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George Oppen


Photo © Michael West


Page edited by Richard Swigg

Reading at the Poetry Center at the San Francisco State University, February 19, 1963

  1. The Image of the Engine (3:58): MP3
  2. Song (0:58): MP3
  3. From a Photograph (0:48): MP3
  4. Undertaking in New Jersey (1:17): MP3
  5. Solution (0:57): MP3
  6. Chartres (0:38): MP3
  7. The Source (0:33): MP3
  8. Daedalus: The Dirge (0:38): MP3
  9. Poem on the Elders (0:48): MP3
  10. Population (0:50): MP3
  11. Survival Infantry (0:53): MP3
  12. Tourist Eye: Section Four (1:25): MP3
  13. Resort (0:43): MP3
  14. Flight (0:55): MP3
  15. Complete Reading (20:30): MP3

Reading for the Academy of American Poets, Guggenheim Museum, New York, April 9, 1964

Reading at Long Island University, February 15, 1966

Reading in Buffalo, NY, November 30, 1966

  1. Being Numerous (22:53): MP3
  2. Parenthesis (0:22): MP3
  3. Historic Pun (1:19): MP3
  4. Epigram (0:44): MP3
  5. Ballad (1:24): MP3
  6. Power the Enchanted World (2:03): MP3
  7. Route (11:13): MP3
  8. Complete Reading (41:02): MP3

    (This recording was originally made available to the Slought Foundation by Fred Wah. PennSound publication made with thanks to Slought and with the permission of Fred Wah and the Oppen Estate)

Reading at the 92nd Street Y, 1967

Reading at SUNY-Buffalo, February 17, 1967 - a Wednesdays @ 4 Plus event

  1. Of Being Numerous (19:47): MP3
  2. A Preface (0:31): MP3
  3. Historic Pun (1:06): MP3
  4. Epigram (0:39): MP3
  5. Ballad (1:12): MP3
  6. Power, The Enchanted World (1:47): MP3
  7. Route (6:15): MP3
  • Complete Recording (31:25): MP3

Reading at KPFA Berkeley and broadcast August 22, 1968

  1. Route (13:30): MP3
  2. Of Being Numerous (23:27): MP3

Reading at San Francisco State University on May 3, 1972, then broadcast by KPFA (Berkeley) on June 2, 1972

  1. Introduction (2:36): MP3
  2. Song, The Winds of Downhill (0:46): MP3
  3. From a Phrase of Simone Weil's and Some Words of Hegel's (1:17): MP3
  4. The Speech at Soli (2:17): MP3

  5. From Some San Francisco Poems
  6. Section 2: A Morality Play: Preface (1:48): MP3
  7. Section 3 (2:08): MP3
  8. Section 4: Anniversary Poem (1:20): MP3
  9. Section 5: Translucent Mechanics (0:54): MP3
  10. Section 6 (1:00): MP3
  11. Section 7 (0:55): MP3
  12. Section 8: The Taste (0:58): MP3
  13. Section 9: The Impossible Poem (0:56): MP3
  14. Section 10: But So As By Fire (0:56): MP3

  15. Of Hours (2:42): MP3
  16. Inlet (0:48): MP3
  17. The Occurrences (1:05): MP3
  18. West (1:37): MP3
  19. Animula (1:25): MP3
  20. The Hegelian Bell (0:55): MP3
  21. Exodus (1:40): MP3

Complete Recording (28:37): MP3

Reading at the Poetry Center at the San Francisco State University: February 22, 1973

  1. "To Begin Again..." (4:53): MP3
  2. Anniversary Poem (2:27): MP3
  3. "Silver as the Needle's Eye..." (2:58): MP3
  4. Leave Her the Cot (4:00): MP3
  5. Complete Reading (14:38): MP3
    Original recording by the Poetry Center at San Francisco State University. PennSound publication made with thanks to the Poetry Center at San Francisco State University for their archival work.

Reading at University of California, San Diego, March 7, 1973

  • Complete Recording (41:34): MP3
  • Selections from The Book of Job and a Draft of a Poem to Praise the Paths of Living, From a Phrase of Simone Weil's, West, Of Hours, Route, and Ballad.

Taking (and reading for) Eric Homberger, Univeristy of East Anglia, May 7, 1973

(20:38):
mp3
transcript of interview

Reading at the Modern America Poetry Conference Polytechnic of Central London, May 25 - 27, 1973

Reading at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England, July 5, 1973

  1. Anniversary Poem (1:37): MP3
  2. Of Hours (2:14): MP3
  3. Of Being Numerous (5:39): MP3
  4. Forms of Love (0:51): MP3
  5. Song, the Winds of Downhill (2:28): MP3
  6. Discussion with Eric Homberger (17:04):
  7. Complete reading (29:57): mp3

    (Thanks to Rachel Blau DuPlessis for providing this recording)

Reading at Shippensburg University, September 17, 1974

  1. Five Poems about Poetry (3:09): MP3
  2. The Forms of Love (0:47): MP3
  3. The Book of Job and Draft of a Poem to Praise the Paths of Living (6:18): MP3
  4. Myth of the Blaze (2:16): MP3
  5. Confession (0:52): MP3
  6. The Little Pin: Fragment (1:39): MP3
  7. Guest Room (2:42): MP3
  8. Exodus (0:38): MP3

Reading from Primitive (1978), La Peña Cultural Center, Berkeley, December 11, 1968

recording courtesy Mandeville Special Collection, University of California, San Diego
  1. A Political Poem (0:39): MP3
  2. Disasters (1:53): MP3
  3. The Poem (0:55): MP3
  4. To Make Much (1:16): MP3
  5. Waking Who Knows (0:19): MP3
  6. If It All Went Up in Smoke (0:38): MP3
  7. The Tongues (0:20): MP3
  8. Populist (1:54): MP3
  9. Gold on Oak Leaves (0:44): MP3
  10. The Natural (0:22): MP3
  11. Strange are the Products (0:49): MP3
  12. Til Other Voices Wake Us (1:41): MP3
Complete recording: (12:09) MP3

From Selected Readings, 1979 recording

  1. Of Being Numerous (Sec. 1-22) (10:30): MP3
  2. Historic Pun (1:06): MP3
  3. Ballad (1:18): MP3
  4. From a Phrase of Simone Weil's and Some Words of Hegel's (0:58): MP3
  5. The Occurrences (1:01): MP3
  6. Animula (1:03): MP3
  7. West (1:34): MP3
  8. Song, Winds of Downhill (0:32): MP3
  9. A Morality Play: Preface (1:30): MP3
  10. The Translucent Mechanics (0:52): MP3
  11. Silver As... (0:56): MP3
  12. O Withering Seas... (0:51): MP3
  13. The Taste (0:56): MP3
  14. The Impossible Poem (0:50): MP3
  15. But So As By Fire (0:53): MP3
  16. Exodus (0:42): MP3
  17. Latitude, Longitude (0:33): MP3
  18. The Speech at Soli (1:18): MP3
  19. Primitive (13:27): MP3
Recording History: All selections were recorded at the home of Harvery Shapiro in Brooklyn, New York, April 28 & 29, 1979.
Credits: Selections 1-18, Collected Poems of George Oppen. Copyright © 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1972, 1974 by George Oppen. Reproduced by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation. Primitive, Copyright © 1978 by George Oppen. Reproduced by permission of Black Sparrow Press.
Staff for this recording:
Producer: Poetry in Pubic Places
Recording Engineer: Verna Gillis
Editors: Verna Gillis, Michael Heller
Executive Producers: Alan Austin, Anne Becker

Poems Formerly (and Incorrectly) Attributed to the Poetry Center at the San Francisco State University
(Location and Date Unknown)

  1. Disaster (3:35): MP3
  2. The Dream (0:28): MP3
  3. "Strange are the Products of Draftsmanship..." (1:16): MP3
  4. Song, the Winds of Downhill (2:34): MP3
  5. And Their Winter and Night in Disguise (4:17): MP3
  6. "Wives, Husbands being killed..." (2:37): MP3
  7. Transparent Mechanics (2:10): MP3
  8. But So As By Fire (1:27): MP3
  9. Route (13:36): MP3
  10. From a Phrase of Simon Weil's (1:20): MP3
  11. The Speech at Soli (2:20): MP3
  12. A Morality Play (1:56): MP3
  13. And Their Winter and Night in Disguise (6:28): MP3
  14. The Taste (1:02): MP3
  15. The Impossible Poem (1:57): MP3
  16. The Book of Hours (2:51): MP3
  17. Inland (0:50): MP3
  18. The Occurrences (1:09): MP3
  19. West (1:43): MP3
  20. Animula (1:33): MP3
  21. The Hegelian Bell (0:58): MP3
  22. Exodus (0:59): MP3
  23. Psalm (0:50): MP3
  24. Stranger's Child (0:22): MP3
  25. A Narrative (0:49): MP3
  26. Leviathan (1:03): MP3
  27. Of Being Numerous (9:33): MP3
  28. Complete Recording (1:33:33): MP3

George Oppen reading from This In Which, Date and Location Unknown


PoemTalk Podcast #3, discussing Oppen's "Ballad," Kelly Writers House, February 2, 2008

Listen to the complete recording and read program notes for the episode at Jacket2.

Also of Interest:


George Oppen on PennSound Daily


The work of George Oppen is available in two editions:

Complete Poems, ed. Michael Davidson (New York: New Directions, 2002)
Selected Poems, ed. Robert Creeley (New York: New Directions, 2003)

These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights to this recorded material belong to Linda Oppen for the Estate of George Oppen. © 2004-2008 Linda Oppen. Used with permission of Linda Oppen. Distributed by PennSound.