Close Listening

Harold Schimmel on Close Listening

Photo: Charles Bernstein / PennSound, 2017

Harold Schimmel reading his poetry in Hebrew and English (27:05): MP3; Schimmel in conversation with Charles Bernstein (46:15): MP3.

Harold Schimmel was born in 1935 in Bayonne, New Jersey, and attended Cornell University before immigrating to Israel in 1962, where he started to write in his adopted language, Hebrew. He lives in Jerusalem. Schimmel has translated Hebrew poets Uri Zvi Greenberg, Avot Yeshurun, and Yehuda Amichai. His first book, First Poems, came out in 1962 in English. He has many books in Hebrew and two in English translation: From Island to Island (Selected Poems) and Qasida (essay).

Harold Schimmel reading his poetry in Hebrew and English (27:05): MP3
Harold Schimmel in conversation with Charles Bernstein (46:15): MP3

Harold Schimmel was born in 1935 in Bayonne, New Jersey, and attended Cornell University before immigrating to Israel in 1962, where he started to write in his adopted language, Hebrew. He lives in Jerusalem. Schimmel has translated Hebrew poets Uri Zvi Greenberg, Avot Yeshurun, and Yehuda Amichai. His first book, First Poems, came out in 1962 in English. He has many books in Hebrew and two in English translation: From Island to Island (Selected Poems) and Qasida (essay), both from Ibis in 1997 and both translated by Peter Cole.

Colin Browne on Close Listening

Photo: Charles Bernstein / PennSound

On Close Listening, Colin Browne and I talked about the founding of the Kootenay School of Writing, the limits of narrative in poetry and film and the possibilities of collage, the trickster figure in the work of Charles Edenshaw, and the overlays of personal history and cultural history in Browne’s new book about Edenshaw, a nineteenth-century indegenous artist from British Columbia.

(30:00): MP3

Tyrone Williams on Close Listening

Photo by Al Filreis

Tyrone Williams talks to me about growing up working-class in Detroit; bookishness and the role of education and his early teachers; assimilation versus resistance and formal innovation in American poetry in relation to his dissertation on “Open and Closed Forms In 20th Century American Poetics”; his practice of “eshuneutics” (after Yoruba spirit Eshu); the use of appropriation in his poetry and the necessity of research and reading beyond one’s immediate knowledge context; and the politics and history of English for African Americans.

Listen to the full show here (44:38): MP3

Tyrone Williams talks to me about growing up working-class in Detroit; bookishness and the role of education and his early teachers; assimilation versus resistance and formal innovation in American poetry in relation to his dissertation on “Open and Closed Forms In 20th Century American Poetics”; his practice of “eshuneutics” (after Yoruba spirit Eshu); the use of appropriation in his poetry and the necessity of research and reading beyond one’s immediate knowledge context; and the politics and history of English for African-Americans.

ko ko thett on Close Listening at the Kelly Writers House

In this episode of Clocktower Radio’s Close Listening, ko ko thett talks to me about his decision to write in English; his nineteen years in exile and the experience of returning home; the political situation in Burma at the time of his exile compared to the present; his sense of the futility of the student protests; and the international context of the poets he anthologized in Bones Will Crow. In the course of the show ko ko thett reads a recent poem in Burmese and offers a spontaneous translation. Recorded before a live audience at the Kelly Writers House on January 23, 2017, ko ko thett’s reading immediately preceded the Close Listening show. 

ko ko thett is a poet, editor, and translator from Burma/Myanmar. He writes in English and his first book The Burden of Being Burmese was published in 2015 by Zephyr Press. It was hailed by John Ashbery as “brilliantly off-kilter.”

ko ko thett’s Kelly Writers House poetry reading (29:18): mp3
ko ko thett in conversation with Charles Bernstein on Close Listening (38:36): mp3

Lisa Robertson on Close Listening

Lisa Robertson talks with me about her new book, Cinema of the Present, and its form; rethinking lyric and epic poetry through feminism; experimentation and/or subjectivity; prose versus verse; the persistence of beauty, pleasure, and the aesthetic; early connections to the Kootenay School of Writing; living bilingually in France and the bubble of monolingualism; soft architecture; writing essays for visual arts publications; and seeing the world through rose-colored glasses. Close Listening is produced for Clocktower Radio in association with PennSound. 

Listen >>>>>>>(53:27): MP3

Close Listening with Will Alexander

Will Alexander talks with me about his early immersion in the work of John Coltrane and its abiding connection to his own jazz-process/Surrealist poetry and discusses his “constellation” of mythological and scientific sources, the influence of Aimé Césaire on his work, the politics of his poetic form via resistance to colonization, the role of the black poet in America, the necessity of performance, and his aim to bring the reader into a state of “supra-mind.”

Listen to the thirty-minute program, produced for Clocktower Radio in association with PennSound >>>>> MP3

Patricia Spears Jones on Close Listening

photo: Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Patricia Spears Jones talks with Charles Bernstein about her new selected poems, the influence of the blues and the pentecostal church (and sonnets) on her poems, her conversation with popular songs,  her sense of communities and ideal readers, the performance of her work, her "contrarian" broadsides on politics and culture, and her persistent commitment to beauty.

MP3 (38:18): MP3

John Ashbery in conversation on Close Listening

©Susan Bee, 9-15-08

John Ashbery in conversation with Charles Bernstein on March 18, 2016. Listen here (28:20): MP3. Ashbery talks about his two shows of collages at Tibor de Nagy gallery and the relation of these collages to his poetry; about his engagement with French poetry, including the work of Pierre Martory, Giorgio de Chirico , and Raymond Roussel; and about his love of television cooking shows. 

This is program #148 of Close Listening. Close Listening is produced for Clocktower Radio in collaboration with PennSound. Full series available for streaming or download here.

John Ashbery in conversation with Charles Bernstein on March 18, 2016.

(28:20):  MP3

Ashbery talks about his two shows of collages at Tibor de Nagy gallery and the relation of these collages to his poetry; about his engagement with French poetry, including the work of Pierre Martory, Giorgio de Chirico , and Raymond Roussel; and about his love of television cooking shows. 

Julie Patton on Close Listening

© 2016 Charles Bernstein / PennSound

Program one, reading (39:57): MP3
Program two, conversation with Charles Bernstein (45:29): MP3

On Program one, Julie Patton reads, performs and rips  "Car Tune," "Using Blue to Get Black," "Scribbling thru the Times,"  and "Notes for Sum (Nominally) Awake."

Close listening with Keith Waldrop, 2009

Keith Waldrop reads at the Kelly Writers House, 2009.

Editorial note: The following has been adapted from a Close Listening conversation recorded November 5, 2009, at the Kelly Writers House for PennSound and Art International Radio. Keith Waldrop was born in Kansas and attended a fundamentalist high school in South Carolina. His pre-med studies were interrupted when he was drafted to be an army engineer.

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