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)

PennSound Daily

Subscribe in a reader Viewing entries

William Rowe's Obituary for Sean Bonney at 'Jacket2'

Posted 1/21/2020

The sudden passing of Sean Bonney late last fall still continues to reverberate through the poetic community. This past weekend, Charles Bernstein shared a lengthy tribute to the poet written by William Rowe — which was passed up by both The Guardian and The Independent — as part of his Jacket2 commentary series. We're honored to be able to share this thoughtful consideration of Bonney's life and work with our readers.

"Sean Bonney, one of the finest UK poets of our time, died in Berlin on 13th November 2019," Rowe begins. "He pushed at the limits of poetry, creating new forms in each single book. No other contemporary work destroys so thoroughly the universe of resurgent fascism." After discussing Bonney's upbringing and his influences and tracing his aesthetic development over the course of his published work, Rowe concludes with this unmitigated praise: "No other British poet of Bonney's generation so exposed themselves to the violence of the UK after Thatcher ('she faked her death'), to the violence ('police reality') that maintains the law. Rimbaud, Pasolini, Baraka, Diane di Prima, are some points of comparison. This is poetry in which defensive layers of the self become suspended, the poem sheds its traditional walls, the brutal injustices of history find expression."

It's well worth your time to read the entire piece, which you can find here. Our Sean Bonney author page, which is home to a modest yet important array of recordings from 2005–2018 can be found here.



Congratulations to Creative Capital Award Winners Foster, Nowak

Posted 1/17/2020

This week brought monumental news for two PennSound poets who were chosen as recipients of 2020 Creative Capital Awards. These "exemplars of ... innovative, powerful, and challenging work" each received $50,000 in funding for their projects, along with $50,000 in career development services.

Tonya Foster was selected for her project Monkey Talk, which combines "poetry, dialogues, fictive FBI records, and non-fiction prose" to follow "a 20th Century artist-philanthropist relationship that is being tracked by government surveillance." "Focused on the ways that artistic creations act as monitors and are also monitored," the citation continues, "the multi-volume project tracks parallel, contesting conversations around race." You can read more about Monkey Talk here.

Mark Nowak was chosen for his Worker Writers School: Mobile Unit project, which "expands [the poet's] ongoing, twenty-year project of bringing poetry workshops directly to the working class." "Like bookmobiles or food trucks," the citation explains, "WWSMU visits laundromats, street corners, restaurants near construction sites, bus stops, and other locations that workers frequent to offer brief, intensive poetry writing classes." You can read more about Nowak's project here.

We congratulate these two richly-deserving poets for this tremendous honor. You can click on their names above to browse through recordings of their work housed on their respective PennSound author page.

Sophia Naz: Wexler Studio Session, 2019

Posted 1/15/2020

One of our latest additions to the site is a Wexler Studio session with Sophia Naz, recorded on April 3, 2019. Naz, a bilingual poet, essayist, author, editor and translator, as well as a regular contributor to Dawn, poetry editor and columnist at The Sunflower Collective, as well as the founder of rekhti.org, a site dedicated to contemporary Urdu poetry by women. She has published three poetry collections — Peripheries (2015), Pointillism (2017) and Date Palms (2017) — while her latest book is Shehnaz; A Tragic True Tale of Royalty, Glamour and Heartbreak, a biography of her mother.

This half-hour session consists of sixteen titles in total, including "Black Butterflies," "Eye of the Labyrinth," "The Heart of the Matter," "Habeas Corpus," "If You Spoke, Firefly," "Odysseys of an Onion Moon," " Chappan Churi," "Ode to a Scar," "In the Margins," "Atomic Nocta," and "The Department of Wronged Rights." You can listen in by clicking the title above, or here, to be taken to our PennSound Singles page.



Want to read more? Visit the PennSound Daily archive.