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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Kathy Acker, "Redoing Childhood"

Posted 2/18/2019

Today we're taking a dip into the PennSound archives to showcase Kathy Acker's album Redoing Childhood (Kill Rock Stars, 1999), which we first added to the site in December 2007. Here's what our original PennSound Daily announcement said about the record:
Produced by Hal Willner (William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Lou Reed), the album features musical accompaniment by feminist punk band Tribe 8, as well as David Cunningham (keyboards), Ralph Carney (reeds), Joe Gore (guitar), Steve Bernstein (trumpet) and Kenny Wollesen (drums), who slip effortlessly between time signatures and genres, providing a roiling bed of sound which perfectly complements Acker's seething delivery. Willner originally recorded Acker's contribution in 1993 — a time in which the recurring references to President Bush were a not-yet-faded memory of a graceless political era — and though she worried about the timeliness of such allusions during the general political torpor of the Clinton era, they're eerily fitting now, a decade after her death.
Of course, our current political climate seemed practically unimaginable way back then, and Acker's strident and uncompromising perspectives are, no doubt, even more vital then than now. Hindsight also provides us with the opportunity to share these observations on the album and its origins, via Chris Kraus' After Kathy Acker: A Biography, which explains how Acker reframed large chunks of her recent book, My Mother: Demonology as "as an avant-operatic spoken-word CD":
Each take was done virtually nonstop, and Ralph Carney recalls Acker jumping up and down in the booth while Tribe 8 played. When it was finally released two years after her death, Redoing Childhood revealed a new dimension to Acker's work. "Her voice in general, there was something so lush and luscious and embracing and sexy," Ira Silverberg told the Seattle Weekly. "Kathy had rock star energy about her. [Her performance] had less to do with the punctuation of the actual sentences than with her almost reinterpreting her own work in a lyrical way … Kathy just got it."
You can listen to the complete album, along with a 1978 Segue Series reading (with selections from Blood and Guts in High School), recordings from SUNY-Buffalo in 1979 and 1995, and several recordings surrounding Acker's late novel, Pussy, King of the Pirates, including the 1995 album of the same name she recorded with the Mekons by clicking here. As always, we're grateful to Matias Viegener and the Acker estate for their permission to share these recordings with our listeners.

A Celebration of Gerrit Lansing, 2018

Posted 2/15/2019

This week marked the one year anniversary of the passing of poet Gerrit Lansing, so it's a fitting occasion to highlight this recently-added tribute reading held in his honor in Kingston, NY on October 20th of last year.

The event begins with introductions by Michael Bisio (who also performs) and Pierre Joris, then continues with sets by Tamas Panitz, T. Urayoán Noel, Nicole PeyrafitteGeorge Quasha, Joris, Don Byrd, Charles Stein, and Robert Kelly. You can listen to the complete event, which has conveniently been broken into individual MP3 files here, and while you're at it, why not take a spin through the recordings of Lansing we're honored to host on his PennSound author page, including a wonderful, intimate Close Listening program with Charles Bernstein and special guest Susan Howe, which was recorded at Lansing's Gloucester, MA home in 2012. Those wanting to learn more about the late poet should also check out the "Mass: Gerrit Lansing," feature at Jacket2, which is part of Jim Dunn and Kevin Gallagher's sprawling and marvelous 2012 feature, “Mass: Raw Poetry from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

Hannah Weiner: Two Newly Segmented 1983 Recordings

Posted 2/13/2019

Thanks to the efforts of PennSound staffer Luisa Healey, today we're happy to present two newly-segmented recordings from Hannah Weiner. Both are related to her October 10, 1983 appearance at the Ear Inn as part of the Segue Series: first, there's her complete set, which, after introductory comments, showcases selections from her 1984 Sun and Moon book SPOKE. Weiner reads "AUG 1," "AUG 3," "SEPT 4," "SEPT 6," and "SEPT survive 11." The second recording, an excerpt released on the 1994 CD Live at the Ear Inn, comes from that same reading.

As Patrick Durgin notes in his introduction to a recent edition of Weiner's Clairvoyant Journal, the poet made a distinction between SPOKE and her contemporaneous project, WEEKS: "SPOKE was written clairvoyantly. I saw the words in small groups on my forehead and wrote them down in a notebook. The large words were seen on the notebook page." In Weiner's "Working Notes," published in the January 1987 issue of HOW(ever): "I wrote it one summer late at night, in bed, in my mother's home." You can read the book in its entirety at Eclipse here, and  of course, don't forget that you can browse through an impressive archive of this important poet's work on PennSound's Hannah Weiner author page.

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