Featured resources

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

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

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

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Maggie Nelson: Newly Segmented Readings from "Bluets"

Posted 12/14/2018

As Maggie Nelson's dazzling Bluets nears its tenth birthday it has clearly lost none of its power, and while later works like The Argonauts have perhaps garnered more cultural cache — with good very reason, I might add — Bluets will always be an important transitional work in Nelson's oeuvre. Today, we're highlighting two newly-segmented readings from Bluets, cut by PennSound staff editor Louisa Healey, which Al Filreis recently announced in a recent Jacket2 commentary post.

The earlier of these is from a 2007 appearance on LA-Lit, which is well worth checking out in its entirety for her discussion with hosts Mathew Timmons and Stephanie Rioux, along with generous selections from her earlier books, The Red Parts, Jane: A Murder, and Something Bright, Then Holes, along a then in-progress Bluets. Her readings here encompass sections (or propositions) 52–59, which addresses the science of color along with vision, particularly as a religious phenomenon.

Then, from a 2013 reading as part of the MFA Reading Series at Boise State University, we have a larger excerpt from the book — which takes up the majority of her half-hour set — starting at proposition #204 and continuing through to the book's conclusion with proposition #240. Here's how that segment starts:
Lately I have been trying to learn something about "the fundamental impermanence of all things" from my collection of blue amulets, which I have placed on a ledge in my house that is, for a good half of the day, drenched in sunlight. The placement is intentional — I like to see the sun pass through the blue glass, the bottle of blue ink, the translucent blue stones. But the light is clearly destroying some of the objects, or at least bleaching out their blues. Daily I think about moving the most vulnerable objects to a "cool, dark place," but the truth is that I have little to no instinct for protection. Out of laziness, curiosity, or cru­elty — if one can be cruel to objects — I have given them up to their diminishment.
You can listen to both of these sets, along with many more — including a terrific 2015 appearance on David Naimon's always-amazing radio program, Between the Covers — by clicking here.

Douglas Kearney: New Author Page

Posted 12/12/2018

Our newest author page is for poet, performer, and librettist Douglas Kearney. The majority of the recordings you'll find there come from Kearney's recent two-day visit to our own Kelly Writers House, which included a two-part Close Listening reading and conversation with Charles Bernstein recorded on October 22nd, along with an appearance alongside Brian Goldstein for a "City Planning Poetics" event. This sixth installment in the series, organized by Davy Knittle, was titled "Urban Revitalization" and took place the following day.

In addition to these recordings, which are available in MP3 format or streaming video, we also have video from a trio of recent readings, including a September 2017 reading at the Poetry Center at the San Francisco State University, and a pair of undated recordings from Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art and Harvard University's Vocarium Reading Series.

You can check out all of the aforementioned recordings on our brand new Douglas Kearney author page. Click here to start listening.

Happy Birthday, Emily Dickinson!

Posted 12/10/2018

December 10th would have been Emily Dickinson's 188th birthday, and we're celebrating the Belle of Amherst by highlighting a dazzling array of recordings related to the poet that are available throughout the PennSound archive.

While, of course, it would be impossible for us to have recordings of Dickinson reading her own poems, we do have a number of talented readers offering up their best renditions of her work, including Naomi Replansky, John Richetti, Susan Howe, Robert Creeley, and Jeffrey Robinson. Howe, of course, is well-known for her iconic text, My Emily Dickinson, and we have a number of recordings of her reading from and/or discussing that project, from the Radio Readings Project, LINEbreak, and the New York Talk Series, along with excerpts from her 2010 Kelly Writers House Fellows visit, and a complete 1990 lecture on the poet from SUNY-Buffalo. Also from Buffalo in 1990, we have a short recording of Creeley reading and discussing "My Life had stood -- a Loaded Gun," and from 1985 we have a complete trio of lectures on Dickinson recorded at the New College. We can thank David Levi Strauss for those recordings, along with a trio of New College lectures on Dickinson by Robert Duncan delivered in 1981.

Rounding out the collection, there are short excerpts from longer radio programs featuring Elizabeth Bishop (on Howe's Pacifica-FM show) and John Ashbery and Barbara Guest (on WNYC's PEN Portraits) discussing the poet, along with Rae Armantrout's comments on Dickinson from the wonderful Nine Contemporary Poets Read Themselves Through Modernism event at our own Kelly Writers House in 2000. Jumping back to 1979, we have an amazing Dickinson Birthday Celebration from the St. Mark's Poetry Project, which features Jan Heller Levi, Charles Bernstein, Susan Leites, Charles Doria, Virginia Terrace, Madeleine Keller and Vicki Hudspith, Armand Schwerner, Karen Edwards, Jackson Mac Low, and Maureen Owen, along with Guest and Howe. Last but certainly not least, we have a pair of PoemTalk podcasts related to the poet: from 2010, episode #32 discussing Howe's interpretation of Dickinson's "My Life had stood -- a Loaded Gun," while episode #87, from 2015, addresses Dickinson's "She rose to His Requirement," and "Wild Nights -- Wild Nights!."

While these wonderful resources are scattered throughout our site, you can find them all in one convenient place on our Emily Dickinson author page. Head on over there now and honor Dickinson's life and work in your own way.

Want to read more? Visit the PennSound Daily archive.