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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New at the EPC: Silliman's Blog Archive (2002–2020)

Posted 7/8/2020

I have never thought of myself as an experimental writer, but this project is clearly a step into un- (or at least under-)charted territory. My idea is to write briefly from time to time mostly about my writing and whatever I might be thinking about poetry at the moment. Other subjects (music, politics, etc.) may enter in, as they do in life.
Blogs have been around for awhile now, but to date I haven't seen a genuinely good one devoted to contemporary poetry, so it may prove that there is no audience for such an endeavor. But this project isn't about audience. The fact that the blog has the potential to carry forward the best elements of a journal and seems inherently prone to digressive, if not absolutely plotless, prose gives me hope that this form might prove amenable to critical thinking.
With these words, Ron Silliman began the inaugural post on Silliman's Blog back in August 2002. Nearly two decades later, he is still posting content, though certainly at a less rabid clip than during the blog's heyday, and his perspectives are every bit as insightful and controversial as they've always been. This week, the Electronic Poetry Center announced its latest project: an expansive archive of Silliman's Blog, from its inception up to the present. Organized by PennSound Senior Editor Steve McLaughlin, the complete contents are browsable chronologically, searchable, and navigable via keyword.

Much like the Buffalo Poetics Listserv (1994–2014) and Jacket Magazine (1997–2010), Silliman's Blog is an indispensable document — for both better and worse — of how the world of contemporary poetry adapted to and exploited new technological advances, not dissimilar from how previous generations had made use of word processors, the IBM Selectric, Xerox photocopiers, mimeograph machines, and answering machines to spread both poetry and discussion thereof. While it traces the gradual evolution of that discourse over two tumultuous decades, there's a definite sense that plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose here as well, both in terms of the toxic political milieu of those early years of the blog and the controversies (both aesthetic and social) that emerge along the way. That said, my only regret regarding this archival endeavor is that the comments have not been preserved along with Silliman's posts since they provide a vital extension of the discourse in all its beauty and ugliness.

While this will serve as an excellent resource for future scholars, it's also a fascinating and worthwhile read in the present, and skipping around haphazardly through the posts, I am very happily reminded of why we all kept an eye out for the latest updates on our XML feed aggregator: Silliman is a genuine polymath with passionate perspectives on poetry, but also baseball, film, politics, and much, much more. In particular, I remember loving what he had to say about the Philadelphia Phillies and Project Runway, both of which were a lot better a decade ago than they are now, and revisiting those posts brings a pang over lost time as well as a lovely sense of shared appreciation. You can take your own little nostalgia trip by clicking here.



Four New Belladonna* Events, 2020

Posted 7/6/2020

This week starts with a quartet of newly-added recordings from the Belladonna* reading series, which also serves as a fascinating snapshot of how the venerable and long-running series adapted to the COVID-19 crisis this spring.

Our first event, held on January 17th at New York's Bureau of General Services – Queer Division, featured sets by Jasmine Gibson and S. Brook Corfman with introductions provided by Alma Valdez-García by James Loop. Next, from February 21st, we have a launch event for the journal Matters of Feminist Practice, held at Printed Matter NYC. Introductions for this event were provided by Karla Kelsey and Poupeh Missagh, while the readers included Alexis Almeida, Lida Nosrati, ELÆ [Lynne DeSilva-Johnson], Megan Madden, Teresa Carmody, and Madhu H. Kaza. Then, from March 7th, we head to the Brooklyn Museum for a reading by Jessie Rice-Evans, S*an D. Henry-Smith, and Giannina Braschi, with James Loop once again providing intros for the readers. Finally, from May 19th, we have a second event celebrating Matters of Feminist Practice, held via Zoom. This time around, Poupeh Missaghi served as host, while participants included Kat Savino, Mary-Kim Arnold, and Petra Kuppers, along with Julie Patton, whose contribution unfortunately went unrecorded.

Now in its twenty-first year, Belladonna* is "a reading series and independent press that promotes the work of women writers who are adventurous, experimental, politically involved, multi-form, multicultural, multi-gendered, impossible to define, delicious to talk about, unpredictable, and dangerous with language." You can listen to these latest additions by clicking here, and there are countless amazing recordings spanning the series' complete history waiting for you to discover on PennSound's Belladonna* series page.



Congratulations to CLMP Firecracker Award Winners Osman and Moriarty

Posted 7/3/2020

This week brought wonderful news for Jena Osman and Laura Moriarty, joint winners of the Firecracker Award in Poetry from Community of Literary Magazines and Presses. CLMP's annual award "celebrate[s] books and magazines that make a significant contribution to our literary culture and the publishers that strive to introduce important voices to readers far and wide."

Osman's winning collection is Motion Studies, published by Ugly Duckling Presse, which "defies categorization, combining science writing, dystopian (science) fiction, popular journalism, critical theory, and lyricism." On her PennSound author page, you can hear her read from the book as part of a session recorded at our own Kelly Writers House last June. That, along with an interview with Chris Mustazza recorded at the same time, are the most recent recording you'll find there, as part of a diverse array of recordings going all the way back to 1990.

Moriarty's prize-winning volume is Personal Volcano, released by Nightboat Books. In their citation, the judges hailed the book for embodying the "tension between the 'social' and the 'deep ecological' — encompassing of something larger and more powerful than the anthropocentric could ever admit." While we don't have any recordings from Personal Volcano on Moriarty's author page, you will find an engaging collection of recordings made between 1997 and 2013, where the poet's talents are on full display.

This year's poetry awards were selected by a panel of Thom Donovan, Celina Su, and Simone White, and the long-list of finalists included books by Mary Ruefle, Cyrée Jarelle Johnson, Raquel Salas Rivera, and Knox Gardner. You can read more about CLMP and the Fireworks Awards here. Once again we congratulate Osman, Moriarty, and all the finalists for this honor.



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