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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Celebrate Ken Irby's Birthday with a New Jacket2 Feature

Posted 11/18/2014

Poet Kenneth Irby was born on this day in 1936, and just in time to celebrate, Jacket2 has just launched a massive new feature on the poet's life and work, curated by William J. Harris and Kyle Waugh.

"On Kenneth Irby" originated with a November 2011 colloquium held in Lawrence, Kansas to mark the poet's seventy-fifth birthday. All of that conference's participants — Lyn Hejinian, Pierre Jorris, Ben Friedlander, Denise Low, and Joe Harrington — are featured here, and their essays are joined by work from Robert Bertholf, Robert Grenier, Dale Smith, Matthew Hofer, Aldon Nielsen, and Andrew Schelling, along with a poem by Nathaniel Tarn, recollections by former students of Irby's (Waugh, Cyrus Console, Peter Longofono, Jeff Bergfalk, and Monica Peck), and a chronology by Waugh.

That's already a formidable feature, but "On Kenneth Irby" also includes two substantial sub-features. The first contains nineteen poems by Irby written between 1959 and 1972, which are either previously unpublished, or "reprinted here for the first time since they initially appeared in literary journals of modest distribution during the 1960s and early 1970s." The second collects twelve letters from Irby to Ed Dorn, written between 1963 and 1974.

Taken together, these materials serve as a fitting tribute to "a distinguished innovative poet," as Harris writes in his intro, who "has recently become better known, [but] deserves to be much better known than he presently is." "Since Ken Irby should be ranked with such contemporary figures as Amiri Baraka, Robert Creeley, Lyn Hejinian, Ed Dorn, Robert Duncan, and Rae Armantrout," he continues, "I hope this feature will cause a bit of a stir, and help introduce this important poet to a larger audience. This audience needs this gentle but commanding presence."

Claudia Rankine on "Between the Covers," 2014

Posted 11/14/2014

If, like many of us, you've been captivated by Claudia Rankine's latest, Citizen: An American Lyric — recently nominated for the National Book Award alongside some stiff competition — then you'll be very excited to listen to this newly-added recording of the poet's appearance on Between the Covers, a literary radio program broadcast by KBOO-FM in Portland, Oregon.

Sitting down with host David Naimon for a full hour, Rankine discusses the book from practically every angle: the project's inception and composition; the relationship between text and imagery within Citizen; the role of Graywolf Press in bringing her ideas to fruition; the influence of her collaborations with her husband, filmmaker John Lucas; Citizen's relationship with her previous book, Don't Let Me Be Lonely; what current events, like President Obama's birth certificate, didn't make it into the book; and the continuing resonance of the book's perspectives on American race relations, including Rankine's recent visit to Ferguson, MO. It's truly a fascinating listen, serving as a good introduction to the book for folks who haven't yet read it, while those who have will want to go back to the text once more.

John Wieners at the Poetry Project, 1990

Posted 11/12/2014

Here's a short yet marvelous reading by John Wieners reading at the St. Mark's Poetry Project on April 25, 1990, which was recently added to our archives. It's as interesting for Wieners' selections from his own work as for the readings from other authors that make up most of the set.

After a lavish introduction, Wieners begins his set with a few pieces by friends: first a pseudonymously-published poem by "his houseboy," "Heroin, An Ode," then work from "a kid from Chicago called Persky, whom I shared a tenement flat with [from] 1959 to 62" — Stan Persky's novel, Buddy's: Meditations on Desire — then finally, Allen Ginsberg's "Elegy for Neal Cassady." He then solicits requests from the audience and reads "Act #2 (For Marlene Dietrich)," "The Acts of Youth," and "Confidence." Despite the audience's pleas for an encore, and the fact that Wieners' fellow reader for the evening, Peter Orlovsky, hadn't yet shown up, the recording ends there.

If you're in the mood for more of Wieners' work, however, you're in luck, since PennSound's John Wieners author page is home to a great many recordings of the legendary poet, from a number of 1965 readings through to a 1999 appearance at the Guggenheim.

PennSound Daily is written by Michael S. Hennessey.

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