PennSound

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

Davy Knittle with Rodney Koeneke

PennSound podcast #69

Photo of Davy Knittle (left) by Kelly Writers House staff; photo of Rodney Koeneke (right) by Anna Daedalus.

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In September 2018 Davy Knittle hosted poet Rodney Koeneke in the Wexler Studio to discuss his book, Body & Glass (Wave Books, 2018). Their conversation touches on Koeneke’s writing process and use of pronouns as a “distancing technique,” the role of poetry — particularly experimental forms — in America today, and how joy might emerge from work about loss. The two also examine the traditions that poetry assembles for itself, drawing comparisons between modernists like Joyce and contemporary poets. 

Not-me-ness: Eileen Myles and Davy Knittle

PennSound podcast #68

Photos by Kelly Writers House staff.
 
Davy Knittle and Eileen Myles had a conversation at Myles’s home in the East Village in New York City in August, 2018, for this PennSound podcast. Their discussion began in the midst of an exchange about Myles’s 1991 collection Not Me and changes in their neighborhood at the time. Conversation topics spanned “not-me-ness,” gender, capitalism, sexuality, perception, and observation, among others.

New at PennSound: Edwin Torres and Will Alexander reading and conversation

Edwin Torres and Will Alexander at the Kelly Writers House, October 25, 2016.

On October 25, 2016, Edwin Torres and Will Alexander gave a double reading at the Kelly Writers House in Philadelphia, and then joined together in conversation. The program, organized by Edwin Torres in collaboration with the Creative Writing Program at the University of Pennsylvania, was titled “Paradigm Shifting.” The event was recorded and is available in both audio and video. Details of the event are archived at the Kelly Writers House web calendar here. Now, thanks to the efforts of PennSound staff editor Luisa Healey, the recordings have been completely segmented; one can listen to individual poems read by each poet, and the conversation has also been segmented by topic. This new addition can be found on both Alexander’s and Torres’s PennSound author pages. 

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge: recordings of poems from 'Four Year Old Girl'

From Mei-mei Berssenbrugge’s PennSound page, here are audio recordings (from various readings over the years) of poems published in the book Four Year Old Girl:

Irises: MP3
Daughter: MP3 in three parts: 1 | 2 | 3
Health: MP3
Pollen: MP3
Kali: MP3 (part 3 only)

Segmented audio from performances of Maggie Nelson's 'Bluets'

Thanks to the efforts of PennSound staff editor Luisa Healey, we are now able to make available segmented audio recordings of the numbered sections (propositions) of Bluets as performaed by Maggie Nelson at two readings.

Thanks to the efforts of PennSound staff editor Luisa Healey, we are now able to make available segmented audio recordings of the numbered sections (propositions) of Bluets as performaed by Maggie Nelson at two readings.

I. from LA-Lit #21, March 11, 2007:

  • #52. (1:11): MP3
  • #53. (0:26): MP3
  • #54. (1:17): MP3
  • #55. (0:19): MP3
  • #56. (0:10): MP3
  • #57. (0:30): MP3
  • #58. (0:11): MP3
  • #59. (1:14): MP3

David Bromige: two new readings

David Bromiges reading for A. L. Nielsen’s Incognito Lounge, at UC Berkeley, on May 23, 1989, has now been segmented (by PennSound staff editor Luisa Healey). Here is the whole recording, and here are the segments:

Rodney Koeneke's 2004 Segue reading

Thanks to the efforts of PennSound staffer Luisa Healey, we are now making available segmented (poem-by-poem) recordings of Rodney Koeneke’s Segue Series reading, given at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City on November 6, 2004. 

  1. Introduction (5:27): MP3
  2. Opening Remarks (3:35): MP3
  3. #16 “Excavate the Mexican game-show host …” from Rouge State (1:45): MP3
  4. #17 “Eric the red on kickapoo juice …” from Rouge State (1:17): MP3
  5. #2 “Caravansaries cavorting invite too-hot desires … from Rouge State (2:37): MP3
  6. How to find safe passage …” from Rouge State (2:08): MP3
  7. “Space then is time …” from Rouge State (1:32): MP3
  8. Save it for the Clam from On the Clamways (1:54): MP3
  9. Houston, We Have a Clam Problem from On the Clamways (0:31): MP3

Wai Chee Dimock, 'Education Populism'

Wai Chee Dimock, editor of PMLA, published her editor’s comment during fall 2017 on the “education populism” she discerned in several affiliated projects hosted at the Kelly Writers House — among them, PennSound, PoemTalk, ModPo, and the programs offered in the old house at 3805 Locust Walk itself. A PDF copy of the article is available HERE.

John Ashbery in conversation with Bruce Kawin, WKCR radio, May 5, 1966

Transcription by Gregory Dunne

For years I have been listening to an interview on WKCR radio, recorded on May 5, 1966, in which John Ashbery did something he rarely did — a close reading or "explanation" of a poem. In this rare instance, it was "These Lacustrine Cities." The whole interview lasts 27 1/2 minutes, but toward the beginning Ashbery reads the poem for interviewer/host Bruce Kawin, after which the poet discusses it for 13 minutes. I am compiling this note during the weekend of John Ashbery's death. I found myself pondering this portion of the poet’s disarming talk about his poem:

“Whose disappointment broke into a rainbow of tears.” Well again, you have two conflicting things, three really: disappointment and tears, kind of combining to make something rather beautiful and pleasant to look at, like a rainbow. In other words, a final contradiction, which is one of many, which this poem is made up of, and which life and history are made up of.

For years I have been listening to an interview on WKCR radio, recorded on May 5, 1966, in which John Ashbery did something he rarely did — a close reading or “explanation” of a poem. In this rare instance, it was “These Lacustrine Cities.” The whole interview lasts 27 1/2 minutes, but toward the beginning Ashbery reads the poem for interviewer/host Bruce Kawin, after which the poet discusses it for 13 minutes, after which the poem is recited again.

I am compiling this note during the weekend of John Ashbery’s death. I found myself pondering this portion of the poet’s disarming talk about his poem:

“Whose disappointment broke into a rainbow of tears.” Well again, you have two conflicting things, three really: disappointment and tears, kind of combining to make something rather beautiful and pleasant to look at, like a rainbow. In other words, a final contradiction, which is one of many, which this poem is made up of, and which life and history are made up of.

Richard Tuttle on Sanskrit and Islam — at Naropa University, Summer 2016

New at PennSound

“What Sanskrit Means to Me”

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