PennSound

PennSound is an online archive of recordings of modern and contemporary poets housed at the University of Pennsylvania.

On PennSound Radio

From the 'Pennsylvania Gazette' arts blog

Today the Pennsylvania Gazette arts blog features PennSound Radio. The piece includes a daily program schedule and a link to the smartphone application that makes listening convenient.

Now: PennSound Radio

Today we’re pleased to announce the launch of PennSound Radio, a 24-hour stream of readings and conversations from the PennSound poetry archive. Our daily schedule includes rebroadcasts of such series as Live at the Writers House, Charles Bernstein's Close Listening, and Leonard Schwartz's Cross-Cultural Poetics, as well as a curated selection of our favorite performances. You can play PennSound Radio through iTunes on your computer, or by installing the free TuneIn app on your iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android device. Listen at work! At home! At the gym! While rebuilding a transmission! And while you're at it, follow us on Twitter (@PennSoundRadio) to keep up with all of our new programs and special features.

John Kinsella

Australian poet John Kinsella. Photo by Andrew De La Rue.

PennSound’s new John Kinsella page features three recordings. One is a reading he gave at Buffalo in September of 1996, introduced by Susan Schultz (5:11): MP3 .

Here are poems Kinsella read:

Warhol at Wheatlands (2:53): MP3
Bluff Knoll Sublimity (2:54): MP3
Aspects of the Pagan (4:43): MP3
Editing (0:51): MP3
Disclaimers (2:19): MP3
Echidna (2:45): MP3
from “Syzygy” (4:57): MP3
Skeleton weed / generative grammar (3:35): MP3

He also took a moment to comment on the tradition of classical poetry in Australia and the slaughter of aboriginal peoples (1:05): MP3. The complete reading (26:19): MP3 is of course available also, but note that  the recording cuts off at 26:19.

Recording of Robert Creeley's responses to Martin Duberman's questions about Black Mountain College

Black Mountain College

We at PennSound are grateful to Jeff Davis for helping us make this recording available from the North Carolina Division of Archives and History, with permission from the Creeley family. The recording was made apparently in the late 1960s. It is available on PennSound's growing Robert Creeley page.

What brought you to Black Mountain? (1:17): MP3
In what capacity were you there? (2:32): MP3
What were your first impressions? (5:43): MP3
Did they subsequently change? (3:22): MP3
Who among the faculty or students impressed you? (2:17): MP3
Is it accurate to refer to a Black Mountain school of poetry? (8:44): MP3
What were BMC's particular strong and weak points? (4:55): MP3
Anything about the school's tone or procedures you wish were otherwise? (2:32): MP3
What satisfactions and tensions resulted from living at such close quarters?(5:07): MP3
What accounts for perennial faculty splits at BMC? (3:34): MP3
Did good relations exist between the college and the community? (9:40): MP3
Why did the college finally close? (1:07): MP3
How would you evaluate BMC's influence on your artistic growth? (11:16): MP3

Stanley Burnshaw

We are pleased to publish Robert Zaller’s summary of Stanley Burnshaw’s life and work to mark the occasion of PennSound’s acquisition of two recordings of Burnshaw — one a talk, the other a 1963 reading.  Zaller is a poet, critic, historian and activist, and serves as the executor of the Burnshaw Estate. Years ago I interviewed Burnshaw with Harvey Teres and spoke with him about his affiliation with radical writers in the 1930s and his encounter (by way of a negative review of Ideas of Order) with Wallace Stevens; we add my note (and a link to the PDF of the interview transcript) to this little Burnshaw feature.

Stanley Burnshaw comes to PennSound

Stanley Burnshaw in his 90s
Photo © Susan Copen Oken

Recently a new author page was created at PennSound for poet, editor, critic, translator, and environmentalist Stanley Burnshaw. The recordings were made available through an arrangement with the Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Library, at Yale University - with special support from Nancy Kuhl.  We are also greateful for permission to make these recordings available given by Robert Zaller as Executor of the Estate of Stanley Burnshaw.

Scum manifesto and stating the facts (Vanessa Place)

Today we at PennSound have segmented Vanessa Place's Segue Series reading at the Bowery Poetry Club. The reading took place on March 27, 2010. Here are the two pieces she read that day:

  1. Scum Manifesto (11:28): MP3
  2. Stating the Facts (19:27): MP3

For much more of Place's work, visit her PennSound page.

PennSound and the Beinecke collaborate

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.

Bergvall in 'Wire' features PennSound

a screenshot of "Wire: Adventures in Modern Music" (6/2/11)

"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/

Coolidge on Kerouac

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.

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