Commentaries - February 2009

Folkways liner notes


In 1967, Mark Van Doren made an LP record of his poems — at Folkways. We at PennSound, for a year or so, have had this recording available on our Mark Van Doren page. Just yesterday we added a link to a PDF of the whole six-page liner notes, a sheaf of stapled 8.5x11 mimeographed pages that were tucked into the LP sleeve — a fairly rare document. None of this would have come about without the kind involvement and permission of Mark’s son, Charles Van Doren.

Book as sculpture

TypeBound is the name of an exhibit curated by Craig Saper at the University of Central Florida. It consists of books as sculpture from Florida collections, and a number of typewriter poems borrowed from the great concrete & visual poetry collection of Marvin and Ruth Sackner (of Miami). “Two of the book’s most fundamental elements — its bindings and its type — are separated and examined for creative possibilities as they are freed of their basic, traditional functions.”

Listen to a five-minute podcast interview with Craig Saper, originally recorded at WUCF-FM or Orlando.

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Poetics of fairy tales

Tisa Bryant and Rachel Levitsky, at the Writers House, a few hours ago. Tisa read from her critical fiction, with its “poetics of fairytales” and tons of structures borrowed from somewhat randomly watched movies.

HBO dialogue c. 2004

Wild Bill Hickok: You know the sound of thunder, Mrs. Garret?

Alma Garret: Of course.

Wild Bill Hickok: Can you imagine that sound if I asked you to?

Alma Garret: Yes, I can, Mr. Hickok.

Wild Bill Hickok: Your husband and me had this talk, and I told him to head home to avoid a dark result. But I didn’t say it in thunder. Ma’am, listen to the thunder.