Commentaries - August 2014

Nina Zivancevic's 1983 interview with Charles Bernstein and Douglas Messerli, with a new postscript by Messerli

audio and text

Howard Fox, Charles Bernstein, Douglas Messerli, Doug Lang (r to l)

This interview was first publlished in the Belgrade literary magazine, Knjizevnost, and  in Sagetrieb's  Winter 1984 issue (Vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 63-78).

The undedited audio of the original interview,  from  November 5, 1983,  is avaialbe on PennSound:
(2 hrs, 18min):

Schjeldahl, Tallman, Dawson, and Thorpe on PennSound

Some new PennSound singles, via Robert Creeley tapes. 

Peter Schjeldahl 
Two readings from the New Yorker art critic, from before he was an art critic. Both readings are from around 1973 and are about 15 minutes each

Warren Tallman
Two essay by the Vancouver critic and key figure for New American Poetry and Tish:
September: A Necessary Politics of Stan Persky, introduction by Robin Blaser (1978) (1 hour): MP3
Treatise on Alcohol (1979) (2 hours): MP3 

Fielding Dawson
Three readings by the Black Mountain-associated fiction writer on  a new PennSound page 

Rage against the madness

Katko's performance rock-opera

Justin Katko, The Death of Pringle (flim forum press, 2012), 136 pp., $20.00—The tension between the polytonal, multi-genre “score” of this Gothic-comic opera on the accompanying cd and the all-caps “libretto” (with notes, commentary, drawings and images a la Donato Mancini’s Buffet World) might suggest that Katko’s real interest is more theatrical than poetry (performative, experimental or otherwise). But the sustained screed/scream of the writing (think of this book as multiple explosions of the calm, scientific dissections of Evelyn Reilly’s Styrofoam), as opposed to the alt-rock, country, punk, spoken word, slam and Giorno soundscapes, registers an urgency stripped of irony despite the hyper-technocratic lexicon and sarcastic asides.

Terrorized language ...

Jean-Marie Gleize's meditations on discourse and the state ...


Jean-Marie Gleize, Tarnac, A Preparatory Act. Ed: Joshua Clover. Trans.: Joshua Clover, Abigail Lang and Bonnie Roy (Kenning Editions, 2014), 168 pp., $14.95On November 11, 2008, a hundred and sixty French policemen descended into the village of Tarnac and arrested nine individuals who were eventually charged with conspiracy to commit a terrorist act, the act in question being sabotage of the rail system. Tarnac, the first major work by Jean-Marie Gleize to be translated into English (another volume is due to appear in 2015), confronts this case through the question of discourse, a "problem" at the heart of  Gleize's  “post-poetry,” developed from his initial concepts of littéralité and nudité, and later folded into the singular dispositif.

We gotta get outta this place

Colin Smith at war

Colin Smith, 8 x 8 x 7 (Krupskaya Books, 2008), 89 pp., $14.00—I met Colin Smith in Vancouver at the Kootenay School in 2008 during the second “positions” conference. I was intrigued by the title of his book since I was about to publish a book of poetry (The Hero Project of the Century, 2009) that included a poem titled “< 6 By 9 V >6 By 9,” a blank page that referred, obviously, to any poem’s written parameters (its typed –as in typewriter—“original” was titled “8 ½ x 12”).