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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In Memoriam: Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919–2021)

Posted 2/24/2021

It's a sad day in the world of poetry,because Lawrence Ferlinghetti is no longer with us. The legendary poet and publisher died yesterday at the age of 101, bringing to an end a prodigious life that shaped the course of contemporary poetry both in the US and throughout the world. When Ferlinghetti turned 100 in the spring of 2019, Robert Pinsky offered this resumé of his various lives in The New York Times: "poet, retail entrepreneur, social critic, publisher, combat veteran, pacifist, poor boy, privileged boy, outspoken socialist, and successful capitalist." Indeed, long after San Francisco's Beat heyday and the end of the Summer of Love, and long after many of his friends and peers had passed on — with Ferlinghetti's death, only Gary Snyder and Edward Field remain among the roster of Donald Allen's The New American Poetry — he persevered and continued to produce vital work that spoke to our changing world.

We first launched our Lawrence Ferlinghetti author page in honor of the poet's 99th birthday in 2019. Its most recent recording is an hour-long set from 1994 at Page Hall in Albany, which comes to us via Chris Funkhouser. Next we have a pair of recordings from the archives of George Drury and Lois Baum, including an appearance on the program Word of Mouth and a forty-minute reading of selected poems at the Art Institute of Chicago. Then there's Ferlinghetti's Watershed Tapes release Into the Deeper Pools, recorded in two sessions in Bethesda and Baltimore, Maryland in 1984 and 1983, respectively, and his 1981 S-Press cassette release, No Escape Except Peace. Jumping back a few decades, there's a set of poems recorded in 1969, including "Assassination Raga" and "Tyrannus Nix," which were digitized by Joel Kuszai for The Factory School, and the Ferlinghetti/Ginsberg episode of Richard O. Moore's Poetry USA series from 1966. Finally, along with a short recording from the Berkeley Poetry Conference and a few assorted recordings without dates.

Ferlinghetti's obituaries will give prominence to the impact of City Lights, as both a publisher and a bookstore, and that's both understandable and deserved. It's hard to imagine where any of us might be had Howl and Other Poems or Lunch Poems or Fast Speaking Woman or Gasoline had never been published, and anyone who's ever set foot inside its premises knows immediate that they are in one of poetry's sacred spaces. That said, it's worth remembering that the Pocket Poets series began with Ferlinghetti's Pictures of the Gone World, and so it's wonderful to see so many fans turning to beloved, dogeared copies of that volume or its follow-up, A Coney Island of the Mind — not to mention the many books that would follow over the next six decades — as they mourn him. You can listen to any of the aforementioned recordings by clicking here.

Erica Hunt's Kelly Writers House Fellows Visit Starts Tonight

Posted 2/22/2021

The 2021 Kelly Writers House Fellows program starts tonight with the first of two events featuring poet Erica Hunt. There's still time to RSVP for one or all of this year's events — which will also include visits by author/critic Hilton Als and chef/author Gabrielle Hamilton — by dropping us a line at whfellow@writing.upenn.edu.

Hunt is a poet, essayist, and author of Local HistoryArcadePiece LogicTime Flies Right Before the EyesA Day and Its Approximates, Veronica: A Suite in X Parts, and her newest work Jump The Clock: New and Selected Poems out with Nightboat Books in October 2020. Her poems and non-fiction have appeared in BOMBBoundary 2The Brooklyn RailConjunctionsThe Los Angeles Review of BooksPoetics JournalTripwireFENCEHambone, and In The American Tree, among other publications. Essays on poetics, feminism and politics have been collected in Moving BordersThree Decades of Innovative Writing by Women and The Politics of Poetic FormThe World, and other anthologies. With poet and scholar Dawn Lundy Martin, Hunt is co-editor of the anthology Letters to the Future, Black Women/Radical Writing from Kore Press.

Hunt graduated with a B.A. in English from San Francisco State University in 1980 and an M.F.A. from Bennington College in 2013. She has received awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Fund for Poetry, the Blue Mountain Center, and the Djerassi Foundation, and is a past fellow of Duke University/the University of Capetown Program in Public Policy and a past Fellow at the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing in Poetics and Poetic Practice here at Penn. Currently, Hunt is Bonderman Visiting Professor at Brown University and a Poet in Residence at Temple University.

Funded by a grant from Paul Kelly, the Kelly Writers House Fellows program enables us to realize two unusual goals. We want to make it possible for the youngest writers and writer-critics to have sustained contact with authors of great accomplishment in an informal atmosphere. We also want to resist the time-honored distinction — more honored in practice than in theory — between working with eminent writers on the one hand and studying literature on the other.

You can read more about the program and browse through past Fellows going back to the program's start in 1999 by clicking here.

Kerouac's "Mexico City Blues" at the Knitting Factory, 1988 (dir. Bittencourt and Katz)

Posted 2/19/2021

Back in November, we announced the addition of Hanuman Presents!Vivien Bittencourt and Vincent Katz's film celebrating the influential press co-founded by Raymond Foye and Francesco Clemente. Today we're back with another stunning film from the pair, documenting a group reading of Jack Kerouac's Mexico City Blues, which took place at the Knitting Factory on December 4, 1988.

The line-up for this event is nothing short of astounding, with appearances by Barbara Barg, Charles BernsteinLee Ann Brown, Maggie Dubris, Allen GinsbergRichard HellBob Holman, Lita Hornick, Vicki Hudspith, Vincent Katz, Rochelle Kraut, Gerard Malanga, Judith Malina, Eileen MylesSimon Pettet, Hanon Reznikov, Bob Rosenthal, Jerome Rothenberg, Tom Savage, Elio Schneeman, Michael Scholnick, Carl Solomon, Steven Taylor, David Trinidad, Lewis Warsh, Hal Willner, and Nina Zivancevic, while Mark Ettinger, Dennis Mitcheltree, Charlie Morrow, and Samir Safwat, among others, provided an improvised score for the proceedings. Interviews with Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Michael McClure round out the film, which was produced and directed by Bittencourt and Katz, and edited by Henry Hills and Oliver Katz. Running just over thirty minutes, this short film is both a fitting tribute to Kerouac's iconic voice and the generations of poets he inspired, as well as a remarkable time capsule for the downtown cultural scene in the late 1980s. You can start watching here

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