Commentaries - January 2010

chronicler of guerilla goodwill

I'm pleased to have reconnected with my former student (from the mid-80s) Rob Rosenheck who is a fine photographer. He is author of The Love Book, described by the Times as "not only witty but downright courageous" and by Entertainment Weekly as "an amazing chronicle of guerilla goodwill." He's the creative director of Capobianco & Associates, based in L.A.

I love this screenshot of Steve Benson performing at Berkeley last year (from videos made by Konrad Steiner). With help from Steve himself, and then Mark Lindsay and Jenny Lesser, we at PennSound have just now added two video recordings of terrific Benson improvised (and quasi-improvised) 2009 performances, one at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York and the other at the "Medium and Margin: Multiplying Methodologies and Proliferating Poetics" two-day conference at the University of California at Berkeley (in the Maud Fife Room, Wheeler Hall). The introduction was given by Lyn Hejinian.

As noted, the videos were made by Konrad Steiner, and we at PennSound are grateful to Konrad, as well as to Steve Benson, for giving us permission to make these videos available.

* Benson PennSound page
* video of Bowery Poetry Club/Segue Series performance
* video of Berkeley performance

drawing poem-images

More Bob Grenier goodies today. Through Whale Cloth (which has published his Sentences online as well) Grenier has released "Penn Scans": the 71 drawing poem images he selected for presentation during his October 2009 visit to the Kelly Writers House. Go here and read Grenier's notes on these, see links to the 71 images, and a link to the video recording of the KWH presentation, which only permitted time to consider a handful of the 71.

Grenier says: 'Whether drawing poem texts like 'the one about crickets' (no. 39) accomplish (or help accomplish) whatever it is they are otherwise 'saying'—-so that seeing/reading "crickets" a reader may hear 'crickets themselves' (& even be able to literally go ('by ear') "across/the/road"?)—-remains an animating question.'

"love of my life"

Zach Djanikian performed one of his own songs, "Love of My Life," on our Live at the Writers House radio program, aired on XPN. The first voice you hear in the recording is that of Michaela Majoun, the show's host (and XPN's morning show host for many years).

The other day I mentioned Rob Fitterman's new conceptual poetics project, and got a lot of positive response to it. My favorite literary photographer (as regular readers of this blog already know), Lawrence Schwartzwald, found this wonderful photo of Rob standing in front of the Ear Inn. We think the date was January of 1992.