Featured resources

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

  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
  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 National Book Award Long-Listers Gander, Kearney, Nguyen

Posted 9/17/2021

Well, it looks as if this week on PennSound Daily is all about bestowing congratulations, with a trio of PennSound poets having been announced this week as being on the long-list for this year's National Book Award in Poetry. That includes one repeat nominee, Forrest Gander, and a pair of exciting poets getting the nod for the first time: Douglas Kearney and Hoa Nguyen.

Gander is nominated for Twice Alive, which "addresses the exigencies of our historical moment and the intimacies, personal and environmental, that bind us to others and to the world." "Drawing from his training in geology and his immersion in Sangam literary traditions," the summary contines, "Gander invests these poems with an emotional intensity that illuminates our deep-tangled interrelations." PennSound's Forrest Gander author page is home to readings and interviews from 1992 to the present year.

Kearney is nominated for Sho, which "eschew[s] performative typography [and] aims to hit crooked licks with straight-seeming sticks." This collection "navigat[es] the complex penetrability of language, while espous[ing] Black vernacular strategies" and "examining histories and current events through the lyric, brand new dances, and other performances," creating "a genius work of literary precision, wordplay, farce, and critical irony." PennSound's relatively-new Douglas Kearney author page is where you can find a handful of readings from 2005 to the present, along with an illuminating appearance on Charles Bernstein's Close Listening program from 2018.

Last but certainly not least, Nguyen is nominated for A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure, "a poetic meditation on historical, personal, and cultural pressures pre- and post-'Fall-of-Saigon' with verse biography on the poet's mother, Diệp Anh Nguyễn, a stunt motorcyclist in an all-women Vietnamese circus troupe." This haunting collection "sings of language and loss; dialogues with time, myth and place; and communes with past and future ghosts." Our Hoa Nguyen author page houses a quartet of readings spanning the years 2010 to 2017.

We send our heartiest congratulations to these three poets and the other seven on this year's long-list. Like many of our listeners, we'll be excitedly waiting to see who makes the final list and eventually is awarded the prize.

Congratulations to Canadian Jewish Literature Award Winner Gary Barwin

Posted 9/15/2021

Our week continues with another great honor for a poet we're proud to have as part of the PennSound archives. This time, we send our heartiest congratulations to Gary Barwin — a fine experimental poet and a talented fiction writer to boot — whose novel, Nothing the Same, Everything Haunted: The Ballad of Motl the Cowboy (Random House Canada), was just named a winner of the 2021 Canadian Jewish Literary Awards in Fiction.

In their citation, the judges hail Nothing the Same, Everything Haunted: The Ballad of Motl the Cowboy as "a work of unbounded imagination following a wannabe cowboy, Motl, as he and his mother flee Vilna and the Nazis massacre of the Jews." They continue: "The phantasmagoria of ensuing events, characters and horror are met by Motl with an equally bizarre set of puns and humorous absurdity in the face of tragedy. This original and moving exploration of genocide and persecution is filled with heartbreak and the enduring quest for hope in the face of horror of the Shoah." In conclusion, they find Barwin's "integration of tragedy and humour, in the Jewish tradition," to be "masterful."

You can read more about the Canadian Jewish Literature Award and Barwin's book here. PennSound's Gary Barwin author page — which is home to recordings spanning more than a quarter century, including a compact and useful "Selected Works 1994 – 2012," broken down by performance and text type — can be found here.

Johanna Drucker Wins AIGA's Steven Heller Prize for Cultural Commentary

Posted 9/13/2021

We start this week sending well-earned congratulations to Johanna Drucker who was recently announced as a winner of AIGA's Steven Heller Prize for Cultural Commentary. The American Institute of Graphic Arts, which has awarded the prize since 2017, presents it to individuals "who best exemplify the tradition of prolific writing and boundless curiosity established by Steven Heller — who has contributed and inspired engaging commentary about design and culture for the past three decades." The Heller Prize "celebrates critical thinking about design and the profession, and encourages development in the next generation of design voices through a variety of media (i.e., curators, podcasters, filmmakers)."

Drucker's citation honors "her prolific yet unpredictable work as a leading scholar of graphic design, print culture, and book history as well as her impact through graphic design history textbooks to shape students and welcome the next generation of designers" and certainly, given the scope of Drucker's artistry, it is richly deserved.

For those eager to learn more about Drucker, we point you in the direction of her PennSound author page, which is home to a wide variety of recordings — including talks, performances, and interviews — from the mid-1980s to the present. Click here to start browsing.

Want to read more? Visit the PennSound Daily archive.