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)

PennSound Daily

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PigeonSound Turns 14

Posted 4/1/2023

This April Fool's Day marks fourteen years since our PennSound Daily announcement of our PigeonSound ™ service, which sadly never got off the ground given — among other things — the widespread rejection of pigeon post in the United States. Turntables still continue to sell healthily, flip phones are coming back, and every hipster has a vintage typewriter they paid too much money for, but the same enthusiasm could not be rekindled for avian poetry delivery, and so our fleet coos in waiting for more genteel and discerning times.

Here's our original announcement, which, in true April Fool's Day fashion, came a month early, alongside the unveiling of our Twitter account:
It's been less than 24 hours since we launched our PennSound Twitter page, and already we have 50 followers. Sign up to follow our feed to get micro-updates — from co-directors Al Filreis and Charles Bernstein, and managing editor Michael S. Hennessey — highlighting changes to the site, new additions and favorite recordings from our archives. Recent tweets have featured Bernadette Mayer & Lee Ann BrownTracie Morristhe PennSound Podcast series and our video page

Are you getting the most out of your PennSound experience? Aside from Twitter, don't forget all of the other ways in which you can keep up to date with the site through the web or your cell phone: first, there's the PennSound Daily newsfeed, which automatically delivers entries like this one to your iGoogle page, Google Reader, or favorite feed reader.PennSound is also on FaceBook, along with pages for our sister sites, including the Kelly Writers House and the Electronic Poetry Center. One additional option is the Kelly Writers House's Dial-a-Poem service: just dial 215-746-POEM (7636), and aside from news on upcoming KWH events, you can also hear a recording from a past reading, courtesy of the PennSound archives.

Finally, for those of you who feel overwhelmed by all this new technology, and liked the world a lot more before it Twittered, Tumblred and Bloggered, we're currently beta-testing yet another, more traditional means of transmission. Utilizing homing pigeons equipped with state-of-the-art (well, state-of-the-art circa WWI) wire recording technology, PigeonSound ™ (see prototype at right) will be able to deliver three minutes of telephone-quality audio up to several hundred miles from our home base at UPenn's Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing (our apologies to the rest of the world). Though there have been numerous unfortunate setbacks to date, we hope to have the program up and running by the first of next month with our inaugural offering: The Selected Poems of Ern Malley (read by the author himself). From sites that tweet to birds that tweet, we have all of your poetry options covered at PennSound.

Trish Salah on PennSound

Posted 3/31/2023

Today we mark International Transgender Day of Visibility by visiting our author page for noted Canadian poet and critic Trish Salah.

Our holdings included the poet's appearance at the 2009 ADFEMPO (Advancing Feminist Poetics and Activism) conference, organized by Belladonna*, which took place on September 24th and 25th of that year. Salah appeared as part of a panel on "Body as Discourse" chaired by Kate Eichhorn that included Joan Retallack, Laura Smith, Nathalie Stephens (Nathanaël), and Ronaldo V. Wilson in addition to Salah, which explored "questions of the body, referentiality, remapping bodies and borders, intertextuality, narrativity, aesthetics, and the challenges of de-essentialization as we scrutinize 'female,' 'queer,' 'raced' and 'othered' bodies."

In addition to that panel, we have a brief set as part of a Belladonna* Reading Series event on Transfeminism and Literature from 2012, and Salah's Segue Series reading at the Zinc Bar in March 2013. More recent recordings, include "Nevada: A Reading and Panel" that also included Imogen Binnie, from the Young Centre for Performing Arts in 2013; 2014's Wanting in Arabic: A Conversation with Poet Trish Salah," recorded as part of the Asia Pacific Forum for NYC's WBAI-FM; and a 2014 reading at the East Bay Poetry Summit, hosted by the Manifest Reading and Workshop Series. There's also a very exciting PennSound Podcast episode (#57) in which Christy Davids interviews Salah and Salah reads her poetry, including "Two Self Portraits," "Interlude for the Voice," "Future Foundered," and "Gossels in Fugue."

You can listen to any and all of the recordings mentioned above by clicking here.

Philly Small Presses Dinner Panel, 1999

Posted 3/30/2023

Here is a true slice of vintage Kelly Writers House programming, dating all the way back to March 26, 1999. If you were around then, you could've enjoyed a full day of wonderful programming billed as "A Celebration of Philadelphia Writers," which was sponsored by the Humanities Forum.

The day started early with breakfast at the White Dog Cafe and a talk entitled, "So, You Want to Get Published?" That was followed by "Communities and Writers," a lunchtime event on "Writing in Philly," "Philadelphia in Film," and an exhibition opening and book signing that went straight on through to 5:30. For evening plans, you had your choice of The Chosen at the Arden Theatre or a busy night at the Clef Club that started with a talk on "Interplay of Philadelphia Jazz and Poetry," followed by an open-mic poetry jam hosted by KWH.

The keystone event of the day, however — and the one that we're highlighting — is the Philadelphia Small Presses Dinner, held at the Writers House. As the program blurb announces, "Philadelphia is experiencing a literary renaissance, thanks to the many dedicated poets and writers who run reading series, publish literary journals, and run small presses here in Philadelphia. Join some of Philadelphia's literary innovators at the Kelly Writers House for a roundtable conversation about Philadelphia's lively publishing scene." The line-up for the event is quite formidable, including Chris and Jenn McCreary (of Ixnay Press), Dave Deifer (of Xconnect), Michael Magee (of Combo), Heather Thomas and Alicia Askenase (representing 6ix), Gil Ott (of the Philadelphia Publishing Project and Singing Horse Press), Louis Cabri (of PhillyTalks), Kristen Gallagher (of Handwritten Press), and Jena Osman (of Chain). You can listen to this historic discussion here.

Want to read more? Visit the PennSound Daily archive.