Al Filreis

Google's neural machine translation establishes 'spiritual connection' with Stein

Mark Liberman, a computational linguist who directs the Linguistic Data Consortium at the University of Pennsylvania, has been fascinated, especially in recent years, with experimental poetry. You can find his ideas and experiments at Language Log. He's been working on Stein's repetitions.

Crowdsourced close reading: Four members of the ModPo community discuss Clark Coolidge's (and Charlie Parker's) 'Blues for Alice'

Anika Lani and Raymond Maxwell during the November 1, 2015 discussion for ModPo

One of many collaborations you’ll find in ModPo’s collection of crowdsourced close readings: Raymond Maxwell, Colleen Knight, Anika Lani, and Mark Snyder meet by GoogleHangout to discuss Clark Coolidge’s “Blues for Alice” (in the context of Charlie Parker and more): link to YouTube. (Note that the discussion starts at 5:35.) If you are enrolled in ModPo (free; enroll here), go to the ModPo CCCR (“Community Crowdsourced Close Readings”) syllabus here.

The clumsy Euro-modernist sources of an anti-anti-intellectual

On Charles Bernstein's 'Pitch'

On April 12, 2016, Charles Bernstein gave a reading from his new-new book Pitch of Poetry at the Kelly Writers House. I gave the introduction. Earlier I published a version of that introduction here in my Jacket2 commentary series, titling it “Clumsy, erroneous, freakish, foreign.” Now, thanks to the video editing of Dylan Leahy of the PennSound staff, I am able to make available at video recording, below. And below that is a second video clip from the Pitch event — Bernstein's finale: a selection from the aphorisms that appear toward the end of the book.

On Naomi Replansky's last poem ever (video)

'About Not Writing' collaboratively read

Al Filreis & Anna Strong moderate a collaborative close reading in the Wexler Studio of the Kelly Writers House, February 2017.

We at ModPo have added new materials to ModPo pertaining to Naomi Replansky’s poem “About Not Writing.” This, according to Replansky herself (who is ninety-nine years old as of this posting), is the last poem she will ever write, and, as the title suggests, is about that very cessation. The links below will work for you if you are enrolled in ModPo (it’s free — enroll here any time).

[] read Naomi Replansky’s “About Not Writing”: LINK TO TEXT
[] watch Naomi Replansky perform “About Not Writing”: LINK TO VIDEO
[] watch a discussion of Replansky’s “About Not Writing”: LINK TO VIDEO

These are now part of the ModPoPLUS syllabus, chapter 3 (week 5). The discussion was moderated by me and Anna Strong, and we were joined by ModPo’ers near and far: Alonna Shaw, Arif Dalvi, Mandana Chaffa, Nadia Ghent, Raymond Maxwell, and Shoshana Greenberg. Chris Martin and Zach Carduner did the filming, and Zach did the editing.

Ahmad Almallah: Finding the way between

Ahmad Almallah, screenshot from the film " Words Adorned: Andalusian Muwashshah Poetry "

In new poems Ahmad Almallah seeks not a way that is mapped or directed. Nor does he follow a course. His way — his poetic mode and compositional method — is to be scrappily “on the move” (as he writes in a new work), “the metal collecting / the way on the way.” The metapoetic nonnarrative gesture here is primarily aesthetic, of course (Almallah is a poet first and foremost — in intention, vocation, and desire), but the recalcitrant formal heterodoxy seems to be at the same time never an artist’s choice (I’m guessing he hates that MFA-program cliché) so much as an inexorable expression of obsessive topical urgency.