Ted Greenwald


Ted Greenwald Memorial

© 2008 Star Black

I read this last night at the Poetry Project memorial for Ted Greenwald.

He is gone now
Taking his body with him
When all the time
I thought it was
The beauty of his mind
I loved
       ["Use No Hooks" in
Common Sense]

I first met Ted Greenwald in 1975, in and around the Poetry Project. He was my guide to much of what interested me among the local poets: he never hesitated to say what he liked and didn’t in the poems and people around us. It’s not just that he didn’t suffer fools easily, but he was hilarious in skewing pretenses and false premises. We always had a good time talking, with my indirectness dancing with his blunt wisdom like two people doing the cha-cha on the point of a fountain pen.  

Ted Greenwald (December 19, 1942–June 17, 2016)

photo © 2007 Charles Bernstein

Ted Greenwald’s poems sing the commons and dance with a homely grace American poetry has rarely seen.


'Short Course' by Ted Greenwald and Charles Bernstein, new from Chax Press

First publication from The Course, a collaboration I have been working on with Ted Greenwald since July. A beautiful edition from Chax, the book includes "Breaking News" ("Séance in triple meter"); "As You Know" ("Wishful clouds / Kind of affection / Scoop out night); "Still Life with Thought" ("Venuses, desperate"); "Too Late for Tears" ("It’s not the intent it’s the effect / Matters")' "Silent Seething" ("Not we, even more slowly, but you."); and "White Lightning" ("Hotdog bungees").

Ted Greenwald's "Voice Truck," part of Gordon Matta-Clark's Open Space (1972)

reconstruction of a related Matta-Clarke's work

In May 1972, the artist Gordon Matta-Clark installed a dumpster in front of 98 Greene Street in Soho (Manhattan). The work was called both "Open Space" and "Dumpster." The Dumpster was filled with construction debris and other material, formed into three corridors. For Ted Greenwald's contribution to the installation, he created a special audio work. Greenwald installed a tape recorder on the delivery truck for the Village Voice, his long-time day job. Six reels were recorded. One of the tapes, featuring the most dramatic action of the day, was stolen from the cab of the truck: in the middle of Times Square, mounted police galloped up to a subway entrance, tied their horses to the entrance, and ran down into the subway.

Droll/Kolbert Gallery Series (NY) curated by Ted Greenwald (1978-1980)

Ted Greewald by Tom Raworth (2010)

November 2, 1978
Lorenzo Thomas (41:57): MP3

November 16, 1978
Ron Padgett (37:21): MP3

November 30, 1978
Paul Violi (31:40): MP3

December 13, 1979
Michael Brownstein (45:32): MP3

Notes on 'A Mammal of Style'

Let’s begin with the title A Mammal of Style, which of course echoes the Chicago Manual of Style, someone’s notion of the proper and correct way of rendering sensible sentences in the English language.

Ted Greenwald, 'Makes Sense': digital edition

cover by George Schneeman

Eclipse has made available Ted Greenwald's iconic one-word-a-line poem Makes Sense, originally published by Angel Hair Press in 1975.

Ted's Sublime Echoes

video portrait Ted Greenwald

In the 1970s Ted and I would meet in the afternoons and talk til night. We even did a recording of a couple of dozen hours of our conversations. I owe a tremendous amount to those meetings and to our many conversations since. On this particular afternoon we talked at the bar in the back of the restaurant (I can't remember the name of the place, but it was downtown).
October 22, 2007

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