Commentaries

verspreken, the Dutch PoemTalk

This morning we received a wonderful note from Joost Baars and Matthijs Ponte about a new Dutch version of PoemTalk. Episode number 1 was released on November 23 (yesterday): http://www.versspreken.nl/. They write:

The basic concept is the same, really. Four poets sitting around a table, conveiing a "close but not too close" (a spot on, but for us untranslatable phrase) reading of one single poem. The most important differences are that we focus on new poems, that we do not have any archive (or production budget) and most importantly that the world of Dutch poetry and poetry-critique is so different from the one (or ones) in the USA. The insistence on the act of reading of text, the open way of reading a poem, the diversity of the conversation, the searching, the natural involvement of politics, and the focus on contents instead of reputation - all these things seem to come natural to a lot of poetics in the USA, but they are sometimes hard to come by in the Netherlands.

PoemTalk is I think therefore a kind of an underground hit in the Dutch poetry scene. And it is certainly therefore that we decided the Dutch poetry scene needs something like poemtalk. So that's why we're making VersSpreken right now.

Roger's angelic writing

I'm reading Roger Angell's annual languid and trope-filled round-up of the baseball postseason. This time C. C. Sabathia wears pavilion-sized pants and throws a ball that comes at you like a loaded tea tray falling down an elevator shaft.

Live chalk writing event

Tan Lin, et alia

Tan Lin's Chalk Playground and LitTwitChalk. November 14 brought a live poetry chalking event at PS 2 in New York. Here are photos. Tan writes: "Charles [Bernstein] and Bruce [Andrews] have particularly stunning work, as does Joe Amrheim who chalked an enormous Futurist manifesto."

The live chalk writing event is part of the Performa events this year. It's the leading performing arts biennial in the US and about 55 or so NYC poets participated. This event was co sponsored by a number of Asian American organizations including the Museum of the Chinese in America, the Asian American Writers Workshop, and others.

The Performa 09 CAST included: F Alarcon, Bruce Andrews, Charles Alexander, J Amrhein, Susan Bee, Anselm Berrigan, Charles Bernstein, J Blachly, Lea Ann Brown, E/G Bumas, Eleanor Clark, C Churchouse, K Estefan, Rob Fitterman, S Gambito, Kristen Gallagher, P Javier, De-Quan Jenkins, S Jost, A Lin, J Legaspi, A Maier, D Machlin, S Naeem, J Perry, G Picinic, D Rosenfeld, E Sanchez, B Sanders, K Sanders, O/P Shao, J Sigler, Lytle Shaw, Danny Snelson, J Tsuei, D Yarbrough, H Zhang.

Giving thanks at PennSound

We at PennSound wish you a happy Thanksgiving by way of a new episode in the PennSound Podcast series. Here we feature excerpts from six poems of giving thanks. Hardly Rockwellian but we think you'll be stirred by this little grateful anthology all the same. I'm especially moved by Robert Creeley's poem here.

This is the 19th in our podcast series. For links to all the others, just go here.