On July 1 and again on July 11 in 1974, Michael Koehler recorded Larry Eigner reading twenty-seven of his poems in Swampscott, Massachusetts. The recordings were later released by S Press, as tape number 37 in their series, under the title Larry Eigner: around new / sound daily / means: Selected Poems. A number of university libraries — and of course individuals — own copies of the recording; but it is fairly rare at this point. Among the libraries with a copy is the special collections archive at the University of Connecticut, where the tape was apparently part of the materials Cid Corman gave them to form the Corman Papers there. I located the Eigner recording in the Corman finding aid, asked the UConn librarians to copy it for us at PennSound. (Many thanks for Melissa Watterworth Batt, curator of Literary, Natural History and Rare Books Collections there.) Soon after, with permission from Richard Eigner, Larry's brother and the executor of the poet’s literary estate, we digitized, uploaded and then segmented the recording into individual poems. They are now available for both streaming and downloading at PennSound’s Eigner page.
PennSound has just made available 104 recordings made at the Ear Inn in the early 1990s. These include recordings by Cabri, Child, K. Davies, A. Davies, Derksen, Dewdney, DiPalma, DuPlessis, Farrell, Fitterman, Fodaski, Foster, Fyman, Gander, Gizzi, Goldsmith, Frim, Heller, Hixon, Hoover, Inman, Kalendeck, Killian, A. Kim, Kocik, Kraut, Levy, Lewis, Lubeski, Lusk, Lyons, Mac Low, Matthews, Messerli, Myles, Neilson, O’Brien, Pearson, Price, Raworth, Regan, Rettallack, Richard, Roberson, Rosenfeld, Rower, Sala, Shaw, Sirowitz, Smith, Tillman, Toscano, Venuti, K. Waldrop, R. Waldrop, Wallace, Wheeler, C.D. Wright, J. Williams, Ziolkowski, Zivancevic, Zurawski, and more.
Working with our PennSound audio files, Jhave Johnston has created a prototype mashup machine that enables on overlay of poets’ sounds, with an option to turn on WEAVE, which senses silence (e.g. between lines or stanzas in a performance) and automatically intercuts from one short file segment to another, creating a flow of shifting voices. “I always figured,” says Charles Bernstein, my co-director at PennSound, “that once we had a substantial archive of sound files, the next phase would be for people to use them in novel ways.” “Reminds me,” says Michael S. Hennessey, PennSound’s editor, “of one of my favorite things to do with the site before we switched to the current streaming codec, which doesn't allow for simultaneous play: pull up a few author pages — best of all Christian Bök — and start layering tracks over his cyborg opera beatboxing.” Jhave adds: “My motivation for building it is similar to Michael's: a joy in listening to things overlap.”
We at PennSound have been especially busy in the past few months. Today seemed like the right day to take a look back to our recent acquisitions. So on the front page of Jacket2, in the PennSound box, we published a list of, and links to, these new recordings. You can also have a look at the list here.
Today we’re pleased to announce the launch of PennSound Radio, a 24-hour stream of readings and conversations from the PennSound poetry archive. Our daily schedule includes rebroadcasts of such series as Live at the Writers House, Charles Bernstein's Close Listening, and Leonard Schwartz's Cross-Cultural Poetics, as well as a curated selection of our favorite performances. You can play PennSound Radio through iTunes on your computer, or by installing the free TuneIn app on your iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android device. Listen at work! At home! At the gym! While rebuilding a transmission! And while you're at it, follow us on Twitter (@PennSoundRadio) to keep up with all of our new programs and special features.
PennSound’s new John Kinsella page features three recordings. One is a reading he gave at Buffalo in September of 1996, introduced by Susan Schultz (5:11): MP3 .
Here are poems Kinsella read:
Warhol at Wheatlands (2:53): MP3 Bluff Knoll Sublimity (2:54): MP3 Aspects of the Pagan (4:43): MP3 Editing (0:51): MP3 Disclaimers (2:19): MP3 Echidna (2:45): MP3 from “Syzygy” (4:57): MP3 Skeleton weed / generative grammar (3:35): MP3
He also took a moment to comment on the tradition of classical poetry in Australia and the slaughter of aboriginal peoples (1:05): MP3. The complete reading (26:19): MP3 is of course available also, but note that the recording cuts off at 26:19.
We at PennSound are grateful to Jeff Davis for helping us make this recording available from the North Carolina Division of Archives and History, with permission from the Creeley family. The recording was made apparently in the late 1960s. It is available on PennSound's growing Robert Creeley page.
What brought you to Black Mountain? (1:17): MP3 In what capacity were you there? (2:32): MP3 What were your first impressions? (5:43): MP3 Did they subsequently change? (3:22): MP3 Who among the faculty or students impressed you? (2:17): MP3 Is it accurate to refer to a Black Mountain school of poetry? (8:44): MP3 What were BMC's particular strong and weak points? (4:55): MP3 Anything about the school's tone or procedures you wish were otherwise? (2:32): MP3 What satisfactions and tensions resulted from living at such close quarters?(5:07): MP3 What accounts for perennial faculty splits at BMC? (3:34): MP3 Did good relations exist between the college and the community? (9:40): MP3 Why did the college finally close? (1:07): MP3 How would you evaluate BMC's influence on your artistic growth? (11:16): MP3
We are pleased to publish Robert Zaller’s summary of Stanley Burnshaw’s life and work to mark the occasion of PennSound’s acquisition of two recordings of Burnshaw — one a talk, the other a 1963 reading. Zaller is a poet, critic, historian and activist, and serves as the executor of the Burnshaw Estate. Years ago I interviewed Burnshaw with Harvey Teres and spoke with him about his affiliation with radical writers in the 1930s and his encounter (by way of a negative review of Ideas of Order) with Wallace Stevens; we add my note (and a link to the PDF of the interview transcript) to this little Burnshaw feature.