Monday, November 29, 2010

1960 symposium, Monday December 6, 6 PM eastern time

Next Monday, December 6, at 6:00 PM, the Writers House celebrates what happened in poetry a half century ago with a symposium entitled POETRY IN 1960. Symposium host and Writers House faculty director AL FILREIS brings together eleven poets each to discuss a seminal work from that pivotal year -- work by Frank O’Hara, Gwendolyn Brooks, John Cage, Barbara Guest, Larry Eigner, and Jackson Mac Low. A Q&A and reception will follow. We hope you will join us for this exciting confabulation!

If you can't make it to Philly, watch this live as a video stream. Just go here at 6 PM eastern time next Monday and watch!

The recordings will later be made available in PennSound and the symposium will be published in Jacket2.

- - -

The Kelly Writers House presents

a symposium



hosted by AL FILREIS

Monday, December 6, at 6:00 PM in the Arts Café
Kelly Writers House | 3805 Locust Walk
No registration required - this event is free & open to the public

- - -

KWH Faculty Director AL FILREIS curates a remarkable gathering of poets to present brief commentaries of books of poetry published in 1960 – to help mark the 50th anniversary of each. Each poet will read his or her 500- to 750-word critical commentary or retrospective review, after which there will be a Q&A session and a celebratory reception. The poet's commentaries will later be published as a special feature on the poetry & poetics of 1960 in Jacket2.

BOB PERELMAN on The New American Poetry edited by Donald Allen

RON SILLIMAN on The Opening of the Field by Robert Duncan

RACHEL BLAU DuPLESSIS on Second Avenue by Frank O'Hara

CHRIS FUNKHOUSER on Stanzas for Iris Leza by Jackson Mac Low

ERICA KAUFMAN on The Location of Things by Barbara Guest

JUDITH GOLDMAN on The Bean Eaters by Gwendolyn Brooks

KRISTEN GALLAGHER on Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note by LeRoi Jones

DANNY SNELSON on Cartridge Music by John Cage

MICHAEL S. HENNESSEY on A New Folder edited by Daisy Aldan

CHARLES BERNSTEIN on On My Eyes by Larry Eigner

MEL NICHOLS on Hymns of St. Bridget by Bill Berkson & Frank O'Hara

Saturday, November 27, 2010

the social network

Jane and I saw The Social Network last night, finally. Aaron Sorkin's screenplay was for the most part very good--snappy, although sometimes too snappy. (Sorkin's Mark Z., cleaned up a bit and given at least a little bit of social/political sense, would do well in the West Wing. Which is perhaps just another way of saying that Sorkin makes all smart characters sound like Toby Ziegler.) But I despised the overwrought pathology (girl dumped him and so....the rest is history) that gives the movie a nice, nice, neat, very neat arc (yuck), and offers a reductive psycho-motivation when surely this person's motives are extremely complex. Can't a movie in 2010 (this far into the genre's history) permit a character extremely complex motives?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

be thankful for poets

Click here to see the "PennSound Daily" entry for the Thanksgiving weekend. This is Mike Hennessey's survey of Thanksgiving poems in the PennSound archive, and there are some very good ones. So go there, have a listen, and be sure to include poets in your list of folks for whom to be thankful.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Corman remix

Cid Corman's poem beginning "It isn't for want" haunts me. It's the urgent quality of Cid's voice, recorded there over the telephone. And the way he so pressingly emphasizes any word adjacent to the word "you," as in "Something to tell you" or "To detain you." The phrases of the poem go round in my mind. So much so that I decided to remix the poem, almost as a way of getting it out of my head. As if to Stein-ize it would relieve it of its longing to have us listen. The remix also has the virtue, I think, of instructing us in Corman's use of breath as a formal unit. Anyway, I'm certain this will sound annoying to some, but here you go.

review of Ellison's "Juneteeth"

Here is Michiko Kakutani's review of the posthumous publication of Ralph Ellison's much, much, much delayed second novel, Juneteenth - the first few paragraphs followed by a link to the whole text, which was published in the New York Times on May 25, 1999:

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'Juneteenth': Executor Tidies Up Ellison's Unfinished Symphony


Over the years, Ralph Ellison's unfinished second novel has assumed the status of a literary myth. His first novel, "Invisible Man," published in 1952, established him unequivocally as a modernist master, and over the next four decades he labored to produce a follow-up to that masterpiece. In 1966 a fire at his home destroyed a portion of his manuscript, and during the ensuing years there were reports that the work in progress was slowly changing shape, evolving into an increasingly ambitious saga that, in the words of his literary executor, John F. Callahan, was "multifarious, multifaceted, multifocused, multivoiced, multitoned."

That manuscript was unfinished at Ellison's death in 1994, and from some 2,000 pages of typescript and printouts, Callahan has extracted "Juneteenth," the one narrative he says that "best stands alone as a single, self-contained volume."

"Aiming, as Ellison had, at one complete volume," Callahan writes, "I proceeded to arrange his oft-revised, sometimes reconceived scenes and episodes according to their most probable development and progression. While doing so, I felt uneasily Procrustean: Here and there limbs of the manuscript needed to be stretched, and elsewhere a protruding foot might be lopped off, if all the episodes were to be edited into a single, coherent, continuous work."

The resulting book provides the reader with intimations of the grand vision animating Ellison's 40-year project, but it also feels disappointingly provisional and incomplete. Given all the cutting and tidying up Callahan has done, the book's opaqueness and attenuation come as little surprise: after all, he has effectively changed the book's entire structure and modus operandi. Instead of the symphonic work Ellison envisioned, Callahan has given us a single, tentatively rendered melodic line. Instead of a vast modernist epic about the black experience in America, he has given us a flawed linear novel, focused around one man's emotional and political evolution.

[ more ]

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Reznikoff's voices

The opening of an essay by Charles Bernstein:

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“Reznikoff’s Voices” by Charles Bernstein

Holocaust, Charles Reznikoff’s last book, is, like his great work of the 1930s, Testimony, haunted by the voices of the dispossessed. In Testimony, Reznikoff worked with legal records of violent crimes from 1885-1915 to create tautly etched accounts of the turbulent underbelly of these United States. The two long volumes of Testimony are difficult reading, though a different senseof “difficulty” than that of other modernist poetry by first-wave modernists such as Eliot, Pound, Stein, or Stevens. There is no difficulty interpreting the content of these poems; in a sense they start with the heresy of paraphrase, for each poem paraphrases the longer account of a crime that Reznikoff appropriates, edited but verbatim, from the legal documents. The book, composed entirely from archival material, averts an overarching story line or poetical reflections. In contrast, Muriel Rukeyser’s documentary poem “Book of the Dead” (1938) uses passages from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, and a multi-voice format that shifts from quoted letters from a variety of sources and journalistic accounts, to weave together a far more theatrical and narrativizing work than Testimony.

Testimony is presented in a monolithic, if not to say monotonous, form, which offers no respite from directly confronting an unfolding, accumulating series of horrific events. Reznikoff’s methodological refusal to mitigate means that the work speaks not for itself as as itself. Perhaps the most important precedent for Testimony is Whitman’s “Song of Myself”: Reznikoff’s work is the antipode: in place of Whitman’s bursts of celebration, Reznikoff’s Testimony is a prolonged elegy; an unflinching acknowledgement of unredeemable and inexcusable loss. [more]

last night at KGB Bar

Alan Gilbert, at left, and Rosemarie Waldrop, at right, at KGB Bar last night. The occasion was Rosemarie's reading--with Monica Youn. Photograph by Lawrence Schwartzwald (for more about Lawrence, click the tag below).

Monday, November 22, 2010

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Writers House turns 15 - a short YouTube video

Jacquie Posey took some video at our recent 15th anniversary event at the Writers House - a reading given by four alumni writers. Then Jacquie edited it and has posted it to Penn's YouTube channel. Please watch when you have a moment. Here is a link to our web calendar entry for the event--which features links to the full video and audio of each of the four readings, plus my introduction.

& my favorite character was Thing

The 1964 opening sequence for The Addams Family is, of course, available on YouTube. My favorite character, from the first episode on, was Thing. And I also immediately loved the Dali-influenced tsotchkes strewn around the set. Note, there, the odd tree-like things bordering this close-up of Thing's table.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gary Barwin comes to PennSound

Gary Barwin traveled from Hamilton, Ontario, to spend the day at the Writers House the other day. Gary is a poet, fiction writer, composer, and performer, whose many books of poetry include The Porcupinity of the Stars (newly published), Outside the Hat and Raising Eyebrows (all from Coach House), and whose music has been performed by, among other groups, The Vancouver Chamber Choir, The Bach-Elgar Choir, and by the Windtunnel Saxaphone Quartet. Along with Danny Snelson and Ammiel Alcalay, we recorded a session of PoemTalk on a poem by John Wieners. Then I induced Gary into an hour-long recording session for PennSound. And now, already, lo and behold, we have a new Gary Barwin author page at PennSound: here. I had first met Gary at Banff a year ago and enjoyed his company a great deal.

Gary is also the Serif of Nottingblog - which is to say, runs a blog going under that title. He blogs on average once every other day. I recommend it as a digital destination.

Gary is Jewish, and the family's path runs like this: Lithuania, South Africa, Ottawa. His Lithuanian family fled the holocaust. His great-uncle Isaak Grazutis is a holocaust survivor, and also, now, a painter. "In 1941, at the age of eleven, Isaak was forced to flee his native village in advance of Nazi occupation. After his parents were taken away by the invading forces, he was brought to live in an orphanage in Ural, and later, Moscow where he spent his formative years." Here is much more from Gary's blog. At right you see one of Isaak's oil paintings.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

using a chalk slate --> postmodern book-artist

Click on the image for a larger view.

Friday, November 19, 2010

prologue to Scrap Metal

Install the Flash plugin to watch this video.

Here's a video recording of Ammiel Alcalay reading the prologue to his book Scrap Metal.

Ammiel Alcalay

Ammiel Alcalay reading at the Kelly Writers House the other night (11/17/10). [more]

Susan Sontag liked us

Install the Flash plugin to watch this video.

After many years of hosting our Writers House Fellows program (since '99) and teaching the Fellows seminar each spring, I think I've experienced my share of challenges--challenges typically at once programmatic and intellectual. The project of squeezing into the little cottage some very giant personalities, intellects, and--yes--literary egos is no inconsequential venture. Some I expected to be difficult (John Ashbery--not an ego but shy and sometimes reticent) turned out to be easy. Other folks I'd heard would be sweet and accommodating presented all kinds of problems--requiring hard work but always (fortunately; so far) successful. I must say that the Writers House itself does a good deal of calming and charming. The late Susan Sontag, who spent three days with us in April 2003, wss generous with her time, focused on the students, and truly pleased that so many attentive readers surrounded her. But, as anyone who met her knows, her intellectual rigor is unforgiving. This made me a little nervous, understandably, since her first meeting would be for three uninterrupted hours with a group of 22 undergraduates--none of whom had read anything by her prior to our month-long series of readings and discussions. Toward the end of her stay, I interviewed her and hosted a public conversation with her--our typical Tuesday morning Fellows event. About a third of the way through the interview, Jennifer Snead, then our Director, asked a complicated question, which Susan immediately appreciated, and it caused her to praise the Writers House scene in a way that is completely memorable to me, and (obviously) pleasing. Click on the video player above and watch a grainy copy of the old RealVideo file we made back then. The audio is fine and you can watch the whole recording or listen to audio (the whole or segments) by going to our Sontag page.

accessible Ashbery

Scott Simon: Do you think of your poems as being accessible to people?

John Ashbery: Well, I'm told that they're not. I wish that they were as accessible to as many people as possible. They are not, I wouldn't say, private. What they are is about the privacy of all of us and the difficulty of our own thinking and coming to conclusions. And in that way they are, I think, accessible if anybody cares to access them. [source]

A Humument app

Yes, Tom Phillips' A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel is now available as an iPad application. I bought it last night ($7.99 in iTunes) and have already spent hours reading and looking and exploring its "oracle feature." Using a chosen date and a randomly generated number the oracle will cast two pages to be read in tandem. You may receive direction, encouragement or warning. The Find wheel spins through the book to quickly navigate the pages visually and find your favourites. Email your personal choices or oracle reading to friends. Sharekit supports image posts to Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook direct from the App. Maybe best of all: the app version includes 39 newly created, previously unpublished pages.

Phillips writes: "I found this book (or rather, it found me) when I was not quite thirty and have worked on it constantly ever since. It beckoned me on as it yielded strange words and provoked new images and told the fragmentary tale of Irma and Bill Toge. Now I am well over seventy and still revisiting and revising its pages, I find further layers of hidden texts and buried messages. Like the I Ching, the ancient Chinese Book of Changes, chance pairs of pages, taken together and interpreted, act as a guide and cryptic commentary on life in word and picture; a not-too-serious oracle which I now share with you."


Below are two screen shots from my iPad. The first shows page 2. The second shows the oracle function at work, about the merge pages 11 and 367 at a randomly chosen point in time.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hejinian on lyric

Go here for more. Click on the image above for a larger view.

Monday, November 15, 2010

the end of the lecture

“Some people talk in their sleep. Lecturers talk while other people sleep.”--Camus

For more on the end of the lecture, click on the tag below.

Zoe Strauss

Zoe Strauss: 1, 2.

Hotel Wentley Poems

I admire and am often mesmerized by the poems of John Wieners because they presuppose a music exhilirated--made absolutely alive--by deprivation and, at times, by self-destructiveness. They are "the score of a man's struggle to stay with what is his own."

The Hotel Wentley Poems, Wieners's first book (1958), are available online--all of them. This is a book that should be read in one sitting, and it offers a powerful reading experience. Not quite Beat (although he was feeling beat--out of it, not beatific--and he was in San Francisco at the time he wrote these poems in successive days) and not quite Black Mountain, the poems can be placed in their time and aesthetic context with some pleasure taken by the placer; but they do really well as more generally "New American" or, frankly, contextless, or in the similar/different context of love poetry across the literary ages. I have two favorite passages. One is the seventh and final section of "A poem for painters" and the other is a passage near the end of "A poem for museum goers." The latter movingly situates the speaker (a writer--the author of these very poems) both in the history of art (the art of lovers leaving lovers) and in the desolate present room at the Hotel Wentley, the room of the poem.

Lover leaves lover,
1896, 62 years
later, the men
sit, paws and
jagged depths
under their heads,

Now the season of
the furnished room. Gone
the Grecian walls & the

cypress trees,
plain planks and spider
webs, a bed

only big enough for one,
it looks like a

The speaker didn't want this but he knows how keenly and well the depression has provoked these poems. They're his way out but also his deathbed.

The seventh section of "A poem for painters" needs little explanation. Another magnificent poem about the poem, it puts itself in the tradition of the defense of poesy, by first enumerating what the present poem lacks. Otherwise, the section serves the same purpose as the passage quoted above:

At last. I come to the last defense.

My poems contain no
wilde beestes, no
lady of the lake music
of the spheres, or organ chants,

yet by these lines
I betray what little given me.

One needs no defense.
Only the score of a man's
struggle to stay with
what is his own, what
lies within him to do.

Without which is nothing,
for him or those who hear him
And I come to this,
knowing the waste, leaving

the rest up to love
and its twisted faces
my hands claw out at
only to draw back from the
blood already running there.

Oh come back, whatever heart
you have left. It is my life
you save. The poem is done.

PennSound makes available a recording of Wieners reading of "A poem for painters" (in a pre-published version). The recording of this and other poems was made by Robert Creeley, probably at a Berkeley poetry conference, probably in the summer of 1965.

tribute to Barbara Guest

We at PennSound have now segmented the entire audio recording made of the Barbara Guest Praise Day Tribute at The Bowery Poetry Club, October 21, 2006. These people performed selections of Guest's poems, offered interpretations of them along with reminiscences: Lewis Warsh, Marcella Durand, Charles Bernstein, Africa Wayne, Charles North and Erica Kaufman. The event was hosted by Kristin Prevallet. Anna Zalokostas has nicely arranged all the readings on our Barbara Guest author page. Lewis Warsh, for instance, remembered Guest in connection with The New American Poetry of 1960. Africa Wayne read "Negative Possibility." Charles North read "Roses." Lytle Shaw read "Sante Fe Trail." And much more.

Above left: Guest in 1968.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tony Kushner, 2001

Install the Flash plugin to watch this video.

Tony Kushner, near the beginning of our interview/discussion in the spring of 2001 when he visited as a Writers House Fellow: "To return all of the outrageous compliments, I've really been impressed with the faculty and students I've met here. This has really been, in many, many years of dong this, the nicest two days I've spent on the road. So it's really been a great and wonderful thing. And I learned a new word, profusity, that I absolutely intent to use and I'm absolutely impressed that somebody got those lines of Esperanto. I think that that is really a testimonial to the acuity of the students and also to the fact that Zamenhof was right and it is the world's language." Needless to say, we cherish this great praise.

on digital humanities

Phillip Barron on digital humanities: 'The humanities’ pattern of professional anxiety goes back to the 1800s and stems from pressure to incorporate the methods of science into our disciplines or to develop our own, uniquely humanistic, methods of scholarship. The “digital humanities” rubs salt in these still open wounds by demonstrating what cool things can be done with literature, history, poetry, or philosophy if only we render humanities scholarship compliant with cold, computational logic. Discussions concern how to structure the humanities as data.' [ source ]

Ammiel Alcalay on Wednesday

At right: Ammiel Alcalay reads a Ladino poem at Tuli Kupferberg's memorial reading.

Poet, novelist, essayist, translator, and scholar of Hebrew and Jewish literature of the Middle East Ammiel Alcalay will give a reading at the Kelly Writers House this week (what a week upcoming it is!): on Wednesday, 11/17/10, starting at 6 PM. For much more, go here.

Earlier the same day, Ammiel and I, and two others, will record a session of PoemTalk on John Wieners.

Susan Bee retrospective - opening this week

Susan Bee: A Retrospective

Brodsky Gallery Opening – with a talk by the artist

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe

co-sponsored by: Femininsm/s and the Wexler Family Fund

Susan Bee is an artist, editor and designer who works and lives in New York City. Her work examines and questions intersections of identity, gender roles and secular Jewish culture. As an artist, she believes strongly in the role of the imagination and the importance of poetry, humor, irony, memory, and fantasy in art. She also believes in idiosyncratic, individualistic, and eccentric art making. She has published six artist's books with Granary Books, including collaborations with poets: Bed Hangings, with Susan Howe, A Girl's Life, with Johanna Drucker, Log Rhythms and Little Orphan Anagram with Charles Bernstein and The Burning Babe and Other Poems with Jerome Rothenberg. She is coeditor of M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology of Artist's Writings, Theory, and Criticism, with writings by over 100 artists, critics, and poets, published by Duke University Press in 2000. She was the coeditor of M/E/A/N/I/N/G: A Journal of Contemporary Art Issues from 1986-1996 and is the coeditor of M/E/A/N/I/N/G Online.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gary Snyder

Gary Snyder last night at Poets House in New York. The film, The Practice of the Wild: A Conversation with Gary Snyder and Jim Harrison opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York. Photo by Lawrence Schwartzwald. More about the film:

A portrait of legendary Beat poet Gary Snyder. His poetry embraces and celebrates the rhythms of nature and the written word. Occupying a hallowed yet humble position within the realms of poetry, academia, ecological activism and spiritual practice, Snyder distinguished himself among peers such as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac by becoming both a countercultural hero and a Pulitzer Prize winner. Here, we follow Snyder’s journey through nature and across the page with his cantankerous compadre and fellow scribe Jim Harrison. Together, these two old friends roam the hills of the central California coast, musing on Bay Area bohemia, Zen Buddhism and the morally charged interdependence of all living things. (Running time 0:53)

Friday, November 12, 2010

1960 event, December 6th

For more, go here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I ask Creeley about Williams

Interview and discussion in April 2000:

Now back to Williams, your initial response to Williams—-according to something you said at Camden in December [1999]-—was that what mattered to you in reading Williams, particularly The Wedge, was that the work was driven by anger. This is what, at least, Ron Silliman posted to the Buffalo poetics listserv afterwards. And then he went on to comment at how Williams had a huge impact on him as well, but it was a very different Williams. So, if anger is not quite operating as much, what’s your Williams now? How does Williams animate you now?

Back to Ron’s point, that that wasn’t the Williams he read, he reads the later Williams.

The Desert Music.

Yeah. Which is not an unangry poem, so to speak. But it certainly isn’t nearly as angry as the poems he was writing in the thirties or twenties. Spring and All, for example. Or the "Descent of Winter," or "March First." Many of the early poems are really angry, and their emotional base is their revulsion and anger at the world he finds around him.

So, now when you look back at Williams, how does it feel?

Well, it feels very much like my own life. I, when young, felt a dismay, let’s put it, that such things as the Holocaust or the Second World War or the depression or many other factors in one’s real life, that these could be so unremarkable to the body politic, that it seemed not to matter.

Through the agency of my terrific wife, I sent an article, I think it was called “Bush Goes Green” from the New York Times to this listserv that a friend of ours sends us, you know, Barbie dolls and things women have to do to protect themselves in parking lots, lots of actually useful information, but the list has had a certain smugness. So, I zapped out this Bush article—Texas is 50th in education, and so on—and instantly comes back a letter: “Don’t send any more of this to me. I’ll vote for Bush no matter what.”

So, I was disappointed that one would vote for someone who commits to have his state have 25% of its population with no insurance, who would willfully do so, and fight to preserve that situation. I still feel anger in that way.

But again, back to the verse, think of the classic phrases humans make: X wants to make his peace with the world. The resistances of Lawrence’s, the day of my interference is done, the recoil outstrips the advance, et cetera.

I remember one time, terrifically, I had the chance to ask Kenneth Burke at a community meal we were all at up in Orono, there was a moment when I had him to myself, so to speak, and I asked him quickly: what advice would you have for someone as myself who is getting old. And he looked at me and said: Don’t boast. You won’t be able to back it up.

Therefore, it isn’t don’t get angry, don’t use anger as a primary emotion. It’s extraordinarily hard to sustain. It always was incidentally.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

lists and democracy

Studying the Constitution with Hannah early this morning. Fell in love once more with the words "ratify" and "enumerated." Civics is language and possibly also vice versa. Enumerated = explicit. Think about that--that and the importance of lists there. To list is to count (to matter), to make power. An implied power is anything that is not listed.

praise for PennSound

Sina Queyras talks to Johanna Skibsrud and the transcript of their conversation appears now (entry dated November 9, 2010) on Sina's wonderful blog, Lemon Hound. Along the way, I'm pleased to say, Johanna praises PennSound (see above). Johanna Skibsrud's The Sentimentalists is up for a Giller Prize (the "darkest horse" in the race according to the Toronto Star), but she is also a poet, and the author of two collections, most recently I Do Not Think I Could Love a Human Being.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

get your free F**K snow globe

Pierre Joris wins his free F**K snow globe. Pierre was the first visitor to say the secret word, "Rosebud." Photo by Ligorano Reese, at the New York Art Book Fair. Go here for much more.

Monday, November 08, 2010

writers reach out to the community

Allyson Even, Outreach Coordinator at the Kelly Writers House, has created some wonderful creative writing programming for West Philly high school students. The current issue of Philadelphia Weekly features an article on what Allyson has been doing. Here are several paragraphs that give you the background:

Last year, Even, a Latin American Latino Studies and Africana Studies major and a Creative Writing and Urban Education minor (yes, two majors and two minors), was hired as a work-study student to revive community outreach at Penn’s Kelly Writers House. The afternoon at West Philadelphia Catholic was just one of the many small-scale initiatives she organized, but the event prompted her to question whether the current outreach offerings at Penn was sufficient.

Currently, the Netter Center for Community Partnerships serves as a hub and sponsors for a comprehensive array of community services. Among these is Community School Student Partnership (CSSP), which recruits and trains Penn students to assist hired staff in mentoring and tutoring at West Philadelphia schools through a series of structured programs. The Kelly Writers House also hosts a series of literary-based outreach programs, including WriteOn!, in which fourth- through eighth-graders from two local schools come to the Writers House on select Fridays and Saturdays to engage with Penn students on extracurricular writing projects.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Rosemarie Waldrop

Rosemarie Waldrop reads from "Curves to the Apple" at the Writers House.

kids with kidney disease

Click Here to Donate
I'm raising funds so that kids with renal failure (kidney disease) can attend summer camp for two weeks next summer.

Julia Bloch

Install the Flash plugin to watch this video.

Julia Bloch reads a poem dedicated to Sarah Dowling at "Writers House New York," Meisel Gallery, NYC, on November 3, 2010.

Rothenberg and Joris in the stacks

Jerry Rothenberg and Pierre Joris at Poets House yesterday (11/6/10), where Jerry read from and analyzed Romantic and post-Romantic verse, not just Blake and Shelley, in other words, but Dickinson and Rimbaud as well as several contemporary poets, including writers of sound poetry, visual poetry, etc. Pierre was Jerry's co-editor for two earlier volumes of Poems for the Millenium. Photograph by Lawrence Schwartzwald.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

106-year-old survivor

A 106-year-old holocaust survivor: video clip. This is the trailer for new documentary short about the oldest Holocaust survivor in the world Alice Herz-Sommer.

state of digital humanities

In today's Inside Higher Education Phillip Barron writes in response to the recent "The Humanities and Technology" conference (THAT Camp) in San Francisco. He talks about the way in which the "humanities’ pattern of professional anxiety" has had deleterious effects on digital humanities projects. Along the way he mentioned PennSound as an instance of an alternative mode. Here is a link to the article. Phillip Barron is a digital history developer at the University of California at Davis, trained in analytic philosophy.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

poem-response to post-9/11 rhetoric

Is there an experimental poetics that can muster a response to this man? Click here for the newest episode of PoemTalk - and find out.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Howl babble flow

Here are a few seconds of babble flow from "Howl" (from the 1959 Big Table recording).

Carl Rakosi on his role as a communist poet

Carl Rakosi responds to a question about his status as a communist poet in the 1930s (and 40s). Tom Devaney posed the question during a public live-audiocast interview we conducted at the Writers House in 2002, when Carl was 99 years old.