Featured resources

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

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

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

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Happy Birthday to William Butler Yeats

Posted 6/13/2024

June 13th is the 159th birthday of William Butler Yeats, a true member of Irish literature's pantheon, which makes it an excellent occasion to revisit the recordings housed on his PennSound author page.

First and foremost, there are eight tracks of the poet himself, taken from various sources and recorded between 1931 and 1937. "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" is best represented here, with three separate renditions (from 1932, 1936, and 1937) plus a brief track of Yeats discussing the poem in 1932. Other tracks include two stanzas from "Coole and Ballylee," "The Fiddler of Dooney," and "The Song of the Old Mother," plus a six-and-a-half minute track from 1936 in which Yeats discusses modern poetry.

You'll also find three readings by John Trimmer — of "The Wild Swans at Coole," "Leda and the Swan," and "Sailing to Byzantium" — as well as excerpts from a pair of titles read by Naomi Replansky, along with an extensive survey of Yeats poetry read by UPenn professor emeritus John Richetti. This Wexler Studio session from 2017 includes forty-two titles in total, among them "The Lake Isle of Innisfree," "September 1913," "Easter 1916," "Sailing to Byzantium," "Leda and the Swan," and "Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop," along with many more. Finally, you'll find a link to PoemTalk Podcast #66 from 2013, in which Taije Silverman, Max McKenna, and John Timpane joined Al Filreis to discuss "The Lake Isle of Innisfree."


Michael Ruby Reads from 'Close Your Eyes, Visions,' 2023

Posted 6/12/2024

Today we present a new batch of recordings from Michael Ruby, which come from a 2023 session engineered by Chris Funkhouser. Here, in ninety-three individual tracks, we discover the majority of Ruby's latest collection, Close Your Eyes, Visions, which was published by Station Hill Press earlier this year.

As that comma in the middle of the title suggests, Ruby's latest consists of two discrete sequences, and the recordings are presented as such. Close Your Eyes is represented by fourteen poems in series running between four and ten minutes in length. Visions takes a very different form, with a grand total of seventy-eight poems, dates serving as titles, which span from 2007 to 2013.

On PennSound's Michael Ruby author page you'll find these sequences as well as complete studio recordings of many of the poet's books, including The Star-Spangled BannerThe Mouth of the BayThe Edge of the UnderworldInner Voices Heard Before Sleep, and Compulsive Words, along with readings from 2000 to the present.


Allen Ginsberg on 'Stonewall Nation,' 1978

Posted 6/7/2024

Today we're highlighting a real treasure from the audio archives of Robert CreeleyAllen Ginsberg's appearance on Stonewall Nation — hosted by Alex Van Oss, on Buffalo's WBFO-FM — during a visit to SUNY-Buffalo in the fall of 1978.

Joined by Peter Orlovsky and Al Hershberger, Ginsberg, no stranger to speaking candidly about his queerness (or any other topic), holds forth on a variety of topics, from his closeted youth and coming out to his family, along with the Beat Generation's relationship to nature, and contemporaneous political topics like California's Briggs Amendment — which he initially approaches from a literary perspective, highlighting classic authors (from Whitman to Wilde, Genet to Plato) who California teachers would be banned from assigning — as well as the Rocky Flats Nuclear Plant.

The show begins with a performance of "Gospel Noble Truths" (in a different arrangement than what would become Ginsberg's standard, and with some slight lyrical variations), and also includes excerpts from the recently-written "'Don't Grow Old,'" concerning Ginsberg's coming out to his father, and ends with a performance of "Everybody Sing" (which famously asserts that "everybody's just a little bit homosexual, whether they like it or not"). To listen, click here to visit our Allen Ginsberg author page.


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