Segue Series at the Bowery Poetry Club: Dana Ward and Jordan Davis, 2010

Posted 3/1/2010 (link)

The Segue Series' 2009-2010 season continues — unabated by snow, rain or even more snow — now under the curatorship of Nada Gordon and Gary Sullivan, who, last Saturday, brought together Dana Ward and Jordan Davis on the stage at the Bowery Poetry Club.

Ward, who's described by Gordon in her intro as a"bio-lumiscent being, poetry's beatific butterfly," begins his set with "Julie Andrews Doesn't Sing Here Anymore": a poem which touches upon issues of prosody and lyricism that the two had been discussing in recent correspondence. He continues with "Imagine," "Falling Out," "Sugar Falls" and "Breathlessness."

After a brief intermission, Sullivan introduces Davis, whom he situates as "the most successful embodiment" of creative interstices of Frank O'Hara, Philip Whalen, Ted Berrigan and Rod Smith. Some of the titles included in Davis' set are "Hersh Notes," "Text Messages," "Ira will not be attending the meeting," "My Twin," "The Bright Ages," "Otters" and "Responsibility."

You can listen to both of these sets on the authors' individual PennSound pages — Ward's can be found here; Davis' is here — or on our Segue Series at the Bowery Poetry Club homepage, where you'll also find hundreds of sets from 2002 to present. Next week's reading will feature Karen Weiser and Macgregor Card, and for information on upcoming events, author bios and much more, be sure to check out the Segue Series calendar.

New EDIT Series Event Featuring Tianna Kennedy and Tomomi Adachi, 2010

Posted 3/3/2010 (link)

In addition to our wonderful student interns, Rebekah Caton and Rebekah Larsen, PennSound is lucky to have a very talented apprentice, Jeffrey Boruszak, working with us this semester. As part of his apprenticeship, Jeff will be doing a little writing for the site, starting with today's PennSound Daily entry:

We're very glad to reveal the newly posted and segmented recordings from last week's reading by Tianna Kennedy and Tomomi Adachi in the second installment of the EDIT series. The event, co-sponsored by Writers Without Borders, focused on the issues of improvisation, transmission, and performance, as a part of the series' larger goal to explore the editorial strategies of contemporary writing and the arts.

The evening began with an improvisatory talk by Tianna Kennedy on her projects throughout the years. After recounting her earlier life, Kennedy discussed her discovery of pirate radio, her involvement with Free103point9, a New York organization focusing of the arts of transmission, and the importance of radio in this context: "For me, radio was always more about ... the slippages, the noise, the interception, it's always been an experimental medium." Also touched upon are the Empty Vessel Project, an attempt to create a totally free space for expression and experimentation on the Gowanus Canal, and the Swimming Cities of Serenissima — a sailing expedition from Slovenia to Venice on boats constructed out of salvaged materials.

Adachi then took the stage, performing a series of pieces in English and Japanese, which employ a number of electronic modifications along the way. "I am working on voice, gesture, electronics, and set management," he explains, "and sometimes video and sometimes installations." Beginning by using his own head as an instrument in "Face for Voice and Gesture" (a poem performed for the first time at this event), Adachi read a number of poems, both original and by other Japanese sound poets. This culminated with the works "Second Hand" and "Voice and Infrared Sensor Shirt," where he used some of his own unique inventions in his performance. Given the nature of the poems, as well as Adachi's admission of the importance of gesture, we recommend you take a gander at the video recording of the event, made possible by KWH-TV.

The first installment of the EDIT series, which featured series creator Danny Snelson, along with Jeremy James Foxtrot Thompson and Astrid Lorange, is also available via audio and video recordings on PennSound's EDIT series homepage.

New Close Listening Programs Featuring Fred Wah, Erin Moure

Posted 3/5/2010 (link)

We're wrapping up the week by highlighting a pair of new Close Listening programs, recorded by Charles Bernstein at the Banff Center as part of "In(ter)ventions: Literary Practice at the Edge" on February 21, 2010.

First up is a two-part program featuring Montreal poet and translator, Erin Mouré, which begins with a 23 minute reading segment featuring excerpts from Mouré's recent book, O Resplandor. That's followed by a conversation segment which begins with the poet discussing the structure of that collection and continues to address Mouré's motivations behind her work as a translator and the dynamics that exist between her foundations in multiple languages and the creative act itself. In the program's second half, Bernstein asks Mouré how her Canadian identity shapes her work, along with her sense of her writing community and her influences, and from there, the conversation shifts to address the ways in which the reader's awareness of her own contexts affects her experience of a given work. The program ends with the poet talking about the ways in which she approaches an embodied performance

The first of two programs featuring Fred Wah showcases poems from his latest, Is a Door, published last month by Talon Books, including "Discount Me In," "I Need to Apply," "Defend the Zero," "Naturalized Citizen Peeled" and "Loki Sniffs the Floods." In the second program, Bernstein and Wah have a wide-ranging discussion which begins with some of Wah's formative experiences as a poet (including early interactions with Robert Creeley and Robert Duncan), the importance of community to his aesthetics and how he defines his own personal poetics. Towards the end, the two discuss the evolving relationship between U.S. and Canadian poetics — the correspondences and boundaries that exist between these two neighboring nations — and end by considering whether an ethical or political aspect is necessary to one's poetics.

You can listen to both of these sets of programs on our newly-created author pages for Erin Mouré and Fred Wah, and don't forget to check out PennSound's Close Listening homepage for dozens of fascinating readings and conversations with a diverse array of figures from the world of contemporary arts and letters.

PoemTalk 29: Kit Robinson's "Return on Word"

Posted 3/8/2010 (link)

Last week, we released the twenty-nineth episode in the PoemTalk Podcast Series, a discussion of Kit Robinson's 2002 poem, "Return on Word." Host Al Filreis is joined for this program by first-timer Rae Armantrout, and a pair of repeat panelists: Thomas Devaney and Linh Dinh.

Filreis begins the conversation by asking Armantrout to address the free-associative resonance of "all we need is a few good words" — which takes one to the armed forces marketing slogan, "a few good men" — and she's quick to agree that this poem is riddled with "pat phrases gone bad," leading towards a marked break in tone and sentiment in the final stanza, which the panelists consider at length. Armantrout then parses through the economic and marketing parlance that seeks an identity: "I think that kinda words both ways, because obviously that could be branding in a corporate sense [...] but also poets sorta brand themselves, or get branded — poets are labeled." Therefore, for Filreis, while there's a satirical take on the business world here, there's also an equally pointed critique of the poetry reader.

Dinh points out the flat diction and shares his desire for more conflict or an individualized voice here, and throughout Robinson's contemporaneous work, which Armantrout describes as exploring the "conjunction where writing and being a writer meets being a businessperson." She also points out the sinister potential of the final stanza's image of "words / thought has taken a contract out on," though the panel comes around to a more positive reading embracing a Poundian ethos of newness, a liberation of hackneyed phrasings. Devaney returns to the poem's title, envisioning a sort of dividend on poetic capital, and concluding that the poem is, at its heart, "about values being at odds with each other."

Filreis then asks Armantrout to speak for herself (and by extension for Robinson) in regards to a common criticism of work like theirs: that while it ably captures the din of societal discourse, it lacks a subjective center, an anchoring identity. She points out the fact that "we learn to speak from others and we learn to speak in their phrases," and wonders "when does one's own voice come in?" concluding that, perhaps, "everyone's voice is a composite that they make unique by the way they compile all the voices that are out there." Hence here, it's only through the language of marketing that Robinson can so effectively debunk the false optimism, the empty slogans, offered by that industry. Playing off of Robinson's background on the stage, Devaney sees sympathies with the work of David Mamet.

Asked to address his earlier comment that the poem doesn't go far enough, Dinh situates the poem in its historical contexts (at the precipitous end of the dot-com boom) and comments on the language of optimism and the prevalence of slogans throughout the poem as a symptom of a larger bankruptcy (which is both material and spiritual). Filreis picks up on this idea, noting, "he's inviting us to say something [...] he's basically militarizing happy marketing talk." Devaney responds by offering that, to him, "the idea of words for hire doesn't shock me as much as the idea of thought for hire — that's the more menacing part that he pivots into." The panelists then consider the variation between the poem's final line as performed here (in a 1999 reading at the Kelly Writers House) versus the version published in 2002 — finding a shift away from optimism into ambiguity, and a lost opportunity to address critiques of Language poetry — before offering up their final comments.

PoemTalk is a co-production of PennSound, the Kelly Writers House and the Poetry Foundation. If you're interested in more information on the series or want to hear the previous twenty-eight episodes, please visit the PoemTalk blog, and don't forget that you can subscribe to the series through the iTunes music store. For our next episode, Filreis will be joined by Bob Perelman, Charles Bernstein and Robert Grenier discussing two brief William Carlos Williams poems selected by Grenier: "The Red Wheelbarrow" and "Flowers by the Sea." Stay tuned also for future programs in the series which will address poems by Robert Grenier, Susan Howe, Fanny Howe and Sharon Mesmer and Charles Olson. Thanks, as always, for listening!

Ron Padgett: "The Big Something," Recorded in Its Entirety, 2009

Posted 3/10/2010 (link)

Today, we're very proud to properly unveil a rare treat from poet, Ron Padgett — a home recording of the poet reading his collection, The Big Something (The Figures, 1990), in its entirety.

James Schuyler's back cover blurb for The Big Something praises Padgett for writing "poems [that] are remarkably clear, almost invisibly so, like a refreshing glass of cold water — poems in which he goes nit-picking with the OED, uses Tulsa plain-speak in the diction of Blaise Cendrars, turns and looks back at the food he has set out and sees it is a painting by Fairfield Porter, which is Fairfield Porter, builds his wooden dream house, and all a little askew, as the world is." Indeed, within, we discover the sharp philosophical observations and clever wit that we all know and love in Padgett's work, taking the form of hometown remembrances ("Oklahoma Dawn," "Coors"), travelogues ("The Rue de Rennes," "At Apollinaire's Tomb," "The Human Being and the Human Nothingness"), domestic scenes ("The Salt and Pepper Shakers," "Indian Territory") and writerly statements ("First Drift," "Poem"). We also sense a formal shift taking place, with the open-field construction present in the poet's earlier work almost non-existent, replaced by experiments in prose poetry, along with two longer sequences that were first published as individual volumes ("How to be a Woodpecker" and "Light as Air").

Most poignantly, we find long shadows cast by the recent deaths of close friends such as Ted Berrigan, Edwin Denby and Frances LeFevre Waldman (mother of Anne Waldman), shaping devastating poems like "Dog" and "Each and Which" — the latter, after a hilarious litany of "Teutonic belching" occasioned by browsing through the Oxford English Dictionary (which is marvelous to hear in the poet's own voice), wounds us with its closing observation, "[t]hus I spend my days, / waiting for friends to die." Given the subsequent passing of compatriots Joe Brainard and Kenneth Koch (who appears here in "Goethe"), the weight of this grief is made even more acute.

On Padgett's PennSound author page, you'll also find a pair of 2003 readings (one at the Kelly Writers House, one as part of the Line Reading Series), highlighting selections from his then-recent books, You Never Know (Coffee House Press, 2002) and Oklahoma Tough: My Father, King of the Tulsa Bootleggers (University of Oklahoma Press, 2003), along with a lengthy interview with Amy King on miPOradio and the single track "The Music Lesson," from The World Record: Readings at the St. Mark's Poetry Project, 1969-1980, while in the PEPC Library, you'll find a PDF version of Padgett's 1970 collaboration with Tom Veitch, Antlers in the Treetops. It's not often that we can present audio recordings of a book in its entirety, and so we're particularly grateful to Ron Padgett that we're able to do so with The Big Something, and look forward to sharing more recordings of his work with our listeners in the future.

PennSound Congratulates NBCC Winner Rae Armantrout

Posted 3/12/2010 (link)

All of us at PennSound couldn't be happier to hear last night's news that Rae Armantrout's Versed had been awarded the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. In their official citation, the NBCC praised Versed for "its demonstration of superb intellect and technique, its melding of experimental poetics but down-to-earth subject matter to create poems you are compelled to return to, that get richer with each reading," while in a recent blog post highlighting finalists, James Marcus observes that Armantrout's work is "playful, poignant, and metaphysically alert?never more so than in Versed [...] whose vigilant, often beautiful poems seem to reset the reader?s mental instrumentation."

Faithful PennSound listeners have had the opportunity to hear material from Versed long before it was released, starting with a May 2006 Close Listening reading and conversation with Charles Bernstein, which featured eight poems from the manuscript-in-progress. Alongside a generous selection of poems from Armantrout's just-published collection, Next Life, readings from Versed also figured heavily into a pair of 2007 readings at the Bowery Poetry Club (as part of the Segue Series, in May) and the Kelly Writers House (in September). It's interesting to note that in these recordings, Armantrout differentiates between the poetic sequences "Versed" and "Dark Matter," originally considered separate manuscripts, which would be published together under the title Versed — a possibility she acknowledges in a summer 2008 reading that comes to us through A Voice Box.

You can hear all of these recordings on PennSound's Rae Armantrout author page, a veritable treasure trove of readings, talks and interviews from 1979 to the present, amply demonstrating how integral a member Armantrout is to our various communities — whether as a frequent KWH visitor, Segue Series participant or poetic missionary from coast to coast. We heartily congratulate Rae for her achievement, and the NBCC committee for their exquisite taste.

New Heatstrings Recordings of Dawn Lundy Martin, A.L. Nielsen

Posted 3/15/2010 (link)

Today, we're springing forward into a new week with a pair of recordings from the Heatstrings archives featuring Dawn Lundy Martin (shown at left) and A.L. Nielsen.

We begin with Dawn Lundy Martin's reading at Penn State University on October 20, 2009, which is introduced by Nielsen, who explains the poet's role in what he considers an important "critical interdiction" — namely, the Black Took Collective's formation within the contexts of the Cave Canem workshop — and offers praise for her work. Martin reads a selection of poems from her latest collection, A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering (University of Georgia, 2007), her debut chapbook The Morning Hour (Poetry Society of America, 2003) and her forthcoming manuscript, Discipline, jumping from book to book to create a conversation between individual poems.

Next up, we switch gears from Nielsen as host and recorder to Nielsen as speaker with "The Future of An Allusion," a lecture investigating "certain questions of diaspora, of blackness, of modernity," delivered at Georgetown University on April 13, 2005, which serves as a homecoming of sorts, as Nielsen earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Washington, DC (at Federal City College and the George Washington University, respectively).

You can hear either of the recordings above by clicking on the individual links, or click on the title above to visit PennSound's Heatstrings archive homepage, where you'll find twenty years' worth of recordings representing Nielsen's scholarly and creative circles, his friendships, investigations and endeavors — a fascinating document of a fascinating mind, for which we always eagerly await new material.

Susan Howe and David Grubbs: "Souls of the Labadie Tract" (Live in London, 2009)

Posted 3/17/2010 (link)

Last month, when we announced a new PennSound author page for the collaborations of Susan Howe and David Grubbs, we professed our hope to add new material in the near future to complement the pair's 2005 album Thiefth. Today, we're very happy to offer a live recording of the project that followed that album in 2007, Souls of the Labadie Tract. Taking place at the Purcell Room at London's Southbank Centre on October 8, 2009, this recording features Howe reading and Grubbs playing khaen baet and khaen jet (harmonic, multi-piped mouth organs originating in Southeast Asia), as well as nimbly mixing the live performance.

Writing in Boston Review, Andrew Zawacki characterizes Souls of the Labadie Tract as "an excavation of site and citation, of quasi-utopian polis and poetry 'half-smothered in local history' and stresses the manuscript's performativity, noting: "Fascinated by 'lexical inscape,' while allured by 'allophone tangle,' too, Howe forges the spoken to script. 'Font-voices,' she ventures, 'summon a reader into visible earshot.'" Reviewing the original Blue Chopsticks release, Joel Calahan observes, "[Howe and Grubbs'] project both foregrounds the inhumanness of the voice broken down into digital impulses, while recovering the vitality of the human as prophet in a recorded medium. Essentially, the duo produce a work that reminds us how all communication proves to be effectively mechanical."

You can listen to both Souls of Labadie Tract and Thiefth on PennSound's Susan Howe and David Grubbs author page, and you'll find even more on our individual Howe page. If you haven't already RSVPed for Howe's highly-anticipated visit as one of 2010's Howe's Kelly Writers House Fellows next week, you'll want to follow this link for more information. If you're not in the Philadelphia area, fear not, both the Monday night reading and Tuesday morning conversation with Al Filreis will be webcast via KWH-TV (as most of the wonderful events at the Writers House are).

Fred Moten: Two New Recordings, 2010

Posted 3/19/2010 (link)

It's been two years to the day since we launched our Fred Moten author page with recordings from his two visits to UPenn, which included the lecture, "Black Kant (Pronounced Chant)," delivered as part of the Theorizing series on February 27, 2007, and a reading at the Kelly Writers House on February 28, 2008. Today, we're excited to double our Moten holdings with two new recordings from this winter, which draw from his latest collection, B Jenkins, and newer material.

First, we have Moten's January 16th reading with Mónica de la Torre at the Bowery Poetry Club as part of the Segue Series. Introducing Moten that afternoon, Thom Donovan (whose comments are archived on the Poetry Foundation's Harriet blog) observes, "In Moten's lyric, I hear the freshness of the rap song that comprises the lyrical condensation of radical Black discourse since the 70s — the language edge of the language edge. Likewise, I hear the cut of horn players blowing, making caesuras on a plane of immanence, shoring-up intensities born out of encounter, conflict, and genocide. So sonic intensity is tantamount to submerged embodied historiography." The set includes a number of poems from B Jenkins — including "gayl jones," "thelma foote / lyndon barrett," "frank ramsey / nancy wilson," "piet mondrian" and both bookending title poems — before switching to material from his new manuscript in progress, a "long sequence of short things," Block Chapel.

Next, thanks to Ben Cartright and Billie Joe Harris, we have an hour-long recording of Moten reading at the University of Kansas in Lawrence on February 24th. Drawing from B Jenkins exclusively, this set includes, among many others, the poems "fishbone / joseph jarman," "james baldwin," "tony oxley / frederick douglass," "sherrie tucker, francis ponge, sun ra," "sleater-kinney," "elixabeth cotton / nahum chandler" and "lorenzo bird."

We're particularly happy to have these new recordings, and look forward to adding more to our Fred Moten author page in the future. To listen to all of the recordings mentioned above — including these two new sets — click on the title above.

Hank Lazer: Newly Segmented KWH Reading, 2009

Posted 3/22/2010 (link)

We recently posted segmented audio from Hank Lazer's March 17, 2009 reading at the Kelly Writers House — one of several key recordings you'll find on our Hank Lazer author page.

The event begins with opening comments from Jessica Lowenthal, followed by a formal introduction from Charles Bernstein (who, with Lazer, co-edits the University of Alabama Press' Modern and Contemporary Poetics Series). "Hank's practice [...] has often consisted of conflicting aesthetic styles — he refuses to fetishize or show an allegiance to any one form, but think of form as opening up to thought," Bernstein observes, "and the thought, the practice of the everyday, the idea of poetry as situated in a contemplative practice, but also informed by appropriated materials, by the law, by the cultural situation that he finds himself in in the US, as well as in the southeast, has created a body of poetry that extends the jazz aesthetic of poets of the sixties and seventies as well as many of the appropriative and conceptual poetics of today."

After lending his "Alabama perspective" on the importance of the Kelly Writers House and PennSound, Lazer starts off his set with a prose excerpt from Lyric & Spirit (Omnidawn, 2008), followed by more than a dozen poems from Days (Lavender Ink, 2002). The second half of the reading features poems from The New Spirit (Singing Horse Press, 2005), Portions (Lavender Ink, 2009) and The Notebooks (of Being & Time), including "Sentence," "Dream," "Avant," "Small Books" and "House."

Earlier that afternoon, Lazer recorded PoemTalk #21 (on Bernstein's "In a Restless World Like This") with Al Filreis, Marcella Durand and Eli Goldblatt, and the following day, he'd sit down with Bernstein to record two Close Listening programs — a reading segment, drawing upon Lyric & Spirit, Portions, The New Spirit and The Notebooks (of Being & Time), which is followed by a conversation that touches upon Southern poetry, jazz, form and Lazer's sense of poetic identity, among other topics. On Lazer's PennSound author page, you'll also find the poet's 2008 appearance on Leonard Schwartz's Cross-Cultural Poetics program, the 2005 lecture, "Religious vs. Religion: Innovative Poetry and Spiritual Experience," and segmented recordings of Lazer reading from Days in 1999 and 2000, which includes several tracks with the Alabama Poetry Ensemble.

The Emergency Reading Series: Night of the Lauras (Jaramillo, Elrick and Neuman), 2010

Posted 3/24/2010 (link)

Today, we've got a wonderful recent event from the Emergency Reading Series. Recorded March 3rd, this reading showcases, in the words of co-curator, Julia Bloch, "three poets who overlap in a couple of different ways — both geography and approach to form," who also happen to share the same first name: Laura, specifically, Laura Neuman, Laura Jaramillo and Laura Elrick.

First comes Laura Neuman, a performing artist and poet based in Philadelphia, whose work, in Bloch's estimation, "use[s] the mode of inquiry to open up geographical and narrative spaces between people, spaces and silences." Her fifteen minute set includes the titles "Two-Fifty," "Six Thirty-Three," "Not Your Slow Dance," "Electric Slide," "Scat" and "Think Tank."

Laura Jaramillo is up next, introduced by co-curator Sarah Dowling , who notes that her poetry is "sincerely funny in all of the different ways in which in which that combination of words could be understood, but I think especially in the sense that they mix humor with serious and urgent questions and in the sense that the behaviors and phenomena that they record are at once ridiculous, endearing and completely horrifying." Jaramillo set consists of a number of selections from her 2008 Olywa Press chapbook, Reactionary Poems, including "Tropical Fascism," "Post-Heroic Drag," "The Woody Allen-ization of the Species," "Mortgages for All Credit Scenarios," "Without Ruth or Law," "Music for Blown Out Speakers" and "Trampoline the Stranger."

Laura Elrick brings the reading to a close, beginning with "Scene from the Chair," which is followed by a lengthy excerpt from an untitled, book-length work-in-progress, and the reading is followed by lengthy conversation between the poets, hosts and audience. You can listen to or download recordings of complete reading, along with segmented tracks for each reader, and watch streaming video of this event on PennSound's Emergency Reading Series homepage, where you'll also find audio and video from a dozen previous events in the series, including January's marvelous set featuring Jennifer Scappettone and Tonya Foster, which was also recently added.

the Cy Press Reading Series: Two New Readings

Posted 3/26/2010 (link)

We're bringing this week to a close with two events from a new series — Cincinnati, Ohio's Cy Press Reading Series, which brings some of contemporary poetry's most exciting new voices from both coasts to the Midwest for appreciative audiences. Organized by Cy Press editor, Dana Ward, the intimate readings are held at the press' headquarters (shown at left) in the city's Northside neighborhood. Today, we're launching the series with a pair of recordings: one from last fall and one from last weekend.

Recorded September 26, 2009, our first event brings together the Bay Area poets Stephanie Young and Brandon Brown, both of whom read recent work. We've also put together a new author page for Young, where you'll also find a handful of recent readings, including Segue Series sets at the Bowery Poetry Club in 2004 and 2009, a 2008 reading courtesy of A Voice Box and her 2007 appearance on LA-Lit's "Bay Poetics" episode (alongside Del Ray Cross, Susan Gevirtz, Suzanne Stein and Magdalena Zurawski).

Moving forward to last weekend (March 20th, to be exact), we switch coasts for the New York City poets Arlo Quint and John Coletti. Quint kicked off the evening with poems from his chapbooks Hospitality in the Forest and Drawn In, along with newer pieces. Coletti read largely from his newest collection, Mum Halo, and his set is one of three that you'll find on the new author page we've put together for him — alongside an Emergency Reading Series event in 2007 and a brief (due to unfortunate technical difficulties) set at the Philly Sound New Poetry Weekend in 2003.

As the summer heats up, stay tuned for more Cy Press readings, and in the meantime, click on the title above to listen to these four sets.

Susan Howe: Kelly Writers House Fellows Audio and Video Now Available

Posted 3/29/2010 (link)

Our wonderful spring semester intern, Jeffrey Boruszak, is back with another PennSound Daily entry, detailing some very exciting new additions to the PennSound archives:

We're glad to begin this week by announcing that recordings of last week's visit by Susan Howe as part of the Kelly Writers House Fellows program are now available. Video and segmented audio recordings of Howe's reading on Monday evening, as well as her discussion on Tuesday morning, are both available on her author page, as well as Howe's KWH Fellows page.

On Monday, Howe read a wide cross-section of pieces from throughout her career, beginning with an excerpt from Secret History of the Dividing Line, before moving into a discussion and reading of the phenomenal work, "Melville's Marginalia." Rounding out the evening were Bed Hangings, "Errand," and Souls of the Labadie Tract.

The next morning, Kelly Writers House Faculty Director Al Filreis led a rousing discussion of both Howe's reading the previous night, as well as her work in general. Aside from Filreis' comments, questions came from audience members, phone callers, and even an anonymous email, as viewers from around the world tuned into a live webcast of the event. Topics of discussion included lurking around the forgotten corners of libraries and the "sexiness of the stacks," Howe's work My Emily Dickinson and her relationship to one of her favorite poets, and Howe's favorite writing environment in her home. At one point, a heated, but good-natured argument broke out as Howe tried to convince the entire room that she is not as good a poet as Wallace Stevens, and the discussion ended with a reading from Howe's 1996 book, Frame Structures.

While you're visiting Howe's PennSound author page, take a look at the wealth of Howe's material already available. Along with a number of appearances in the Segue Reading Series, and another visit to the Kelly Writer's House in 2007, you'll find Thiefth, Howe's collaboration with musician and composer David Grubbs.

Several New Recordings from the Incognito Lounge and Heatstrings

Posted 3/31/2010 (link)

Today, we've got four wonderful new programs from Incognito Lounge — a biweekly radio program produced and hosted by A.L. Nielsen (shown at left) on San José's KSJS-FM between 1989 and 1995.

We begin with a program featuring Marjorie Perloff, recorded November 11, 1991 in Palo Alto, California, which begins with a discussion of Perloff's discovery of the work of Frank O'Hara, leading eventually to her groundbreaking study, Poet Among Painters (1977, reissued 1997). They move on to discuss The Futurist Moment: Avant-Garde, Avant Guerre, and the Language of Rupture (1987, reissued 2003) and the difficulties of undertaking early-century recovery projects — and from our contemporary perspective, it's shocking to hear them chatting about O'Hara, Blaise Cendrars and Guiseppe Ungaretti in a time in which they were all widely unknown and woefully out-of-print authors.

The first of two new recordings of Nathaniel Mackey is an Incognito Lounge program recorded July 18, 1991, which begins with a long discussion of Mackey's Hambone, including its origins and editorial process, as well as the globe-spanning friendships that originated through soliciting work for the influential journal. This program is very nicely complemented by a recording of Mackey reading at San Francisco's Intersection for the Arts on June 24 of the same year, which draws its fifty-minute setlist largely from the then-forthcoming collection, School of Udhra (1993).

Among other recent additions, we have a fifty-minute Incognito Lounge set by Sherley A. Williams, recorded at the University of Louisville in February 1991; a forty-five minute set by Joan Retallack reading in her Bethesda living room in July 1991; and a 1992 panel presentation by Nielsen, Rae Armantrout and Charles Altieri at the American Literature Association's annual conference in San Diego, California. Bringing things to a close, we have a three-part Bob Perelman retrospective, recorded at Intersection for the Arts in June 1990, which includes both a talk and a selection of recent poems.

We're grateful as always to A.L. Nielsen for sending these treasures our way, and will happily keep posting them as long as the YouSendIt e-mails keep pouring in. When you've had your fill browsing through our Incognito Lounge and Heatstrings series pages, don't forget to check out our A.L. Nielsen author page where you can hear Nielsen read some of his own poetry and deliver talks in a number of recordings from different locations.