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)

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Dennis Barone at the Wexler Studio, 2015

Posted 5/22/2015

Poet Dennis Barone — professor of English and director of the American Studies Program at Saint Joseph College in West Hartford, Connecticut and a UPenn alumnus — recently stopped by the Wexler Studios at the Kelly Writers House to record a selection of poems from his latest collection, Sound/Hammer published by Quale Press is 2015. This sixty-seven minute set consists of a total of twenty poems from the volume, including "The New Harmony," "A Figure Half Seen," "West Philly," "Westerly Terrace," "Paper Air," "The Library," "Animal Rescue," "Penrod and Sam," "This Much I Know," "Cupola and Sink," and "Amsterdam."

You can listen to the set on Barone's PennSound author page, where you can also find his contributions to the 2004 and 2006 MLA Offsite Readings, a 2004 reading at the Buttonwood Tree in Middletown, CT, two 2003 recordings from the Kelly Writers House — Kelly Writers House Podcast Series #5, and an Alumni Visitor Series Reading — and a 1991 Segue Series Reading at the Ear Inn.

PoemTalk 88: Kathy Acker's "The Diseased" and "The Slave Trader"

Posted 5/19/2015

Today, we launched the eighty-eighth program in the PoemTalk Podcast series, which addresses a pair of poems taken from the late Kathy Acker's novel, Blood and Guts in High School: "The Diseased" and "The Slave Trader." For this program, host Al Filreis was on the road in Greenwich Village, where he was joined by a panel of (from left to right) Maria Damon, Catherine Wagner, and Kaplan Harris.

In his write-up on the PoemTalk blog, Filreis provides some context for the poems and the novel from which they're taken: "The book is more than a novel, of course, as we note. It is a mash-up of different genres, and at one point the group creates a long and even then incomplete list of the genres at work. Moreover, Acker invites us to wonder if she herself is a mash-up. The poems are translations of the love elegies of Sextus Propertius. They are at points so literal that Janey/Acker preserves the Latin word order in the English. Janey says elsewhere in Blood and Guts that translation is a crying out in response to pain. Janey has written a book report on Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter and the text of the paper is included (of course) in the novel. It is, the group observes, a perfect summary of the text yet written in 'the monosyllabic, resentful, crude style' of the heretical proto-punk girl. Acker turns Hester into Janey and there you have it: the punkification of the sort of internal exile Hawthorne was exploring." You can read more about the program on Jacket2.

PoemTalk is a co-production of PennSound, the Kelly Writers House, Jacket2 and the Poetry Foundation. If you're interested in more information on the series or want to hear our archives of previous episodes, please visit the PoemTalk blog, and don't forget that you can subscribe to the series through the iTunes music store.

'Trouble Songs: A Musicological Poetics' by Jeff T. Johnson on Jacket2

Posted 5/18/2015

Today I'm very excited that we're launching a long excerpt from Jeff T. Johnson's Trouble Songs: A Musicological Poetics at Jacket2. It's a remarkably ambitious and capacious project that brings together the all-too-often disparate worlds of contemporary poetry and music: within, we find Johnson deftly discussing John Ashbery, Amiri Baraka, Caroline Bergvall, and William Carlos Williams (among many others) with the same skill he dedicates to St. Vincent, Dock Boggs, Amy Winehouse, and Johnny Cash. Part of its critical charm lies in the micro/macro dynamics here — small subchapters and even smaller islands of thought adding up to a complex argument — along with the interplay between text, imagery, and video, not to mention the ongoing dialogue between the main text and its 120 end notes (a number of which have their own end notes). Here's how Johnson begins his description of the overall project:

Trouble Songs: A Musicological Poetics is an investigation of the appearance of the word trouble in twentieth- and twenty-first-century music. It is a book-length project, comprised of three parts, each broken into modular chapters, or Trouble Songs, which build on one another as a series of albums, but are also intended as remixable and programmable singles. What follows is a compilation that spans those three parts. The project looks at the ways "trouble" signifies (and resists signifying) all kinds of trouble — from bad luck and disaffection to infidelity, impotence, destitution, and the specter of death. In doing so, it explores the role of the trouble singer, who performs a particular, nuanced role in the communities through which s/he (and/or the song) passes. The trouble singer can be imagined as a modern troubadour who sings not of courtly love, but of the modern (and postmodern) condition, and of all that ails singer and audience.

I was incredibly excited when this project came in during our submission period, and found myself in the rare position — after reading the entire manuscript and Johnson's list of suggested sections to include — of advocating that we publish more than he'd recommended. I've really enjoyed living with this work as it's made its way through our editorial pipeline and am even more excited that a much wider readership will have the chance to read it.

PennSound Daily is written by Michael S. Hennessey.

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