished Jesuit scholar and teacher who centered his scholarship, literary criticism, and teaching upon an investigation of the poetic imagination and its relation to life. The University invites applications from senior scholars, poet-scholars, or poet-critics whose work addresses the history of poetry and poetics, as well as the relations between poetry and philosophy and/or poetry and theology. Review of applications will begin on October 15. We prefer submission of materials in both hard and electronic versions. Please send letter, cv, and the names of three references to Boyd Chair Search Committee, Dept. of English, Fordham University 10458 and to boydsearch@fordham.edu


The Department of English at the University of Albany invites
applications for a tenure-track position in creative writing and
literature at the rank of Assistant professor, to begin August 2008. We
seek a poet interested in working in an active undergraduate literature
and writing program, and in a graduate program leading to an M.A. and a
doctorate that can include creative writing.  The candidate is also
expected to make substantial contributions to the creation and editing
of a new literary magazine (with both online and print elements).
Candidates with additional teaching interests in contemporary U.S.
ethnic literatures and/or world literatures are especially welcome, as
are those who can teach in genres other than poetry (fiction, creative
nonfiction, drama). Candidates should possess a Ph.D. from a university
accredited by the U.S. Department of Education internationally
recognized accrediting organization, although an appropriate advanced
degree and evidence of substantial professional experience and
achievement in creative writing may substitute for the Ph.D.  Evidence
of successful teaching and significant scholarly potential is expected.
Candidates should also have a demonstrated ability to work with and
instruct a culturally diverse group of people.  Send letter of
application, c.v., dossier of letters of reference, and a writing sample
of no more than 30 pages, postmarked by November 9, 2007 to Pierre
Joris, Chair, Search Committee, English Department, HU 333, University
at Albany, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY   12222.  The University
at Albany is an EO/AA/IRCA/ADA employer.


Tenure-track assistant professor position in Creative Writing program with undergraduate and MA program emphasizing interdisciplinarity. Significant publications record must include work in mixed or hybrid-genres and fiction. Detail and discuss performances, exhibits, installments, electronic work, collaborative projects, and/or community arts activities. MFA or PhD in creative writing, evidence of excellence in teaching, and promise of continuing excellence in publication. Send letter of application and complete dossier to Christine Hume, English Dept., 602C Pray Harrold, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI 48197 by November 5. For more information, contact Christine Hume at chume@emich.edu


SUNY-Buffalo Poetics Program
Faculty Position Available
(posting this a second time)

Prestigious poet committed to the innovative traditions of modernist and contemporary poetry. Candidates must currently hold the rank of associate professor or professor and/or have an extensive and distinguished record of publication. Candidates must demonstrate an ability to teach solid and inventive undergraduate courses, and bring fresh perspectives to the study of poetry and poetics as demoonstrated by a record of writing and teaching interests appropriate to seminars in large M.A./Ph.D program.  Standard duties of a professor at a research university, commensurate with rank, including teaching graduate and undergraduate students; research and publication; curriculum development; participation in General Education program in the university; student advisement; supervision of independent study; service on department, college and university committees. Contact Steve McCaffery <stevemcc@buffalo.edu> / 716-645-2575 ext 1043   Posting Date 07/30/2007   Closing Date 10/15/2007 .  Date to be Filled: August 21, 2008   Applicants should supply three professional references in addition to their Letter of application and CV


link    |  9-22-07

2007 Charles Bernstein/PennSound

Rae Armantrout
followed by short discussion
at the Kelly Writers House
September 20, 2007
(56:17): MP3
new at PennSound

link    |  9-21-07

Francis Picabia
I Am a Beautiful Monster: Poetry, Prose, and Provocation
translated by Marc Lowenthal
MIT Press, 2007

Francis Picabia’s raucous early poems, which dare the unprecedented and traffic in the sheer possibilities of abstract shimmering gesture. His late aphorisms are startling bolts of congealed thought. Marc Lowenthal has done the history of radical modernist poetry a great service by bringing these works of exquisitely offbeat taste and intoxicating élan into English. His translations of the turbulent work of this “freeloading angel” show uncanny skill and welcome verve.

the following excerpts, all but the first of Picabia's diagrammatic visual poems, are used with the permission of MIT Press.

link    |  9-20-07

Bernadette Mayer and Lee Ann Brown

photos©2007 Charles Bernstein/PennSound

reading together at
the Kelly Writers House
September 13, 2007
complete reading (1:10:56): MP3

Bernadette Mayer's
Close Listening
Charles Bernstein
(28:09): MP3

Lee Ann Brown's
Close Listening Conversation
Charles Bernstein
(28:38): MP3
link    |  09-19-07

photo ©2007 Charles Bernstein

Ann Lauterbach
John Ashbery Introduction
15 September 2007
at "That Feeling of Exultation"
Bard’s celebration of Ashbery’s eightieth Birthday

When John Ashbery’s great friend and partner David Kermani and I began to talk about this weekend’s celebration, we imagined a forum of activities that would animate the myriad ways in which Ashbery’s work is connected to the other arts and artists of our time. Indeed, if you consult the on-line Ashbery Resource Center, you will find an astonishing matrix of such connections: to literature, music, visual arts, cinema, television, radio and animation, theatre, dance, opera. Scratch the surface, you will find everyone from Daffy Duck to Joseph Cornell to Elliott Carter--- the list is, literally, endless. To do this variousness justice, we would have needed not one, but ten weekends. Think of this as a beginning, a touchstone.

The title for today’s festivities was taken from one of my favorite Ashbery poems, “A Blessing in Disguise”, from Rivers and Mountains. To have a favorite Ashbery poem is a little like having a favorite strawberry, or rose, or word. But one does have favorites, based, like many favorite things, on long-term familiarity. One turns and returns to certain poems, and certain lines within those poems: “ and then I start getting this feeling of exaltation.”

This feeling of exaltation is certainly what I got when I first heard John Ashbery read, in London, in 1971. His appearance there was the culminating event in a series on contemporary French, Eastern European and American poetry I had organized as curator of literary events at the Institute of Contemporary Arts.

After his reading. I approached him with baffled enthusiasm and declared, “O Mr. Ashbery, I love clichés!” He looked at me and, with an expression of slightly bemused interest, replied, “And they love you.”

As his American English hostess, I got to hang out with him. We went shopping for a velvet jacket on Carnaby Street. I hailed him a cab after a day at the home of poet Anthony Howell, on Hampstead Heath, and I remember saying to the Cockney cabbie: “The Ritz Hotel. And take good care of him, he is America’s greatest living poet.” One night he read aloud to a small group of us in his hotel room. He had just finished the three long prose pieces that make up Three Poems. Imagine yourself a young ex-patriot aspiring poet in a sea of Sylvia Plathian intensities hearing these words:

“I thought that if I could put it all down, that would be one way. And next the thought came to me that to leave all out would be another, and truer way.

     Clean washed sea

                                                          The flowers were.

These are examples of leaving out. But, forget as we will, something soon comes to stand in their place. Not the truth, perhaps, but ---yourself. It is you who made this, therefore you are true. But the truth has passed on

                                        To divide all.”

This feeling of exaltation is what came upon those of us who heard him read his poems then, and to those who hear or read them now. Amazing, when you think of it: beginning in 1953 with a chapbook, Turandot and Other Poems and moving through twenty-five collections to his most recent, the somber and beautiful A Worldy Country. At nearly every page along the way, we have been invited to re-imagine what a poem is, to listen in a new way.

This newness shifted the ground on which a poem might be resting. Indeed, the separation of figure from ground in an Ashbery poem is all but dissolved; things seem to happen in a fluid solution, as if always on the way to or from a destination that is itself simultaneously approaching and receding. Observations, revelations, ideas, encounters, and objects course through in such a way as to suggest there is nothing to know outside of the poem. This replete, mutating experience is carried along on the most elastic yet taut syntax; and, because nothing stays in focus for long, the notion of a poem as high-resolution picture, or story, or memo to live by, gives way to the poem as a condition, a habitat, a surround.

Between the high detail of the foreground and the abstract distance of the horizon, the reader is invited in. One can take one’s stuff; it is quite roomy. It is the space, say, of a city square, an open market, a corner bodega, a hotel lobby. Here we greet each other, exchange information and opinion, but because we are on our way elsewhere, a certain civility prevails; we do not intrude, or impose. The diction is one of mild, good-natured inquiry and response; a demotic grace and graciousness prevails, invariably punctuated by mishearings, odd juxtapositions, the marvelous, sometimes sad and often funny enjambments and eruptions of actual life.

Ashbery’s work has been central to our major critical thinkers, from Harold Bloom’s track of the American sublime to Marjorie Perloff’s poetics of indeterminacy; recently, it provided the central example for Angus Fletcher’s A New Theory for American Poetry. Above all, as this weekend’s poets have so exuberantly demonstrated, John Ashbery has given seminal inspiration and nourishment, across the generations, to an extraordinary range of poetic energies.

To make poetry from the place of the commons, the middle distance, is to remind us of ourselves in relation to each other; that is, of our unique human engagement with language as a key to our various and particular reciprocities. To enter an Ashbery poem is to find oneself oddly consoled, at ease, within the deepest boundaries of reception. It is the space of an ideal real: everything is noticed, everyone is included:

“I prefer you in the plural, I want you,
You must come to me, all golden and pale
Like the dew and the air.
And then I start getting this feeling of exaltation.”

Ladies and gentlemen.
Please welcome John Ashbery

link    |  09-16-07

Marjorie Perloff
reviews Mark Scroggins’s
The Poem of a Life:
A Biography of Louis Zukofsky

in this week’s TLS (Sept. 7, 2007)


Maggie O'Sullivan
in New York and Philadelphia
Maggie will be reading at
Bowery Poetry Club / Segue on Oct. 6
Belladonna on Oct. 9
Penn on Oct. 11
(with cris cheek)


Sibila #12
is an on-line only number of the magazine.
Sibila will return to print with #13, an issue of 10 Chinese poets
(bilingual Chinese/Portuguese), selected by Yao Feng and Regis Bonvicino.

For a very limited time, there is a pdf of #10 on-line.

Sibyl, Sibila's English language portal
a selection of contemporary Vietnamese poets
edited by Lin Dinh
as well as Messerli on Armantrout
Sala interviewd by Katz
Palmer on "Poetry and Contingency"

Sibila home page


Al Filreis has a blog


FALL 2007 / New York
all readings at 7:00 pm

Charles Bernstein
Rachel Blau DuPlessis

(co-sponsor: Fordham's Asian American Literature Series)
Mei-mei Berssenbrugge
Tan Lin
John Yau

Bruce Andrews
Tracie Morris

12th Floor Lounge
Fordham University - Lincoln Center
113 W. 60th Street (corner of Columbus Ave.)

For more info:


Call for Work:

A Journal of Poetry and Criticism
Edited by Stephen Paul Miller, Tim Peterson, and Cecilia Wu
Contributing Editors: Karen Alkaly-Gut, Maria Damon, Kenneth Deifik, Denise Duhamel, Peter Frank, Bob Holman, Carolee Schneemann, and David Shapiro.

Critiphoria is a journal partially funded by St. Johns University which seeks submissions of "poetry-criticism" in all its forms for a first issue to be published in late 2007. This new journal will energize poetry and criticism through one another, exploring their intersection in the possibility of a "third genre" that grows out of such precedents as Charles Bernstein's "Artifice of Absorption," Stephen Paul Miller's poem reviews and essay/lectures, Lyn Hejinian's poetic nonfiction, the linguistic mysticism of David Shapiro, the autobiographical scholarship of Susan Howe, Zizek's psycho-political analyses, W.J.T. Mitchell's totemic digs, David Antin's talk poems, and a variety of dialogic critical-poetic objects (we enthusiastically anticipate new models). We will publish essays in poetic form, essays using poetic methodology, poems with critical content, pedagogy, essays concerning poetry-criticism, statements about poetic production. We also invite items of a more general nature pertinent to these topics, including essays, poems, visual art, vispo, audio, and e-poetry.

Submissions may include a statement concerning the submission and how it concerns dynamic interaction between poetry and criticism.

Critiphoria will appear at http://www.critiphoria.org, and a print edition will also be published. Subscriptions are $20/two issues. Email submissions or other correspondence to the editors: Stephen Paul Miller, Tim Peterson, and Cecilia Wu at critiphoria@gmail.com


Ear Inn, New York, 1999
photo ©Richard Dillon

The Poetry Project at St. Marks Church  in New York
will be presenting an eveing in tribute to Hannah Weiner
on Nov. 28. Details will be announced here.

link    |  9-9-07

Claude Royet-Journoud
on PennSound
Reading with Keith Waldrop (on translations)
at the Ear Inn, New York
I recorded this reading on November 3, 1984

1. La Notion d'Obstacle (Gallimard, 1978) (31:38)
Keith Waldrop reads from his translation,The Notion of Obstacle (Windsor, VT: Awede, 1978)
Note: Royet-Journoud placed a ticking clock on the podium, which can be heard in the recording.
2. from Les Objets Contiennent l'Infini (Gallimard, 1983), Book 3 (prose section) (2:54)
Waldrop reads from his translation, Objects Contain the Infinite (Windsor, VT: Awede, 1995)

Originally published in a French translation in
Je Te Continue Ma Lecture: Mélanges pour Claude Royet-Journoud
(Paris: P.O.L., 1999).


For Claude
but I don’t
know why

(extended play version for verso)

1. When Claude Royet-Journoud came to Buffalo in 1995 to read for the Poetics Program I was able to read with him my semi-homophonic translation of one of his poems, the last line of which I translated as “work vertical and blank.” Claude used a clock to time the blank space in the poem, although whether that space is blank or white is of course a matter of some controversy. For my part, I used the space between the stanzas as a rhythmic interval and so expressed it through a kind of internal counting with (not just in) my head. Later, Claude noted that he wished to move away from the sound of the words, while in my translation I had foregrounded the sound of the French, trying to bring that over into my “American” version. Both these reversals seemed to me to suggest what I have found so interesting in my reading of Claude’s work and my sense of an ongoing exchange with him. In this case, the notion of obstacle was translated into a poetics of reversal. If you read back through the translation via the reversal, the obstacle understood as something akin to resistance measured not in Ohms, as in electrodynamics, but perhaps O’s! – you may experience a closed poetic circuit. Patent pending.

2. Later that same day, Claude, along with a large group of us, including Jean Frémon, Emmanuel Hocquard, and Jacqueline Risset, went to the Anchor Bar, home of the Buffalo Chicken Wing. I ordered the other famous Buffalo dish, Beef on Weck – a.k.a. roast beef on a hard (or kaiser) roll. The weck on the door in my drawing is possibly a reference to that but I can’t honestly say why it’s there. It just seemed like the right word.

3. When asked to participate in this special issue in honor of Claude I wanted to do something in the spirit of the many faxes I have received from Claude – spontaneous visual gestures that communicate a different sense of his personality than his poems. These works are meant as temporary gestures, marks of friendship and exchange. But unlike Claude, I can’t draw very well. Still, I have never let inability get in my way; in fact it has become my way.

4. A house standing next to a tree that becomes a sign of a page. A page that says it wants to be blank but isn’t. Margins that are no more than optical illusions. A triangular enclosure that serves as a roof of words, our human ceiling, through which we leak language. These are a few of my favorite things.

5. A rabbi, a priest, and a poet were standing in a stanza. The priest says to the rabbi, “How do you get out of here?” The rabbi replies, “Depends on where you’re going.” The poet maintains an uncomfortable but telling silence.

6. I don’t want to express my admiration for Claude Royet-Journoud. I want to live it.

7. My six-year-old son Felix likes to tell an old-time joke. “What’s the difference between a teacher and a railroad train?” –The teacher says “Spit that gum out!” and the train say “Choo Choo.”

8. Now here’s one that Felix made up:
“What’s the difference between a button and a shirt?” –The button is tied to the shirt but the shirt is not tied to the button.

9. Or as we say in the land of Foot High Melons, just off the coast of Taches Blanches:
“Can you please repeat that so Charles can understand?”

link    |  09-05-07

Mary Rising Higgins

Obituary by Imogene Booth

Mary Rising Higgins, innovative poet and former public school teacher, died August 26th from complications of breast cancer. She taught for 25 years in the Albuquerque public schools, becoming a master teacher in 1993. After retiring from teaching in 1995, she focused on a second career as a poet. In less than a decade she published six books of poems:

)joule TIDES((, Singing Horse Press, CA, 2007
)cliff TIDES((, Singing Horse Press, CA, 2005
)locus TIDES, Potes and Poets Press, MA, 2003
Mary Rising Higgins Greatest Hits, 1990-2001, Pudding House Publications, OH, 2002
oclock, Potes and Poets Press, CT, 2000
red table(S, Selected Poems, La Alameda Press, NM, 1999

Sections from red table(S appear in a textbook anthology, IN COMPANY: An Anthology of New Mexico Poets after 1960, University of New Mexico Press, 2004. Her poems have also been printed in many literary journals including: Big Allis (NY), Blue Mesa Review (NM), California Quarterly (CA), Cafe Solo (CA), and Central Park (NY). The MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos awarded writer’s grants in support of her work. One poem, Transitions for Eurydice, won a national teacher's award.

Mary Rising was born February 29, 1944 in Minnesota, the fourth child of Lucille and Forrest Raymond Rising. She attended Napa College in California. She earned both a B.S. degree in 1970 and an M.A. in English (with distinction) in 1988 at the University of New Mexico. She married Joe Frank Higgins in 1964. She is survived by their daughter, Heidi Higgins Armijo, and two granddaughters, Felicia Madeline Higgins Chavez and Jesslyn Grace Armijo of Albuquerque and by two brothers, Robert and Ronald Rising of Minnesota.

link    |  09-04-07


Edited by Sarah Campbell

Nathan Austin, Sarah Campbell, Barbara Cole, Richard Deming, Thom Donovan, Logan Esdale, Zack Finch, Graham Foust, Benjamin Friedlander, Peter Gizzi, Jena Osman, Kyle Schlesinger, Jonathan Skinner, Juliana Spahr, Sasha Steensen, and Elizabeth Willis. Edited by Sarah Campbell with an introduction by Neil Schmitz.
120 pp.

recollections and responses to Susan Howe's
poetics seminars at Buffalo
on the occasion of her retirement

Cuneiform Press
(available via SPD)

Susan Howe at PennSound
Susan  Howe at EPC

link    |  9-01-07

recommended readings

Benjamin Friedlander, The Missing Occasion of Saying Yes
( New York: Subpress, 2007)
Friedlander’s work from 1984 to 1994. Startling and singular, Friedlander’s sprung lyrics have an intensity and resonance that I not only admire but aspire to.

Ted Greenwald and Hal Saulson, Two Wrongs
words & pictures
Buffalo: Cuneiform, 2007

David Cameron, Flowers of Bad: A False Translation of Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleur du Mal
(Brooklyn: Unbelievable Alligator / Ugly Duckling Presse, 2007)

David Caplan, Questions of Possibility: Contemporary Poetry and Poetic Form
(New York: Oxford University Press, 2005)

Peter Barry , Poetry Wars: British Poetry of the 1970s and the Battle of Earls Court
(Cambridge: Salt, 2006)

Gregg Biglieri, I Heart My Zepplin
(Buffalo: Atticus/Finch, 2005)

Holocaust by Charles Reznikoff
(Boston: Black Sparrow/David Godine 2007)
back in print

Nick Piombino, Free Fall
(Rockhampton, Australia: Ottoliths, 2007)

New at PEPC

Hélène Aji
“Writing (as) (and) thinking”:
Charles Bernstein’s Work “in” Language.

This essay was first published in Études Anglaises LIX 3 (July-September 2006).
Taking up the tension between poetry and philosophy, this article traces the way Bernstein's poetics redefines the domains of these two modes of discourse, and demonstrates how they share a common medium, a common ground, and common issues. By erasing generic differences and questioning stylistic decisions, Bernstein proves to be not so much a poet of grammar or a mechanic of syntax as a “technician of the human.”

Previously announced & now out

You Go the Words
by Gunnar Björling translated by Fredrik Hertzberg
from Action Books
Fredrik Hertzberg’s revelatory translations make palpable the syntactically sprung, emotion-rent verse of one of the great Scandinavian modernist poets. Hovering in an aesthetic space somewhere between Dickinson and Celan, Oppen and Creeley, Gunnar Bjorling is a poet of the everyday and its words, as if the abyss between souls could ever be ordinary or ever anything else.

link    |  8-31-07

link    |  08-27-07

Cross-Cultural Poetics Radio
Interview & Reading
focussing on
Girly Man
with Leonard Schwartz
April 15. 2007
(32 20:): MP3
Girly Man

link    |  8-23-07

from around 1900

link    |  08-22-07

Mei-mei's Mesa

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge
I met Mei-mei about 30 years ago and we have been talking ever since.
December 3, 2006
(38 seconds, 7.5 mb)

link    |  08-20-07


portrait by Charles Bernstein, 2007

Alan Davies
Book 2 &  Book 3
[PEPC Library]

thanks to Jack Krick for his work on this page


Haroldo de Campos
new web site with introduction and translations by
Odile Cisneros and Suzanne Jill Levine

also, just out

Selected Writings
Haroldo de Campos
edited and translations by Antonio Sergio Bessa & Odile Cisneros
Northwestern University Press

more de Campos:
"Circulado," with music by Caetano Veloso
& Veloso on this song
Three concrete poems at UBU
de Campos web site (Brazil)
Charles Bernstein on de Campos
PennSound audio: Calcas Cor de Abobora


Javant Biarujia
Charles Bernstein: Creating a ive disturbance
(originally published in Boxkite in 2004 )
[PEPC Library]


despite an NEA grant, most of the Paris Review interviews
are not on-line. But these are:
Creeley Paris Review Interview (1968)
Ginsberg Paris Review Interview (1966)
Frost Paris Review Interview (1960)
Kerouac Paris Review Interview (1968)
Pound Paris Review interivew (1962)
Williams Paris Review interview  (1964)



link    |  08-13-07

Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writings of Daniil Kharms
ed & tr Matvei Yankelevich
Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press
forthcoming, Fall 2007

Daniil Kharms, the key figure of second-wave Russian radical modernism, extends, distorts, and renews the achievements of Khlebnikov, Mayakovsky, and Blok, not to say Gogol, in tales, verse, journals, and poet’s theater. Kharms’s black comedies of disappearance and metamorphosis are both mystical and majestic, Dadaist and dazzling. Matvei Yankelevich has done an heroic job with his translations, selection, and introduction, bringing this supreme poet of everyday life into English.


This is a mockery, through and through! Good for nothing! Bravo!


Two works by Kharms, presented with the permission of the editor.


On the roof of a certain building two draughtsmen sat eating buckwheat kasha.

Suddenly one of the draughtsmen shrieked with joy and took a long handkerchief out of his pocket. He had a brilliant idea—he would tie a twenty-kopeck coin into one end of the handkerchief and toss the whole thing off the roof down into the street and see what would come of it.

The second draughtsman quickly caught on to the first one's idea. He finished his buckwheat kasha, blew his nose and, having licked his fingers, got ready to watch the first draughtsman.

As it happened, both draughtsmen were distracted from the experiment with the handkerchief and twenty-kopeck coin. On the roof where both draughtsmen sat an event occurred which could not have gone unnoticed.

The janitor Ibrahim was hammering a long stick with a faded flag into a chimney.

The draughtsmen asked Ibrahim what it meant, to which Ibrahim answered: "This means that there's a holiday in the city."

"And what holiday would that be, Ibrahim?" asked the draughtsmen.

"It's a holiday because our favorite poet composed a new poem," said Ibrahim.

And the draughtsmen, shamed by their ignorance, dissolved into the air.

(January 9, 1935)
[translated by Matvei Yankelevich]


Something About Pushkin

It’s hard to say something about Pushkin to a person who doesn’t know anything about him. Pushkin is a great poet. Napoleon is not as great as Pushkin. Bismarck compared to Pushkin is a nobody. And the Alexanders, First, Second and Third, are just little kids compared to Pushkin. In fact, compared to Pushkin, all people are little kids, except Gogol. Compared to him, Pushkin is is a little kid.

And so, instead of writing about Pushkin, I would rather write about Gogol.

Although, Gogol is so great that not a thing can be written about him, so I'll write about Pushkin after all.

Yet, after Gogol, it’s a shame to have to write about Pushkin. But you can’t write anything about Gogol. So I’d rather not write anything about anyone.


December 15, 1936
[Translated by Eugene Ostashevsky and Matvei Yankelevich]




link    |  08-09-07

Leevi Lehto

performing in Wuhan

Leevi Lehto has two new books out

Lake Onega and Other Poems
from SALT


Jyrki Pellinen, Kuuskajaskari, tr.& notes by Lehto (bilingual)
a crucial work of Finnish Modernist poetry, original Finnish publication 1964, now together with an English translation

& now on-line

"In the Un-American Tree:
The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Poetries and Their Aftermath,
with a Special Reference to Charles Bernstein Translated,"

presented at the Wuhan American poetry conference (2007)

link    |  08-08-07

link    |  08-06-07

Wuhan conference: group picture
(click on image for full size)

link    |  08-02-07

Steve McCaffery

Steve McCaffery
It was Steve's 60th birthday and he had come to New York with Karen to celebrate.
January 28, 2007
(52 seconds, 10.1 mb)

Note: download video for best viewing.
Portrait Series One: Scalapino, Bergvall, Lakoff, Gross, Bonvicino, Hills, Glazer
Portrait Series Two: Drucker, Grenier, Joris, Lehto, Curnow, Sherry
link    |  07-31-07

link    |  07-29-07-PM

link    |  07-29-07

link    |  07-22-07

Hotel elevator, Chongqing

link    |  07-19-07

I am travelling in China this month with limited internet access, but did just get a notice
that my collaboration with Tracie Morrie, "Truth Be Told" is now out in
The Brooklyn Rail summer issue.

link    |  07-14-07

Susan Howe Pacifica/WBAI radio shows
on PennSound

Elizabeth Bishop, 1979
with Susan Howe and Charles Ruas
April 19, 1979 (1:09:11): MP3
Part One (32:47): MP3
Part Two (36:32): MP3

Barbara Guest, 1978
April 13, 1978 (1:06:31): MP3

Bernadette Mayer, 1979
April 22, 1979 (57:51): MP3

Maureen Owen, 1978
March 18 and July 11, 1978 (1:02:03): MP3

F.T. Prince, 1978
April 21, 1978 (50:26): MP3

May Sarton, 1977-78
May 16 and June 8, 1977, and June 6, 1978 (1:06:29): MP3

link    |  07-04-07

Photo ©Ellen Solt, c. 1990. Used with permission.

Mary Ellen Solt

"Forsythia" (1965) at PEPC
"waterfall" (1973) at PEPC
(both used with the permission of the estate of Mary Ellen Solt)

Poems at UBU (plus essay on U.S. concrete poetry)

Los Angeles Times obituary

New: Mary Ellen  Solt EPC author page

Mary Ellen Solt was born in Gilmore City, Iowa, on July 8, 1920 the first of four children of an immigrant Methodist minister from Yorkshire, England, Arthur Bottom, and his American wife, a former schoolteacher, Edith (Littell) Bottom. Until she attended college at Iowa State Teacher’s College (now University of Northern Iowa), where she was a friend and classmate of Mona Van Duyn, Mary Ellen’s creative pursuits were focused on music. She possessed a passion for the piano. At the Teacher’s College an inspirational professor of literature, H. Willard Reninger, first excited Mary Ellen about poetry, an interest that would take precedence over the piano and dominate her creative and professional life. In one of Reninger’s seminars she met her future husband, Leo F. Solt; they were married after Leo’s wartime service in the Navy, during which Mary Ellen began her career as a teacher. After her marriage on December 22, 1946, Mary Ellen continued to teach school and earned a M.A. in literature from the University of Iowa, Iowa City in 1948. And after receiving her degree she moved to New York so that her husband could pursue doctoral studies in English history at Columbia University. While in New York, Mary Ellen taught at the Bentley School and studied poetry at Columbia with Leonora Speyer and at the Poetry Center with John Malcolm Brinnin and Kimon Friar, among others. After Leo completed his Ph.D., Mary Ellen moved with him to Amherst, Massachusetts where he had secured a three-year teaching position at the University of Massachusetts. During those three years (1952-1955), Mary Ellen gave birth to two daughters, Catherine (1953) and Susan (1955), and continued to work on her poetry. In 1955 Mary Ellen moved with her family to Bloomington, Indiana, where Leo had been offered a job teaching early modern English history at Indiana University. (During his career at I.U., Leo served as Dean of the Graduate School ( 1978-87) before his retirement in 1992.) Mary Ellen joined the I.U. faculty in comparative literature in 1970. For the academic year 1976/77 she was invited to teach American poetry at the University of Warsaw, Poland. This led her to assuming responsibilities as Director of the Polish Studies Center at I.U. upon her return to Bloomington, a post she held until 1984. For her service at the Center on behalf of educational and cultural exchange, she was awarded the “Gold Badge of Order of Merit of the Polish Council of State” in 1981. Mary Ellen retired from Indiana University in 1991 as professor emerita of comparative literature. After Leo died in 1994, Mary Ellen moved to Santa Clarita, California in 1996 to live with her daughter Susan, who was then Dean of the School of Theater at the California Institute of the Arts.

Mary Ellen Solt was first recognized professionally for her critical writing on William Carlos Williams. During her early years in Bloomington she established a correspondence with the older poet that became a close friendship until Williams’s death in 1963. Old and frail as he was, Williams came to Bloomington in 1960 to hear Mary Ellen read what turned out to be a fairly controversial paper, “William Carlos Williams: The American Idiom,” for the School of Letters evening forum in the summer of 1960. The paper won the Folio Prize for prose for that year. Over the years, as the author of numerous articles and essays, Mary Ellen Solt established herself as a leading critic in the field of William Carlos Williams studies. On the occasion of her retirement from teaching the Williams Carlos Williams Society recognized her with a session held in her honor in Washington, DC, in May of 1991. The last article she completed on Williams's theory of poetry is entitled “William Carlos Williams: Idiom as Cultural Icon.” Mary Ellen received a fellowship from the national Endowment for the Humanities in support of this project. Other Williams’ related publications include the article: “The American Idiom,” (1983) and the book: DEAR EZ; LETTERS FROM WCW TO EZRA POUND, COMMENTARY AND NOTES (1985).

Mary Ellen’s critical texts led her deeply into semiotic theory, most particularly the writings of the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce. An essay, “Poems as Signs,” is a product of this interest. It is anchored by a comparative analysis between a poem by William Wordsworth and a poem by her long-time friend the Scottish poet Ian Hamilton Finlay. Two other essays of a related nature precede this work: “Charles Sanders Peirce and Eugen Gromringer” and “The Concrete Poetry as Sign” (1982). Another related publication is ROBERT LAX AND CONCRETE POETRY (1990).

Mary Ellen Solt is best known around the world as a concrete poet, particularly as the author of FLOWERS IN CONCRETE (1966). And as the editor of: Concrete Poetry: A World View (1968). Her long introduction, "A World Look at Concrete Poetry," is a critical history of the movement. In an unpublished short essay, WORDS AND SPACES (c. 1985), Mary Ellen Solt wrote:

Concrete poetry invites us to consider words not only as symbols that convey meanings but as things themselves...In his long poem, PATERSON, the American poet William Carlos Williams agonizes over his responsibility as a poet to clean up the words, to revitalize a language divorced from meaning...Concrete poetry asks us to look at the word: at its esthetic properties as a composition of letters, each of which is a beautiful object in its own right...Concrete poetry asks us to contemplate the relationship of words to each other and the space they occupy. We must be prepared to contemplate poems as constellations of words, as ideograms, as word pictures, as permutational systems. By discovering the meaning of the poem as it emerges from the method of its composition, the reader becomes in some sense the poet.

Throughout her career Mary Ellen lectured extensively on her poems and concrete poetry all over the world, as well as conducted workshops and symposia.

In an ANTHOLOGY OF WOMEN POETS FROM ANTIQUITY TO NOW, editors Aliki Barnstone and Willis Barnstone have this to say about her career:

[A]s a poet, [Mary Ellen Solt] is a pioneer theorist, anthologist, and poet of the international concrete movement—no one has contributed more to the diffusion of concrete poetry in the United States and abroad… CONCRETE POETRY: A WORLD VIEW (1968) [is] the most comprehensive anthology of concrete poetry and theory. Her poems reveal far-reaching interests, from moon rocketry to semiotics. As a sensitive observer of nature and people, her impeccably crafted poems unite verbal and visual arts in unique creations.

Mary Ellen Solt’s visual poems (particularly “Forsythia”) have been published in magazines and anthologies and many college textbooks in Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Germany (including Der Speigel), Poland, Latin America, Japan and the United States (including Newsweek, McCalls, and Harper’s Bazaar). They have been exhibited in museums and art galleries in most of these countries including: La biennale de Venezia (1969); the Stedlijk Museum, Amsterdam (1971); and The Jewish Museum, New York, (1970).

Her poems have appeared on television a number of times, including CBS CAMERA THREE, May 12, 1974. Several of her poems—“Forsythia,” Touch,” ZigZag,” “The White Flower”—have inspired works by artists in other media (dance, music, film).

Mary Ellen Solt has published the following books and pamphlets of her own poetry: FLOWERS IN CONCRETE (1966), A TRILOGY OF RAIN (1970), THE PEOPLEMOVER 1968: A DEMONSTRATION POEM (1978), and MARRIAGE: A CODE POEM (1976).

Mary Ellen Solt maintained an active correspondence with other poets and writers. In a letter dated April 25, 1960, published in the William Carlos Williams Review (Fall 1987), William Carlos Williams wrote this to Mary Ellen Solt: “Flossie read me your poems this morning. They are excellent, they are so excellently conceived that I do not trust myself to praise them… [Y]ou have a conception of the poetic line which is revolutionary and may lead you anywhere, with its implications…” In addition to her closest poet friends William Carlos Williams, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Augusto and Haroldo de Campos, and Louis Zukofsky, Mary Ellen was in correspondence with Robert Creeley, Cid Corman, Denise Levertov, and George Oppen, among many others. Over the years she amassed an extensive collection of concrete and visual poetry. Her archive is housed at the Lilly Library ( Indiana University, Bloomington).

Mary Ellen Solt died peacefully, after several years of declining health, of a stroke on June 21, 2007 at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, Santa Clarita, California, in the company of her daughters: Catherine Solt, a health care professional in New York, NY and Susan Solt, a feature film and theater producer and current faculty member at CalArts who lives in Stevenson Ranch, CA. Mary Ellen is also survived by her sister Margaret Jean Peterson of Iowa City, IA.

— text provided by Susan Solt

link    |  07-01-08

We are pleased to announce that PENNsound will be hiring a MANAGING
EDITOR. This is a part-time job - 20 hours per week. The job will begin in
August or early September, depending on the successful candidate's
availability. The position will run 48-50 weeks per year, although summer
hours are negotiable.

The MANAGING EDITOR will work with us, as PENNsound's co-Directors, and
also with Mark Lindsay (CPCW's IT Manager and PENNsound's Managing

With Mark, the MANAGING EDITOR will coordinate the work being done by
work-study students and others who help us produce digital audio (and some
video) recordings of poets reading their poems and discussing poetry and
poetics. The MANAGING EDITOR will also reach out to poets who are
contributing recordings of their work, arrange necessary permissions,
answering users' and poets' queries, help direct updates to the site, work
with Penn's library on cataloging projects, and help curatorially to shape
the direction of the archive.

Candidates should be familiar with (or able to learn quickly) how to work
with digital audio materials, the ins and outs of a web site such as
PENNsound's, and the management of student workers and volunteers.
Candidates should also be somewhat familiar or perhaps very familiar with
modern and contemporary poetry.

Candidates are asked to familiarize themselves with the PENNsound project
by exploring

	http://writing.upenn/edu/pennsound .

To apply, please send a cover letter and c.v./resume to:

	Mingo Reynolds
	Associate Director for Administration
	Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing
	3808 Locust Walk
	University of Pennsylvania

at this email address:  mingo@writing.upenn.edu.

The cover letter should briefly describe relevant experience (tech plus
poetry) and availability.

Best wishes,

Al Filreis & Charles Bernstein
link    |  06-30-07

New at PEPC

Gerald Bruns
Karen Mac Cormack among the Pagans

Karen Mac Cormack

mp4 link below.

Karen Mac Cormack
Karen moved to Buffalo last year and I wanted to know how she found the driving. Personally, I loved being able to park just about anywhere in Buffalo, a far cry from the parking conditions in my New York neighborhood. Some afternoons I would drive around town and park in front of stores, just for the pleasure of getting a space so easily. But then, where I worked, at the university ... there you could never find a space close to the office.

January 28, 2007
download the mp4:
(39 seconds, 7.8 mb)

link    |  06-28-07

NEW on PennSound

Joe Ceravolo

Home Recording, Bloomfield, NJ, Spring 1968

1. Rain (0:26): MP3
2. White Fish In Reeds (0:48): MP3
3. Funny Day (0:38): MP3
4. A Song Of Autumn (0:46): MP3
5. Autumn Time, Wind, And The Planet Pluto (0:46): MP3
6. A Story In Winter (0:53): MP3
7. End (0:31): MP3
8. Drunken Winter (0:23): MP3
9. Skies (0:42): MP3
10. Dangers Of The Journey To The Happy Land (0:55): MP3
11. Happiness In The Trees (0:35): MP3
12. Spring (0:14): MP3
Complete Reading (7:44): MP3

St. Mark's Poetry Project reading 1970's
1. Comments (1:21): MP3
2. Lightning (0:50): MP3
3. Birth in the Dunes (0:32): MP3
4. Earthquake in Phillipines (0:42): MP3
5. Tensions (0:33): MP3
6. "Where can I go now..." (0:35): MP3
7. Meadowlands (0:28): MP3
8. E=MC2 (0:41): MP3
9. "Come sit next to me..." (0:19): MP3
10. "They go wandering..." (0:45): MP3
11. Bird on Chimney (0:33): MP3
12. Sleep in Park (0:57): MP3
13. Descending the Slope (1:03): MP3
14. Romance of Awakening (0:32): MP3
15. Migratory Noon (0:36): MP3
16. Spell of Eternity (1:01): MP3
17. "The sun is shining..." (1:02): MP3
Complete Reading (11:53): MP3

These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights to this recorded material belong to the author. (C) 2007 the estate of Joe Ceravolo. Distributed by PENNSound.

University of Hawaii at Manoa

Alani Apio, Island Writing, 1998
Caroline Sinavaiana, Island Writing, 1998
Eric Gamalinda, Alter-Englishes, 1999
Ku-ualhoa Meyer Ho'omanawanui, Alter-Englishes, 1999
Grace Molisa, Alter-Englishes, 1999
Anne Tardos, Alter-Englishes, 1999
Lee Tonouchi, Alter-Englishes, 1999
Tisa Bryant, English Department Reading series, 2000
Darryl Keola Cabacungan, English Department Reading series, 2000
Zhang Er, English Department Reading series, 2000
Summi Kaipa, English Department Reading series, 2000
Susan Schultz, Chain Reading, 2000
Leonard Schwartz, English Department Reading series, 2000
Edwin Torres, English Department Reading series, 2000
Jacinta Galeai, Chain Reading, 2001
Ku-ualhoa Meyer Ho'omanawanui, Myth, Terrorism and Justice, 2001
Bhanu Kapil, English Department Reading series, 2001
Zack Linmark, English Department Reading series, 2001
Mark McMorris, English Department Reading series, 2001
Teresia Teaiwa, English Department Reading series, 2001
Albert Wendt, Myth, Terrorism and Justice, 2002
University of Hawaii at Manoa

John Godfrey
Brown University, April 21, 1994
1. Accede in Kind (2:51): MP3
2. The Dream You Threw (3:52): MP3
3. Ocean Floor (2:21): MP3
4. Grown in Blood (2:51): MP3
5. Grasp is Provide (5:10): MP3
6. At the Level of Heart (4:49): MP3
7. Manger Lined With Fur (3:12): MP3
8. Wind Darken Your Door (3:31): MP3
9. Pouring Gulf (2:32): MP3
10. This Big Wingspread (4:33): MP3
11. Some Deeds Wither (4:48): MP3
Complete Reading (40:34): MP3

Mills College

Robert Grenier

Mills Contemporary Writers Series, 2003
Introduction (6:36): MP3
Complete Reading (1:19:08): MP3

Juliana Spahr
Mills College Literary Salon, 2005
1. Introduction (3:10): MP3
2. Poem Written After September 11, 2001 (5:21): MP3
3. Discussion on Poem Written After September 11, 2001 (6:09): MP3
4. Discussion on Note on Poem Written After September 11, 2001 (7:11): MP3
5. December 4 (2:21): MP3
6. Discussion on December 4 (7:00): MP3
7. January (1:59): MP3
8. Discussion on January (13:11): MP3
9. March 27 and 30 (4:40): MP3
10. Open Questions (7:50): MP3
Complete Reading and Discussion (59:55): MP3

Edwin Torres,
Mills Contemporary Writing Series, 2006
1. Introduction (3:29): MP3
2. Lunar Chord (6:16): MP3
3. In the Speed of Slope (7:06): MP3
4. Some Kind of Rip in What I See (3:01): MP3
5. Dude Descending a Staircase (0:56): MP3
6. Eat Flesh in America (3:36): MP3
7. E Man's Proclamation (1:52): MP3
8. In Line With What (0:52): MP3
9. Some Notes on Princess Di (3:34): MP3
10. A Postcard from Across the Utes (4:54): MP3
11. I Wanted to Say Hello... But My Hair Was a Mess (3:50): MP3
12. A Most Imperfect Start (6:48): MP3
13. Motor Priest (8:15): MP3
Questions (16:04): MP3
Complete Reading (1:00:26): MP3

Andrew Joron

Amherst Books, Spring 2005

Sawako Nakayasu
Amherst Books, 2004

Jack Spicer
speaks and reads from Language (full work)

The second of two shows edited by Mark Weiss in 1975 and broadcast on Susan Howe's Pacifica/WBAI Poetry program a few years later. Based on recordings from the Spicer estate. [The opening comments are from the 4th Lecture on Poetry & Politics at the Berkeley Conference on July 14th 1965. - P.Gizzi]

(58:03): MP3
(full program)
Spicer reads Language (44:43): MP3
(Note this replaces the mp3 and ra "WBAI" mp3 we had previously made available)

thanks to Eric Baus and Michael Tom
Mark Lindsay
link    |  06-26-07

This interview appears in the new issue of
Kaurab Online

Aryanil Mukherjee contacted me in September 2005, with the idea of increasing the exchange between contemporary American and Bengali poets who might find, so far unbeknownst to themselves, some shared concerns and related aesthetic approaches. While Mukherjee knew a fair amount about U.S. poetry, I had almost no information about contemporary Bengali poetry. His first request was that I write a piece on my first book, for a small gathering of such statements, so I wrote something about Asylums, and also posted it here. We then started this longer interview, which I took over a year to complete. Mukherjee circulated this among his fellow poets who noted the all too apparent: my lack of knowledge of Bengali poetry. With this in mind, Mukherjee has prepared a set of follow-up questions, which I will try to respond to in the next couple of months.

Here is how Kaurab introduces itself on the web site.

Kaurab is a Bengali literary magazine published from Jamshedpur, an east-Indian steel town, since 1970. The core members of Kaurab are poets and writers whose work represents an interesting break with earlier traditions of literary writing in Bangla. Kaurab’s entry into the Bangla literary context was at a crucial juncture when mainstream Bangla literature was in the thrall of the social, political and cultural upheavals precipitated by the Naxalite movement. While Kaurab, as a literary group, had a cameraderie with the Hungry and New Generation writers of Bengal, it largely attempted to accentuate a fresh and marginal voice that was unheard in Bangla literature. Being a Bangla literary magazine published from outside of Bengal (from Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, erstwhile Bihar), Kaurab had an outside-in identity, which it shaped and reshaped over the years with much ingenuity. This group of poet/writers, led by Kamal Chakraborty, Swadesh Sen, Barin Ghosal, Debajyoti Dutta and Shankar Lahiri, despite their apparent urbanity, invested deeply in making connections with the emerging industrial culture (Jamshedpur was the hub of industrial activity) of a small town gradually transforming itself into a city, and the surrounding hinterland, rich in adivasi (native tribal) cultural traditions. In fact, their urbanity itself was intricately layered – never quite the Kolkata urban though retaining strong creative links with its literary production, the lived memories of the Tata steel furnaces and the robust energies of changing adivasi languages and cultures.

The literature they produced demonstrates a complex, sometimes inchoate interweaving of these worlds, in sharp contrast to the ennui and despair of a post-Naxalite Kolkata-centric Bangla literature. Kaurab subsequently went on to win the prestigious D.K.Gupta award as the most distinguished Bangla literary magazine in 1982. Noted litterateur Sunil Gangopadhyay, wrote in a leading Bangla daily in 1988, "...it is sad that the best Bangla little magazine today (Kaurab) is published from outside of Bangla." And perhaps that was the secret of its distinctly different tenor!

Kaurab's literary work is also marked by a starkly different notion of literary language. Curiously, in both prose and poetry, their use of language gave currency to a ubiquitous urban Bangla tongue of everyday, while it resonated deeply with the changing adivasi (tribal) languages around them. However, this attempt defied all acts of "museumification" of adivasi languages through ways of embodying these others of Bangla literature with new subjectivities. Kaurab also pioneered new methodologies of poetry appreciation in the form of Poetry Camps or workshops, a technique that found many followers in the later years. Kaurab's poetry, often fuelled by rediscoveries of innovative language patterns from the past, went through austere experiments with language, speech and reading. During the 1990s Kaurab almost emerged as a literary cult, influencing several contemporary Bangla little magazines.

However, they continued to experiment, to learn, to dream, perhaps of impossible futures. A calibration of Kaurab’s literary journey will reveal the energy and the spirit of Kaurab that has always been spilled over, refused to be contained within the definition of a little magazine, as we know it. It was a way of life and literary production and, perhaps, the germs of BHALOPAHAR, an eco-community village they'll soon develop, lay there.
Continued here.

The site also has this bio:

Aryanil Mukherjee (Mukhopadhyay in Bengali script) is the last member of the original core group of Kaurab writers. With him ends an era of Kaurab’s literary history. Part II also begins with him and a younger generation of poets and writers spearheaded by Abhijit Mitra, Sabyasachi Sanyal and Sudeshna Majumdar – the new, second generation editors of Kaurab. Aryanil’s poetry recycles many of the base values of the Kaurab cult and has a unique non-representational quality that emerges from its geo-poetic nature. He has perhaps drawn some blood from his two favorites, Swadesh Sen and Binoy Majumdar and his poetry builds on the mathematics (Binoy) and aesthetics (Swadesh) of reason. A critic wrote of "Haowamorager Man" (Weathercock Mind), his second book, "Aryanil’s poetry builds fractals of visuals and reason and creates a rare fragmented beauty". Aryanil emigrated to the US in 1996 and began Kaurab Online – the first Indian poetry webzine.


L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E POETRY — A Retrospective
An interview with Charles Bernstein (2006-2007)
Aryanil Mukherjee
Nearly three decades back Charles Bernstein and others unleashed what we today call LANGUAGE POETRY. A contemporary critic announced "finally a true post-modernist proposal was put on the table". Bernstein proclaimed, "There is no natural writing". When I took my first peek at Language Poetry at the advent of the new century, it immediately occured to me that a lot of what LP has claimed and reclaimed over the years, sizeable portions of the kind of work Charles Bernstein, Ron Silliman, Bruce Andrews and others have done, will perhaps find soulmates in the writings of several 1980 (and 90s) generation Bengali poets in India. Attempting to understand the
premise of LP and the poetry and poetics it advocates, I decided to interview Charles Bernstein. The following interview was conducted thru 2006-2007.
An important and prolific poet and poetry-speaker, Bernstein is the author of several books and anthologies on poetry and poetics. He is the Donald T. Regan Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania.  —AM

AM: When did you, Silliman and others conceive what we call L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Poetry today?

CB: I was first in touch with Ron Silliman in 1973 and started what has been a lifelong exchange, though our correspondence was most intense from the early 70s to the mid-80s. I met Bruce Andrews, with whom I edited L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, in 1975. By that point, a number of poets, dissatisfied with the Official Verse Culture of the time, with its blandness and conformity, and with its high-handed rejection of the historical and contemporary particulars in poetry that most motivated us to write, collectively explored alternatives, going back to radical modernist innovations while at the same time championing the work we found most interesting in the immediately prior generation. We actively exchanged ideas about ideology, arts, politics, aesthetics, and philosophy, expressing our engagements through intensive small press publishing of books and magazines. Deep friendships developed in the course of these exchanges, and lots of disagreements, collective engagements, and concerted actions.

AM: Why did the language poets choose to write "L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E"? Was it to emphasize that language is essentially an assemblage of signs ?

CB: “Language” was among a long list of possible names Bruce and I compiled in 1977 – based on conversation with several of our friends and collaborators – and as Bruce and I began to settle on Language we did want something to make it stand out both from the generic word from the title of the journal of the Linguistics Society of America, not to mention Jack Spicer’s great book of that name. We knew we needed to use some kind of punctuation or visual mark between the letters, and we again cast about for ideas about what would work best. Bruce and I decided on the equal signs, though I don’t recall any conversation in which we explicitly discussed what those equal signs between the letters meant. But it looked good and, at the time, that was good enough for us.

AM: Did this generation of poets feel that they were caught up in literary fiasco of some sort?

CB: Any countermovement within poetry verges on fiasco. Without a sense of humor about the context and consequences of literary tempests, even in large stewpots, you risk becoming what you most abhor: the blowhard literary functionary (and those come on all three sides of any coin). My essays always border on, if not actually celebrating, intellectual fiasco, or perhaps frisson or miasma or bedlam. To bedlam and back, my friend: TOURS TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MIND & HE LIVES TO TELL THE TALE! I’ve always loved those movies about the small, slightly disorganized gang trying to pull off a heist, and succeeding, against all odds.

AM: What were some of the real problems young poets were facing then ? How did LP address those?

CB: If you say “real” problems, then I would point to our rejection, in the U.S., of the policies that led to the Vietnam war, that led to the incarceration of a large part of the young male African-American population, that led to poverty and unemployment as a means to fuel “economic growth.” Poetry addresses that in the sense that it literally faces it, in Stevens’s sense of the “pressure of reality.”

AM: How were Language Poets reacting to mainstream American poetry in the early eighties?

CB: I don’t want to generalize about, or speak for, “Language Poets” since the term means different things to different people. What we are talking about is a great many poets who questioned mainstream literary values but who did not necessarily have a style or politics or poetics in common. In L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, the magazine I edited with Bruce Andrews from 1978 to 1982, we suggested many “other” ways of writing poetry. But, moreover, we were interested in a critical poetics, that is, an engagement with poetry that articulated an alternative to the often anti-intellectual cant of voice, self, humanism, emotion – an alternative, that is, to an “official” practice that was problematic because – in the name of voice – it excluded most voices and the possibility of variant voicings and in the process made assumptions about the self that were troubling. The problem was never voice or self or emotion but the dogmatic way these terms were used to regulate poetry. So that you end up limiting poems to representing a self that was hollowed out the very particularity of humanness that makes a person not a universal idea but particular-in-formation. Or thinking that emotion in poems is limited to prefabricated sentiments rather than opening up to a volatile field on sensation. I didn’t want to write poems that said what I felt but rather that made feeling present in the words. Emotion is not something I represent in a poem but make in the process of writing.

AM: Did you see the Beats and/or the New York school or the Black Mountain poets as your pre-cursors? Or was that LP did not believe in growing out of a literary tradition?

CB: I have been as much involved in fabricating viable histories of American and non-American 20th century poetry as anything else. And certainly the work of the New American Poetry was crucial and informing, even as any “younger” poet must make her or his own path of difference. As far as the particular poetics that formed around L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, it was probably more involved with identifying a radical poetic tradition than breaking from the poetry of the past. Much of the effort of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, and my own projects in the years since, have been as historical as contemporary. In fact, reading poetry as historically and socially specific, not as universally true sentiments, is fundamental to L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E''s poetics. What might be harder to see from the present perspective in how contested the history of American poetry was; in 1980, it was still a struggle to put forward Stein or Zukofsky or Loy, Riding or Reznikoff. Things have changed. But Official Verse Culture is no less pernicious now than 25 years ago.

AM: Who were some of the early Language Poets? How did you think they were contributing then to the movement?

CB: If you are interested in the view from the late 70s and early 80s, I suggest perusing L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E or consulting several key anthologies: In the American Tree: Language, Realism, Poetry, ed. Ron Silliman; From the Other Side of the Century: A New American Poetry, 1960-1990, ed. Douglas Messerli; Language Poetries: An Anthology, also edited by Messleri; Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology, ed. Paul Hoover. My selection of poets were included in two anthologies: "Language Sampler" in Paris Review, (No. 86, 1982) and a few years later 43 Poets (1984), which was a special issue of boundary 2 (Vol. 14, No. 1/2, Autumn, 1985–Winter, 1986). Two of the magazines of the period I keep returning to are Roof, edited by James Sherry in New York, and Tottel’s, edited by Ron Silliman in the Bay Area. But just as important were presses such as Lyn Hejinian’s Tuumba and Douglas Messerli’s Sun & Moon. I don’t want to go back to 1975 and speak for, or from, that moment and anyway I don’t wish to speak for anyone but myself … and myself she is wobbly! I’d rather give a partial list of some of the poets I identified with in the 70s, who had started publishing at the time or up to a decade earlier, and who are still, thirty years later, doing work that fully engages me, that is, doing new work with which I am in an ongoing dialog: Bruce Andrews, Leslie Scalapino, Susan Howe, Michael Palmer, Clark Coolidge, Robert Grenier, Douglas Messerli, Rosmarie Waldrop, Bob Perelman, Keith Waldrop, Alan Davies, Erica Hunt, Steve McCaffery, Lyn Hejinian, Lorenzo Thomas, Ron Silliman, Fred Wah, Tom Raworth, Ted Greenwald, Ann Lauterbach, P. Inman, Nathaniel Mackey, Johanna Drucker, Tina Darragh, Nick Piombino, David Bromige, Michael Davidson, Allen Fisher, Norman Fischer, Diane Ward, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, and Rae Armantrout.

AM: Ron Silliman proclaimed "Let us undermine the bourgeoisie." You wrote that this kind of writing is "decentered, community controlled, taken out of the service of the capitalist project." What measures did the Language Poets take to defy, ignore and undermine the literary establishment ? We understand, you had to create small-presses in order to support your cause, but in a capitalist society, how do you make such small presses survive? What would prevent them from getting swallowed by the big fish?

CB: Much of the small press activity of the 70s and 80s has now migrated to the web, though there remain crucial print publishers. Poetry of the kind I have been engaged with has so far shown little risk of absorption by the big commercial media companies – the material is too small scale to generate profits. Our tiny market share has saved us from too much compromise! Probably my best answer to this question overall is an essay called “Provisional Institutions: Alternative Presses and Poetic Innovation.” With the Electronic Poetry Center and PennSound the point is still to provide commercial-free zones for poetic exchange that do provide a counter to the market economy. These sites are noncommercial and not-for-profit: there are no paid advertisements and we offer not samples of work but full texts and complete readings. Still, nothing remains wholly outside the market and it is as important to acknowledge our complicities as pursue our resistances. Anyway, the point is not to remain outside, above, below, or beyond the market or mass culture or even official verse culture; purity is not only overrated, it is counterproductive. I have always been a pragmatist: you do the best you can under present conditions. I would like to see more of the poetry that I most care about enter into public spaces, get reviewed in the newspaper, win prizes, sell copies, be included in classrooms from elementary school or graduate school. When that happens, I don’t feel the edge has been lost but rather that the work is finding its home in the world. However, there are surprisingly strong forces in U.S. culture that stand in the way of this happening and what’s worth focusing on these forces, rather than on the isolated merits of one poem versus another. That is, I am interested not just in preferences or taste but also in the criteria for the taste and also the social, cultural, historical and economic forces that inform those criteria. That can make for exchanges across various divides: it is what makes possible the kind of international exchange we both would like to see, and that we are provisionally forming at the International Exchange for Poetics Invention (poeticinvention.blogspot.com), which Ton van 't Hof and I started earlier this year. If I see any problem in the U.S. scene today, it is that there is not enough institutional and ideological critique; the assumption too often is that we are in a kind of talent contest in which everyone is free to participate. But Official Verse Culture, by definition, always includes a variety of styles and approaches in order to ensure it’s legitimacy. John Ashbery may very well be America’s most honored poet but his work stands in opposition to the Cold War values of Official Verse Culture, which is constructed on the radical containment of the work of Frost, Bishop, and Lowell; ironically, even these three poets’ work is not safe from the very Official Verse Culture that sacralizes it. Even if I were to become, or am now, a part of Official Verse Culture myself (if nominated I will swerve; if elected, somersault), it wouldn’t change the basic state of affairs that I critique nor make my critique any more or less true.

AM: Was there any support, encouragement from the other side of the establishment – the academic world?

CB: The university is not the same as the literary establishment. The sphere of literary taste represented by nationally distributed publications, prizes, and the like is quite distinct from the literary academy (literature departments), though more closely aligned with some Creative Writing Programs. English departments – more than poets outside the academy may sometimes realize – have, by and large, only a peripheral engagement with contemporary poetry. Those of involved with poetry often focus on the exceptions, including the places I have worked, SUNY-Buffalo and the University of Pennsylvania; but these places are not typical. I started to teach at Buffalo in 1989, and at Penn in 2003; before that my connection to universities was slight, at least after I graduated from college in 1972, where I had teachers who were of tremendous importance to me, including Stanley Cavell and Rogers Albritton, both philosophers. Early on in my life as a poet, I was in contact with several scholars who were not just supportive but really more collaborators, fellow thinkers. In this respect I would mention Marjorie Perloff and Jerome McGann in particular. The poets I knew who worked at universities were also remarkably generous and encouraging, from David Antin, Jerome Rothenberg, and Michael Davidson at the University of California, San Diego, to Robin Blaser at Simon Fraser University, Wystan Curnow at the University of Auckland, Eric Mottram at Kings College (UK), to Robert Creeley at Buffalo. They gave me a sense you could be a poet working in the university but with an orientation toward the new poetry and poetics being created and exchanged outside the academy.

AM: Some younger American poets who are believed to have imbibed a lot from Language Poetry, say that – Language poets, are, for the most part, intensely interested in literary theory and have been instrumental is removing poetry further and further from the common reader. In America today, academia seems to safe-haven poetry thus strengthening the theory that poetry is a sub-culture now. How would you face these charges ?

CB: Poetry is not a form of mass-culture; every variety of poetry, from that written by those who would like to reach the broad masses to that written by those who are happy enough with a small circle of friends, is tiny taters compared to blockbuster movies or reality TV or pop music. The issues about accessibility, populism, elitism are important aesthetic issues about which many poets take passionate positions. But these positions take place within the small-scale world of poetry, not on the stage of mass culture. That is not my preference, or any poet’s choice; it just reflects the historical circumstances for the genre in this time and place. This state of affairs is neither positive nor negative; much mass-audience art is pretty bad just as much small-audience poetry is pretty bad. In the U.S., in the early 21st century, the really pernicious elitism is the elitism of market share, the widespread assumption that the only real value is market value and market share. One of the values of poetry in our time is to prove that wrong, spectacularly wrong. I am not concerned with making my work accessible to those without any interest or engagement in poetry, but I suspect that exactly this is the most important quality of my work that might interest such a person. The kind of poetry I like has a linguistic, acoustic, and conceptual complexity and richness that I find no where else. Lots of the discussion of accessibility in poetry assume that readers are dumb not just in terms of their ability to read but because of their choice not to read poetry. I must be dumb too because I find little to interest me in some of the poems that are trying their darndest to be EZ, the sort of thing the chief functionary and propaganda czar of the AWP (the organization of creative writing programs) toots his tin horn about. No one has an obligation to read poetry and if someone prefers prose that’s cool by me. Poetry is not a moral obligation; it’s not the wheat germ of literature. Pandering only makes poetry seem pathetic but then again pandering administrators of Poetic Orthodonture can be pretty funny, in a Monty Python kind of way.

AM:You and other Language Poets have professed that grammar structures tend to support the power structures of Western societies. Could you explain that with an example?

CB: Grammar, vocabulary, diction, form, and style reflect the power relations in a society. You can’t change the society by changing your grammar but any radical social, economic, or cultural change must necessarily come to terms with its rhetorics and its metaphors.

AM: In our world, parallel Bangla literature, there are senior poets like Barin Ghosal, Swadesh Sen, Kamal Chakraborty, Amitava Maitra, Ranjan Moitra, Dhiman Chakraborty, Shankar Lahiri, Swapan Roy, Jahar Sen Majumdar, Pranab Paul and an entire generation of younger followers who have seen conformist linguistic practices and language traditions as a demon-deity that represents the establishment. They have attacked this language or these modes of writing in an attempt to unshackle it. However, these poets have shown a deep distrust for academic pursuits. An academic essay to them is the ninth essay born from eight previous ones. Many of them, especially Barin Ghosal, have written “open essays” in support of their poetry and language-experiments that have original intent and are largely free from academic indoctrination. Did the Language Poets see language as the establishment itself or as an instrument of the establishment ? Academic institutions are often thought of as the nursery of language, but aren’t these establishments on their own ?

CB: I am not familiar with these writers so can’t make any useful comparisons. But I do think that the standard, professionalized academic essay is a problem, and not just for poetry, for the literary academy as well. The problem with the professionalized academic essay is that it emphasizes rationalization over exploration. And rationalization means smoothing out inconsistencies and ambiguities, reigning in variations in tone, modeling authorativeness rather than rattling authority. These are all things I say so much I worry either that I am turning ever bluer in the face (I am, so much more blue that 25 years back) or that I am falling into my own rote routine. Rationalization allows us to exploit ideas rather than think with them. It’s a struggle to avoid it, though; maybe that’s the reason it has taken me so long to reply to your questions. I had to stop every time I felt I was just recycling “ideas,” even ideas I like very well or, anyway, well enough. Institutions are pervasive and exist as much in intimate relationships as on the job or in the poetry or art worlds or at a university. And yes institutions reproduce themselves through language. Schools indoctrinate more than they teach. Perhaps the best we can do, here’s my pragmatism again, is try to recognize that indoctrination and hold it up for discussion. Language is neither the problem nor the solution, it’s the means.

AM: Language poets, as we know them, can be seen today as radical revisionists of the poetic form. While they seem to emphasize on the “new sentence”, they have a strong element of rejection in their literary theory. They tend to reject traditional forms, lyricism, narrative, subjectivity, and representational writing. In Bengal, roughly similar poetic values came into existence in the eighties that picked up momentum in the nineties. Barin Ghosal has termed this brand of poetry as “Atichetanaar Kabitaa” (Poetry of the Extra-Consciousness) and other latter modes and their variations as “Natun Kabita” (New Poetry) . When we came to know about LP, we seemed to find a mirror image of our beliefs, despite the numerous cultural/linguistic/political differences. Most of us from the younger generation, however, seem to reject the “element of rejection”. Proscriptive rejection, as we believe, prevents reinvention. We would like to invite your comment on this.

CB: It’s hard to disagree that any proscriptive credo would limit invention; that tends to be my assumption too. But then you’d have to be leery too about proscribing “rejection.” Negativity is one of the most powerful forces in poetry, as when one insists “I will not do that” or “This approach I simply cannot abide.” I can’t comment about the circumstance for you and your friends, but from where I come from there is altogether too much complacency, acceptance of dominant or reigning values, fear of questioning or rejecting. I have never said that any kind of poetry can’t be written and have written many kinds myself. But I think it’s still possible, and valuable, to articulate your preferences, to advocate what you care about and to come to terms with what you reject. Oscar Wilde once wrote, “Only an auctioneer admires all schools of art.” The current wave of neoliberal pluralism (or you could call it compulsory pluralism) may take the high ground of refusing to be limited by taste or the even higher ground of seeing connections where others have seen differences. But more often it just reflects an “end to ideology” – that it all boils down to a talent contest or differences in preference, as if we all on American Idol. The fact that different poetries clash is a value for poetry. And around here the idea that one should not rule out any style of writing is almost always applied in the wrong direction, that is, not against those who accept only traditional and conventional forms, but against those who are trying some different. If you question the dogmatism of dominant literary values, naturally you are accused of being dogmatic. “Round up the usual suspects.” If anything, my problem is that I am too complacent.

link    |  06-24-07

I have added a ps to the "Summer of Love" post

Öyvind Fahlström

ESSO-LSD, 1967
was my favorite work in
Summer of Love: Art of the Psychedelic Era
at theWhitney Museum, New York
(through Sept. 16)
which might better have been subtitled

The fist time as tragedy, the second as farce.

Self-Portrait in Summer of Love

The show features a number of quite interesting and rarely seen
films, film loops, and visual environments.

Farce: because the Whitney curators have purged the show of most of its socio-political context:
you wouldn't have known there was a war on
or a civil rights movement
& the 60s without that
No Sixties at All

but an ESSO sign
Yeah that's right, sing it again —
no sixties at all but an ESSO sign.
link    |  06-23-07

Ann's Goodbye


Ann Lauterbach
Ann had come to town to pack up her loft on Duane Street.
She had lost her lease.
I talked to her at the Clocktower studios of WPS1.
December 4, 2006
(39 seconds, 7.7 mb)

link    |  06-20-07

Phong Bui

Close Listening

I talked with Brooklyn Rail editor and artist
Phong Bui
on May 30,2007
(28:30): MP3

photo: Charles Bernstein/PennSoud, 2007
link    |  06-19-07

Hannah Weiner
reads from
Ear Inn, New York
October 10, 1983
(38:01): MP3


Jack Spicer
The Holy Grail
July 15, 1965
thanks to Eric Baus and Peter Gizzi

Spicer PennSound page
(includes streaming links)


Ted Berrigan
Interview and reading on "In The American Tree" radio show on KPFA radio, Berkeley
hosted by Lyn Hejinian & Kit Robinson, 1978
Full Interview and Reading (34:41): MP3

also now available:
The Sonnets broken into singles for each poem

Berrigan PennSound page
(includes streaming links)

Charles Bernstein
Ithaca, New York May 8, 1982

from Resistance (collected in Republics of Reality 1975-1995)
1. Consideration (2:19): MP3
2. But Boxes Both Boat (0:40): MP3
3. Dunvegan (1:03) : MP3
4. Playing with a Full Deck (1:59): MP3
5. The Sheds of Our Webs (0:43): MP3
6.  If There Were a God (1:08: MP3 )
7.  Forefright (1:11): MP3
8.  The Land and Its People (1:08): MP3
9. Air Shaft (0:20): MP3
10. You ((0:38): MP3
11. Ideopathic Pathenogenesis (0:50): MP3
12. Entitlement from The Sophist ((9:42): MP3
13 Sprocket Damage from Islets/Irritations (4:17): MP3
14. The Simply from The Sophist (13:22): MP3


   |  06-17-07

New issue of


is out


Øyvind Berg // Charles Bernstein // Jörgen Gassilewski // Leevi Lehto // Lars Mikael Raattamaa Niemi // John Swedenmark Angela Rawlings / Hjorvar Peturssons / Hugh Thomas // Cia Rinne // Joar Tiberg // Heriberto Yepéz // Espen Grønlie // Fredrik Hertzberg // Martin Högström // Murat Nemet-Nejat Johannes Göransson // // Aase Berg // Mette Moestrup

Editor Paal Bjelke Andersen
introduces the issue

& I here provide a kind of Reader's Digest condensed/bowdlerized version of his essay:

A beloved without a lover? All gay ethic, eh? Barn uten foreldre? Can there be a translation without an original? Child without parent? Dette er for så vidt interessant – men spørsmålet er: for hvem? Do I have such things as real beliefs? Doesn’t Melnick want to allow for this? Eller er det originalens forhold til reproduksjonen som er verdifullt; eller den første i kraft av seg selv, men ikke den andre (faren og farens forhold til barnet, men ikke til moren/gjenskaperen? En elsket uten elsker? Er denne lesningen ugyldig? Er det et overgrep å gjøre oversettelse til mer av et overgrep enn et ikke-overgrep? Er det ikke interessant at en gren av ethnopoesien utviklet seg til å ende opp i prosjekter som det falske Sumero-Akkadianske Tablets av Armand Schwerner? Hva skjer når noen leser Men in Aida og ikke ser forbindelsen til Homer? Hvilken viktig engelskspråklig forfatter ville våge å skrive sin neste bok på spansk? Hvis man alltid er fremmed for seg selv? Hvor trekke grensa for hva som faller inn under temaet? I mean, how can we imagine to translate anything, when we cannot even get the first letters right? Interpretation without its object or subject? Is he paying them or what? Is the reading invalid? Is this like someone seeing Clueless but being clueless about Jane Austin? Isn’t it clear, then, that translation games are becoming a favorite paradigm in language play? Jeg mener, hvordan kan vi oversette noe som helst, når vi ikke engang får til de første bokstavene? Kan det finnes en oversettelse uten en original? Kan tidsredigeringen fästas här, brottet utföras nu? Men in Aida, they appeal, eh? Not uninteresting, but the question is: to whom? När övergår ljud i mening? Och vad återstår i så fall för den köttsliga översättaren att göra? Or is what is valuable the relation of the original to the reproduction; or the first on it own, but not the second on it own (the father and the relation of the father to the child, but not the mother/reproducer)? Stand on its own, eh? Stående for seg selv, ja? Tror jeg virkelig på noe? Vad betyder det? Vad menar han? Vad vill den Andra av mig? Vad vill han? Vad är begär? Vad är jag för den Andra? Vad är det för mening som överförs? Vad är njutning? Vad är poesi? Vad är språk? Vad är översättning? Var går gränsen mellan human och artificiell översättning? Var går gränsen mellan originalet och översättningen? Varför inte? Vem är den Andra? What happens when someone reads Men in Aida and doesn’t recognize the Homer connection? What is a writer who still clings to the notion of using his work as a means to represent his true intentions? What is poetry? What is the translation doing that can’t be done in any other medium? What is valuable, the original or the reproduction: the source or the transfiguration of it, the product or the activity, the accuracy or the exchange? What major Anglo writer would dare to write his or her next book in Spanish? Why do translators, writers in general, think so much about the Reader? Ønsker ikke Melnick å åpne for dette? Å forflytte et menneske – høres det ikke ut som en slags tvang? Är den akustiska dimensionen möjlig att helt frikoppla från den semantiska? Är det möjligt att göra ett komplicerat, kontextkänsligt, kulturellt kodat översättningsprogram?

The issue also includes several other significant essays on the poetics of translation.

link    |  06-15-07

Bruce Andrews
on PennSound


Bob Perelman

Segue Series reading at the Bowery Poetry Club
New York, March 24, 2007 (37:54): MP3

Book release party in celebration of IFLIFE,
Kelly Writers House, Penn, January 9, 2007
Perelman's PennSound page

Photos: ©2007 Chalres Bernstein/PennSound

link    |  06-14-07

Susan Howe
Poetry Programs
WBAI-Pacifica Radio

Susan Howe's WBAI (NY)-Pacifica Radio shows
are being available on PennSound
in collaboration with
the Archive for New Poetry at the University of California, San Diego.
Our digital copies were made from recordings housed at the archive.

Helen Adam
, 1977-1978
performing her work and in conversation with Susan Howe and Charles Ruas
1977-1978, one hour: MP3

Bruce Andrews and Charles Bernstein, 1979
reading their work and in conversation with Susan Howe
March 14, 1979, full program one hour:
Andrews reads from R+B (2:30): MP3
Andrews reads "How" (5:36): MP3
Bernstein reads "Matters of Policy" from Controlling Interests (11:31): MP3

The Bostonian (1981)
program on John Hall Wheelwright
Nov. 23, 1981
featuring James Laughlin, Quincy Howe, Polly Thayer, Malcolm Cowley, Ray DiPalma, and Charles North
(1:30:26): MP3

PennSound page for the Howe Pacifica shows
(includes streaming links)

These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights to this recorded material belong to the poets and to Susan Howe. (C) 2007 by Susan Howe and the poets. Used with permission of Susan Howe and the Archive for New Poetry, UCSD. Distributed by PENNSound.
link    |  06-12-07

photo ©2007 Charles Bernstein/PennSound

Abigail Child

Close Listening -- readings and conversations at WPS1.Org
Clocktower Studio, New York, May 30, 2007

Abigail Child in conversation with Charles Bernstein (28:52): MP3

WPS1 Reading
Entire Program (27:07): MP3
1. Subject Motion, part 1, from From Solids (Roof Books) (3:02): MP3
2. From Solids, excerpts (2:17): MP3
3. Lust, from A Motive for Mayhem (Potes and Poets)  (5:03): MP3
4. Turn of Events (6:19): MP3
5. Litmus, from Post Industrials (Primary Writing 10/98) (3:32): MP3
6. Perennials (4:10): MP3

Close Listening produced by Charles Bernstein for WPS1
©2007 Abigail Child and Charles Bernstein
Studio Engineer: Lucy Simanjuntakl

ALSO on PennSound:

PhillyTalks, Episode Sixteen, April 13, 2000
1. Lust (4:32): MP3
2. Intoxication (10:35): MP3
3. Perennials (3:32): MP3
4. Will It Hurt To Be a Drone? Live Feed Two (7:49): MP3
The text of this program is available as PDF here.

Segue Series reading at the Bowery Poetry Club, New York, March 20, 2004: MP3

Segue Series reading at the Bowery Poetry Club, New York, October 22, 2005: MP3

for streaming links, go to Abigail Child's PennSound page

New on PennSound

Lyn Hejinian

Reading from My Life
at San Francisco State University in 1979
(15:27) MP3
An early reading of the work, when it was provisionally titled One Side Around

Keith Waldrop
reading Baudelaire

Wystan Curnow & Joel Kuszai
Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, May 8, 2007
(introduction by Charles Bernstein 
Kuszai (25:15) MP3
Curnow part one (22:57) MP3
Curnow part two (12:00) MP3
from this second part, one single I especially recommend:
"Matisse Asleep" (3:10) MP3

for all the streaming links go to
Curnow at PennSound
Kuszai at PennSound
(to keep this page from dragging I have dropped the streaming links)

Jerome Rothenberg
" Old Man Beaver's Blessing Song"
(2:12): MP3

Lin Dinh
April 24 at Kelly Writers House

Angela Rawlings

Penn Graduate Student Reading
Julia Bloch
Dorothea Lasky
Jason Zuzga
Adam Arcuragi
Caroline Whitbeck
Shonni Enelow

Piero Heliczer


Thanks to Eric Baus for his recent work for PennSound

John Ashbery
Lynn Emanuel
Charles Bernstein

The Reader's Room
Monday, June 11, 2007

Mo Pitkin's House of Satisfaction
34 Avenue A (Between 2nd & 3rd Streets)
one-drink minimum / table-service food

link    |  06-07-09

Photo: Charles Bernstein

Kenneth Goldsmith & the Poetics of Everyday Life

Kenneth Goldsmith's
is just out from
Make Now Press

& also on-line at Eclipse

Goldsmith transcribed this material, presumably from tapes, from 1010 WINS all news all the time you give us 10 minutes we’ll give the world – “traffic on the ones” reports. The books covers one day, divided into sections for each hour. Goldsmith picked a particularly fraught day for New York, presumably during the city-wide transit strike in December 2005, on the Thursday or Friday before the Christmas holiday weekend, when traffic was bad (“a grueling torture test”) and there were restrictions on cars with single riders coming into midtown. This is what gives the work the Weekend-like ominousness, as Craig Dworkin notes in his short introduction (referring to the Godard film).

All traffic is local. Traffic addresses the movement of (local) speech to (conceptual) writing. As Ben Yarmolinksy and I realized when we wrote our American vernacular opera Blind Witness News, the weather and sports reports from TV and radio are one of the most generic, instantly familiar cultural forms in contemporary American culture. So it’s fitting that Goldsmith starts his American trilogy with Weather and will end with sports. Traffic is in between and is notably marked by regional language and references. What's becoming apparent is that Goldsmith's work is centered on the ordinary; he is articulating a poetics of everyday life. The cyclic structure, consisting of 144 prose stanzas (6 reports for each of 24 hours, about 10 sentence in each prose stanza) brings poetry round again to a calendric and closed serial form.

“Well, you were talking about gridlock, well, I'll tell you, we've had reports of some really, uh, serious gridlock on those cross streets uptown between the, uh, 90's and the 120's. Gridlock conditions north of the 96th Street checkpoint, causing motorists to sit for literally hours on those, uh, roadways so, uh, carpool or walk if possible, but again, this is going to be a major mess.”

Here is Craig Dworkin's commentary from the back cover:

In both form and content, Kenneth Goldsmith's Traffic recalls nothing so much as the extended tracking shot in Jean-Luc Godard's 1967 film Week-End, and the book's audacious sustain elicits the same series of responses: surprise, admiration, amusement, incredulity, horror, recognition, terror, boredom, impatience, awe....

An uneasy combination of farcical comedy and hopeless tragedy, Traffic is a drama of Aristotelian proportions. Goldsmith's book unfolds like all classic narratives, tracing the beginning, middle and end of the action on a single day. In this case, the worst driving day of the year - replete with wanderings and errors, chance encounters, subplot snarls, and very real life-and-death results. But in the end, for all the horrific implications of this cultural catastrophe, Traffic has a happy ending: the midnight dream of the open road.

Traffic thus steers into the spin of the long tradition that includes Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath and Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, McCarthy's The Road and Kerouac's On The Road. At the same time, Traffic takes its logical place in what might be called Goldsmith's 'American Trilogy,' a series that began with The Weather (MakeNow, 2005) and will conclude with Sports. Like The Weather, Traffic exhibits Goldsmith's signature mode: remediating found texts and crossing artifice with everyday life by metrically regulating the flow of the quotidian through 'pataphysically measured intervals.

Moreover, by remapping the roadways around Manhattan onto networks of desire and frustration, attention and boredom, leisure and labor, commodity and death, Goldsmith engages in a distinctive politics. Indeed, Traffic proves the last of Guy Debord's "Positions Situationnistes Sur La Circulation [Situationist Theses on Traffic]":

Les urbanistes révolutionnaire ne se préoccuperont pas seulemnet de la circulation des choses, et des hommes figés dans un monde de choses. Ils essaieront de briser ces chaines topologiques, en expérimentant des terrains pour la circulation des hommes à travers la vie authentique.

[Revolutionary urbanists will not limit their concern to the circulation of things, or to the circulation of human beings trapped in a world of things. They will try to break these topological chains, paving the way with their experiments for a human journey through authentic life.]

Buckle up.

— Craig Dworkin

Kenneth Goldsmith on PennSound
& at the EPC

link    |  06-06-07


a recent addition to the
Ezra Pound PennSound page

The Bayrischer Rundfunk Recordings
Recorded at Schloss Brunnenburg, Tirolo di Merano, Italy, December 1959

  1. Impressions of François-Marie Arouet (de Voltaire), I (“Phyllidula and the Spoils of Gouvernet”) (0:45) [315]
  2. Impressions, II (“To Madame du Châtelet”) (1:21) [316]
  3. Impressions, III (“To Madame Lullin”) (0:39) [317]
  4. Impressions, III (“To Madame Lullin,” German translation) (0:46) [317]
  5. “Der Wirbel” (German trans. of “Phanopoeia, I”) (0:45) [565]
  6. “Es starben” (German trans. of “Hugh Selwyn Mauberley, I, V”) (0:40) [552]
  7. Unedited tapes of the 1959 Brunnenburg recordings: include tracks 1-6 above, as well as Pound reading the German trans. of “Hugh Selwyn Mauberley, I, I and dialogue between Pound, Eva Hesse, and Mike O’Donnell. (17:31)

Recorded by Eva Hesse and Mike O’Donnell for the Bayrischer Rundfunk. Used by permission of Eva Hesse.
The bracketed page numbers for non-Cantos materials are taken from the Library of America edition of Pound's Poems and Translations.

Richard Sieburth, editor of the Pound page, added this commentary to his Listener's Guide:

These recordings were made on a TK35 Grundig recorder by Eva Hesse and Mike O’Donnell at Brunnenburg Castle in December 1959 for a Bayrischer Rundfunk radio broadcast entitled “Personae, Neue Gedichte von Ezra Pound.” The choice of poems was Pound’s own and the German versions he reads are those included in Eva Hesse’s recent edition of Personae (Zurich: Arche Verlag, 1959). Tracks 1-4 are taken from Pound’s 1916 poem “Impressions of François-Marie Arouet (de Voltaire). This poem is made up of three sections, all loosely adapted from Voltaire’s poetry—“Phyllidula and the Spoils of Gouvernet,” “To Madame du Châtelet,” and “To Madame Lullin”—and Pound reads all three in English and then the third one (with a slight Austrian accent) in Eva Hesse’s German translation. Tracks 4 and 5 feature Pound’s reading of Hesse’s translations of the first section of the poem “Phanopoeia” (“Rose, White, Yellow, Silver”) and of the fifth section of Part I of Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (“There died a myriad”).

Track 7 contains some of the raw footage, as it were, of this Brunnenburg recording session—with Pound reading the same texts as above in English and German. Eva Hesse described this session in an e-mail to me (5/9/07): “In December 1959 at Brunnenbrug EP was already in a state of unhappiness which erupted into a crisis in January, after we had left. . . . But he did take a lively interest in the recordings and when Mike [O’Donnell] said that his way of reading reminded him of Yeats, he was visibly shaken. He grabbed the papers and vanished into his room. The next morning he came up with a greatly changed way of reading, which was much more satisfactory to my mind. I had the impression that he had been practicing this all night. But he made a great comic show of not being able to pronounce “Zahnfäule” [Hesse’s German translation of “For an old bitch gone in the teeth” in Mauberley I,V] and I felt that this was in partial retribution for our cheekiness the day before.” Indeed, in the recordings collected in this Track 7 one can distinguish between Pound’s grander, more Yeatsian style of delivery and a slightly more casual, more “prosey” mode of poetic elocution—the poems read n the latter style (Tracks 1-6) were chosen by Hesse for her radio program. Toward the end of Track 7, Pound reads Hesse’s translation of the first section of Mauberley (“For three years, out of key with his time”) in Ezraic German (soft v’s, rolling r’s). Then there is the following bit of dialogue:

EH: “Can you analyze it, Mike?”
MO: “Listening to Mr. Yeats too long . . .”
EP: “But I always made fun of him. . .”
MO: “Now it’s having its revenge”

Another snippet of dialogue features Eva Hesse impishly asking Pound to read some selections from the comic “Alfred Lord Venison” (sic) poems that he had previously recorded for the BBC. Pound corrects this to “Alfred Venison,” and reminds her that he read these “in the bughouse”—i.e. at St. Elizabeths [see previous section].


For the most pronounced version of Pound's shift in reading style discussed by Richard Sieburth above, start with track 3.


Web Log bonus tracks

Pound reading Robert Lowell's translation of Dante (Inferno XV)
in Rapallo, 1964
(3:01) MP3
(On the PennSound Pound page, Pound reads this same passage, one year later, in the last part of the last track.)

link    |  06-04-07

photo ©2007 Charles Bernstein/PennSound

John Yau

Close Listening -- readings and conversations at WPS1.Org
Clocktower Studio, New York, May 30, 2007

John Yau
in conversation with
Charles Bernstein (29:02):

WPS1 Poetry Reading

Entire Program (28:00): MP3

from Borrowed Love Poems
1. Russian Letters (0:30): MP3
2. 830 Fireplace Road (1:06): MP3
3. Domestic Bliss (1:19): MP3
4. Borrowed Love Poems (3:53): MP3
from Ing Grish
5. Untitled Portrait #1 (1:10): MP3
6. English for You #10 (1:09): MP3
7. Ing Grish (5:18): MP3
from Paradiso Diaspora
8. Conversation After Midnight (3:06): MP3
9. Sotto Voce (7:45): MP3

Close Listening produced by Charles Bernstein for WPS1/ PennSound
Studio Engineer: Lucy Simanjuntak

John Yau on PennSound

link    |  06-03-07

has made available two of my early books
both of which are collected in  Republics of Reality

The Occurrence of Tune
pictures by Susan Bee


cover by Susan Bee

The man behind Eclipse is
Craig Dworkin
who has a somewhat hidden page on the site
that includes these works of his:

Delay in Verse  [Introduction to Language to Cover a Page (2006)]246kb
Grammar Degree Zero  [Introduction to Re-Writing Freud (2005)]92kb
Zero Kerning  [Open Letter, Twelfth Series, no. 7 (Fall 2005)]124kb
Unheard Music   [from UbuWeb] 51kb
High Definition   [Xcp 15/16 "Keywords"]
Language Poetry [encyclopedia entry] 88kb
Whereof One Cannot Speak  [Grey Room 21 (Winter, 2005)] 396kb
Textual Prostheses  [Comparative Literature 57: 1 (Winter, 2005)] 1.5MB
Stan Brakhage, Agrimoniac  [Stan Brakhage: Filmmaker, ed. David James (Temple UP, 2005)] 166kb
Against Metaphor (construye en lo ausente)  [Introduction to Architectures of Poetry (2004)] 100kb
Mycopedagogy  [College English 66: 6 (July, 2004)] 388kb
To Destroy Language  [Textual Practice 18: 2 (June, 2004)] 88kb
Gregg Biglieri, Nyctalope  [Poet's Sampler in The Boston Review 29: 3 (Summer, 2004)]
The Patmore Assumption  [roundtable response to Documents in Poetics 4 (Summer 2003/rev 2006)] 80kb
Trotsky's Hammer  [American Letters & Commentary 14 "Beyond Extremis" (Fall 2002)] 74kb
Five Words in a Stein   [Xcp: Cross-Cultural Poetics 10 "Articulation" (Spring 2002)] 98kb
Fugitive Signs  [October 95 (Winter, 2001)] 2.6MB
The Restlessness of Language  [Poet's Retrospective in the St. Mark's Poetry Newsletter (February, 2000)] 92kb
Penelope Re-Working The Twill: Patchwork, Writing, and Lyn Hejinian's My Life  [Contemporary Literature 36: 1 (Spring, 1995)] 2.2MB

All Saints  [OuLiPo Dossier (2006)] 44kb
Fact  [Chain 12: "Facts" (2005)] 54kb
from The Ossature of Memory  [Verse 20: 2-3 (Summer 2004)] 86kb
[untitled]  [Onsets (Willowdale: The Gig, 2004)] 30kb
Legion (II)  [UbuWeb: 2003-2006] 64kb
Taking "Taking Chances"   [link to description and sound file]
from Parse  [Arras 5 (Winter 2003)]
Ar  [Kiosk (Spring 2003)] 64kb
from Have You Seen Me?  [part of the New Media Poets Project]
Cyril Method  [Boston Review 26: 3 (Summer, 2001)]
Tectonic Grammar   [Facture 3 (Winter 2001)] 2.1MB
Fountain  [The Nassau Weekly (December, 2001)] 86kb
Concrete Poem  [Deluxe Rubber Chicken 5] 158kb
The Gender of the Archive  [Chain 6 (1999)] 46kb
Lautgedichte  [UbuWeb 1998-]

link for
Perelman on Zukofsky


link    |  06-02-07

Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl
a young Icelandic poet
has just published a terrific essay on new transnational poetry:
"The importance of destroying a language (of your own)"


Leevi Lehto, "Against the Idea of Poetry,"
Foreign Literary Studies
, Wuhan, China, Vol. 29, No. 2, April 2007
(English tr. of Lehto's preface to his Finnish translation of my work
Runouden puolustus. Esseit ja runoja kahdelta vuosituhannelta)


Two reviews of Girly Man:

Poetry Magazine
Ange Mlinko & David Yezzi
(May 2007)

Corinne Robins
(#34 Winter/Spring 2007)

+++++++++ =====

Al Filreis interviews Steve Evans
on the uses of recorded poetry:
(April 23, 2007)


Bob Perelman on Selected LZ
May, 2007


PennSound in New York magazine

Memorial Day
a reading of Blake's "The Grey Monk"
recorded today for the Romantic Circles web site


image: detail from Jerusalem The Emanation of The Giant Albion

link    |  5-28-07

Grenier on the Subway

Get the Flash Player to 05-26-07 this player.

Robert Grenier
Bob, Mimi Gross, and I met at Pecan's, in Tribeca, just before taping Close Listening at WPS1's Clocktower studio on Leonard Street. We walked across the street and  Bob sat on the stoop and talked about his visit to New York.
October 20, 2006
(25 seconds, 4 mb)


My set of 13
Video Portraits
now on-line:
Scalapino, Bonvicino, Grenier, Sherry, Lehto, Drucker, Bergvall
Curnow, Lakoff, Joris, Hills, Gross ,Glazier

link    |  05-26-07

Poet's Prose
new and recommended

Juliana Spahr
The Transformation

Rae Armantrout
Collected Prose
Singing Horse

Nick Piombino
Fait Accompli
Factory School

order from

link    |  05-25-07

Introduction to Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literatures

3rd Edition

Editor: David G. Nicholls

Pages: ix + 370 pp.
Published: May 2007
ISBN: 978-0-87352-598-5 (paperback)
ISBN: 978-0-87352-597-8 (hardcover)

The third edition of the MLA's widely used Introduction to Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literatures features sixteen completely new essays by leading scholars. Designed to highlight relations among languages and forms of discourse, the volume is organized into three sections. "Understanding Language" provides a broad overview of the field of linguistics, with special attention to language acquisition and the social life of languages. "Forming Texts" offers tools for understanding how speakers and writers shape language; it examines scholarship in the distinct but interrelated fields of rhetoric, composition, and poetics. "Reading Literature and Culture" continues the work of the first two sections by introducing major areas of critical study. The nine essays in this section cover textual and historical scholarship; interpretation; comparative, cultural, and translation studies; and the interdisciplinary topics of gender, sexuality, race, and migrations (among others). As in previous volumes, an epilogue examines the role of the scholar in contemporary society.

Each essay discusses the significance, underlying assumptions, and limits of an important field of inquiry; traces the historical development of its subject; introduces key terms; outlines modes of research now being pursued; postulates future developments; and provides a list of suggestions for further reading. This book will interest any member of the scholarly community seeking a review of recent scholarship, while it provides an indispensable resource for undergraduate and graduate students of modern languages and literatures.

David Bartholomae
Charles Bernstein
Heidi Byrnes
Anne Donadey
Jean Franco
Susan Stanford Friedman
Catherine Gallagher
J. Michael Holquist
Paul J. Hopper
Susan C. Jarratt
Françoise Lionnet
Leah S. Marcus
Jerome McGann
Bruce Robbins
Doris Sommer
Lawrence Venuti
Kenneth W. Warren

from my "Poetics" essay:

The profession is best that professionalizes least.

The sociologist C. Wright Mills got this just right when he wrote, "The aim of the college, for the individual student, is to eliminate the need in his life for the college; the task is to help him become a self-educating man. For only that will set him free."


Art students used to be told that the fundamental requirement for drawing or painting was to accurately render figures. But this confused one modality of representation with the entire process of visual aesthesis. It might have been better to say you can’t draw if you can’t see but it would be even better to say you can’t draw if you can’t perceive. Correlatively, we might say, you can’t write if you can’t think. Scholarship requires poetics.

Paratactic writing, thinking by association, is no less cogent or persuasive than hypotactic exposition, with its demands that one thought be subordinated to the next. Poetics reminds us that the alternate logics of poetry are not suited just for emotion or irrational expression; poetics lies at the foundation of all writing.

Poetry is a name we use to discount what we fear to acknowledge.

The accurate documentation of information used in a work is a vital principle of scholarship. Similarly, scholarship requires a writer to consider challenges to her or his views: but this too often is assumed to mean considering challenges to the content of what is being said while ignoring challenges to the style and form. The importance of poetics for scholarship is not to decree that anything goes but rather to insist that exposition is an insufficient guarantor of reason. Poetics makes scholarly writing harder, not easier: it complicates scholarship with an insistence that the way we write is never neutral, never self-evident.

Clarity in writing is a rhetorical effect not a natural fact. One man’s eloquence can be another’s poison; one woman’s stuttering may be the closest approximation of truth that we will ever know.

Table of Contents

Understanding Language

Language, Culture, and Society
Doris Sommer

Paul J. Hopper

Language Acquisition and Language Learning
Heidi Byrnes

Forming Texts

Susan C. Jarratt

David Bartholomae

Charles Bernstein

Reading Literature and Culture

Textual Scholarship
Leah S. Marcus

Jerome McGann

Historical Scholarship
Catherine Gallagher

Comparative Literature
J . Michael Holquist

Cultural Studies
Jean Franco

Feminisms, Genders, Sexualities
Anne Donadey with Françoise Lionnet

Race and Ethnicity
Kenneth W. Warren

Migrations, Diasporas, and Borders
Susan Stanford Friedman

Translation Studies
Lawrence Venuti

Epilogue: The Scholar in Society
Bruce Robbins

link    |  5-24-07

"Queering Language"
Reading Launch

A Poetry Reading to celebrate the publication of

EOAGH Issue 3: Queering Language

Hosted by Tim Peterson and Nathaniel Siegel

Recorded at the Bowery Poetry Club, New York. February 10, 2007

Issue 3 of EOAGH, Queering Language was edited by CA Conrad, kari edwards, Paul Foster Johnson, Erica Kaufman, Jack Kimball, Tim Peterson, and Stacy Szymaszek. This journal issue is dedicated to the memory of kari edwards

PennSound page for this reading


Tim Peterson reviews the recent
Segue/Bowery Poetry Club readings
on Mappamunde
link    |  05-23-07

Coolidge's "Oflengths"
a work made up entirely of prepositions
has long been a favorite of mine.
Craig Dworkin's Eclipse
has now made this available
as part of the full set of Ron Silliman's
now in final production (pdfs to come).
Tottel's was for me a key publication of the 1970s
informing and provoking, and leading the way
to (among other publications)
Bob Perelman's Hiils, Lyn Hejinian's Tuumba Press, Alan Davies's A Hundred Posters, Douglas Messerli's La Bas, & James Sherry's ROOF
Tottel's 16 included "Asylums"; it was one of my first publications.

#16 also included a page from Hannah Weiner's Clairvoyant Journal:


link    |  05-20-07

PennSound Featured MP3s
selected by Eric Baus

"Saving Tallow" - Barbara Guest
"Black Dada Nihilismus" - Amiri Baraka
"The Process of Explication" - Dorothea Lasky
"Catullus #48" - Bernadette Mayer
from "The Making of Americans" - Gertrude Stein
"1935 The Present situation in quantum mechanics" - Tan Lin
from "May from the Journal in June" - Hannah Weiner
from "Of Being Numerous" - George Oppen
from "Dura" - Myung Mi Kim
"Song of the Andoumboulou 19" - Nathaniel Mackey
At Night The States - Alice Notley
"Protection" and "Front Seat" - John Godfrey

PennSound Featured MP3 Archive

link    |  05-18-06-PM

photo: © 2006 Charles Bernstein

Leslie Scalapino
Close Listening: Private Edition  #2

May 14, 2006
Scalapino reads selections from
Day Ocean State of Stars’ Night: Poems and Writings 1989 & 1999-2006

(Los Angeles: Green Integer, 2007)

1. from ‘Can’t’ is ‘Night’ (3:19): MP3
2. from It’s go in/quiet illuminated grass/land (4:40): MP3
3. from The Forest is in the Euphrates River (5:00): MP3
4. from DeLay Rose (12:02): MP3

Scalapino PennSound page
Scalapino EPC page

link    |  05-19-07

In January 2002, Joshua Beckman, an editor of Radical Society, asked several people to respond to this quote from Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz

We've just seen in Afghanistan one way of getting a state out of the business of supporting terrorism. The better way is for states to decide voluntarily that this is not a good business to be in, and to look at what's happened to the Taliban and say wait a minute, I don't want that to happen to me.

We in the Department of Defense, frankly, are not looking for extra work. We would much prefer that all those countries that have been supporting terrorism in the past would reconsider what they're doing and end state support for terrorism because it is I think clearly an evil that's gone from being just one of those bad things that happens in the world to being something that's truly intolerable.

My response was published in the April 2002 issue:

Politics might still be a way of articulating values rather than obliterating thought, but we rarely see any evidence of this from the official spokespersons of the state. Even those most inclined to reject the language of State department briefings are more than likely to focus on the supposed content, as if there were one. It would be insufferably pedantic to constantly critique the language of state business, except in the comic mode of the presumed incontinence in the verbatim utterance of the two Bushes. These are attributed to defect rather than policy, and any talk of what we used to call in the sixties "smoke screens" now seems decidedly retro. Recent research on smoke screens has come up with a scientifically accurate "spf" rating - surreptitious policy factor. The quote at hand registered 64, though they say anything over 32 is effective enough. My brief text scores 133 and counting. I am not, that is, advocating greater clarity or transparency, which are the most common tools of deceit in the game. In this particular case, the smoke may be hiding a policy that is not as bad as expressed. But maybe the danger would be that if the policy was articulated in terms of its values, then we would feel more compelled to follow its implications and applications. This might have an inhibitory effect on the unilateral actions we launch abroad. Moreover, holding people accountable for their words might also be the best defense against what I guess we can now call the Wolfowitz doctrine, which differentiates intolerable evil from the evils we choose to tolerate. I use the term "we" loosely.

We in the Department of Poetry, frankly, are not looking for extra work. We would much prefer that all those speaking for the people would reconsider what they're saying. Truly we do.

link    |  05-17-07

Dubravka Djur

photos ©2007 Charles Bernstein/PennSound

Close Listening: Private Edition #1
April 29, 2007, New York

the streaming links were not working properly when first posted, but the problem is now fixed. so stream or download.

1. REMEĆENJE: MP3  Serbo-Croation text and translation
2. iz zbirke KLOPKE: MP3 Serbo-Croation text and translation
3. Naše ideologije: MP3
5. Umetnost, telo, tehnologija: MP3
6. Tragam za kritičarkom: MP3
7. Tvoje su oči nanele mulj : MP3
8. Muza me danas opseda i ja ne: MP3
9. Maria Grazia želi da sedne za Rilkeov sto/stol: MP3
10. Ono što je počelo kao incident: MP3
11. Kao da je da: MP3
12. Bavim se sobom: MP3

PennSound link to these recordings

link    |  05-16-07

more of my
periodic citations of
the exceptional, eccentric, & electrifying

Ron Silliman, The Age of Huts
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007)
This book looms so large in my writing life I can't imagine a writing life without it.

Aram Saroyan, Complete Minimal Poems
(Brooklyn; Ugly Duckling Presse, 2007)
In the mid-60s to mid-70s, Robert Grenier, Clark Coolidge, and Aram Saroyan perfected an approach to poetry that involved using from one word to a phrase or sentence on each page. Eclipse and UBU have made much of Saroyan’s work available on line. Ugly Duckling has now made the complete set available in this 275 page collection

Darren Wershler-Henry
The Iron Whim: A Fragmented History of Typewriting

(Toronto: McClellad and Stewart, 2005; Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007)
Why Qwerty? What do Don Marquis and William Burroughs have in common? Is the typewriter the person who types or the machine? Engaging facts and factoids. A billion monkeys typing for infinity would never be able to create this short commentary.

Carol Mirakove, Mediated
(New York: Factory School, 2006)
The politics of poetics form, reinvented for the present crisis.

Rachel Zolf, Human Resources
(Toronto: Coach House Press, 2007)
Situationist détournement meets kabbalistic anti-capitalist procedural writing; aka
The Coach House Guide to How to Fright Poems that Really Torque in 90 days
funny slack guaranteed.

John Wilkinson, Proud Flesh

introduction by Drew Milne
(Cambridge, UK: Salt Publishing, 2005)
Wilkinson's haunted 1986 book
back in print
Milne's preface and the first pages
available as pdf
Milne discusses the work in terms of "dialectical lyric"
in which the social and aesthetic experience of social frames is made palpable.

Cole Swenson, Noon
(Los Angeles: Green Integer, 2005).
Swenon’s 1997 Sun & Moon book reissued by Green Integer.

Douglas Messerli,  My Year 2005: Terrifying Times
(Los Angeles: Green Integer, 2006) .
The first volume of Messerli’s ongoing memoir. The secret life of poets turns out to be the imagination, here refracted through friends, films, books, & shows.

Vito Acconci & Bernadette Mayer,
0 TO 9: The Complete Magazine 1967-1969
(Brooklyn: Ugly Duckling, 2006)
Vito Acconci & Bernadette Mayer edited this mimeo magazine for just three years (1967 to 1969). Mayer and Acconci (who was at the time married to Mayer's sister, artist Rosemarie Mayer) included works of poets and visual/conceptual artists, in a mix that would anticipate not only the radically innovative poetry of the 70s (surely this magazine is precursor for what Bruce Andrews and I were trying to do with L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E a decade later) but also today's "conceptual" poetry. Among the contriburors were Robert Barry, Ted Berrigan, Clark Coolidge, John Giorno, Dan Graham, Sol LeWitt, Jackson Mac Low, Harry Mathews, Adrian Piper, Bern Porter, Yvonne Rainer, Jerome Rothenberg, Aram Saroyan, Robert Smithson, Alan Sondheim, Hannah Weiner, and Emmett Williams. 736 facsimile pages from the ever inspiring Ugly Dukling Presse (on whose board I happily serve).

Luigi Ballerini and Paul Vangelisti, eds., Nuova Poesia Americana: Los Angeles
(Milano: Oscar Mondadori, 2005)
The first of a projected series, which will include New York as the third volume; LA is a home base for both editors. Includes these poets from Southern California: Will Alexander, Rae Armantrout, Guy Bennett, Wanda Coleman, Robert Crossen, Michael Davidson, Jack Hirschman, Thomas McGrath, Douglas Messerli, Stuart Z. Perkoff, Dennis Philips, Martha Ronk, Jerome Rothenberg, Mark Salerno, Standard Schaeffer, John Thomas, Paul Vangelisti, and Diane Ward. All the poems in this volume translated by Ballerini and Federica Santini.

Luigi Ballerini and Paul Vangelisti, eds., Nuova Poesia Americana: San Francisco
(Milano: Oscar Mondadori, 2006).
The second of a projected series, following Los Angeles last year and New York next year. Presents a postwar, historical view of the Bay Area, which in many ways has been the U.S. capital of poetry during this period. Includes Duncan, Blaser, Spicer, Lew Welch, Kyger, Hejinian, Silliman, Bromige, Ronald Johnson, Norma Cole, Bob Kaufman, Neeli Cherkovski, Snyder, Ishmael Reed, Palmer, Oppen, Moriarity, Shurin, Jeff Clark, Lamantia, George Stanley, James Schevill, Whalen, but also Gillian Conoley, Stan Rice, Brenda Hillman and Robert Hass. Bilingual, facing pages, about 500 pages in all. Translators: Ballerini, Andrea Borsari, Beppe Cavatorta, Francesca Leardini, and Giancarlo Rizzo.

Lytle Shaw, ed, Nineteen Lines: A Drawing Center Writing Anthology
(New York: The Drawing Center and Roof, 2007)
This adds up to more than just a document of a reading series; the selections of poems and poets make this a compelling anthology of contemporary poetry. Includes (among others) Ammiel Alcalay, John Ashbery, Anselm Berrigan, Christian Bök, Régis Bonvicino, Lee Ann Brown, João Cabral, Tina Darragh, Alan Davies, Kevin Davies, Tim Davis, Jeff Derksen, Johanna Drucker, Kenward Elmslie, Dan Farrell, Rob Fitterman, Ben Friedlander, Renee Gladman, Kenny Goldsmith, Nada Gordon & Gary Sullivan, Carla Harryman, Lyn Hejinian, Susan Howe, Erica Hunt, Alison Knowles, Rachel Levitsky, Tan Lin, Jackson Mac Low, Bernadette Mayer, Ange Mlinko, Jennifer Moxley, Eileen Myles, Maureen Owen, Tom Raworth, Lisa Robertson, Rod Smith, Juliana Spahr, Brian Kim Stefans, Edwin Torres, Cecilia Vicuña, Lewis Warsh, &&.

Paul Auster
Travels in the Scriptorium

(New York: Henry Holt, 2007)
Something of a companion to Auster's new movie, The Inner Life of Martin Frost (which I saw at the New Directors Film Festival in NY). More than any other film I can think of, The Inner Life of Martin Frost centers on the acts of writing the movie unfolding before us; with a sharp dose of Orpheus & Euridice & lots of  delightfully classic Auster moments.

Régis Bonvicino, Página órfa
(São Paulo: Martins Fontes, 2007)
my translations of two of the poems:
"Cocaine Kate" & "It's Not Looking Great "


link    |  05-15-07

A late Abbie Hoffman interview
at Ken Jordan's new magazine,
Reality Sandwich


Nick Piombino on the recent NY reading by
Wystan Curnow & Joel Kuszai


PennSound on News Radio?!
two short interviews:


Nancy Shaw bibliography via KSW


Leevi Lehto
"Against the Idea of Poetry"
Foreign Literary Studies, Wuhan, China, Vol. 29, No. 2, April 2007
English tr. of Lehto's preface to
Runouden puolustus. Esseit ja runoja kahdelta vuosituhannelta

[A Defence of Poetry. Essays and Poems From Two Millennia
a selection of my poems & essays]
pdf of book


Wesleyan University Press
has recently published

A New Life

by Rae Armantrout

The Outernationale
by Peter Gizzi

The two poets are reading together at the Poetry Project in New York
on Weds., May 23 (8pm).

Rae reads from the new book, & discusses it with me
on Close Listening

Peter's book includes
the quite beautiful
A panic that can still come upon me
published last year by Ugly Duckling Presse.


May 16
Tracie Morris
Charles Bernstein
Poetry Project
St Marks Church, 10th Street @ Second Ave.
Tracie Morris on Close Listening
link    |  05-14-07

An AP article on PennSound
in The International Herald Tribune


Heriberto Yepez
on new Mexican Poetry
at International Exchange for Poetic Invention


Now on-line
Swedish Poetry and Poetics: A Gathering
announcement posted at IEPI

The selection features Fredrik Hertzberg, Gunnar Björling, Lars-Håka Svensson, Jesper Svenbro, John Matthias, Anders Lundberg, Jesper Olsson, Stig Larsson, Ann Jäderlund, Jörgen Gassilewski, Helena Eriksson, & Lars Mikael Raattamaa.

& announcing the publication of

You Go the Words

by Gunnar Björling
translated by Fredrik Hertzberg
from Action Books
Fredrik Hertzberg’s revelatory translations make palpable the syntactically sprung, emotion-rent verse of one of the great Scandinavian modernist poets. Hovering in an aesthetic space somewhere between Dickinson and Celan, Oppen and Creeley, Gunnar Bjorling is a poet of the everyday and its words, as if the abyss between souls could ever be ordinary or ever anything else.

while the book is not yet listed on the Action web site,contact the publisher
Johannes Göransson


link    |  05-09-07

"This Is Just to Say"
by William Carlos Williams:
five versions
compiled by Steve McLaughlin
for PennSound's WCW Page

"This is Just to Say," read in Rutherford, New Jersey, June 1950 MP3 (1:19)
"This is Just to Say," read in Rutherford, New Jersey, August 1950 MP3 (0:21)
"This is Just to Say," read in Van Nuys, California, November 16, 1950 MP3 (0:37)
"This is Just to Say," read at Harvard University, December 4, 1951 MP3 (1:14)
"This is Just to Say," read at Princeton University, March 19, 1952 MP3 (2:11)


link    |  05-07-07

Susan Bee Feature
Geoffrey Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle

The Brooklyn Rail
May 2007


Johanna Drucker

Susan Bee & Johanna Drucker

Segue Series at the Bowery Poetry Club, New York
May 5, 2007
on PennSound

1. MP3 (27:04)
Introduction by Erica Kaufman and Tim Peterson: text of intro
Bee & Drucker read from A Girl's Life

see images of page 5, page 43

2.MP3 (38:34)

Bee shows slides of her work
including Log Rythms, Bed Hangings,
and The Burning Babe (see pp. 1 9 12, 13, 17, 19, 26, 30, 31, & 35)
Drucker reads from From Now

photos by Ch. Bernstein ©2006

   |  05-05-07

Sergei Gandlevsky

Close Listening
readings and conversations
produced in cooperation with WPS1.Org

recorded at Studio 111, University of Pennsylvania
March 21, 2007

Program One:
Sergei Gandlevsky in Conversation with Charles Bernstein
also with Eugene Ostashevsky and translations by  Kevin Platt
(54:16): MP3

Program Two: Studio 111 Reading
Gandlevsky reads from A Kindred Orphanhood: Selected Poems of Sergey Gandlevsky, translated by Philip Metres (Zephyr Press, 2006)
(28:05): MP3

 Born in 1952 in Moscow, Gandlevsky was an important figure in underground poetry circles during the 1970's but he was little known across or outside of the U.S.S.R. Since the rise of Soviet underground poetry to public prominence in the late 1980's, however, Gandlevsky has come to be considered one of Russia's leading living poets. He was awarded both the Little Booker Prize and the Anti-Booker prize in 1996 for his collection of poetry Trepanation of the Skull. He is the author of many books of poems, a memoir and a collection of essays. He will be reading from his new book from Zephyr press, A KINDRED ORPHANHOOD, translated by Philip Metres.

link    |  05-04-07

The “Eye” and the “Company”: Robert Creeley’s Collaborations, 1953-2004
(on-line doctoral thesis in French)
Thèse de doctorat d’Études anglophones
Faculté des Langues
Département d’Études anglophones
Centre d’Études et de Recherches Anglaises et Nord-Américaines
Université Lumière-Lyon 2, France
8 December 2006


John Cage on
"What's My Line"
(video clip):
c/o WMFU

link    |  05-03-07

Douglas Dunn, choreographer
Mimi Gross, costumes
presented last week at Dance Theater Workshop in New York
photos © 2007 by Holly Fisher

link    |  05-02-07

photos: Curnow by Bernstein, 2006 / Kuszai by Lungfill/Lorber

Saatchi & Saatchi and the Segue Foundation
present a reading by
Wystan Curnow & Joel Kuszai
introduced by Charles Bernstein
Tuesday, May 8
6.30 reception
7.00pm reading

Saatchi & Saatchi HQ
375 Hudson St. (at Houston St.), New York
Admission free
Rsvp: Morganne.davies@saatchiny.com
or (212) 463-3227
Wystan Curnow is a well-known New Zealand poet and critic. Modern Colours, Jackbooks, 2005,  is his most recent book of poetry. His essay on Ron Silliman and On Kawara, “Autobiography: does it have a future?” appeared in the journal Reading Room earlier this year. With Leigh Davis he edited Te Tangi a te Matui, Jackbooks, 1991, which reflects on the legacy of the ‘ terrorist’ Maori chief and poet Te Kooti. He has curated many exhibitions, including Under Capricorn/The World Over, for the Stedelijk Museum, Amsteradam,  I Will Need Words, Colin McCahon’s Word and Number Paintings for the Sydney Biennale, and most recently a survey of Max Gimblett’s paintings, The Brush of All Things, for the Auckland Art Gallery. He is co-director of Jar Space, and teaches poetry and creative writing at the University of Auckland.
Joel Kuszai is a prolific and innovative publisher, editor and poet. In the 1990s his Meow Press published more than 60 chapbooks. Following a stint as moderator, he edited a compilation from the archives of the Buffalo Poetics List, Poetics@, Roof, 1999. He is co-founder of the ‘learning and production collective’ Factory School, now based in New York. Since 2005 he has edited its ‘Southpaw Culture’ book series which reflects his interest in radical poetics, libertarian anarchist thought and alternative/utopian approaches to education. He is the author of A Miscellany and other chapbooks, and teaches at Queensborough, CUNY.

Wytan Curnow, Modern Colours on PEPC
link    |  04-31-07


the hypertext index

thanks to Craig Dworkin and Eclipse

Acker, Kathy [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10]
Agosti, Stefano [Vol. III, No. 12]
Albiach, Anne-Marie [Vol. I, No. 3]
Amirkhanian, Charles [Vol. III, No. 13]
Andre, Carl [Vol. I, No. 6]
Andre, Michael [Vol. III, No. 11]
Andrews, Bruce [Vol. I, No. 1] [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. I, No. 3] [Vol. I, No. 3] [Vol. I, No. 4] [Vol. I, No. 4] [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. I, No. 6] [Vol. II, No. 8] [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 12] [Supp. 1] [Supp. 3]
Arakawa, Shusaku [Vol. III, No. 11]
Armantrout, Rae [Vol. I, No. 1] [Vol. I, No. 6] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 13]
Ashbery, John [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 12]
Ballerini, Luigi [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 12]
Baracks, Barbara [Vol. I, No. 2]
Barelli, Renato
Barg, Barbara [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10]
Barnett, Anthony [Vol. III, No. 11]
Barthes, Roland [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. I, No. 6] [Vol. III, No. 12] [Vol. III, No. 12]
Baudelaire, Charles [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10]
Baudrillard, Jean
Beausoleil, Beau [Vol. III, No. 11]
Beckett, Tom [Vol. III, No. 13]
Benedetti, David [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 13],
Benjamin, Walter [Vol. I, No. 6]
Benson, Steve [Vol. I, No. 6] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. II, No. 8] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11]
Bergland, Brita [Vol. III, No. 13]
Berkson, Bill [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. III, No. 11]
Bernstein, Charles [Vol. I, No. 1] [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. I, No. 3] [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. I, No. 6] [Vol. II, No. 8] [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 13] [Supp. 1] [Supp. 3] [Supp. 3]
Bijou, Rachelle [Vol. III, No. 11]
Blanchot, Maurice [Vol. III, No. 13]
Boone, Bruce [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10] [Vol. III, No. 11]
Brainard, Joe [Vol. III, No. 11]
Bromige, David [Vol. I, No. 1] [Vol. II, No. 8] [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 12]
Buck, Paul [Vol. III, No. 11]
Bullock, Ken [Vol. III, No. 11]
Bunting, Basil [Vol. I, No. 5]
Burns, Gerald [Vol. III, No. 13]
Burnside, Madeleine [Vol. II, No. 8] [Vol. III, No. 11]
Byrd, Don [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10] [Vol. III, No. 12]
Cage, John [Vol. I, No. 3] [Vol. I, No. 3]
Cavell, Stanley [Vol. II, No. 8] [Vol. III, No. 11]
Cheek, Cris [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10] [Supp. 2]
Child, Abigail [Vol. I, No. 3] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 13]
Chincer, Mark [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10]
Chiray, Shahin [Vol. I, No. 1]
Clark, Thomas A. [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. III, No. 11]
Cobbing, Bob [Vol. III, No. 12]
Cook, Geoffery [Vol. I, No. 5]
Coolidge, Clark [Vol. I, No. 1] [Vol. II, No. 8] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 12] [Vol. III, No. 12]
Corbett, William [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11]
Creeley, Robert [Vol. II, No. 7]
Crosby, Harry [Vol. I, No. 3]
Darragh, Tina [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11]
Davidson, Michael [Vol. I, No. 6] [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10]
Davies, Alan [Vol. I, No. 1] [Vol. I, No. 4] [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. II, No. 8] [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 12] [Vol. III, No. 13]
Davis, Lydia [Vol. III, No. 13]
de Campos, Augusto
Dewdney, Christopher [Vol. I, No. 4] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 12]
DiPalma, Ray [Vol. I, No. 3] [Vol. I, No. 3] [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. II, No. 8] [Supp. 1]
Dlugos, Tim [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11]
Drucker, Johanna [Vol. I, No. 1] [Vol. III, No. 12]
Dreyer, Lynne [Vol. II, No. 8] [Vol. II, No. 8] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 13]
Duchamp, Marcel [Vol. I, No. 3]
Dunn, Douglas [Vol. I, No. 4]
Eagleton, Terry [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10]
E.C.D.C., [Vol. III, No. 11]
Edwards, Ken [Vol. III, No. 13]
Eigner, Larry [Vol. I, No. 1] [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. I, No. 6] [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11]
Einzig, Barbara [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11].
Ensslin, John [Vol. I, No. 4]
Essary, Loris [Vol. I, No. 3] [Vol. I, No. 3] [Vol. I, No. 4]
Faville, Curtis [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. III, No. 12]
Fawcett, Brian [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10] [Vol. III, No. 13]
Fisher, Allen [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 13]
Foreman, Richard [Vol. I, No. 4]
Fraccaro, Steve [Vol. II, No. 7]
Fredman, Stephen [Vol. I, No. 4]
Friedman, Ed [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11]
Fujii, Hiromi
Garelli, Jacques [Vol. III, No. 12]
Gins, Madeleine [Vol. III, No. 11]
Gitin, David [Vol. III, No. 11]
GlŸck, Robert [Vol. III, No. 11]
Gold, Artie [Vol. III, No. 11]
Gottlieb, Michael [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. I, No. 4] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 13]
Graffi, Milli [Vol. II, No. 8]
Green, Paul [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 13]
Greenwald, Ted [Vol. I, No. 1] [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. III, No. 13]
Grenier, Robert [Vol. I, No. 4] [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. I, No. 6] [Vol. II, No. 8] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 13] [Vol. III, No. 13]
Hamilton, Steve [Vol. III, No. 11]
Harryman, Carla [Vol. III, No. 13]
Heidegger, Martin
Heidsieck, Bernard
Heissenbüttel, Helmut [Vol. I, No. 2]
Hejinian, Lyn [Vol. I, No. 3] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. II, No. 8] [Vol. II, No. 8] [Vol. II, No. 8] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 13]
Hemensley, Kris [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11]
Higgins, Dick [Vol. I, No. 1] [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. I, No. 6] [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10]
Hills, Henry [Vol. III, No. 11]
Hollo, Anselm [Vol. III, No. 12]
Holman, Bob [Vol. III, No. 11]
Howe, Susan [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. III, No. 12] [Vol. III, No. 13] [Supp. 3]
Inman, P. [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 12]
Jackson, Laura (Riding) [Vol. I, No. 2]
Jameson, Fredric [Vol. I, No. 4]
Jeffers, Lance [Vol. III, No. 11]
Johnson, Ronald [Vol. I, No. 1] [Vol. I, No. 4] [Vol. I, No. 5]
Kearney, Lawrence [Vol. III, No. 13]
Kelly, Andrew [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 13]
Kelly, Robert [Vol. II, No. 8] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11]
Kempton, Karl [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11]
Khlebnikov, Velimir [Vol. III, No. 11]
Korzeniowsky, Carole [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. I, No. 5]
Kuenstler, Frank [Vol. III, No. 13]
Lally, Michael [Vol. I, No. 1] [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. II, No. 8] [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11]
Lang, Doug [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11]
Lansing, Gerrit [Vol. II, No. 7]
LaPorte, Roger [Vol. III, No. 13]
Laufer, Susan B. [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. I, No. 6] [Vol. II, No. 7]
Lenhart, Gary [Vol. III, No. 11]
Leo, John [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10]
Lond, Flarley [Vol. II, No. 7]
Londier, Fred [Vol. III, No. 12]
Luinelli, Angelo [Vol. III, No. 12]
Mac Low, Jackson [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. I, No. 6] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. II, No. 8] [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10] [Vol. III, No. 13]
Malone, Kirby [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 13]
Mandel, Tom [Vol. II, No. 7]
Mason, Chris [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10] [Vol. III, No. 13]
Masters, Gregory [Vol. III, No. 11]
Mayer, Bernadette [Vol. I, No. 3] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. III, No. 13]
Mayer, Peter [Vol. I, No. 4]
McCaffery, Steve [Vol. I, No. 1] [Vol. I, No. 3] [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. I, No. 6] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10] [Vol. III, No. 13] [Supp. 1] [Supp. 1]
McNaughton, Duncan [Vol. III, No. 11]
Melnick, David [Vol. I, No. 1] [Vol. I, No. 1]
Mengham, Rod [Vol. I, No. 6] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 12]
Messerli, Douglas [Vol. I, No. 3] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. II, No. 7]
Meyer, Thomas [Vol. III, No. 11]
Milazzo, Richard [Vol. III, No. 11]
Moholy-Nagy, Lazslo [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. I, No. 4]
Mottram, Eric [Vol. I, No. 4]
Niccolai, Giulia [Vol. III, No. 11]
Niedecker, Lorine [Vol. III, No. 11]
Noël, Bernard [Vol. II, No. 7]
North, Charles [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 12]
Olson, Charles [Vol. III, No. 12]
Owen, Maureen [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 13]
Padgett, Ron [Vol. III, No. 13]
Palmer, Michael [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10]
Patchen, Kenneth [Vol. III, No. 11]
Pearson, Ted [Vol. I, No. 3] [Vol. I, No. 5]
Perelman, Bob [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. I, No. 6] [Vol. II, No. 8] [Vol. III, No. 11]
Perlman, John [Vol. I, No. 2]
Piombino, Nick [Vol. I, No. 1] [Vol. I, No. 3] [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. II, No. 8] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 13]
Porta, Antonio [Vol. III, No. 12]
Prince, F.T. [Vol. III, No. 11]
Pryor, William [Vol. III, No. 13]
Quatrale, Donald [Vol. I, No. 2]
Rakoff, Robert [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10]
Rasula, Jed [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. I, No. 6] [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10]
Raworth, Tom [Vol. I, No. 6] [Vol. I, No. 6] [Vol. III, No. 12]
Reese, Marshall [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 12] [Vol. III, No. 13]
Robinson, Kit [Vol. I, No. 1] [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. III, No. 11]
Robson, Ernest [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. I, No. 3]
Rothenberg, Jerome [Vol. I, No. 1] [Vol. II, No. 8]
Royet-Journoud, Claude [Vol. III, No. 12].
Ruscha, Ed [Vol. II, No. 7]
Sahlins, Marshall [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10]
Schjeldahl, Peter [Vol. III, No. 13]
Scholnick, Michael [Vol. III, No. 11]
Schuyler, James [Vol. III, No. 12]
Seaton, Peter [Vol. I, No. 3] [Vol. I, No. 6] [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 13]
Severini, Gino [Vol. III, No. 13] [Vol. III, No. 13]
Sher, Gail [Vol. III, No. 11]
Sherry, James [Vol. I, No. 1] [Vol. I, No. 3] [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11]
Sherry, Lee [Vol. III, No. 12]
Silliman, Ron [Vol. I, No. 1] [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. I, No. 4] [Vol. I, No. 4] [Vol. I, No. 4] [Vol. I, No. 4] [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. I, No. 6] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. II, No. 8] [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10] [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 13] [Vol. III, No. 13] [Supp. 1] [Supp. 3]
Sondheim, Alan [Vol. I, No. 3] [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10]
Spatola, Adriano
Stein, Gertrude [Vol. I, No. 6]
Tabor, Richard [Supp. 2]
Taggart, John [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. I, No. 3] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 11]
The No One [Vol. III, No. 11]
Thomas, Lorenzo [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10] [Vol. III, No. 11]
Timko, Joseph [Vol. I, No. 4] [Vol. II, No. 7] [Vol. III, No. 12]
Timmons, Susie [Vol. III, No. 11]
Tinker, Allan [Vol. III, No. 13]
Tolson, Michael Frederick [Vol. I, No. 3] [Vol. I, No. 4]
Trotter, David [Vol. III, No. 12]
Vattimo, Gianni
Waldrop, Keith [Vol. I, No. 3]
Waldrop, Rosmarie [Vol. I, No. 3] [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. III, No. 11]
Ward, Diane [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 13]
Ward, Geoffrey [Vol. III, No. 11]
Watson, Craig [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. I, No. 6] [Vol. III, No. 12]
Watten, Barrett [Vol. I, No. 1] [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. I, No. 2] [Vol. I, No. 4] [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10] [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 12]
Weiner, Hannah [Vol. I, No. 1] [Vol. I, No. 5] [Vol. II, Nos. 9-10] [Vol. III, No. 11]
Weiner, Lawrence [Vol. I, No. 1]
Welt, Bernard [Vol. I, No. 6]
Wendt, Larry [Vol. III, No. 11] [Vol. III, No. 13]
Wieners, John [Vol. I, No. 1]
Wilkinson, John [Vol. III, No. 12]
Wittgenstein, Ludwig [Vol. II, No. 8] [Vol. III, No. 11]
Women Writers Union [Vol. III, No. 13]
Young, Karl [Vol. III, No. 12]
Zukofsky, Louis [Vol. I, No. 4] [Vol. I, No. 4] [Vol. II, No. 8]

NOTE: blanks are from Vol. 4 that has not been indexed


link    |  04-30-07

link    |  04-29-07

James at home

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James Sherry
James moved to his loft on the Bowery (at Houston) about 30 years ago. At the time, it was still skid row. Roof books and Segue Distributing were run out  of the space and from time to time we had readings there too. And our first local talk series, "New York Talks," which I curated in 1984.
November 12, 2006
(31 seconds, 5.1 mb)

link    |  04-28-07

"Thank You For Saying Thank You"
(from Girly Man)
translated into Icelandic
Eiríkur Örn Norðda

Þetta er fullkomlega
aðgengilegt ljóð.
Það er ekkert
í þessu ljóði
sem á nokkurn
hátt er erfitt
að skilja.
Öll orðin
eru einföld &
hitta í mark.
Hér eru engin ný
hugtök, engar
kenningar, engar
hugmyndir til að rugla
í þér. Það eru engir
intelektúal-stælar í
þessu ljóði. Þetta er
hreint tilfinningaljóð.
Það tjáir að fullu
leyti tilfinningar
höfundarins: mínar tilfinningar,
manneskjunnar sem talar
við þig núna.
Þetta snýst allt um
Frá einu hjarta til annars.
Þetta ljóð metur
& virðir þig mikils sem
lesanda. Það
fagnar sigri
innan um gryfjur &
hörmungar. Í
þessu ljóði
eru 90 línur,
269 orð, og
fleiri atkvæði en
ég hef tíma til þess að
telja. Hver lína, hvert
orð, & hvert atkvæði
var valið til að
tjá einvörðungu
hina ætluðu meiningu
& ekkert umfram hana.
Þetta ljóð tjáir ekkert
óskýrt eða torráðið.
Hér er ekkert
hulið. Hundrað
lesendur myndu allir
lesa ljóðið
nákvæmlega eins &
fá út úr því
sömu skilaboðin. Þetta
ljóð, eins og öll
góð ljóð, segir
sögu án krókaleiða
svo lesandinn þarf aldrei
að giska í eyðurnar. Þó á
stundum tjái það
biturð, reiði,
gremju, útlendingahræðslu
& vott af kynþáttahatri, er
ráðandi andrúmsloft þess
jákvætt. Það finnur
gleði jafnvel í
þessum fyrirlitlegu
lífsins sem
það deilir með
þér. Þetta ljóð
er fulltrúi vonarinnar
um ljóðlist
sem snýr ekki
baki sínu við
áhorfendum, sem
telur sig ekki
betri en lesandann,
sem hefur helgað sig
ljóðlistinni sem
vinsælli afþreyingu, eins og
flugdrekaflugi og flugu-
veiðum. Þetta ljóð
tilheyrir engum
skóla, hlýðir engum
kreddum. Það fylgir
engri tísku. Það
segir bara það sem
það segir. Það er

Charles Bernstein
Þýðing: Eiríkur Örn Norðda


link    |  04-26-07-PM


Incident at Wal-Mart, or Where's My Daughter (1999)
with Charles Bernstein

A Film by Lara Odell (8:02)
download mp4

link    |  04-26-07

New York Spring Readings

Saturday, April 28, 4-6pm
Tenney Nathanson
Charles Bernstein
Segue at Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery (Bleecker/Houston)

Saturday, May 5, 3:45-4:45pm
Susan Bee
Johanna Drucker
showing slides & reading
their text/image collaborations
Segue at Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery (Bleecker/Houston)

Tuesday, May 8, 6:30pm
Wystan Curnow & Joel Kuszai
introduced by Charles Bernstein
co-sponsored by Segue
at Saatchi & Saatchi, 375 Hudson St (at Houston)
Admission free — refreshments will be served

Wednesday, May 9, 8pm
Granary Books: Poets & Painters
John Yau & Archie Rand, Johanna Drucker, Larry Fagin & Trevor Winkfield, Charles Bernstein & Susan Bee, Anne Waldman, Ron Padgett, Julie Harrison, Steve Clay,
& others
Poetry Project
St Marks Church, 10th Street @ Second Ave.

Wednesday, May 16, 8pm
Tracie Morris
Charles Bernstein
Poetry Project
St Marks Church, 10th Street @ Second Ave.

link    |  04-22-07

photo: © Ch. Bernstein, 2006

My preface to
Jerome Rothenberg's Triptych
forthcoming in two weeks from New Directions
is in the April Brooklyn Rail


This material will appear as a preface to Triptych. Imre Kertesz’s quotation appeared in the Hungarian weekly Elet es Irodalom (8/28/06), and was translated by Reka Safrany for Sign and Sight (signandsight.com)

text is from The Brooklyn Rail April 2007

Rothenberg at PennSound Rothenberg at EPC

link    |  04-21-07

CAConrad, hassen, Jenn McCreary
have organized a poetry auction
to help cover the cost of Philadelphia poet Frank Sherlock's
crisis medical care

the site is worth looking at just for the manuscripts scanned
& you make bids till May 13.

Here's mine:

& here's Kevin Killian's

link    |  04-18-07

cover image: Susan Bee

Two MP3s of poems from The Sophist
read at the Bowery Poetry Club in 2004:
From "Entitlement"
Dysraphism (9:19)

The first 20 pages of the book
Ron Silliman's introduction
"The Simply," "Entitlement," "Fear and Trespass" and "The Voyage of Life"


"Thank You for Saying Thank You"
from Girly Man
recorded at the Boston Marathon in 2003
broadcast April 7, 2007 on
Weekend America
(on American Public Media)
(poem text and audio)

"Thank You for Saying Thank You," Columbia University, 2001

link    |  04-17-07

International Symposium
April 12, 13 and 14, 2007
Texas A &M University
College Station, Texas
full schedule


The Boston Review
features a review
of the Juliana Spahr / Joan Retallack
Poetry and Pedagogy


David Smith,
Centennial Retrospective Exhibition Catalog
(Paris: Centre Pompidou, 2006)
This French version of the catalog features a long essay on Smith by Dominique Fourcade, who was instrumental in organizing this show (which originated at the Guggenheim in New York). Smith’s mid-century thin-line, sculptures, so much like air drawings, look remarkably fresh in the catalog photos, in some ways better than the looking at originals. In his essay, Fourcade notes the connection to Apollinaire’s desire for what we might now call negative space – “un statue en rien, en vide, c’est magnifique” [a statue of nothing, of void, this is terrific]. The catalog also features panoramic installation shots at Bolton’s landing, crucial to any understanding of Smith and his approach to sculpture.


David Smith, The Letter (1950)

Welded steel
37 5/8 x 22 7/8 x 9 1/4 in.
(Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, NY
photo by David Smith

Contrasting this to the two other 1950
lettristic works by Smith —
"17 h's" and "24 Greek Y's" both 1950 —
"Letters" is the most specifically framed,
as if a page,
& so most directly connected to Poetry Plastique's
exploration of alphabetic sculpture.


This curious list of drug argot
appears on the site of the
National Institute on Chemical Dependency:
Lexicography via US Government

link    |  04-10-07

You can receive new posts by email.

NEW at PennSound

Ezra Pound
Complete Poetry Recordings

Photo: Franz Larese, Erker-Galerie, Easter 1971, Burano, Italy

Ezra Pound's Cantos is published by New Directions Publishing Corp
They can be contacted at editorial @ ndbooks.com
or  permissions @ ndbooks.com.

Pound's Poems and Translations is published by the Library of America

PennSound Ezra Pound page edited by Richard Sieburth

who has also provided a detailed essay on the Pound recordings:

The Sound of Pound: A Listener's Guide
by Richard Sieburth

link    |  04-08-07

I am happy to announce the PEPC
publication of

Surrealism Meets Kabbalah: The Place of Semina in Mid-Century California Poetry and Art
Stephen Fredman

some excerpts from Fredman's essay and related images:

Fig. 3. Untitled (Multi-color shuffle), 1967, Wallace Berman, Color Verifax collage, 13 x 14 inches. Courtesy Wallace Berman Estate.

Of all the forms of magic outlined in Kurt Seligmann’s History of Magic (such as astrology, numerology, divination, casting of spells, mortuary magic, alchemy, Kabbalah, Tarot, witchcraft, and black magic), Kabbalah appeals most directly to poets because it is a kind of alchemy that engages with the basic materials of writing: the word, the letter, and the book. In Kabbalah all of the levels of occult “work”—magical practice, meditation and contemplation techniques, visionary excursions, and spiritual and psychological self-transformation—can be found, as they would be in any esoteric system, but all derive from investigations of language and writing. Kabbalah made its way into the Semina circle primarily through the advocacy of Robert Duncan, who heard it whispered of by his parents at theosophical meetings during his childhood.…

Fig. 20. Robert Duncan, Crater Lane, Wallace Berman, 1962, 11 x 14 inches, Private Collection, Courtesy Wallace Berman Estate.

In Kabbalah, as expounded both in the Zohar and in the earlier Sefer Yetzirah, the letters of the Hebrew alphabet are conceived of as the basic building blocks of the universe. David Meltzer summarizes this notion: “The Yetzirah expresses the concept of God creating the universe through letters which hold the possibility of creation’s entire vocabulary. The world is entered and invented through language rooted in alphabet systems. God translates Himself, condenses into alphabet. To know alphabet is to approach creation’s workings. Within and without are the letters” (Meltzer, “Door,” 93). …

Fig. 5. Untitled, Wallace Berman, 1956-7, Woodstain and ink on parchment, 19 ½ x 19 ½ inches. Collection of Hal Glicksman.

Berman’s employment of aleph [the “one”] not only introduces an “intuitive Kabbalah” that confers blessings upon the most vital facets of his life (Meltzer, “Door,” 100), it also has an elegiac quality by virtue of its use as an iconic element so soon after World War II. Berman grew up in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, where the Hebrew lettering of the Yiddish language was prominent in the windows of shops and in newspapers; invoking that world in the aftermath of the Holocaust draws attention to the death of the Hebrew letter, not only because the Yiddish-speakers of L.A. were dying out but also because the extermination of Jewish culture in Europe had incinerated the letters, both written and spoken, and rendered them ghostly. Like many gestures within his life and art, Berman’s depiction of Hebrew letters on photographs, in assemblages, on parchment, and upon massive stones is fraught with opposing motives: the letters invoke suffering and disappearance while at the same time promising redemption.

text and images from from
Surrealism Meets Kabbalah: The Place of Semina in Mid-Century California Poetry and Art
by Stephen Fredman
PEPC Digital Edition

more on Semina
web log for 3-10-07


April Follies
James Sherry & Deborah Thomas
hosted a gala launch at their New York loft
Nada Gordon's Folly
on April 1, 2007

Nada Gordon, Folly (NY: Roof Books, 2007)
It would be folly to praise this book & folly not to. Nada Gordon is on her way to inventing a new type of poetry in which Pre-Raphaelitism meets Zeppo Marx while doing the hokey pokey to a fox trot beat. Wit and lyric exuberance are a means to an end that refuses to name itself. Trips, trespass, and trepidation rule this universe of hopeful play and endearing insouciance. The world grows dark but here are songs to keep us from losing our own lights.


photos: Ch.Bernstein/2007 2007
link    |  04-02-07
you can receive new posts by email

Elaine Equi launched
RIPPLE EFFECT: New and Selected Poems
(just out from Coffeee House Press)
at Cue Art Foundation in New York
& few of us celebrated after
March 30, 2007

Photo©2007 Star Black

back row: Charles Bernstein, Stephen Paul Miller, Bob Perelman, Bill Zavatsky, Toni Simon, Nick Piombino
middle:  Meredith Walters, Francie Shaw
front: Susan Bee, Elaine Equi, Jerome Sala
Photo by Star Black


link    |  04-01-07


La política de la forma poética
[The Politics of Poetic Form]
translated by  Néstor Cabrera
& Jorge Miralles, Nora Leylen, Beatriz Pérez
with introduction by Néstor Cabrera
La Habana: Torre de Letras, 2006
PEPC Digital Edition 2007

link    |  03-31-07

Myung Mi Kim
on PennSound

©Charles Bernstein/PennSound

link    |  03-29-07

Johanna Printing

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Johanna Drucker
Johanna, Susan, and I were on a Chelsea art walk. When she is at home in Charlottesville, Johanna will sometimes spend hundreds of hours typesetting and printing a book. The results are stunning but it's sometimes hard to take in how labor intensive the work is.
November 4, 2006
(36 seconds, 5.9 mb)

link    |  03-27-07



Poetry and Criticism in the Continuing Present

Jerome McGann

University of Alabama Press
Modern and Contemporary Poetics Series

“A very fine collection. . . .
McGann’s writing will help to
re-situate the reading of contemporary experimental writing within a broader context that includes the writing and thinking of poets such as Blake, Byron, and Shelley.”
—Hank Lazer, author of What Is a Poet? and Days

Jerome McGann argues that contemporary language-oriented writing implies a marked change in the way we think about our poetic tradition on one hand and in the future of criticism on the other.  He focuses on Walter Benjamin and Gertrude Stein as important intellectual resources because both see the history of poetry as a crisis of the present rather than as a legacy of the past. The crisis appears as a poetic deficit in contemporary culture, where values of politics and morality are judged prima facie more important than aesthetic values. McGann argues for the fundamental relevance of the aesthetic dimension and the contemporary relevance of cultural works of the past. 

The Point Is To Change It explores alternative critical methods and provides a powerful call to reinvent our modes of investigation in order to escape the limitations of our inherited academic models.


The Argument
Foreword: The Privilege of Historical Backwardness
1. Philological Investigations (written 2005)

Part I. It Must Be Abstract.
2. Truth in the Body of Falsehood (written 1985-1987)
3. The Alphabet, Spelt from Silliman’s Leaves (written 1989-1990)
4. The Apparatus of Loss: Bruce Andrews Writing (written 1995-1996)

Part II. It Must Change.
5. Art and Error, with Special Thanks to the Poetry of Robert Duncan (written 1996)
6. Private Enigmas and Critical Functions, with Special Thanks to the Poetry of Charles Bernstein (written 1990-1991)
Appendix to Chapter 6: “The Simply” (written 1991)
7. From Sight to Shenandoah (written 1996)

Part III. It Must Give Pleasure
8. Marxism, Romanticism, Postmodernism: An American Case History
(written 1987-1989)
9. Looney Tunes and Unheard Melodies: An Oulipian Colonescapade,
with a Critique of 'The Great-Ape Love Song Corpus' and its Lexicon. (written 2003)

Part IV. Continuing Present
10. The Evidence of Things Not Seen. A Play. (written 2005)
11. IVANHOE. A Playful Portrait (written 2005)

Modernity and Complicity. A Conversation with Johanna Drucker (written 2004)



To order, mail this form to: University of Alabama Press, Chicago Distribution Center, 11030 S. Langley, Chicago, IL 60628
Or, fax to: 773-702-7212
Or, call: 773-702-7000

The Point Is To Change It (paperback, ISBN 0817354085): $32.95

The Point (unjacketed cloth, ISBN 0817315519): $60.00

link    |  03-25-07

Speech-to-Text Alignment:
A PennSound project
under construction
James J. Fiumara

Sample text:
"If I Told Him: A Completed Portrait of Picasso"

Speech to text alignment is a process of creating a correspondence between a speech-unit and a text-unit (i.e., a segment of audio is linked to a segment of text) which is then indexed allowing a user to listen to the speech sound that corresponds to a word, an utterance, a sentence, or other granularity. A corpus of aligned speech and text can be used to test and develop automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems and multimedia language learning systems, and for various linguistic research (e.g., phonetics, speech synthesis). The Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC) develops and distributes speech-to-text aligned databases to the research community often created with the assistance of a tool called Transcriber.

Although not specifically designed for poetic and literary uses, the Transcriber tool was used to align the text of Gertrude Stein’s “If I Told Him: A Completed Portrait of Picasso” with an audio recording of the poet reading her work. The use of language technology as a tool to assist in the analysis or teaching of poetry and prose literature is only beginning to be explored. At minimum, a speech-text aligned poem can provide a more layered experience for a reader-listener allowing easy access to both the text of a poem and the corresponding spoken rendition of a poem. Here poetry as sound takes its proper place along with the poem as a textual object. An easy-to-use interface providing simultane





ous access to the text and audio of a poem could also prove to be pedagogically useful in a classroom.

The most challenging task in aligning a work of poetry is deciding on the granularity of the alignment. Should the correspondence between sound and text occur by textual line breaks or stanzas? Or perhaps the correspondence should follow the audio performance using breath pauses? Additionally, how does one segment a more modernist or abstract poem like Stein’s where line or stanza breaks are not obvious and without losing the necessary poetic force of repetitions and rhythms within the poem? Segmenting and aligning a poem becomes a creative and interpretative act in itself.

This project is a work in progress. In time, we plan to update the webpage with such elements as embedded streaming audio clips, metadata, and a more aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly design. This project was created in collaboration with the Linguistic Data Consortium. Special thanks to Chris Cieri and Shawn Medero for their advice and assistance.

Contact information: James J. Fiumara (email: jfiumara  AT english   upenn  edu)

link    |  03-21-07

Ted Greenwald
photo: Ch.Bernstein/2007

Almost 20 years ago, Ted interviewed me for a series he was
running in the Poetry Project Newsletter

by Ted Greenwald
originally published in the Poetry Project Newsletter April/ May 1988

Greenwald on PennSound

link    |  03-20-07

link    |  03-19-07


Hannah Weiner’s Open House

Edited and with an introduction by Patrick F. Durgin. 

ISBN 0-9767364-1-1

Order from SPD

or your local independent bookstore

This is a magnificent tribute to the enduring work of Hannah Weiner.
All of Hannah's friends will I am sure join me in thanking
Patrick Durgin for editing and publishing this book.

From the publisher's announcement:

Hannah Weiner’s influence extends from the sixties New York avant-garde, where she was part of an unprecedented confluence of poets, performance and visual artists including Phillip Glass, Andy Warhol, Carolee Schneeman, John Perrault, David Antin, and Bernadette Mayer. Like fellow-traveler Jackson Mac Low, she became an important part of the Language movement of the 70s and 80s, and her influence can be seen today in the so-called “New Narrative” work stemming from the San Francisco Bay Area.  With other posthumous publications of late, her work is being discussed by scholars in feminist studies, poetics, and disability studies. But there does not yet exist a representative selection spanning her decades of poetic output. Hannah Weiner’s Open House aims to remedy this with previously uncollected (and mostly never-published) work, including performance texts, early New York School influenced lyric poems, odes and remembrances to / of Mac Low and Ted Berrigan, and later “clair-style” works. 

Hannah Weiner's Open House beckons us into a realm of poetry that bends consciousness in order to open the doors of perception. Weiner is one of the great American linguistic inventors of the last thirty years of the 20th century. She created an alchemical poetry that transforms the materials of everyday life into a dimension beyond sensory perception. The pieces collected here are as much conceptual art as sprung prose, experimental mysticism as social realism, autobiography as egoless alyric. Patrick Durgin has brought together touchstone works, some familiar and some never before published. Hannah Weiner's Open House provides the only single volume introduction to the full range of Weiner's vibrant, enthralling, and unique contribution to the poetry of the Americas.
—Charles Bernstein

Hannah Weiner's syncopated patterning uncovers a conversation so thrilling that I never want it to end. As Frank OHara had earlier shifted the stable lyric self into a multiplicity of positions (I dont know what bloods in me), Weiner began in overdrive and rocketed outward, inhabiting texts and communities with the same skill with which she herself was inhabited. I was also a pillow/ case, she wrote, in Spoke (1984). I was in the closet I was an iron [ . . .] I was also sentence. Weiner makes haunting both spooky and hilarious. Messages billboard across the page, words bleed, leap and wilt. Superscription and subscription join forces to destroy the hegemony of the poetic line, opening it up to pure energy.
—Dodie Bellamy

Hannah Weiner's work, so lovingly presented here, brought her into the exploration of new ways & means for making poetry a process by which she would have left her mark under any circumstances on avant-garde poetics & practice. The still more remarkable change in her later work came, spontaneously, with the onset of an experience, an ongoing alteration of perception in which visible words entered her field of vision as cause of wonder & as messages to be included in the poems that followed. If her art both early & late insures her standing within the twentieth-century avant-garde, it connects her as well to the experience & writings of many traditional poet-mystics (clairvoyants in her word for them & for herself). It is, when taken as a whole, an achievement without precedent or comparison among her sometimes better-known contemporaries.
—Jerome Rothenberg

Poet and visionary, Hannah Weiner knit together the worlds of post New York School poetry, performance and art. In the early 70s, she went on a three-week fast and let goof everything, resurfacing with a newly visceral, and visual, relation to letters and words. Exploring the joins between art and life, language and politics, she sought to work in poetic forms that themselves alter consciousness. For Weiner, poetry became a way to intertwine her own experience with that of others, to let more of the world into her art: I continue writing as a collaboration with WORDS I SEE. Rich with previously unpublished works and samples of key works, Hannah Weiner's Open House restores a crucial figure to the present.
—Liz Kotz

Hannah Weiner EPC author page
Weiner PennSound Page

link    |  03-17-07

link    |  03-16-07

NEW @ PennSound

Bern Porter

PennSound Extra

Rebecca Sheehan's introduction to Susan Howe (2007)

link    |  03-13-07


Closes March 31, 2007
New York University
Grey Art Gallery

Semina Culture
focusses on the artist/editor Wallace Berman (1926–1976)
& his LA circle.
The full set of Semina (nine issues from 1955 to 1964) are on display
along with small sets of work
including many collages and assemblages
by, among others —
Jess, Robert Duncan, Bruce Conner, David Meltzer, Jay DeFeo, Diane DiPrima, John Weiner's, George Herms, Cameron, Bobbie Driscoll, Philip Lamantia, Bob Kaufman, Allen Ginsberg, Ray & Bonnie Bremser, Stuart Perkoff, and Lew Welsh.
The poets are mostly represented by broadsides, books, and Berman's portrait photos.
Organized by the Santa Monica Museum of Art and co-curated by Michael Duncan and Kristine McKenna.

There is a catalog, though the most interesting essay, from a poetry point-of-view,
by Stephen Fredman, is, unfortunately, a short version of his
"Surrealism Meets Kabbalah: The Place of Semina in Mid-Century California Poetry and Art"
published in full in American Poetry: Whtiman to Present,
ed. Robert Rehder and Patrick Vincent (Tübingen: Gunter Naraa Verlag, 2006).

Wallace Berman, Untitled (Music) 1974 (letraset)

Jess, detail from Duncan recording cover

Berman's portrait of Jess, detail.

Berman's portrait of Lew Welsh, 1961 (detail)

   |  03-10-07


Rockdrill's series of selected poems on CD
from Birkbeck (UK) —
most recent releases are —
Robert Creeley: 'I Know a Man', poems 1945-1975
Robert Creeley: 'Just in Time', poems 1976-1998
Lee Harwood: 'The Chart Table', poems 1965-2002
Tom Raworth: 'Ace', poems 1966-1979
Tom Raworth: 'Writing', poems 1980-2003
Jerome Rothenberg: 'Sightings', poems 1960-1983
Jerome Rothenberg: 'Seedings', poems 1984-2003

You can order these from Carcanet's web site:
go to the site and put "rockdrill" in the title box

link    |  03-08-07

Caroline's Norwegian Speakin'

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Caroline Bergvall
In June, 2005, I was invited to read at poetry festival in Norway. I couldn't go, but I urged the organizers to invite Caroline, who grew up, at least partly, in Norway, but nobody there (at least among the poets I know) were aware of that. But they sure are now.
November 12, 2006
(32 seconds, 4.3 mb)

link    |  03-07-07

Charles Reznikoff

 on PennSound


link    |  03-04-07

June 6, 1998 at friend June Felter's house, Berkeley, in front of Felter's painting. Photo by June Felter.

Barbara Guest Praise Day - Tribute at The Bowery Poetry Club
October 21, 2006
Lytle Shaw
Lewis Warsh
Marcella Durand
Charles Bernstein
Africa Wayne
Charles North
Erica Kaufman
with special guest Hadley Haden Guest and host Kristin Prevallet.

June 6, 1998 at friend June Felter's house, Berkeley. Photo by June Felter.


Guest Photo Gallery

(includes links to hi-res images)

Guest EPC Page
Guest at PennSound

link    |  03-02-06

I will be reading on Monday,
March 5, 7pm
Downcity Poetry Series
Tazza Cafe
250 Westminster St., Providence, RI


NEW @ PennSound

Susan Howe at the Kelly Writer's House.

Susan Howe at Kelly Writers House



Marjorie Perloff's 2006 MLA Presidential Address

is now available from the MLA:

MP3 download

streaming audio

link    |  02-28-07

Charles North's new book

is just out from
Hanging Loose Press

Charles North has the wry, sparkling wit of a poet who has been around the aesthetic block more than a few times but keeps the trips as fresh as a new morning in an old town.  In Cadenza, he moves in, around, and about everyday life with an improvisatory élan that soon becomes an almost familiar tune, sung to the friend you become every time you lend an ear.  The direction is true North; the vintage just right.

Star Black took these shots of

Some Guys at Cue

at the CUE Foundation reception
for the book
last Friday night

top row: Bill Corbett, Steve Goldleaf, Charles Bernstein, Tom Breidenbach, Paul Violi, Lee Lowenfish, Charles North, Bill Zavatsky, Bob Hershon, Tony Towle
bot. row: Walter Raubicheck, Geoff Brackett, Walter Srebnick, Trevor Winkfield, David Kelley


Violi, Zavatsky, North, Hershon, Towle, Bernstein

photos © 2007 Star Black

link    |  02-27-07


from Reality Street Editions (UK)

from the publisher:
Body of Work brings together for the first time all of Maggie O'Sullivan's solo collections of poetry and visual texts published before her 1993 Reality Street book In the House of the Shaman. These booklets, long out of print, are here presented in facsimile, scanned from the original publications, or in some cases the original mauscripts, together with a selection of previously unpublished works.

My foreword to

Body of Work

is adapted  from a longer essay on O'Sullivan
published in the most recent issue of

Colliderings: O’Sullivan’s Medleyed Verse

Charles Bernstein


Maggie O'Sullivan on PennSound

Author home page

link    |  02-25-07

High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting 1967-1975
February 15 - April 22, 2007

curated by Katie Siegel
in consultation with David Reed

at the National Academy Museum
in New York

great exhibition
not to be missed if in town

a revision of the official history of the period
through a close re-looking at much
too often glossed over —
as interesting for the highlights —
Carolee Schneeman's
fantastic video of her 1967
"body collage"

(in which she coats her body in glue
& affixes paper fragments
(here contextualized as painting )
a great Joan Snyder in the last room

as interesting for the highlights
as for some of the apparently
minor lights
that give the show its glow.

There is an excellent interview
with David Reed and Katie Siegel

in the Feb. Brooklyn Rail

which offers a refreshing
of the significance of the painting in this show
& perhaps also a better entry
into the connections with the new poetry
of that moment. This show is particularly admirable
because it has a social and aesthetic motivation:
it's stakes are the stakes of painting,
not pontification and not the market
& not the endless repetition of the
same skewed art history &
thinner-than-a-dime™ theory
that we see in so many museum collections
I have long admired
David Reed's painting & have felt
a kinship with his work since Susan Bee
& I first met him in the mid-70s
via James Sherry & Mei-mei Berssenbrugge
(all three of whom had gone to Reed,
along with Nina Weiner and Lee Sherry).

David Reed writes:
"Experimental painting was caught in a double bind. Often the people who supported painting had very conservative rules and criteria for what painting should be. Some of these rules and restrictions came from Greenbergian formalism, while others came out of abstract expressionism or geometric abstraction. And then, on the other hand, there were people who took the theoretical stance that nothing at all was possible in painting. As a result, the most innovative work was caught in the middle, attacked from both sides. Of course one of the big problems was that a lot of experimental painting was coming from unexpected sources: African Americans, women, lesbians, gays, and counterculture dropouts. This experimental painting came from people who didn’t fit the traditional profile of what a painter was supposed to be.

...It’s a good time for painting when it is under stress, when it is questioned and doubted, even for social and political reasons. That is when painting has to prove itself, when you get the best work. Hard times are good times for painting."

link    |  02-22-07

In "What Is to Be Done"
— in Jacket's still in-process issue 32 —
Douglas Messerli rakes
Official Verse Culture
over the coals
with the kind of institutional
critique of poetry reviewing practices
that is too rare.


New on PennSound

Flarf Poetry Festival
Brian Kim Stefans
Sueyeun Juliette Lee


Audio OEI
2-CD set
from the Stockholm magazine
with a new introduction by Jesper Olsson


Why Are We in Iraq?

As good an answer as I've seen lately is
Samuel Fuller's 1982 film White Dog
pulled by Paramount before release,
which has a rare showing yesterday
at New York's Film Forum.
The film is an allegory about the irradicable
pathology of racism, which is presented
in the guise of a white German shepherd
trained as an attack dog. Once trained to
hate, can the attack dog ever be cured?
The film starts Kristy McNichol, Paul Winfield and Burl Ives.


New on EPC's Scandinavian portal

Karri Kokko
Shadow Finlandia: An Extract
Translated into English by Leevi Lehto
collage of depressive or otherwise dark or gloomy fragments in Finnish blogs
picked up by the author during Spring and Summer 2005"

link    |  02-21-07

Loss & Beans

Loss Pequeño Glazier
I was back in Buffalo and at one my favorite spots, Ted's Red Hots (the one on Niagara Falls Boulevard). We got to talking about Cuba, which we had visited, together with  Ernesto Livon-Grosman, Johanna Drucker, Susan Bee, and Brad Freeman, in January 2003. Loss met his future wife on that trip. I asked him what he liked to eat in Havana.
June 26, 2006
(1 min., 7.4 mb / mp4 video)

link    |  02-19-07

Marvin Miller as Michael Anthony
in The Millionaire.
Anthony is the narrator of
"Slap Me Five, Mark's History"
in Girly Man

In  today's Philadelphia Inquirer

Thomas Devaney


Girly Man

Girly Man on-line:
images for poems
notes & extensions
on-line poems

link    |  02-18-07

In today's New York Times
Holland Cotter reviews
Women, Art and Intellect

at the Ceres Gallery
& features this image
by Mimi Gross

Cotter ends his review this way:
"Other shows are on the way, and be sure to check out the online journal M/E/A/N/I/N/G. Its new issue, “Feminist Art: A Reassessment” (writing.upenn.edu/pepc/meaning/04), asks many questions about the past, present and future that will surely shape discussion in this feminist year."

Gross's image — “Arlene Raven and Her Artgroup Women” ( oil and oil crayon canvas, 114 x 159".) —also appears  in the issue of M/E/A/N/I/N/G.

link    |  02-16-07

Susan Howe
 Kelly Writers House
University of Pennsylvania

Weds. 2/14 at 6:30
poetry reading

Thursday 2/15 at 6:30
(sponsored by Theorizing)
"What Is This Crackling of Voices in the Mind"
 Edwards, Stevens, Howe

more information:
Susan Howe EPC page
PennSound page


Thom Donovan's "Wild Horse of Fire"
features essays on Howe, among others. Here are a few:


Oh, it’s just queering language. It resists categorizations, clarifications, and excuses, hovering somewhere in the densely-populated nexus between theory and practice, taking names...     These speculative musings are further complicated by the contemporary situation of queer studies, identity, lives, and writing. We all know what queerness is from its history of oppression and struggle, but it is also more than ever a volatile and changing category, a signifier which is coming into prominence in the culture and has potentially more converts than ever before. The lines between the hets and the queers are blurring as some of traditional markers of identity shift: lesbians getting married and settling down to have kids, presumably straight men wearing dresses and expressing identity with a female name or by changing their sex...    In this situation, negotiating the complex processes of performing, passing, critiquing, cruising, camping and being brings the emphasis dramatically onto language itself as material, as a site in which critical negotiations and thinking about queerness are constantly enacted. With this journal I wanted to explore the ways in which language, not just authors, could be queer.


M/E/A/N/I/N/G #4, the Feminist Forum, now available as a pdf

Joan Snyder notebook

link    |  02-14-07

Afterword to
The Holy Forest: Collected Poems of Robin Blaser

Blaser cover

(Revised and Expanded Edition)
Edited by Miriam Nichols, University of California Press, 2006

This piece is being published simultaneously in
The Poetry Project Newsletter
(Feb/March  issue)
Jacket 31

I dwell in Possibility—
A fairer House than Prose—
            — Dickinson

Robin Blaser’s poems are companions on a journey of life, a journey whose goal is not getting someplace else, but, rather, being where you are and who you are – where you is always in the plural.

In the plural might be a good motto for Blaser’s courageous and anti-declamatory poetics, his profound continuation, deep into the darkening heart of contemporary North American poetry, of Emily Dickinson’s core value: “I’m nobody … Are you nobody too?” For Blaser, it is not only nobody but also no mind, or “no” mind, for this is a poetics of negation that dwells in pleats and upon folds. Pleating and folding being Blaser’s latter day, Deleuzian, manner of extending his lifelong project of seriality.

One poem must follow instanter on the next, a next always out of reach until in hand, in mouth, in ear.

Blaser celebrated his 80 birthday on May 14, 2005, just as this book was going into final production.

The present edition, an expanded version of the 1993 coach house press publication of the same name – Blaser’s first collected poems – features a number of poems from the last decade and also includes several significant works not included in the Coach House publication. Most significantly, Blaser has added a recent long poem for Dante to his Great Companion series. This astounding work provides a bridge between Blaser’s poems and critical writings, marking a direct point of contact to the University of California’s companion volume of Blaser’s collected essays.

Blaser’s work constitutes a fundamental part of the fabric of the North American poetry and poetics of “interrogation,” to use his term. Compared to his most immediate contemporaries, Blaser has pursued a different, distinctly refractory, willfully diffuse, course that has led him to be circumspect about publication. As a result, it was almost 40 years from his first poems to the time when The Holy Forest began to emerge as one of the key poetic works of the present. Indeed, Blaser’s lyric collage (what he calls “the art of combinations” in a poem of that title, alluding to Leibnitz) seems today to be remarkably fresh, even while his engagement with (I don’t say commitment to) turbulence and turbulent thought seems ever more pressingly exemplary. Blaser’s work seems to me more a part of the future of poetry than the past.

Blaser’s poems and essays insist on the necessity of thinking through analogy and resemblance – that is, thinking serially so as to move beyond the epistemological limits of positivism and self-expression. At the same time, Blaser has committed his work to everywhere affirming the value of human diversity, understood not only as sexual or ethnic difference, but also as the possibility of thinking outside received categories. There are some remarkably powerful and explicit political poems in the volume, notably “Even on Sunday.” But the most radical politics of this work goes beyond any one poem: it is inscribed in the work’s compositional practice. Even as Blaser questions the stable, lyric, expressive “I,” he never abandons the possibility of poetic agency, through his generative recognition of language as social, as the “outside.”

Blaser’s “Great Companions” have now gone into the world of an ever-present no-longer-of-this-life: Jack Spicer, Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley, Charles Olson, of his immediate company; Dante, Nerval, Merleau-Ponty, Deleuze of his Imaginary. The poems of the Holy Forest are points on a map of a cosmos that does not exist in historical terms, that cannot exist, yet that must exist, if we are to make it to a Century 22 that is more than the name of a clothing store. The points form a constellation that we are not quite ready to apprehend but through which we are already formed. We grope and we stumble, but then, out of the blue or black or ultra suede, something unexpected happens: we are ensnared by the encounter.

Form finds us. Form founds us.

Blaser’s Holy Forest is a blaze of allusion without symbols, quotation without appointment. In the forest of language, every tree is a poem, every leaf a word. The poet sings the songs of night, jumping, from branch to branch, to a syncopated beat; never, ever, finding home. “To wit – to woo – to wound – ,” Blaser writes in “Oh!,” one of his late, short, I want to call them anti-lyrics.

Citation, citation everywhere: the utter prism of his care.

No other moment exists but this one.

This one.

This one.

The Holy Forest is wholly secular, for only the secular allows the promise of an end to what Blake knew as the Totalizing Oppression of Morality. (“We have paid far too much in terror,” Blaser writes in a note to his Dante poem, “for our totalities.”) Each line of The Holy Forest is a glimpse into the unknown, each poem a new way of entering the holiness of the everyday. The frames are restless: no conclusion nor solution, the only resolution the necessity to go on. “We enter a territory without totalities where poetic practice is our stake and necessity.”

“This World is not conclusion / A sequel stands beyond,” writes Dickinson.

Neither is the poem the end of the poem, nor is the idea of the poem its origin.

The poem is the possibility of possibility.

In his exquisite articulations of the flowers of associational thinking, Blaser has turned knowledge into nowledge, the “wild logos” of the cosmic companionship of the real.


In Res Robin, Nibor Resalb
Inscripsit Mentastrum (XXC)

 Matter over mind or anyway
mattering, muttering, sponge
warp, cup, meld, then again
clutched, shred, shrift. Blister
origins (orangutans) in souped-
up monkey-wrench. Prattling
till the itch in pines becomes
gash (sash) in the pluriverses
of weft & muck (wept). Pleat
as you may, fellow traversers
on the rippled road to hear &
however, ne’er so near.

Charles Bernstein, New York
October 2, 2005

My short review of The Fire, Blaser's collected essays

Blaser at EPC
Blaser at PennSound

link    |  02-10-07

Thomas Fink on Girly Man
at Verse


Philadelphia Inquirer on PennSound


Kelly Writers House
Hart Crane panel
from last week
with Samuel Delany and Brian Reed
now on PennSound


Thanks to Eric Baus
PennSound has now made available
this supplement to Nathaniel Mackey's page:

"Chant des Andoumboulou" ("Song of the Andoumboulou")
Dogon Song, from the album Le Rituel Funeraire (Songs Of The Living - The Funeral Rites)
MP3 (5:29)
Disques Ocora; 
Liner notes by Francois Di Dio  

"The Song of the Andoumboulou is addressed to the spirits. For this reason the initiates, crouching in a circle, sing it in a whisper in the deserted village, and only the howling of the dogs and the wind disturb the silence of the night" -- Di Dio quoted by Nathaniel Mackey in Eroding Witness (p. 31) [Note: Mackey refers to an album titled Les Dogon where the time given for "Chant des Andoumboulou" is two minutes shorter than the MP3 provided here. Perhaps this is a longer sampling of the same piece.]


Eliot David on Steve Clay of Granary Books
at Bookslut
Meanwhile  ...
Granary has a redesigned its website.


Brian Kim Stephans
Sueyeun Juliette Lee

reading at Kelly Writers House
on Jan. 16, 2007
now on PennSound

link    |  02-07-07

Ferneyhough wins 2007 Siemens Prize for Music

Brian Ferneyhough has been awarded the 2007 Ernst von Siemens Prize for Music
( the so-called Nobel Prize for Music).
This award is made to a composer, performer, or scholar
who has made outstanding contributions to the world of music.
It has in the past has been won by Benjamin Britten, Olivier Messiaen,
Pierre Boulez, Eliot Carter, György Ligeti, Luciano Berio, and Karlheinz Stockhausen.
The award will be presented by the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts
during an official ceremony to be held on 3 May 2007 in Munich's Kammerspiele Theater.
(Wikipedia offers a list of recipients)

Here is the press release from the Siemens Foundation:.

Ernst von Siemens Music Prize for 2007 Awarded to Brian Ferneyhough

Born in Coventry on 16 January 1943, the English composer Brian Ferneyhough will receive this year's International Ernst von Siemens Music Prize along with its cash endowment of EUR 200,000. The coveted award will be presented to him by the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts during an official ceremony to be held on 3 May 2007 in Munich's Kammerspiele Theater. The laudatory address will be delivered by Ulrich Mosch of the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basle.

Few composers have so consistently deepened and explored the avant-garde approaches of the 1950s and 1960s as has Brian Ferneyhough in his music and theoretical writings. A student of Lennox Berkeley, Ton de Leeuw, and Klaus Huber, his composition drew acclaim very early in his career. Even the external aspects of his music are almost spectacular in their impact: he has greatly expanded the potential range of instrumental performance and musical notation. His string quartets, almost all of thempremièred by the Arditti Quartet, are among the most difficult in the genre.

Moreover, Ferneyhough has rethought and illuminated the myriad possibilities of manipulating musical material and stretched these possibilities to their limits. In this sense his Time and Motion Studies, dealing as it were with the musician's capacity to perform, almost seems like a declaration of principles. The same can be said of his cycle Carceri d'invenzione after the imaginative engravings of Giovanni Piranesi. The title of this magnum opus, meaning both "inventive prisons" and "prisonsof invention," is typical of the composer in its deliberate ambiguity. Both the narrowness of the work’s precompositional strictures and the explosive force inherent in the music itself became palpable. Thus, what Ferneyhough seeks in his music is transcendence: it ends at a different place from where it began.

Ferneyhough's compositional output has always been protean. Almost every one of his works pursues a freshly posed series of questions. His only opera to date - Shadowtime, premièred at the Munich Biennale in 2004 – takes as its starting point Walter Benjamin's death in 1940 while fleeing from the Nazis, and proceeds to analyze various aspects of his thought. The orchestral work Plötzlichkeit, premièred at Donaueschingen last fall, consists of 111 minuscule sections and again explores previouslyuntried possibilities of formal design.

Ferneyhough has also influenced an entire generation of composers through his teaching activities at the Darmstadt Holiday Courses, at Royaumont in France, in Freiburg, in San Diego, and at Stanford University, where he has taught since 2000. Among his many students are Kaija Saariaho, André Richard, Younghi Pagh-Paan, Brice Pauset, Toshio Hosokawa, and Chaya Czernowin. He is considered a leading figure in the musical current known as the “New Complexity.”


from signandsight.com
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Julia Spinola looks back on the life and career of British composer Brian Ferneyhough, winner of this year's Siemens Music Prize. "In the dense structural jungle of Ferneyhough's compositions one may recognise the experience of the true autodidact; that there is nothing self-evident about art, and that everything must be developed from the ground up. But even stronger than his desire to save sounds by using complex techniques is the impression of a spirit volatilised in a thousand directions. There's also a trace of anarchism in all this, the folly of virtuosity. Ferneyhough pushed this to the extreme in 'Shadowtime', the only opera he's written to date, about the life and thought of German philosopher Walter Benjamin."

link    |  02-07-07

M /E / A/ N /I /N /G

# 4

(February 2007)

Feminist Art:
A Reassessment

Edited by
Susan Bee
Mira Schor

A forum
including writing and images
artists and art historians
from three generations

Irina Aristarkhova, Susan Bee, Emma Bee Bernstein,
Johanna Burton, Ingrid Calame, Maura Coughlin,
Bailey Doogan, Johanna Drucker, Carol Duncan,
Mary Beth Edelson, Joanna Frueh, Vanalyne Green,
Mimi Gross, Susanna Heller, Janet Kaplan,
Tom Knechtel, Judith Linhares, Lenore Malen,
Ann McCoy, Adelheid Mers, Robin Mitchell,
Carrie Moyer, Beverly Naidus, Rachel Owens,
Sheila Pepe, Nancy Princenthal, Carolee Schneemann,
Mira Schor, Joan Snyder, Anne Swartz,
Faith Wilding, and Barbara Zucker.


Tuesday, February 6. 7:30PM
Department of English / School of Mass Communications / School of the Arts
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond
An NEH Year Program Funded by the VCU Honors College
Commons Theater
VCU Student Commons (907 Floyd Ave)

Blogging the Humanities

A panel discussion about the role and significance of blogs about art, film, literature, history, philosophy and culture.

I will be on the panel with
Tyler Green
edits and writes Modern Art Notes (artsjournal.com/man), a five-year old visual arts blog. The Wall Street Journal called MAN “the most influential of all visual arts blogs” and Forbes named MAN a “Best of the Web” site.
Dan Cohen
is the Director of Research Projects at the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, where he teaches history and art history. He is also the co-author of Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web.

the next day
Wednesday, Feb. 7
I'll be reading at VCU
Hibbs Building
203 Monroe Park Campus
sponsored by the
Department of English and the MFA Program in Creative Writing

link    |  02-04-07

Call for Papers

The Poetry of the Americas

April 12, 13 and 14, 2007

An International Symposium on recent trends in Hispanic poetry; new directions in criticism on poetry; and the relationship between Hispanic and American poetry

Keynote Speaker
Distinguished Scholar
President of the MLA

Charles Bernstein

PARTICIPANTS: Carlos Germán Belli, Christopher Domínguez-Michael, Enrique Fierro, Loren Goodman, Samuel Gordon, Jorge Guitart, Asunción Horno-Delgado, Jill S. Kuhnheim, José Kozer, Vicente Molina-Foix, Delfina Muschietti, María Rosa Olivera-Williams, Armando Romero, Fernando Rosemberg, Carmen Ruiz-Barrionuevo, Randolph L. Pope, Jacobo Sefamí , Ida Vitale

Send an abstract and the title of your presentation before February 20th 2007 to Professor Eduardo Espina (edespina@yahoo.com).
A volume of selected best papers will be published.




link    |  02-03-07-PM

Norman Fischer

photo: © 2007 Charles Bernstein/PennSound

Close Listening
WPS1 Reading and Conversation. January 5, 2006

link    |  02-03-07

Leslie Loses Her Breath

Leslie Scalapino
Leslie was in New York for the Poetry Project panels on her work. She came by our place for lox & bagels. I asked her about the time she literally lost her breath in Tibet.
November 12, 2006
(video mp4, 48 seconds, 7.8 mb)


link    |  01-31-07

Robert Pinsky writes on Girly Man
in his "Poet's Choice" column
in today's Washington Post


Susan Bee's and Jerome Rothenberg's
The Burning Babe
from Granary Books
is one of many collaborations featured in
Your New Face: Poet/Artist Collaborations
Selected by Vincent Katz
in the new Big Bridge.
Here's one page of Kathleen Fraser and Hermine Ford
(which should be side-to-side!):


Kenneth Goldsmith does a fine
job discussing
Conceptual Poetics
at PoetryFoundation.Org

My selection of some Robert Creeley poems

with short commentaries
is also up at the site

& check out, also, PennSound's
William Carlos Williams page editor
Richard Swigg talking about
the WCW sound recordings

on the podcast.


A fascinating
two-part retrospective

of the publishing work of Karl Young
is featured in Big Bridge,
along with detailed commentaries by Young.


On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, we had at Penn
a celebration of Hart Crane, on the occasion of the stellar
Library of America Complete Poems and Selected Letters,
edited by Langdon Hammer. Samuel Delany and
Brian Reed gave illuminating talks on the poet. Delany
returned to the site of  "The Bridge," emphasizing, as he
does in his great Crane essay in Longer Views, Crane's poetics of
transient encounter (cruising on the bridge becomes an interactional
model for poetics). According to Delany, Crane
ultimately creates an entirely artifactual,
or synthetic, language. Reed is a lucid and engaging speaker,
whose book on Crane, After These Lights, is a model for
poetry scholarship. He talked about Crane's "ill-sutured"
connections between highly polished poetic sections, suggesting
that Crane had created a collage poetry of all highlights;
in other words, a poetry of resonating high intensity without
beginning or end; a poetry of all "bridges."
The night before Thomas McEvilley was visiting and he wondered
about the relation of Crane's iambic pentameter metrics to his
deep affiliation with radical modernism. There are many answers
to this, some technical (Crane extended Hopkins's sprung rhythm),
but I would say that Crane project was to free verse
in the project of freeing the mind. The essays in the LOA
volume provide adequate support for just how conscious Crane
was about his method.

For those who need some background on the Crane Bashing
in today's New York Times Book Review (aka William Logan
on the Library of American Crane) take a look at Brian Henry's
commentary on Logan
at Verse. Just last year, the Times sponsored
Mr. Logan's trashing John Ashbery's poetry  as "sludge," as part of 
his review of the Oxford Book of American Poetry, which, in turn,
brought to mind his 1990 attack on Michael Palmer's Sun —
like listening to serial music or slamming your head against a
streetlight stanchion." The Times has cast Mr. Logan as the bad cop
of Official Verse Culture, and he seems willing to play at being just that —
a belching Babbitt of the Mediocracy and Traditional Poetry Values.

Hart Crane knew the type. As he writes in his 1926 letter to Harriet Monroe:

"The nuances of feeling and observation in a poem may well call for
certain liberties which you claim the poet has no right to take. I am simply making the claim that
the poet does have that authority, and that to deny it  is to limit the
scope of the medium so considerably as to outlaw some of the richest genius of the past."

link    |  01-28-07

photo: Paula Court

Last week, I got to see the new Richard Foreman show
Wake-Up Mr. Sleepy! Your Unconscious Mind is Dead!
I've seen every Foreman show since Rhoda in Potatoland in 1975
& am now on the board of the Ontological Hysteric Theater, so you
can say I am partisan. The new show extends the format of
last year's ZOMBOID!: live actors perform in front of (and interact with ) two
large screen video projections of actors that Foreman and Sophie Havilland filmed
in Lisbon. The audio mixes the soundtrack of the Lisbon performances and
Foreman's always amazing sound loops and voice overlays. The live
actors don't speak at all. This year Foreman has fully settled into
this new form, which is something like an installation and something like
a happening, but feels more and more like the choreographed total
film/theater/sculptual spectacle that has always been an aspiration
Foreman's work. It's also one of Foreman's most relaxed pieces,
and the combination of intellectual and aesthetic edge with oh-so-sumptuous
grace, is something ... well ...
not to be missed.

More info at the Ontological web site.
Here's a special deal for Web Log readers:
Through Sunday, February 4th:
Either: 2 for $30
with the code "children"
4 for $50
with the code "blind"

Clip from the show and  Foreman interview on YouTube.

My Close Listening interview with Foreman, and  Foreman's reading
is available at PennSound.

link    |  01-27-07

New at PEPC Library

This is the last poem in
John Yau's Paradiso Diaspora

Penguin Books. 2006:

In the Kingdom of Poetry
                             (after Carlos Drummond de Andrade)
 Don’t write poems
about yourself.
Don’t call attention
to your revelations
or make confessions.
Even if your intention
is to expiate pain,
overcome guilt,
temper your
understandable anger,
don’t excavate
your mother’s grief,
brother’s sexual torment,
sister’s thievery,
father’s self-hatred,
step-parent’s fortuitous star chart.
Feelings are not poems.
Relatives should be left
where they are found,
in the gutter
or by a cash register.
Don’t write poems
about others.
Leave out husbands,
divorcees, alcoholics,
pimply adolescents and nurses.
There is already a surplus
of bad movie scripts.
Forget about friends
and enemies,
and special moments.
Someone in the greeting card business
has already covered these topics.
Don’t write about
what is happening in the world,
the missing child
and the human remains,
the burning beach
and the swallowed page,
the president’s
fiftieth speech.
Whatever happened there
isn’t a poem.
Don’t try and prove
how sensitive you are.
Others have already
claimed to be plants.
It isn’t necessary to demonstrate
how insensitive you are.
as this is already
an indisputable fact.
Don’t write poems
an ordinary event
in your life
–shaving, adjusting your bra, riding subway
admiring especially picturesque sunset–
to a significant moment in history
–pogrom, starvation, exile, assassination–
or to a myth–rape, jealousy, or rejection–
in fact to anything that has a theme.
Poems are not papers
delivered at conferences.
Don’t sing about the joys of the city
or list the virtues of rural life.
Don’t mention swans,
bologna, eyeball dryness,
or one-eared philosophers.
Picnics and paintings are not poems.
Don’t resort to drama
or telling lies.
Don’t use your yearning
as a starting point.
Secrets should be left
where they are.
Don’t stand up
in a burning theater
and announce,
“no one listens to poetry.”
Don’t write poems
about poets
being underpaid.
Throw away
your memories,
bury your mirrors.

©2006 John Yau; used with the permission of the author.
PEPC library permanent link for this poem

link    |  01-23-07

Rod Smith at PennSound

photo ©2006 Charles Bernstein/PennSound

link    |  01-22-07

The Reproduction of Profiles : Twentieth Anniversary

Rosmarie Waldrop's The Reproduction of Profiles has just been reissued by New Directions as part of Curves to the Apple, which includes the two later parts of her trilogy, Lawn of the Excluded Middle and Reluctant Gravities . The Reproduction of Profiles was first published in 1987. I excerpt some remarks I made on the book in an essay called “Wittgensteiniana” on recent works under the spell of Wittgenstein that was published in 1989 in Fiction International.

Waldrop's poem – which consists of a series of prose paragraphs, one to a page – is a lyrical extension of a number of phrases appropriated from the later Wittgenstein. Waldrop uses no complete quotes, but embeds fragments from Wittgenstein into her own elusive narratives. For example, she notes that Wittgenstein's "the deepest questions are no questions at all" is transformed to "You could prove to me that deepest rivers are, in fact, no rivers at all." In the first of the book's two sections, Waldrop weaves Wittgensteinian fragments into an evocatively personalized voice:

The fog was not dense enough to hide what I didn't want to see, nor did analysis resolve our inner similarities. When you took the knife out of your pocket and stuck it into your upper arm you did not tell me that, if the laws of nature do not explain the world, they still continue its spine. There was no wind, the branches motionless around the bench, a dark scaffolding. A few drops of blood oozed from your wound. I began to suck it, thinking that, because language is part of the human organism, a life could end as an abrupt, violent sentence, or be drawn out with economy into fall and winter, no less complicated than a set of open parenthesis from a wrong turn to the shock of understanding our own desires.

Much of the Investigations is dialogue: "If I say . . ." "Imagine that you were . . ." "Can we now imagine further . . ." Waldrop has reimagined the scene of these conversations to be an intimate one between lovers and this recontexutualizing gives all kinds of new resonances to the Wittgenstein material because, in a certain way, this is just the sort of specific grounding for philosophical terms for which Wittgenstein calls.

The second part of Waldrop's book is titled "Inserting the Mirror" and consists of thirty numbered prose paragraphs, which are more purely speculative or meditative that the book's first part. Written in the first person, the "you" is different in this section and it is almost as if it were addressed to Wittgenstein: "I learned about communication by twisting my legs around yours as, in spinning a thought, we twist fiber on fiber. The strength of language does not reside in the fact that some one desire runs its whole length, but in the overlapping of many generations." "You went in search of more restful altitudes, of ideally clear language. But the bridge that spans the mind-body gap enjoys gazing downstream. All this time I was holding my umbrella open."

As far as I know, the sexual politics of the later Wittgenstein has not been widely discussed. Wittgenstein's opening up into human conversation as the ground for philosophy and his rejection of the rigid, axiomatic dictates of formal logic may be understood as a critique of what has come to be called phallocentrism. Waldrop's Reproductionof Profiles implicitly investigates this theme, without, in a truly Wittgensteinian spirit, offering any theses. The book's title can, perhaps, be read in this light. "Inserting the Mirror" seems preoccupied with the question: "You think you see, but are only running your finger though pubic hair. . . . That language can suggest a body where there is none. Or does a body always contain its own absence?" Or this:

“As long as I wanted to be a man I considered thought as a keen blade cutting through the uncertain brambles in my path. Later, I let it rust under the stairs. The image was useless, given the nature of my quest. Each day I draw the distance to cover out of an anxiety as deep as the roots of language.”


Rosmarie Waldrop on PennSound
Waldrop EPC author page

link    |  01-21-07

Poem Present
University of Chic


"The Task of Poetics, the Fate of Innovation, and the Aesthetics of Criticism"
Friday, December 1, 2006
video (.mov) / audio (.mp3)

Poetry reading
Thursday, November 30, 2006
video (.mov) / audio (mp3)

link    |  0119-07

Alan Davies

photo: © 2007 Charles Bernstein/PennSound

Close Listening
WPS1 Reading and Conversation. January 5, 2006

Program One:
Interview with Charles Bernstein (27:02)

Program Two (Selected Poems)
Complete Program (26:56)

From "Book" 2 (19:36)
From "Book" 3 (5:42)

Close Listening is produced by Charles Bernstein for WPS1
Studio Engineer: David Weinstein

These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial
and educational use only. All rights to this recorded material belong to the authors.
(C) 2007 Alan Davies and Charles Bernstein. Used with permission. Distributed by PENNSound.

link    |  01-17-07

link    |  01-16-07

Chax Press
New York City Book Launch
a report

Charles Alexander

A CHAX Press Book Party and Reading with special guest Junction Press

Sunday, January 14 at 2 PM
Bowery Poetry Club

New York

Celebrating the publication of

Certain Slants, by Charles Alexander (Junction)
Swoon Noir, by Bruce Andrews (Chax)
Afterimage, by Charles Borkhuis (Chax)
Born 2, by Alison Cobb (Chax)
Analects on a Chinese Screen, by Glenn Mott  (Chax)
Since I Moved In, by Tim Peterson (Chax)
Mirth, by Linda V. Russo (Chax)

MP3 of full reading (58:54)
via PennSound
in alphabetical order: Alexander intro and reading, Andrews, Borkhuis, Cobb, Mott, Peterson; then Mark Weiss of Junction  Press, finally Alexander reading Russo.

photos (l to r): top -- Andrews, Borkhuis; middle -- Cobb, Mott; bottom -- Peterson
all photos © 2007 Charles Bersntein/PennSound

you can receive individual posts by email

link    |  01-15-07

The Yellow Pages Ads
Filmed in Hollywood, Dec. 10, 1998

courtesty UBU.Com
Notre Dame Review

Radio Ads (Charles Bernstein)
Draperies (0:32)
Readings (0:31)

Yellow Pages Ads outtake:
Charles Bernstein interviews Yellow Pages author Jon Lovitz

Outtake (11:33)


TV ads (Charles Bernstein and Jon Lovitz)

A discussion of the literary significance of Jon Lovitz's great contemporary epic,The Yellow Pages.
The Critic (0:31)


Jon Lovitz on inspiration.
Cabin (1:15)


Jon Lovitz embarks on a promotional tour of America.
Tour (1:04)

link    |  01-10-07

Susan Bee and Mira Schor
are editing a special "forum" issue of M/E/A/N/I/N/G Online
on feminism, looking back especially to the 1970s.
The issue won't be up for several more weeks,
but here is a preview of Susan's contribution.

Susan Bee & Charles Bernstein, c. 1975

Family Trees

Susan Bee

I got all my sisters with me.
– Sister Sledge (1979)

In the fall of 1969, after graduating from the bohemian grove of Music and Art High School in New York, I went to Barnard College, then as now an all-women’s college. My college years were set against the background of the raucous student actions against the Vietnam war and the emergence of the black power and gay rights movements. Columbia and Barnard were the focal point of many demonstrations in which I took an active part. It was good time to be at Barnard, since I had the great luck to meet or study with such major feminist thinkers as Catherine Stimpson and Kate Millet. At one point, I applied to major in Women’s Studies but was told that no such interdisciplinary major could be considered (some years later, Barnard did establish a Women’s Studies major).

I had also wanted to major in studio art, but Barnard didn’t countenance that either, so I ended up in Art History. In any case, there were almost no women art teachers at Barnard or Columbia. So I found myself looking outside of the college environment for role models. I had the example of the art and life of my mother, painter Miriam Laufer. In December 1970, I wrote a research paper on women artists in Barnard’s first seminar on women’s history, taught by Annette Baxter. At that time, I could find no reference books, or for that matter just about any information, on the subject. All that was soon to change. A.I.R. Gallery was founded in 1973. Lucy Lippard’s crucial From the Center, Feminist Essays on Women’s Art was published in 1976, and Heresies was founded in 1977. From 1979 to 1980 I worked as an editor for Cynthia Navarreta at Women Artists News, which had started in 1975.

In graduate school at Hunter from 1975 to 1977 there were no women art teachers at all in the department. So once again, I found myself looking to the newly formed feminist galleries, A.I.R. and Soho 20. I went to panels at A.I.R., which were organized by Nancy Spero and other artist members. And I listened to Ana Mendieta, Mary Beth Edelson, and many others talk about their artwork. These were heady experiences for a young artist. I vividly recall a panel at A.I.R. where Roslyn Krauss, my art history professor and thesis advisor at Hunter, and the only woman on the modern art history faculty, denounced feminism. No doubt this paved the way for her rapid ascent into the art establishment.

Some of the artists whose work most engaged me in the 1970s were Carolee Schneemann, Hannah Wilke, Louise Bourgeois, Joan Snyder, Pat Steir, Joan Semmel, Joan Jonas, Joyce Kozloff (and the Pattern and Decoration movement), Louisa Chase, Ellen Phelan, Mary Lucier, Joan Snitzer, Lee Sherry, Toni Simon, Eleanor Antin, Howardena Pindell, Alice Neel, Mimi Gross, Alice Aycock, Marcia Hafif, Faith Ringgold, Elizabeth Murray, Eva Hesse, Erika Rothenberg, Dottie Attie, Nancy Spero, and Miriam Schapiro. Well, anyway, those are the artists I most recall now, partly because of my own ongoing relationship with them. I know there were many others whose names I don’t remember or who dropped out of sight. I also mention these names because so much of the Official History of Feminist Art has involved deleting names not authenticated by the feminist and commercial art establishment.

In my student years at Barnard, I did expressionist figurative paintings, influenced, in part, by my mother’s work, as well as cut-up and collaged abstract paintings. I also did whimsical rapidograph fantasy line drawings, especially during my life in the rainforest of British Columbia, where I lived for a year after college with Charles Bernstein. While he wrote poems, I painted and drew – and we both chopped a lot of wood. We also spent a year in Santa Barbara, where I worked in a daycare center by day and painted by night.

Susan Bee in British Columbia, painting by Toni Simon, 1974.

By 1975, we had moved back to New York. When I started at Hunter’s M.A. program, I was doing large abstract stain paintings like Helen Frankenthaler's. I also did a number of letterist collage works that were published in various small press magazines interested in visual poetry; these works were shown in the U.S. and internationally. At Hunter, due to the overwhelming influence of my Minimalist professors, including Robert Morris, who disliked the colorfulness and expressivity of my paintings, I started to paint in just two colors, blue and white. As much as I liked Morris and some of his work, I didn’t feel he and his very much “fellow” company (Krauss included) allowed much room for students who thought about art differently than they did. Whether or not this is a gender issue remains hard to say; but gender cannot be entirely left out of the equation since it was, at the time, a consciously suppressed term. While at Hunter, I also got interested in doing photos and I had a darkroom at home and mostly did photograms and altered prints, where I painted the developer on the photos. I made my first artist’s book, Photogram, in 1978.

Susan Bee and the artists of Tycho in 1981.

Around 1978, I joined a women artist’s support group called Tycho that showed together and we had discussions about our work. Meanwhile, from the mid-1970s, I had became very involved with the poets around St. Mark’s Church’s Poetry Project and L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E magazine. I worked on the design of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, pasting it up by hand (precomputer) in my apartment from 1978 to 1981. And after that I worked with the Segue Foundation, designing many of the early Roof books. I also went to lots of performances of Robert Wilson, Philip Glass, Richard Foreman and Kate Manheim, Jackson Mac Low, Charlemagne Palestine, Dick Higgins, Alison Knowles, and the Fluxus group, Douglas Dunn, Yvonne Rainer, Richard Schechner, the Living Theater, and early performances at the Kitchen. I went to the Franklin Furnace and Printed Matter to look at artist’s books and I showed my books there.

The women poets and writers that I met at that time were a crucial company for me and the poetry community that they formed marked a stark contrast to the art world, where commerce and transient fashion too often trumped both aesthetic values and sisterhood. So I think of friends such as Hannah Weiner, Lyn Hejinian, Johanna Drucker, Kathy Acker, Rae Armantrout, Susan Howe, Lynne Dreyer, Diane Ward, Bernadette Mayer, Anne Waldman, Ann Lauterbach, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Abigail Child, Erica Hunt, Lydia Davis, Madeline Gins. They showed me a way to proceed to do your artwork and how to find your voice in a male-dominated world and they offered important support during those years. Male poets and artists such as James Sherry, Ron Silliman, Bruce Andrews, Nick Piombino, David Reed, David von Schlegall, Arakawa, Henry Hills, John Yau, Robert Creeley, Jerry Rothenberg, and Ted Greenwald, were also very much part of my life then, especially Charles, who I met in high school and married, after years living together, in 1977.

In 1986, Mira Schor and I had decided to publish M/E/A/N/I/N/G and we kept the print version going for 10 years till 1996. We then published the M/E/A/N/I/N/G Anthology in 2000 and started M/E/A/N/I/N/G Online in 2002.

Susan Bee and Mira Schor, 1990.

In 1996, I joined A.I.R. Gallery and became part of another community of women artists that is still active. Since joining the gallery, I have had four solo shows, participated in numerous group shows, and been part of monthly meetings.

Looking back on the 1970s, I realize now that the whole fabric of the times was in flux and that the energy of the feminist art movement was just one important part of the larger blossoming of avant-gardes and undergrounds and political movements. Community remains a work in progress for artists: still urgent, still flawed. The 70s laid a groundwork on which I continue to build.

Susan Bee with members of A.I.R. Gallery, NYC, 2006.

link    |  01-08-06

Surges cause short circuits.
Negotiate don’t escalate.

Seeger on audio accompanied by video collage by "Bob's TV"

Waist Deep In The Big Muddy

Peter Seeger (1963)

It was back in nineteen forty-two,
I was a member of a good platoon.
We were on maneuvers in-a Loozianna,
One night by the light of the moon.
The captain told us to ford a river,
That's how it all begun.
We were -- knee deep in the Big Muddy,
But the big fool said to push on.

The Sergeant said, "Sir, are you sure,
This is the best way back to the base?"
"Sergeant, go on! I forded this river
'Bout a mile above this place.
It'll be a little soggy but just keep slogging.
We'll soon be on dry ground."
We were -- waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool said to push on.

The Sergeant said, "Sir, with all this equipment
No man will be able to swim."
"Sergeant, don't be a Nervous Nellie,"
The Captain said to him.
"All we need is a little determination;
Men, follow me, I'll lead on."
We were -- neck deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool said to push on.

All at once, the moon clouded over,
We heard a gurgling cry.
A few seconds later, the captain's helmet
Was all that floated by.
The Sergeant said, "Turn around men!
I'm in charge from now on."
And we just made it out of the Big Muddy
With the captain dead and gone.

We stripped and dived and found his body
Stuck in the old quicksand.
I guess he didn't know that the water was deeper
Than the place he'd once before been.
Another stream had joined the Big Muddy
'Bout a half mile from where we'd gone.
We were lucky to escape from the Big Muddy
When the big fool said to push on.

Well, I'm not going to point any moral;
I'll leave that for yourself
Maybe you're still walking, you're still talking
You'd like to keep your health.
But every time I read the papers
That old feeling comes on;
We're -- waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.

Waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.
Waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.
Waist deep! Neck deep! Soon even a
Tall man'll be over his head, we're
Waist deep in the Big Muddy!
And the big fool says to push on!

Words and music by Pete Seeger
TRO (c) 1967 Melody Trails, Inc. New York, NY

link    |  01-07-06


Grenier EPC author Page
Grenier PennSound Page

"Rough" translations from Drawing/Poems, 2004

this image is from an earlier series

Greene Naftali Gallery is pleased to announce the existence of a recently completed series of sixty-four Giclée prints made from four-color notebook drawing poem images from the ‘agricultural year’ 2003-2005 in Bolinas, California (rainy season to rainy season—a sort of Shepherd’s Calendar without shepherd or sheep) called 64 (accidentally (?) being our poet/artist’s age at the time) by fundamental/foundational language poet (‘artist’?) Robert Grenier.

Rough translations of the texts of the 64 drawing poem prints (into ‘American’, as they say in France) showing their organizations into sets of 2, 4, 6 and 8 (roughly in accord with months of said ‘year’) are as follows:

  • AFTER/NOON/SUN/SHINE (April 2004)
  • RED W/OOOD/RED/WOODS (February 2004)
  • OWL/AN/OWL/OWL (March 2005)
  • MOON/HALF/OR/1/4 (June 2005)
The prints in the introductory and concluding sets of 2 and in the groups of 4 and 8 are each 17-1/2 x 23-3/8” and priced at $350, whereas those in the two groups of 6 are each 15-1/4 x 17-1/2” and are priced at $300. The 4- and 6-print groupings are also available as “sets” ($1,200 and $1,600 respectively) which come as either cut single prints, or as one large uncut sheet.

All are printed on Hahnemühle 308 gsm Photo Rag Paper. Produced on an Epson Stylus Pro 9500 printer at 1440/720 dpi with six, pigment-based, archival inks, these Giclée prints (properly conserved) have a projected life of at least 100 years.

Robert Grenier has declared the full cycle of 64 prints to be a limited/signed edition of 12 (whether 12 will ever be printed is a fascinating question best left to ‘the Fates’ and/or speculators in the life work of Robert Grenier!); interested persons are encouraged to contact Jay Sanders at Greene Naftali (212-463-7770).

A show of the 64 prints is projected for spring 2008 in Bury, Lancashire, as part of the second Text Festival organized by Tony Trehy (Arts & Museums Manager for the Bury Metropolitan Council), who is acquiring one set of 64 for the permanent collection of the Bury Museum
link    |  01-06-06-PM

Douglas Messerli has added a longer response
to the interesting
forum on poetry publishing at The Argotist.

Looking around the site, I note that Jeffery Side has assembled
an impressive group of interviews.

The Segue Reading Series at the Bowery Poetry Club/New York
Winter/Spring Schedule

The New York readings to celebrate
Four From Japan: an Anthology of Contemporary Poetries
are now up at
PennSound's Factorial Archive of Japanese Poetry

at the Poetry Foundation web site:
Avant-Garde All the Time: The UbuWeb Poetry Foundation Podcast (2007) (MP3)
A short (11 minute) interview with UbuWeb founding editor Kenneth Goldsmith introducing the site to a general listenership, with a specific focus on UbuWeb's sound archives. Full MP3 recordings of the excerpts featured on the podcast include: bpNichol 060173; Marie Osmond performing Hugo Ball's Karawane; Guillaume Apollinaire Le Pont Mirabeau; Gertrude Stein The Making of Americans: Parts 1 & 2; The Dial-A-Poem Poets; Patti Smith Parade; Ogden Nash Word About Winter; Charles Bernstein 1-100.
The podcast was produced by Curtis Fox for The Poetry Foundation
My contribution, "1-100," seems to have taken on a life of its own.
This is my earliest available work, from the Fall of my sophomore year at college.
It was originally issued as part of 1982 audioworks cassette called Class,  which Ubu collected a few years back.

Link now fixed:

From an Auckland-New York video conference for Bad Language,
organised by Artspace and the Jar Foundation, 11 July 2001.
Auckland participants: Wystan Curnow, Leigh Davis, Tony Green
Full program: 56k, broad-band (1:38:47)
         Poem Composed for Jackson Mac Low (rm: 1.2MB, streaming), from
         With Strings (U of Chicago P, 2001).
         Thank You for Saying Thank You (rm: 1.1MB, streaming).
         Dear Mr. Fanelli (rm : 1.1MB, streaming) from My Way: Speeches and
(U of Chicago P, 1999)

link    |  01-06-06

Ann Lauterbach
Close Listening

photo: ©2006 Charles Bernstein/Pennsound

Close Listening
Readings and conversations at WPS1.Org
Clocktower Studio, New York, December 4, 2006

Program One: Poetry Reading

Full program

Program Two
Lauterbach in conversation with Charles Bernstein (28:27)
Lauterbach talks about sound, performance, and folk music and goes on to engage the difficult relation of gender and authority.  She also discusses "Missing Ages," a poem she read on program one, and also her essay collection, The Night Sky: Writings on the Poetics of Experience (New York: Viking, 2005).

Close Listening produced by Charles Bernstein for WPS1
WPS1 Studio Engineer: Lucy Sinanjuntak
©2006 Ann Lauterbach and Charles Bernstein

link    |  01-04-07

D.S. Marriott
(Salt, 2006)

In and around 1990, D.S. Marriott published a few startling chapbooks that while identifiable with a kind of Cambridge (UK) style, seemed to eviscerate the very grounds of their own expression. As some of these works resurface in Incognegro, their lyric abjection, despair, and loneliness swell into unsung song. These poems, now revised, collected, and supplemented, have become palimpsests, overlaying personal anguish with the social terror of racism, and the historical trauma of slavery. Of the older self-eviscerating lyrics, “The Wondering” and “To A Surer Fire” stand out. These are interspersed with poems that yoke narrative and conceptual documentary in order to explicitly engage the most politically volatile themes.

In his recent critical collection Haunted Life, Marriot provides a remarkably precise framing for his poetics by way of a famous passage from Hegel: “But the life of Spirit is not the life that shrinks from death and keeps itself untouched by devastation, but rather the life that endures it and maintains itself in it. It wins its truth when, in utter dismemberment, it finds itself …. Spirit is this power only by looking the negative in the face, and tarrying with it.”

The title poem of Incognegro, Marriott offers a startling alternation, line by line, of marked black dialect against its lexically standard lyric twin, each line reciprocally mirroring the pain of the other’s deformance. Incognegro is a fiercely formal study of the poetics of subjection, assimilation, lyric authority, and historical double-consciousness. The particular closed poetic economies of Walcott and Prynne form just one of the backgrounds against which Marriott weaves his cries – not just of the heart but of history. Marriott’s book does not permit any settling into a single mode in its unforgiving demonstration of the disguises of voiced voicelessness. The result is both incendiary fire and cold logic. That is, while Marriott’s strategies are always incisive, some the poems have not attained to, or perhaps been enlisted in, the full aesthetic service that marks (not to say lacerates) the three poems mentioned, as well as “The Ghost of Averages” and “The Drowners.” Perhaps the failures are what keeps this book on the fair side of the real.

link    |  01-02-07


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