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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Happy Birthday to Emily Dickinson!

Posted 12/10/2019

Early December must be when formidable women poets are born — yesterday we celebrated Eileen Myles' 70th, and today would have been the 189th birthday of Emily Dickinson. For many years, a treasure trove of Dickinson materials was scattered throughout our site, but a few years ago we pulled together a proper PennSound author page for the poet, gathering selected resources from throughout our archives.

It should come as no surprise that Susan Howe would be prominent featured, and here you'll find complete talks on the poet from 1984 (from the New York Talk series) and 1990 (from SUNY-Buffalo) in addition to several smaller excerpts from larger talks pertaining to the poet. There's also a link to PoemTalk #32, which discusses Howe's interpretation of Dickinson's "My Life had stood - a Loaded Gun."

Full series of lectures on Dickinson are also available from Robert Duncan and Robert Creeley, both at the New College and dating from 1981 and 1985, respectively. Among other substantial contributions, there's also the 1979 Dickinson Birthday Celebration at the St. Mark's Poetry Project (featuring Jan Heller Levi, Charles Bernstein, Susan Leites, Charles Doria, Virginia Terrace, Barbara Guest, Madeleine Keller and Vicki Hudspith, Armand Schwerner, Karen Edwards, Jackson Mac Low, Maureen Owen, and Howe) and Rae Armantrout's 2000 presentation on Dickinson from "Nine Contemporary Poets Read Themselves Through Modernism."

You'll also find performances of individual Dickinson poems from John Richetti and Jeffery Robinson as well as brief excerpts of radio interviews — with John Ashbery, Guest, and Elizabeth Bishop — pertaining to the poet.

Our hope is that this page, which brings together disparate resources already available in our archives, will be a useful tool for teachers, students, and casual readers, as well as serious scholars. Click here to start exploring.

Happy 70th Birthday to Eileen Myles!

Posted 12/9/2019

We send out birthday greetings to Eileen Myles, who reaches the momentous milestone of 70 today! There's no better way to celebrate than browsing through the selections available on PennSound's Eileen Myles author page

Whether you're an old fan or newly acquainted with Myles, a great place to start is her two-part 2009 Close Listening radio program with Charles Bernstein that includes readings of twenty-one poems from throughout her published work, and a half-hour conversation between the two. 

Our earliest recordings of Myles are three appearances on Public Access Poetry in the late 1970s. They're nicely complemented by a 1978 appearance on Susan Howe's WBAI radio program and an October 1978 Segue Series Reading at the Ear Inn — one of seven total Segue Series appearances from the 1970s to the present. That's followed by a 1981 reading at the St. Mark's Poetry Project, a pair of Belladonna* readings from 2003 and 2009, visits to our own Kelly Writers House in 2010 and 2016 (when she was one of that year's Kelly Writers House Fellows). Other full-length readings include sets from the Dia Art Foundation, Mills College's Contemporary Writers Series, the ICA in Philadelphia, the California College of the Arts, the Poetry Center at the University of Arizona (via POG Sound), LA Lit, the CUNY Graduate Center, Basilica Soundscape, and the Penn Book Center, and there are also numerous individual tracks scattered over the past five decades.

Certainly, the promise of the poet's early writing and the audacity of her 1992 presidential campaign have flourished fully in our new century, with Myles taking her rightful place as one of our era's most influential poets, as well as one of our community's greatest ambassadors to lay audiences. Therefore we not only celebrate her today, but wish her many happy returns!

Claude Royet-Journoud: Close Listening Conversation with Charles Bernstein

Posted 12/6/2019

Our latest addition to the site is Charles Bernstein's recent Close Listening conversation with French poet Claude Royet-Journoud, which was recorded in Paris late last month. In his Jacket2 commentary post announcing the episode, Bernstein offers this summation: "I recorded this Close Listening conversation with Claude Royet-Journoud in Paris on November 24, 2019. We talked about his early years in London, his editing of Siècle à mains, meeting Anne-Marie Albiach, his extraordinary poetry interview program for France Culture, as well as his trips to the United States."

One of the more notable recordings on PennSound's Claude Royet-Journoud author page is the poet's November 3, 1984 reading with Keith Waldrop at the Ear Inn. Waldrop reads his translations of La Notion d'Obstacle alongside the French originals, and to close out the set, Royet-Journoud reads prose excerpts from book three of Les Objets Contiennent l'Infini. Strangely enough, segmenting this reading was one of the very first projects I undertook after starting at PennSound and it's wonderful to revisit it now. You'll also find a 1974 documentary film on the poet that also features Edmond Jabés and Lars Fredrikson, along with a 1995 reading at SUNY-Buffalo as part of the First Poetics Program French Poetry Festival, a 2008 video portrait by Bernstein, a 2012 lecture in Paris, and a pair of 2016 videos celebrating the release of La finitude des corps simples. Click here to start listening.

Want to read more? Visit the PennSound Daily archive.