Michael Hennessey

Mike Hennessey picks five PennSound recordings

PennSound podcast #54

Michael S. Hennessey

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Michael Hennessey, one of the founding participants of the PennSound archive, and now its editor, stopped by the Kelly Writers House a few months back and joined Al Filreis in the Wexler Studio. The two of them played and discussed five recordings Mike has chosen from among the tens of thousands of recordings available in the archive. Here are Mike’s choices:

Bernadette Mayer, “Chocolate Poetry Sonnet”: LINK
Allen Ginsberg, “After Lalon”: LINK
Lew Welch, “A Round of English”: LINK
Harryette Mullen, “Sleeping with the Dictionary”: LINK
Tuli Kupferberg, “The Hidden Dissuaders”: LINK

PennSound 10 years after

Featuring Michael Hennessey's recollections of his own work with the archive

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Michael Hennessey on Charles Bernstein's 1976 tapework "Class"

from Michael Hennessey’s “A Life, Spliced: On the Early Tapeworks of Charles Bernstein,” published in The Salt Companion to Charles Bernstein, edited by William Allegrezza, Salt Publishing, 2012.


“I am a recording instrument” — William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch [1] 

“Oh Charles, how could you be so cruel. Charles turn that magadget off … I'm gonna get my own tape recorder and I'm gonna tape your conversations Charles.”  — Bernstein’s mother, Sherry (from “#4: a portrait of one being in family living”)[2]

More than thirty-five years after the release of his first book, Asylums, Charles Bernstein is justifiably recognized as one of America’s most influential living poets — a fact attested to by his recent career-spanning collection, All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2010).  While, as a pioneer of Language Writing, Bernstein has made significant contributions to contemporary poetics, his work as a scholar, editor, curator and pedagogue are perhaps of equal, if not greater, importance, and indeed, all of these discrete facets work together in a complementary fashion to construct his overall aesthetic, which is equally a product of numerous extra-literary cultural interests including music, film, drama and the visual arts.

State of error (PoemTalk #50)

Tom Raworth, 'Errory'

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For our 50th episode, Charles Bernstein, Michael Hennessey, and Marjorie Perloff gathered at the Kelly Writers House to talk about Tom Raworth’s poem, “Errory.”  The poem was published in Clean & Well Lit in 1996, and has been reprinted in the Carcanet Press Collected Poems (2003). Our recording of “Errory” comes from audio material produced in 2004 by the Contemporary Poetics Research Center (CPRC) at Birkbeck College of the University of London, and we thank Colin Still for making these recordings available to PennSound.

Here is the CPRC/PennSound recording of Raworth performing “Errory,” at somewhat more than his usual breakneck speed. Listen to “Out of a Sudden,” for instance — from the same recording session — and you'll notice a more deliberate pace. <--break- />

On Daisy Aldan, 'A New Folder'

When discussing poetry in the year 1960, there’s perhaps no volume more important than Donald Allen’s The New American Poetry. [1] However, I’d like to argue that there’s another anthology that, in terms of both prescience and precedent, sketches out a blueprint for Allen’s collection and in some ways even supersedes his achievement. Nearly forgotten half a century later, A New Folder and its editor, Daisy Aldan, are certainly deserving of a greater critical recognition. [2]

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