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Cecilia Vicuña


Photo © 2008 Charles Bernstein/PennSound.

LINEbreak Reading at the Charles Morrow and Associates Studio, New York City, September 1995

Cecilia improvises a song in Quechua (0:30): RealAudio
Cecilia performs a multilingual quazar (1:40): RealAudio
Water (3:00): MP3

Complete recording (28:59): MP3


Reading for What Is Undug Will Be: A Digital Archive Launch for XCP (1997–2010), Virtual Program, February 27, 2021

For full list of readers and more information, see complete listing.

Performance and Reading at Princeton University, with pianist/composer Ricardo Gallo, April 4, 2018

Complete recording (01:20:27): MP3

Video available here.

An Illustrated Conversation at the Kelly Writers House, February 16, 2017

Watch on Media.sas

Complete reading (1:27:09): MP3

  1. Opening remarks by Al Filreis (3:07): MP3
  2. Introduction by Laynie Brown (11:06): MP3
  3. "You made me cry..." (12:39): MP3
  4. Viewing of "Fire over water" (7:13): MP3
  5. Fragment of "Quipu Mapocho" (6:54): MP3
  6. Discussion of two videos (6:57): MP3
  7. "Colliding and not colliding at the same time" (3:55): MP3
  8. "Last night, I went to..." (3:43): MP3
  9. Discussion of shifting attentions (2:49): MP3
  10. Discussion of aesthetics as change and despair (8:28): MP3
  11. Discussion of the internet, mind, and glaciers (11:51): MP3

Reading for Dia's Readings in Contemporary Poetry, April 15, 2016

Complete recording available here.

The Book as Performance with Jen Bervin, in the Kempner Gallery, Columbia University Rare Book & Manuscript Library, November 17, 2015

in association with the exhibition "The Book Undone: Thirty Years of Granary Books"

Watch on Media.sas

Complete performance (46:35): MP3
Watch an HD version of this video here: Vimeo

Reading and Launch of Barbaric Vast & Wild: Poems for the Millennium Vol. 5, The Poetry Project, October 14, 2015

Complete reading (23:08): MP3

  1. On Jerome Rothenberg (1:56): MP3
  2. Reading "Incantation for Jaguar Macaw Madness" (6:30): MP3
  3. Reading from "Wild Ways" by Ikkyū (4:51): MP3
  4. Reading "Hypocrite Women" by Denise Levertov (2:58): MP3
  5. Reading poems by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (3:58): MP3

Segue Series Reading at the Zinc Bar, NYC, April 4, 2015

Complete reading (41:28): MP3

  1. Introduction (3:12): MP3
  2. "I said, when the talk of the wind..." (4:44): MP3
  3. "I actually came in my last..." (2:57): MP3
  4. "The guanacos..." (4:08): MP3
  5. "So this is the story..." (5:06): MP3
  6. "I felt so tired before coming here..." (2:30): MP3
  7. "Poetry is an invitation..." (3:25): MP3
  8. On dirty poems and the old (1:02): MP3
  9. "Poema purtiana" (0:54): MP3
  10. "Puritan poem" (translated) (0:37): MP3
  11. "Teresa la imbécil" (Teresa the Idiot) (2:52): MP3

Recorded Poem on Harry's House Vol 2 CD

  • From Kisa Alango - Cecilia Vicuña (0:59): MP3

Chanting fragments of her poem Instan (Kelsey Street Press 2002), improvising on a Tibetan dramyin, Berkeley, February 17, 2012

  1. Alba del habla/mother of time (4:38): MP3
  2. Luz y del qué/cúal es nuestra verdad? (8:20): MP3
  3. Instan, a journey inside words, an oral improvisation (5:27): MP3

Recorded by Ross Craig.

kunter ko (water condor), 2012

Alba de Habla, Dawn of Speech
poems for the spirit of water, composed in response to the destruction of glaciers in Chile

1. Apu miski yawar (Powerful sweet blood) (2:31):
MP3
2. Kunter Niño (Condor child) (4:42): MP3
3. El Hueco, el sonido, el hueso (The hollow, the sound, the bone) (1:32): MP3
4. Ballena azul, Oro de oir (Blue whale click, Hearing is the gold (3:36): MP3
5. Oro es tu hilar (Gold is your spinning) (2:29): MP3
6. El Augau es el oro (Water is the gold) (2:27): MP3
7. Tu ira es el oro (Your rage is the gold) (1:45): MP3
8. Quipu menstrual (Menstrual Quipu) (1:32): MP3
9. Cóndor conrdón (Condor cord) (1:15): MP3
10. Kuntur Ko (Water condor) (3:05): MP3
11. Apaéme con el cristal (Pair me with crystal) (1:26): MP3
12. Agüita (Little Water) (2:28): MP3
13. Melinko Lauen (Medicine mist of the waterfall (2:13): MP3
14. Alba del halba (Dawn of Speech) (9:41): MP3
15. Na ni ná Compartir (No sharing, 2nd part of Alba del Halba) (5:04): MP3

Recorded at NYU's Department of Recorded Music, Tisch, 2006
produced and engineered by Balan Villanueva
mastered by Randy Merrill at Masterdisk, NYC
special thanks to: Paul Geluso, Jim Anderson, Noah Simon, Alex de Turk, Balan Villanueva, Randy Merrill, and James O'Hern
cover photo: César Paternosto
graphic design: Diane Bertolo
Torn Sound Records

Appearing on Cross Cultural Poetics #239: Two Masters, November 3, 2011

Complete segment (31:45): MP3

  1. Introduction by Leonard Shwartz (1:03): MP3
  2. Vicuña discusses writing "Saborami" (1:54): MP3
  3. Discussion of language in "Saborami" (1:44): MP3
  4. "Mastaba" (0:51): MP3
  5. "Solitude" (0:31): MP3
  6. Fragment of "Expedition of the Bibliotecarios" (1:53): MP3
  7. "Puesta de sol" (0:57): MP3
  8. Discussion of paintings in "Saborami" (1:07): MP3
  9. "Pain things and explanation" (5:10): MP3
  10. Discussion of readings (0:48): MP3
  11. Discussion of relationship between "I" and "We" (0:48): MP3
  12. Discussion of indigenous poetry (2:25): MP3
  13. Reading indigenous inspired poetry from "Saborami" (1:09): MP3
  14. Discussion of "Saborami's" new edition (5:21): MP3

EPC@20 Celebration, May 18-21, 2011.

Watch on Media.sas

Complete recording (36:41): MP4

Flux Poetics; Writing in Cultural Duality, Belladonna* Reading Series, New York, April 19, 2011

  1. Introduction (2:23): MP3
  2. Untitled (2:58): MP3
  3. We All (4:32): MP3
  4. As A Child (2:59): MP3
  5. The Primary Echoes (4:47): MP3

Complete reading (19:08): MP3

A screening and discussion of Kon Kon, a documentary poem, Kelly Writers House, February 3, 2011

Complete recording (1:24:40): MP3

Excerpt, discussing ritual in relation to poetry (6:45): YouTube

Reading for Threads Talk Series, November 3, 2010

"Knotations on a Quipu"

  1. Introduction by Steve Clay (3:07): MP3
  2. Talk (40:25): MP3
  3. Discussion (15:39): MP3

Complete recording (1:00:32): MP3


Reading from
Poems for the Millennium III, Bowery Poetry Club, NY, March 29, 2009

  1. To The Awakening of a Trans-human Inheritance (1:42): MP3
  2. So This (2:30): MP3
  3. For The Goddess, Her City, And The Marriage of Her Son and Daughter (3:07): MP3
  4. When I Said (2:14): MP3
  5. The Hair, the Hair, the Hair (1:55): MP3
  6. The Wall Street Inferno (2:30): MP3
Complete reading (16:09):MP3

A 40th Anniversary Celebration of Technicians of the Sacred, at the Bowery Poetry Club, September 14, 2008

Complete reading (17:15): MP3

  1. Introduction by Jerome Rothenberg (1:03): MP3
  2. Vicuña sings and chants (5:06): MP3
  3. "Maria Sabina" (5:16): MP3

Segue Series Reading at the Bowery Poetry Club, March 28, 2009

  1. My Body Knows the Dark (8:56): MP3
  2. They Look Nice From Here (2:04): MP3
  3. La Masacre De Un Pueblo (Partial) (1:13): MP3
  4. The People's Waterfall (3:32): MP3
  5. When This Language Disappeared (1:30): MP3
  6. Untitled (2:30): MP3
  7. When The Tsunami Begins (7:55): MP3
  8. On "The Economist" Article (1:11): MP3
Complete recording (29:53): MP3

Writers Without Borders Reading, Kelly Writers House, April 15, 2008

Complete reading (50:23): MP3

  1. Introduction by Al Filreis (2:47): MP3
  2. Introduction by Charles Bernstein (6:43): MP3
  3. Cecilia begins reading (5:04): MP3
  4. "That was a vicuna thing..." (1:32): MP3
  5. "Dis solving into union" (1:32): MP3
  6. "A word moves a beat..." (3:56): MP3
  7. "Experience must be transitory" (4:02): MP3
  8. Cecilia talks about Felix Bernstein and reads what she left out (4:02): MP3
  9. "Concha de Carey" (2:06): MP3
  10. "Mother of pearl..." (1:03): MP3
  11. Discussion of space and time (1:50): MP3
  12. "Oír Orar" (2:46): MP3
  13. "I heard of the new hit..." (1:55): MP3
  14. Introduction of "Nazca: The Desert Line" (4:27): MP3
  15. "Nazca: The Desert Line" (abridged) (1:46): MP3

From Charles Bernstein's Portraits Series: Cecilia: Dancing the Lines, April 15, 2008

Watch on Media.sas

Cecilia Vicuña
Cecilia came to the last poem of her Kelly Writers House reading. She weaves and unweaves the strands of the poetics of the Americas, redrawing the borders of our poetics with the string-like lines of her words, making imaginary fabrics in which we are embraced.
(mp4, 2 min. 8 sec., 47.5 mb)


mtChondrial Eve (Mother of Threads) at Art Radio WPS1, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, March 16, 2008

Complete recording (21:31): MP3

Appearing on Cross-Cultural Poetics #26, "Word in Words," March 8, 2004

  1. Introduction (0:46): MP3
  2. Reading from Water Poems (4:20): MP3
  3. Water and fluidity of language and culture in poetry (2:37): MP3
  4. Influence of Quechua language (2:31): MP3
  5. Jose Maria Argueda's influence on Vicuna's work (1:49): MP3
  6. Performance of poetry (1:12): MP3
  7. Reading a poem performed for St. Mark's Poetry Project in 2002 (5:56): MP3
  8. Form and content of performance poetry (1:25): MP3
  9. Discussing current work (0:52): MP3
  10. Overlaps of Quechua and Chinese artistic production (5:07): MP3
  11. Comments on upcoming work; conclusion of first half (2:52): MP3

Complete reading (29:28): MP3

Seminar with Dennis Tedlock, SUNY Buffalo, March 19, 2001

Part 1 (1:14:09): MP3

  1. Introduction (2:47): MP3
  2. "Hoy considencio" (11:11): MP3
  3. Discussion of Gabriela Mistral (1:43): MP3
  4. Vicuña recalls two stories (3:21): MP3
  5. Q&A and discussion (54:15): MP3>

Part 2 (2:25): MP3

Wednesdays @ 4 Plus, SUNY-Buffalo, March 21, 2001

  1. Introduction (Barbara Cole) (10:18): MP3
  2. Untitled (4:25): MP3
  3. She (2:00): MP3
  4. cloud-net (5:42): MP3
  5. Equinox (4:02): MP3
  6. Comisura (2:06): MP3
  7. Plaid Skirt (5:39): MP3
  8. Intervariant (3:27): MP3
  9. For The One Who Makes The Pottery (2:41): MP3
  10. A Shifting Dune (1:45): MP3
  11. Word and Thread (2:48): MP3
  12. Thanks (0:36): MP3
Complete reading (47:52): MP3

Wednesdays @ 4 Plus, SUNY-Buffalo, March 17, 1997

Introduction by Elise Paschen, who is welcomed by Charles Bernstein

  1. Introduction (8:27): MP3
  2. And if I devoted my life (3:51): MP3
  3. Entering (2:55): MP3
  4. From "Palabrarmas" (2:08): MP3
  5. Word (1:35): MP3
  6. La Luz (3:43): MP3
  7. (Untitled) (1:57): MP3
  8. The Poem is the Animal (0:13): MP3
  9. From "Unravelling Words and Weaving Water" (6:24): MP3
  10. From "Unravelling Words and Weaving Water" (0:59): MP3
  11. Goodbye to Hummingbird (2:27): MP3
  12. Basurame (1:53): MP3

Complete recording (37:48): MP3

The Radio Reading Project, New York University, April 24, 1999

Complete reading (51:27): MP3

Wednesdays @ 4 Plus, SUNY-Buffalo, March 10, 1994

  1. Introduction (0:58): MP3
  2. Song for the snow to go away (2:22): MP3
  3. On myth (5:11): MP3
  4. From "Unravelling Words and Weaving Water" (8:19): MP3
Complete recording (16:56): MP3

Also of interest:

  • I'll Drown My Book, a celebration of the I'll Drown My Book anthology held at the Kelly Writers House, October 17, 2012

Cecilia Vicuña on PennSound Daily

These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights to this recorded material belong to Cecilia Vicuña. Used with the permission of Cecilia Vicuña. © 2018 Cecilia Vicuña. Distributed by PennSound.