Featured resources

From "Down To Write You This Poem Sat" at the Oakville Gallery

Contemporary
  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
Historical
  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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Congratulations to the 2024 Guggenheim Foundation Fellows

Posted 4/12/2024

Amidst the shocking losses of so many beloved poets lately, we'll take all the good news we can get! Yesterday we highlighted a number of PennSound poets long-listed for two of PEN America's literary awards, and today we follow that with congratulations to three of our poets that were named today as 2024 Guggenheim Fellows. Poetry was well-represented this year, with nine fellows out of a total of one hundred eighty-eight spanning fifty-two fields. The full roster consists of Kaveh Akbar, Jos Charles, Elaine Equi, Vievee Francis, Airea D. Matthews, Robyn Schiff, Safiya Sinclair, Tracy K. Smith, and Mai Der Vang: a dazzling and diverse array of voices spanning from coast to coast.

As always, we're delighted to be able to allow our listeners to connect with the work of the celebrated authors, and you'll find recordings from three of the nine fellows on our site. On Elaine Equi's PennSound author page, you'll find nearly a dozen recordings from 1984 up to the present, including events from the Segue SeriesBelladonna* Reading Series, Philadelphia's Chapter & Verse Series, and the Dia Art Foundations' Readings in Contemporary Poetry SeriesAirea D. Matthews' PennSound author page is home to two recordings from the Kelly Writers House: a 2019 reading and her 2021 interview with Rachel Zolf. Finally, you can listen to Tracy K. Smith read from her beloved Life on Mars at a March 2013 Brave Testimony event also held at the Writers House. 

We send our enthusiastic congratulations to these poets, and the rest of this year's fellows class, for this well-deserved achievement.

Congratulations to PEN American Literary Awards Longlist Poets

Posted 4/12/2024

Earlier this week, PEN America announced the longlists for their 2024 literary awards and we were excited to see a number of PennSound poets included.

Poem Bitten by a Man (Nightboat Books) by Brian Teare was listed for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award (given "to a book-length work of any genre for its originality, merit, and impact, which has broken new ground by reshaping the boundaries of its form and signaling strong potential for lasting influence") as well as the PEN/Voelcker Award (presented to "a poet whose distinguished collection of poetry represents a notable and accomplished literary presence"). We also congratulate Evie Shockley and Eleni Sikelianos who also made the PEN/Voelcker longlist for their latest collections, suddenly we (Wesleyan University Press) and Your Kingdom (Coffee House Press) respectively.

Finalists will be announced in advance of the ceremonies on April 29th. If you'd like to acquaint yourselves with these three very deserving poets, click their names above to start browsing their PennSound author pages.


George Kuchar: 'Eclipse of the Sun Virgin' (1967)

Posted 4/8/2024

If you're located far from the path of today's total solar eclipse, or your forecast is for cloudy skies, we've got you covered. Feast your eyes on a very different eclipse, namely filmmaker George Kuchar's 1967 twelve minute short, Eclipse of the Sun Virgin. You won't even need special glasses!

Writing in Artforum, Ed Halter situates the film in an important moment of transition for the director that accompanied a key technological upgrade: "After switching to 16 mm, each brother worked independently, and George cast himself as nebbish-protagonist in nerdy-dirty works like Hold Me While I’m Naked (1966) and Eclipse of the Sun Virgin (1967), countering contemporary celebrations of free love with fractured ballads of sexual frustration." Kuchar had this to say of the film, which starred Deborah-Ann and Edith Fischer: "I dedicate this film poem to the behemoths of yesteryear that perished in Siberia along with the horned pachyderms of the pre-glacial epoch. This chilling montage of crimson repression must be seen. Painstakingly filmed and edited, it will be painful to watch, too." We'll let our listeners judge for themselves.

You can see Eclipse of the Sun Virgin and many more films — including the aforementioned Hold Me While I'm Naked; The Kiss of Frankenstein; Meet the Kuchar Brothers; I, of the Cyclops; Coven of the Heathenites; and Zealots of the Zinc Zone — on PennSound's George Kuchar author page, along with a three-part Close Listening program hosted by Charles Bernstein, which was recorded in Provincetown during the summer of 2009.


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