Featured resources

  1. Charles Bernstein -
    St. McC. MP3
  2. Amiri Baraka -
    Against Bourgeois Art MP3
  3. Michael Palmer -
    Lies of the Poem MP3
  4. Henry Hills -
    Money MOV
  5. Barrett Watten -
    "I dreamed of a group of sociable foxes in the basement" MP3
  6. Steve McCaffery -
    The Baker Transformation MP3
  7. Bruce Andrews -
    Feature MP3
  8. Jackson Mac Low -
    Feeling Down Clementi Felt Imposed Upon From Every Direction (HSCH 10) MP3
  9. Ron Silliman -
    Quindecagon MP3
  10. Rod Smith -
    This is Such Total Bullshit MP3
  11. Rachel Blau Duplessis -
    Draft 72: Nanifesto MP3
  12. K. Silem Mohammad -
    Sonnet 154: The little love god lying once asleep MP3

Selected by Brian Ang (read more about his choices here)

PennSound Daily

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New on Clipping: Visualizing Applause in the PennSound Archive

Posted 10/7/2015

Earlier this week a new post was added to "Clipping", Jacket2's series on experimental digital analyses of poetry audio, seeking "to set forth propositions — presenting clippings of ambitious and inchoate working ideas that have yet to have their levels set," which is edited by Chris Mustazza. This latest post, authored by Tanya E. Clement and Stephen McLaughlin, is focused on "Visualizing Applause in the PennSound Archive."

"What if you could identify the applause in every recording in the PennSound archive?" they ask. "With that information, you might ask who receives the most applause, which poems by a given author are most likely to spur an audience response, and which venues lend themselves to the warmest reception." To investigate, Clement and McLaughlin employed the ARLO audio analysis tool to gather "several hundred clips of applause and non-applause from the PennSound poetry archive to train a machine learning algorithm that identifies similar patterns in unseen segments." You can browse visualizations of a wide array readings and read their results, which conclude with several meaningful questions — the two authors conclude with: "Do poets in general receive more applause as they get older? Or just the really famous ones? Are there differences in reception based on perceived identity factors? Are applause patterns identifiably different between regions, venues, and reading series? Was there more applause in the '80s? The '90s? Now? Can the presence of applause help us pinpoint information that is not included in the metadata? Can we read meaning into the varying durations of Q&A sessions and introductions?" — here.

Two New Belladonna* Readings, 2015

Posted 10/5/2015

We recently added a pair of recent recordings from the Belladonna* Reading Series to the series' homepage.

The first of these, recorded on September 7th at St. Mark's Bookstore, starts with general introductions by Krystal Languell and Chia-Lun Chang before moving into short sets by Wo Chan (introduced by Saretta Morgan), Yu Wang (with introduction from Chang and Jen Stacey), and Zhang Er (introduced by Chang and Languell).

One day later, Belladonna* staged a group reading as part of the Word for Word Series at Bryant Park that featured brief sets by R. Erica Doyle, Monica Ong, Betsy Fagin, and Tonya M. Foster. General introductions were provided by Paul Romero and Latasha N. Nevada Diggs.

You can listen to these two events, along with a great many more spanning the last sixteen years, at PennSound's Belladonna* series homepage.

A PennSound Playlist for Helicotrema

Posted 10/2/2015

PennSound was recently invited by Blauer Hase to contribute a playlist to this year's version of Helicotrema, an annual festival celebrating recorded audio, that "aims to investigate different forms of collective listening, inspired by the early decades of radio broadcasts" Now in its fourth year, Helicotrema 2015 will take place over the course of the fall in three Italian cities: September 25–27 at Forte Marghera in Venice, October 9–10 in Florence (as part of Sonic Somatic), and returning to Venice on November 4 at Punta della Dogana.

Because it would be impossible to try to convey the breadth of our archive in a playlist of ten tracks, I opted instead for a a very personal set of selections. In the brief essay that accompanies the playlist, "Recording Performance / Recording as Performance," I break down these choices down into a few categories. Alongside poets whose work I've been grateful to experience vicariously (Claudia Rankine) and those who've blown me away with memorable performances (Jerome Rothenberg, Cecilia Vicuña), there are writers who "produc[e] aural works that achieve unique effects not possible on the printed page" (Caroline Bergvall, Hannah Weiner), and those who produce stunning work reliant on technological interventions, from multi-track recording and Moog synthesizers to laptop manipulations (John Ashbery, Jackson Mac Low, John Giorno, and the duo of Susan Howe and David Grubbs).

Finally, I conclude with Paul Blackburn, who I consider "a patron saint to audio archivists like myself," noting that "long before we brought our sleek digital recorders to readings he was lugging a heavy reel-to-reel deck around New York's Lower East Side documenting its thriving poetry scene." This particular lo-fi recording of "Brooklyn Narcissus" is not just a rare delight and a manifestation of PennSound's all-encompassing curatorial ethos (in that a less-than-pristine recording can still have value), but even more importantly "serves as a reminder of the presence of the recording medium, something easy to overlook as we near a totalizing and sterile digital silence" — that is, "the product not just of a human being, but also a specific room, microphone, cable, recorder, tape stock, power supply, etc." "At first," I conclude, "I strove to appreciate the poem in spite of the many distractions; in time, I grew to love the noise as much as the poem itself."

You can read more and listen to the complete playlist here. In time, we'll add it to our featured resources archive.

PennSound Daily is written by Michael S. Hennessey.

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