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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City Planning Poetics #7: Carceral Justice

Posted 8/23/2019

Organized and hosted by Davy Knittle, "City Planning Poetics" holds events once a semester at Kelly Writers House "that invite one or more poets and one or more planners, designers, planning historians or others working in the field of city planning to discuss a particular topic central to their work, to ask each other questions, and to read from their current projects."

On March 21st of this year, Knittle convened the seventh event in the series, "Carceral Justice," with guests Emily Abendroth and Nina Johnson. Abendroth is a poet, teacher, and anti-prison activist, whose "creative work investigates state regimes of surveillance, force, and power, as well as individual and collective resistance strategies." Johnson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Coordinator of the Program in Black Studies at Swarthmore College. Her scholarly work addresses "the areas of inequality, politics, race, space, class, culture, stratification and mobility." 

You can stream video and download audio of their discussion here here. Previous events in the series, which started in the winter of 2016, include "What Is a Map? What Does a Map Do?" (with Jena Osman and Amy Hillier), "What Are the Tools That Shape the Built Environment? Where Did They Come From? How Have They Been Used?" (with Francesca Ammon and Jason Mitchell), "Queer Placemaking" (with Max J. Andruck and Rachel Levitsky), "Urban Memory" (with Simone White and Randall Mason), "Queer City" (with Jen Jack Gieseking and Erica Kaufman), and "Urban Revitalization" (with Brian Goldstein and Douglas Kearney). You can watch or listen to those events here.

In Memoriam: Steve Katz (1935–2019)

Posted 8/21/2019

We are sad to share the recently-discovered news that multi-genre author Steve Katz passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer on August 4th. Best known for his fiction — his 1970 short story collection Creamy and Delicious was hailed by Larry McMurtry as one of the hundred greatest books of the twentieth century — Katz's work was championed by iconic small presses including Fiction Collective/FC2, Sun & Moon/Green Integer, Ithaca House, and Starcherone Books, as well as major publishing houses like Grove Press; Holt, Rinehart and Winston; and Random House.

A longtime fixture at the University of Colorado Boulder (where he taught for a quarter century), Katz was remembered by that city's Daily Camera as a man who "lived a life of words." Their tribute quotes colleague Peter Michaelson who remembered Katz as an "incredibly creative and inventive" author, with a "great sense of humor." "He was fun to be around, a lively mind," he continued, "I'm going to miss him, I already miss him and the literary scene will miss him. But there's still his work … there's plenty around for people to read and they should."

PennSound doesn't have much in the way of recordings of Katz, but we're glad for what we do have. There's an hour-long reading [MP3] from January 25, 1979 from New York's Droll/Kolbert Gallery Series, which was curated by Ted Greenwald. Additionally, from the archives of Bill Berkson, we have a brief, undated recording of Katz reading "William Reichert" at the St. Mark's Poetry Project [MP3], which is likely — like many of the short, single-title recordings on that page — an unused track recorded for the album, The World Record: Readings at the St. Mark's Poetry Project 1969–1980, which Berkson co-edited with Bob Rosenthal. You can stream the aforementioned tracks instantly by clicking on the MP3 links.

Will Alexander Reads at Hauser and Wirth Gallery, 2019

Posted 8/19/2019

Here's a brief video of Will Alexander reading his work at New York City's Hauser and Wirth Gallery on February 12th of this year.

After a few minutes of introductory comments linking slavery and oppression with futuristic and retroactive technologies, Alexander reads "In the Ghostly Eclipse Zones" from his 1998 Pavement Saw Press collection Above the Human Nerve Domain, which ties to these foundational ideas. After that poem, he tells the audience, "These, for me, are spells. Poems for me are spells. It's this magic instance and a wave of energy energy. [...] To me life is a wave of poetry. At certain points things pop up. They pop up at interesting moments. In fact it's so spontaneous that something could come to me now as I'm standing here and I'd have to scribble something." His second and final selection, which goes unnamed, is inspired by César Vallejo and starts with an epigraph by the poet, "Brooding on life. Brooding slowly on the strength of the torrent," and continues these themes. 

In March of this year, we highlighted Aural Monsoon's album Live in the Haight — the jazz duo features Alexander on piano and Mark Pino on drums — which is another manifestation of the spontaneous poetic energy Alexander describes above. You'll find that and many more wonderful examples of his work on his PennSound author page, which is home to a variety of talks, readings, and interviews spanning the past twenty-five years. 

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