Commentaries - September 2008
I've unearthed Robert Shelton's September 29, 1961 NYT review of Bob Dylan at Gerde's Folk City. "Resembling a cross between a choir boy and a beatnik, Mr. Dylan has a cherubic look and a mop of tousled hair he partly covers with a Huck Finn black corduroy cap." "Mr. Dylan is both comedian and tragedian." "...a scarcely understandable growl or sob..." "All the husk and bark are left on the notes." Here's the whole review.
As of today there are 16,325 free downloadable files (mostly audio - a few video) of poets reading their own poems in the now-enormous PennSound archive. That's 167 gigabytes - a lot of stuff. And...in the last year (dating back from now) there have been about 20 million downloads of PennSound files.
Have you been checking on "PennSound Daily" lately? Good stuff there. Almost daily entries compiled by Mike Hennessey.
The newest update announces the good news that Mike and the PennSound team have split up Jerome Rothenberg's April poetry reading at the Writers House into individual poem recordings.
Here's what Mike has to say, in part:
Drawing heavily from the three books collected in Trilogy (Poland/1931, Khurbn and The Burning Babe), as well as 1968's Technicians of the Sacred, 1999's A Paradise of Poets and 2003's A Book of Concealments, the poet read for nearly ninety-minutes, leaving his audience clamoring for more as he concluded with "Night Poems in Memoriam Jackson Mac Low," and a rousing rendition of A Seneca Journal's "Old Man Beaver's Blessing Song," a favorite of the students with whom he'd worked during his visit to UPenn. Of course, Rothenberg's illuminating conversation with PennSound co-director Al Filreis is also available, as is PoemTalk #7, in which Filreis, Bob Holman, Randall Couch and Jessica Lowenthal discuss Rothenberg's poem, "A Paradise of Poets."
Since his springtime visit, Rothenberg has kept busy, launching his new blog, Poems and Poetics, as well as the collection Poetics and Polemics: 1980-2005. This Sunday, from 4:00-6:00 at the Bowery Poetry Club, he'll be leading a 40th Anniversary Celebration of Technicians of the Sacred, which will also feature Charles Bernstein, George Economou, Bob Holman, Pierre Joris, Charlie Morrow, Rochelle Owens, Nicole Peyrafitte, Diane Rothenberg, Carolee Schneemann, and Cecilia Vicuna. Click here for more information on that event, and click here to experience Rothenberg's masterful April reading one more time.