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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PoemTalk #145: on Tonya Foster's "A Swarm of Bees in High Court"

Posted 2/20/2020

Today, we released the 145th episode in the PoemTalk Podcast Series, which addresses five pairs of haiku from Tonya Foster's 2015 Belladonna* collection, A Swarm of Bees in High Court. For this program, which was recorded on location at the Woodberry Poetry Room in Cambridge, Massachusetts, host Al Filreis was joined by a panel that included Stephanie Burt, Bonnie Costello, Anna Strong Safford.

Filreis' PoemTalk blog post on this episode includes more information on the specific poems discussed here, including the text of each haiku pair. There's also more on this special on-location program, including video footage of the full session, which was recorded alongside the podcast audio, and a preview of the next show. You can read more by clicking here. The full PoemTalk archives, spanning more than a decade, can be found here.

PennSound Podcast #68: Eileen Myles and Davy Knittle

Posted 2/17/2020

The latest episode in the PennSound Podcast Series — program number 68 in total — was recently posted. Over at Jacket2, Gabriela Portillo Alvarado offers up a quick summary of the show: "Davy Knittle and Eileen Myles had a conversation at Myles's home in the East Village in New York City in August, 2018, for this PennSound podcast. Their discussion began in the midst of an exchange about Myles’s 1991 collection Not Me and changes in their neighborhood at the time. Conversation topics spanned 'not-me-ness,' gender, capitalism, sexuality, perception, and observation, among others."

Davy Knittle (he/they) is a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Pennsylvania. He works in the fields of feminist, queer, and trans theory, urban environmental humanities, and multiethnic US writing. His critical work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in WSQ, GLQ, Planning Perspectives, and Modern Language Studies. He is a reviews editor for Jacket2, curates the City Planning Poetics talk and reading series at the Kelly Writers House, and organizes with Penn's Trans Literacy Project

Eileen Myles has published over twenty volumes, including Chelsea Girls, Cool for You, and I Must be Living Twice. They studied at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and from 1984 to 1986, they were the artistic director of St. Mark's Poetry Project. Their works have earned the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry, the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, and the Lambda Literary Award for Small Press Book Award.

Click here to listen to this fascinating conversation. You can browse the full archive of PennSound Podcasts by clicking here.

Congratulations to PEN/Nabokov Award Winner M. NourbeSe Philip

Posted 2/14/2020

We close out this week with news of a wonderful honor for author M. NourbeSe Philip, who will receive the PEN/Nabokov Award for International Literature. The prize of $50,000 will be presented on March 2nd at New York's Town Hall ("the largest venue in the history of the PEN America Literary Awards") as part of a ceremony "hosted by Late Night host, comedian, and 'influential recommender of books' (The New York Times) Seth Meyers." Here is the complete prize citation from PEN America:
Founded in 2016 in collaboration with the Vladimir Nabokov Literary Foundation, the PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature is conferred annually to a living author whose body of work, either written in or translated into English, represents the highest level of achievement in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and/or drama, and is of enduring originality and consummate craftsmanship. Previous winners of the award include Sandra Cisneros, Edna O’Brien, and Adonis. 
This year's PEN/Nabokov Award judges — Alexis Okeowo, George Elliott Clarke, Hari Kunzru, Lila Azam Zanganeh, and Viet Thanh Nguyen — have chosen poet, novelist, and essayist M. NourbeSe Philip, who has bent and pushed poetry and prose in exhilarating directions, via vivid and fragmentary portraits of the pluralities of African Diasporic experience and searing indictments of the oppressive structures — legal, linguistic, social — carried across history into our present. The Tobago-born, Canada-based writer's many singular, varied works include She Tries Her Tongue, Her Silence Softly Breaks, and Zong!
The organization's Director of Literary Programs, Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf, notes that "Fostering and celebrating international literature is central to the mission of the PEN America Literary Awards; we seek to champion original and promising writers of the global community and promote their work to an American audience." She continues: "This year we are incredibly proud to honor such urgent and diverse voices, which we know have the power to awaken empathy and redefine public discourse." Philip is in fine company alongside Tom Stoppard, Tanya Barfield, and Rigoberto González, who will also receive awards at the ceremony.

In anticipation of next month's event, you might want to check out PennSound's M. NourbeSe Philip author page, which archives more than a half-dozen complete readings by the poet, along with individual tracks, radio appearances, discussions, and much more, including numerous selections from her most iconic book, Zong!. We congratulate Philip for this well-deserved honor.

Want to read more? Visit the PennSound Daily archive.