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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Lila Zemborain Reads from Her 9/11 Poem, 'Rasgado/Torn'

Posted 9/11/2023

Today we mark the anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks by revisiting Argentinian poet and critic Lila Zemborain's 2021 reading of selections from Rasgado/Torn (Buenos Aires: Tse-Tse, 2006), her poetic diary written one year after 9/11. As this predated our Zemborain author pageCharles Bernstein first shared the video in a Jacket2 commentary post.

This footage was shot at a reading in New York City on August 25, 2021 presented by Rebel RoadZemborain is accompanied by Lorenzo Bueno, her son and also  translator (with Rosa Alcala) of Rasgado/Torn. You can watch their performance below.

Poet and critic Lila Zemborain (Argentina) is the Director of Creative Writing in Spanish at NYU. She is the author of several poetry collections: Abrete sésamo debajo agua (1993); Usted (1998); Guardianes del secreto (2002), translated into English as Guardians of the Secret (2009/2015); Malvas orquídeas del mar (2004), translated into English as Mauve Sea-orchids (2007); Rasgado (2006), translated into French as Déchiré (2013); El rumor de los bordes (2011); Diario de la hamaca paraguaya (2014); Materia blanda (2014); and the chapbooks Ardores (1989) and Pampa (2001).

Larry Eigner: Sacred Materials

Posted 9/10/2023

It was a big deal back in 2011 when the legendary Bay Area-documentarian Kush shared footage online for very first time, and we were proud to be the venue to share it. Presented under the title Larry Eigner: Sacred Materials, this trio of videos include nearly two hours of footage from the end of Eigner's life, including his last public reading on November 17, 1995, and two videos shot on February 6, 1996, which document his burial and his work environs.

A vital part of San Francisco's poetry scene since the 1970s, Kush is the proprietor of the renowned Cloud House Poetry Archives, which "is distinguished from any other by the comprehensive depth of its audiovisual collection and the high fidelity of its field recordings. It is a week-by-week, month-by-month, and decade-by-decade living record of the avant-garde practice of poetry in the San Francisco Bay Area. It represents entire communities of poets and affiliated artists that we identify as the 'poet genome' of Northern California/Pacific Rim."

We are grateful to Kush for his ongoing generosity in sharing these and many other films through the PennSound archives. To watch Larry Eigner: Sacred Materials, click here.

Happy Birthday to John Cage

Posted 9/5/2023

September 5th is the birthday of John Cage, a singular talent who made world-changing contributions to the world of poetry as well as music. To mark the date, we've assembled a group of Cage-related recordings from the PennSound archives for your listening pleasure. It includes everything from Cage's own writings, poetry and performance inspired by Cage, excerpts from conversations and interviews in which poets discuss Cage's influence on their work, and even full-length lectures by noted Cage scholars:

Jerry Rothenberg reads Cage's "Lecture on Nothing" (2:10): MP3

Marjorie Perloff's talk, "Watchman, Spy and Dead Man: Frank O' Hara, Jasper Johns, and John Cage in the Sixties" (1:01:24): MP3

Perloff discusses "The Poetics of Indeterminacy" and John Cage (15:02): MP3

Chris Funkhouser discusses John Cage and Jackson Mac Low's poetry (1:28): MP3

Bruce Andrews discusses John Cage (1:47): MP3

Joan Retallack's lecture, "John Cage's Anarchic Harmony: A Poethical Wager" (55:16): MP3

Danny Snelson discusses Cage's Cartridge Music (5:21): MP3

Anne Waldman reads from "Pieces of an Hour (Dear John Cage...)" (5:45): MP3

Jackson Mac Low and Ann Tardos perform "Phoneme Dance; in Memoriam John Cage" (5:05): MP3

Mac Low reads "Phoeneme Dance for John Cage" (5:11): MP3

Mac Low reads six poems written for the occasion of Cage's 79th birthday:
  • "A Breather" (1:21): MP3
  • "Intention Disappears" (1:47): MP3
  • "Rebus Effort Remove Government" (2:32): MP3
  • "They Didn't Whir He Gave No Advice" (3:03): MP3
  • "This Occasion" (1:34): MP3
  • "He Never Relaxed for a Moment" (1:12): MP3

Mac Low reads "Rebus Effort Remove Government" in a later session (2:32): MP3

Mac Low discusses the influence of Cage's chance-composed music and Buddhism (5:50): MP3

Ron Silliman on John Cage's influence (2:57): MP3

M.C. Richards reads "For John Cage on His 75th Birthday" (4:06): MP3

Clark Coolidge reads "For John Cage" (23:08): MP3  

Coolidge discusses Cage and his work (4:18): MP3

and finally, don't miss PoemTalk #135, which addresses Cage's "Writing for the Second Time through Finnegans Wake"

Want to read more? Visit the PennSound Daily archive.