PennSound’s partnership with our colleagues at the Beinecke Library has led to the wide availability of recordings made many years ago by Lee Anderson. Today we introduce our PennSound/Beinecke page within the PennSound web archive. Many thanks, once again, to Nancy Kuhl at Yale.
"A vast archive of historic and contemporary recordings of readings, podcasts, and now also videos, featuring a growing list of international poets (mostly English language focus). PennSound is co-run from Philadelphia by the poet, scholar and broadcaster Charles Bernstein and Al Filreis, director of Kelly Writers House." Link: http://www.thewire.co.uk/articles/6752/
Clark Coolidge's PennSound page is one I happily recommend. I think my favorite set of recordings there is from his March 2000 reading at the University of California at Santa Cruz, hosted by Peter Gizzi. Peter's introduction — also among the recordings — is itself a fine introduction to Coolidge's life and importance to contemporary poetics. After the reading Coolidge took a few questions. Someone asked about burn-out (a writer reaching the end of writing) and Coolidge responded by speaking of Kerouac's line, Where pain don't take you by surprise. Coolidge discusses Kerouac's line and Kerouac, and then he re-reads the poem in which Kerouac's idea occurs. The Coolidge-Kerouac connection is edifying. Here's the recording. And here is Coolidge's essay on Kerouac's sound or “babble flow,” which I ask my students to read. Here's a sampling of the babble flow: "Black black black black bling bling bling bling black black black black bling bling bling bling black black black black bling bling bling...." The essay was first published in the January/February 1995 issue of American Poetry Review.
The recording of this reading was segmented into thirteen poems just yesterday. Go here to see the special PennSound page devoted to this event:
When I Think (2:22): MP3 War (0:59): MP3 Talking (1:08): MP3 Paul (1:49): MP3 Old Song (0:53): MP3 Oh, do you remember (2:22): MP3 Mediterranean I (1:17): MP3 Mediterranean II (1:39): MP3 Jumping with Jackson (1:23): MP3 Shimmer (4:01): MP3 Sad Walk (1:32): MP3 The Red Flower (2:54): MP3 Old Story from The Diary of Francis Kilver (1:13): MP3
Will Creeley sent us at PennSound this great note after hearing a PoemTalk episode about one of his father's poems:
I saw word of this latest episode via PennSound's excellent & useful Twitter feed, and figured it was a good opportunity to say thank you again to Al, Charles and everyone at PennSound & Kelly Writers House for taking in our big cardboard boxes and digitizing the reel-to-reel recordings inside with such care and precision.
Harry Mathews came to the University of Pennsylvania to give a performance/talk on February 26, 1997, an event hosted by the “Friends of the Library” group, which is an open-minded organization the library's supporters and external overseers. Ruth and Marvin Sackner (Penn alumni) are close to the staff of the library, and have collaborated from time to time on exhibitions of concrete, visual, and sound poetry and also of artists' books. I attended Mathews's 1997 reading but cannot quite remember how it came about: I'm guessing that Bob Perelman, the Sackners', and very possibly Dan Traister (the brilliant and super-eclectic special collections librarian) were all involved. Someone had the forethought to record the event. The sound isn't perfect, especially during the Q&A. Nonetheless, the newly segmented reading is certainly worth a listen.
On January 29, 1992, David Bromige read a great many short pieces at a reading he gave at Buffalo. The recording has long been available at Bromige's PennSound page, but today for the first time it has been segmented. The segmentations are, as I say, quite new, so if readers and listeners have suggestions for improvement or correction, please by all means pass them along to me (afilreis [at] jacket2.org) and we will apply the fix. PennSound is, to say the least, an ongoing and interative process. Here now are the poems Bromige read that night:
We at PennSound are pleased to present a segmented recording of George ’s May 3, 1972, reading at San Francisco State University. The recording was then broadcast on KPFA (Berkeley) on June 2, 1972. Follow this link to PennSound’s George Oppen author page. The readings are presented in chronological order, beginning with our earliest recording dated 1963.
We at PennSound have segmented Jennifer Moxley's reading in the Segue Series at the Bowery Poetry Club (New York), October 6, 2007. Click here for links to the recordings - the complete reading and individual poems by title.