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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Editorial note: The following has been adapted from a Close Listening conversation recorded as part of “The Motion of Light: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany,” a program hosted at the Kelly Writers House in April 2014. The conversation was transcribed by Tracie Morris. Listen to the audio program here. — Julia Bloch
Bill Berkson in conversation with Charles Bernstein on Close Listening (36:56): MP3 Berkson in conversation with Bernstein undergraduate seminar (34:49): MP3
February 10, 2014, University of Pennsylvania; recorded and edited by Bernstein. Bill Berkson discusses unprincipled poetry, vulgar beauty, the poetics of surface, the emergence of the New American Poetry, the trap of being too serious, and the possibilities of the unexpected.
Cia Rinne was born in Sweden from a Finnish family and raised in Germany. She has studied in Frankfurt/Main, Athens and Helsinki. Rinne is the author of the books zaroum, and notes for soloists, as well as being a collaborator on numerous multimedia and performance works. The program was recorded on September 30, 2014.