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)

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In Memoriam: Joanne Kyger (1934-2017)

Posted 3/23/2017

We're very sad to report the news that legendary poet Joanne Kyger — whose long career (starting more than fifty years ago with The Tapestry and the Web) bridged multiple schools and styles — has passed away at the age of eighty-two.

Just recently, we were proud to have Kyger as panelist for the latest PoemTalk Podcast on Philip Whalen's "Life at Bolinas. The Last of California", and Kyger's own poem "It's Been a Long Time: Notes from the Revolution" was the subject of PoemTalk #79 from 2014. Kyger was also the subject of an extensive feature in Jacket #11 (2000), which was edited by Linda Russo.

Of course, you'll also find am impressive archive of recordings on our Joanne Kyger author page, going as far back as her appearance at the Berkeley Poetry Conference in 1965. From there, we have numerous recordings from Bolinas and San Francisco (from the 1970s, the 2000s, and the 2010s), East Coast visits to read on Public Access Poetry (in 1978) and for Dia's Readings in Contemporary Poetry series (in 2015) and a handful of other interesting recordings from along the way.

We humbly acknowledge the void that Kyger's death leaves in the world of contemporary poetry and send our condolences to her family, friends, and fans.

The Four Horsemen Live in Toronto, 1984

Posted 3/21/2017

We have an exciting new performance from legendary Canadian sound poets the Four Horsemen that you'll want to check out.

Recorded on October 11, 1984 at the Tivoli in Toronto, this set runs just over forty minutes and features eight individual pieces. All four members of the group — bpNichol, Steve McCaffery, Paul Dutton, and Rafael Barreto-Rivera — are present, and McCaffery plays reeds in addition to vocalizing.

You'll find this new gem on our Four Horsemen author page along with three complete albums — Nada Canadada (1973), Live in the West (1977), and Two Nights (1988) — and a variety of links and other resources. Our individual author pages for members bpNichol, Steve McCaffery, Paul Dutton, and Rafael Barreto-Rivera — are also well worth checking out.

We're grateful to both Dutton and Gary Barwin for their help in bringing this recording to our site.


PoemTalk 110: on Philip Whalen's "Life at Bolinas. The last of California"

Posted 3/9/2017

Earlier this week we released the latest episode in the PoemTalk Podcast series, its 110th in total, which addresses Philip Whalen's poem, "Life at Bolinas. The last of California," written between 1968–69. Appropriately enough, for this program, host Al Filreis hit the road to the Bolinas home of poet Stephen Ratcliffe, where, together with Joanne Kyger and Julia Bloch, they conducted a lengthy discussion of the work.

In his introduction on the PoemTalk blog, Filreis starts his discussion of the poet itself by considering the one word in its title that seems somewhat out of place: "What does Whalen mean by 'last'? Is this a farewell to Bolinas? Is there something final about the experiences reported here in this collage of memories and scenes? Joanne at several points observes that at least parts of the poem seem to have been written in Kyoto, and that Kyoto scenes are a presence in its lines, mixed with memories of Bolinas, a recent past seen from afar. Even 'Duxbury Pond,' as locally specific a reference to Bolinas as could be, is pronounced unlocally (as Stephen and Joanne both notice). The outsider's enunication suggests that the poem is the ode to places composed from beyond them. Then again, there's a precise evocation of the late Bolinas autumn ('Blithering dead leaves along the ground / Crooked sunlight'); the desolate, windy scene intruded upon only by very particularized raccoons; and the real clock Whalen broke at the Doss house where he was staying as a guest. The speaker is there." You can read more — and both listen to and watch this special episode — on Jacket2.


PoemTalk is a co-production of PennSound, the Kelly Writers House, Jacket2 and the Poetry Foundation. If you're interested in more information on the series or want to hear our archives of previous episodes, please visit the PoemTalk blog, and don't forget that you can subscribe to the series through the iTunes music store.



PennSound Daily is written by Michael S. Hennessey.

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