Marjorie Perloff

Marjorie Perloff: A short response to Alan Dershowitz

In his Huffington Post piece, "Suppressing Ugly Truth for Beautiful Art" (1 May 2012) Dershowitz writes:

State of error (PoemTalk #50)

Tom Raworth, 'Errory'

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

For our 50th episode, Charles Bernstein, Michael Hennessey, and Marjorie Perloff gathered at the Kelly Writers House to talk about Tom Raworth’s poem, “Errory.”  The poem was published in Clean & Well Lit in 1996, and has been reprinted in the Carcanet Press Collected Poems (2003). Our recording of “Errory” comes from audio material produced in 2004 by the Contemporary Poetics Research Center (CPRC) at Birkbeck College of the University of London, and we thank Colin Still for making these recordings available to PennSound.

Here is the CPRC/PennSound recording of Raworth performing “Errory,” at somewhat more than his usual breakneck speed. Listen to “Out of a Sudden,” for instance — from the same recording session — and you'll notice a more deliberate pace. <--break- />

Yubraj Aryal on Perloff, Drucker on Mallarme

from Journal of Philsophy

Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry, Fall 2011, Vol. 7, No. 16

Unoriginal Genius/Conceptual Writing: Recovering
Avant-Garde in the Contemporary Poetics
(on Perloff)
by Yubraj Aryal: PDF

Stéphane Mallarmé’s Un Coup de Dés and the Poem and/as Book as Diagram
by Johanna Drucker: PDF

David Antin, Marjorie Perloff, Charles Bernstein

Two photos by Alan Thomas, June 15, 2011, Los Angeles

Antin-Bernstein

 

Antin-Bernstein

 

Wittgenstein & poetry in Munich

As part of a recent Wittgenstein conference in Munich, Marjorie Perloff organized literary section: pdf of program here. 

Marjorie Perloff's talk on the exhibition context for Duchamp's 'Fountain'

Marjorie Perloff visited the Kelly Writers House in Philadelphia for most of four days this week – as a Kelly Writers House Fellow. For three hours on Monday, she met with 21 undergraduates in the so-called Writers House Fellows Seminar; they had read and discussed her writings for the previous five weeks. That evening – April 25, 2011 – she gave a 55-minute talk that, in part, offered the full context for Marcel Duchamp's attempt to exhibit his pseudonymous readymade, "Fountain" (1917). 

Poetry on the web! It's a revolution!

Reading it now, the article seems a yawn - obvious, innocuous. Was it only eight years ago that the availability of poetry on the web was deemed innovative? (My own poetry site was created in '94. It's a grandpa.) Zoe Ingalls wrote a piece for the Chronicle of Higher Education on the Electronic Poetry Center, with glancing looks at the digital poetry archives of the Writers House (including webcasts) and my online poetry course materials at Penn, and several other repositories of the time. I found a copy of this article yesterday while rooting through old files, and am pleased to make it available here.

Dialectic at the scholar's paradise

In my basement I found a water-warped address book dating from the period 1978-1985. This morning I went looking for a few old addresses, picked up the little half-rotted black codex and out fell a pink card, which brought back a flood of good memories. It's a researcher's card given to me on the occasion of my very first visit to an archive of literary manuscripts: the Huntington Library, December 1982. Virginia (Ginny) Renner was the readers' services librarian who immediately befriended me. Dave Wyatt took me there (MLA was in LA that year, I think); we visited his father in Laguna Beach and he escorted me around and across the LA of his youth. At the Huntington, as I read the unpublished correspondence of Wallace Stevens, I got to know Stuart Curran and Joe Wittreich, who were enormously generous and hospitable, knew the Huntington and Pasadena like the backs of their hands.

And I met Marjorie Perloff for the first time, who sat next to me reading Stevens' WW2-era letters for a paper she was writing arguing his social and political ignorance. Marjorie and I enjoyed several long lunches together at the researchers-only cafe to which at noon the readers were sent walking (they closed the library for an hour, partly to enforce the daily gatherings of the scholars). We walked past the building in which was displayed Blue Boy, through the meandering Shakespeare garden, had lunch, and walked back to our manuscripts by way of the Japanese garden with its giant hungry carp. Thanks, Dave; thanks Stuart; thanks Marjorie. Thanks to the late Holly Stevens who sold her father's letters to the Huntington in part because he and wife Elsie had stopped to see Henry Huntington's collection on the way back from their trip through the Panama Canal and up the west coast.

Yes, I did note that Marjorie sat next to me researching a paper on Stevens' wartime political ignorance (and/or obliviousness). What I didn't mention--but those who have read my scholarly writing will already know--was that I was beginning to write a book arguing precisely the opposite. This did not put Marjorie off. In fact, quite the opposite. It endeared me to her and was the basis of the beginning of our friendship. We argued, to be sure, but in a way I found utterly productive (and perhaps she felt the same). She was the first energetically open-minded member of my profession I had met. We were teaching each other the conflicts. I'm going back to that first book to be sure I acknowledged her in this way. It's been a while. And in any case, now I've done so here.

Radical artifice and other topics, 1991

Marjorie Perloff

Marjorie Perloff

We at PennSound have just segmented an interview with Marjorie Perloff conducted by Aldon Nielsen for the Incognito Lounge in Palo Alto, CA, November 12, 1991. Here are the clips:

[] introduction by A.L. Nielsen (0:51): MP3

[] work on Frank O'Hara (7:13): MP3

[] "The Futurist Moment, poetic movements, and marginalized works (7:47): MP3

[] "The Poetics of Indeterminacy" and John Cage (15:02): MP3

[] the avant-garde and post-modernism (7:57): MP3

[] L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets (7:42): MP3

And the complete interview (1:06:36): MP3. Here is the link to PennSound's Perloff page.

Marjorie Perloff circa 2000

In January 2000, Lingua Franca asked me to write very, very briefly in praise of a then-recent book. I chose Marjorie Perloff's Poetry On & Off the Page and here is what I wrote:

This fine collection of occasional essays is concerned with the way supposedly ordinary language becomes poetic. From The Poetics of Indeterminacy (1981) forward, Perloff has confidently, helpfully mapped contemporary poetics during a period of almost constant change. (She herself is one of the few constant features on that landscape.) Wary, as always, of holistic paradigms for the literary history of poetry, in POETRY ON & OFF THE PAGE she describes not the replacement of hip canon for square canon, "political" for "formal" poetries. Rather she shows shifts within (usually coinciding with the growth of) aesthetic movements that range across interests, forms and social formulations. Although a number of the essays have less to say about poetry per se than about, for example, Johanna Ducker's bookworks, the video art of Bill Viola, the photographs of Eugene Atget, and Christian Boltanski's simulated documentaries, I cannot think of a better introduction to contemporary poetry and poetics. Such commendation tells much about the special mode of Perloff's writings as well as the dynamic, interactive condition of experimental poetry today.

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