Al Filreis

Benjamen Walker and the year of sound

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Steve McLaughlin represented the Kelly Writers House on a committee steering the University of Pennsylvania through its “year of sound” (2013-14). Needless to say, sound is right down our audiophilic alley. Steve organized an event as part of the theme year at the Writers House — held on February 4, 2014 — and it featured experimental radio host and producer Benjamen Walker. Audio and video recordings of the full program are available, but today we are releasing a Kelly Writers House podcast, number 35 in the series, that offers a 15-minute excerpt of the hour-plus-long program. The excerpt was edited by Matt Bernstein.

Poets at the house

Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Joey Yearous-Algozin, and Frank Sherlock — at the Kelly Writers House just prior to a reading given by Yearous-Algozin and Trisha Low on

A winter afternoon of surrealist writing and music

Tracie Morris, Kenneth Goldsmith, and Marina Rosenfeld

The event was called “What Oozed Through the Staircase: A Winter Afternoon of Surrealist Writing and Music,” held in the middle of the surrealist exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Sunday, January 26, 2014. Surprised that the event wasn't being recorded, I brought out my smart phone and captured the audio as best I could from the fourth row. I also made a video recording of the final performance — a surrealist game. All this is now available at a special PennSound page.

  1. introduction (3:51): MP3
  2. Kenneth Goldsmith: Hans Bellmar, from “What Oozed Through the Staircase” (1:48): MP3
  3. Kenneth Goldsmith: Andre Breton, from “Manifesto of Surrealism” (2:35): MP3
  4. Kenneth Goldsmith: Robert Desnos, “Awakenings” and “Ideal Mistress” (3:21): MP3
  5. Marina Rosenfeld: Mise en scene en scene #1 (Daily Bul, etc.) (4:51): MP3
  6. Kenneth Goldsmith: Joyce Mansour, “Poemshots” (1:57): MP3
  7. Kenneth Goldsmith: Salvador Dali, “The Great Masturbator” (1:46): MP3
  8. Kenneth Goldsmith: Mina Loy, “Auto-Facial-Construction” (4:14): MP3

Frank Sherlock named Philadelphia's Poet Laureate

At the appointment ceremony, from left to right: Siduri Beckman, Youth Poet Laureate; Beth Brandt, chairperson of the Mayor's Poet Laureate Governing Board; Frank Sherlock; Mayor Michael Nutter

On January 31, 2014, Frank Sherlock's appointment as Philadelphia's second Poet Laureate was announced by Mayor Michael Nutter at a ceremony at City Hall. The laureate was selected by the Mayor's Poet Laureate Governing Board. “I am honored and excited to appoint Frank Sherlock as Philadelphia’s second Poet Laureate,” said Mayor Nutter. “Frank is a native Philadelphian and a 2013 Pew Fellow in the Arts for Literature. He is one of Philadelphia’s most talented homegrown artists. I am confident that Frank will represent Philadelphia well during his term as Poet Laureate.”  “How lucky I am to be a poet in my favorite city in the world? This city raised me, beat the hell out of me a few times, and still reveals the magic of Philadelphia Brotherly Love,” said Sherlock.

Stein comix

by Kyriakos Mavridis

a page from Kyriakos Mavridis's comics rendering of a Stein prose-poem

Kyriakos Mavridis participated in ModPo (a free open non-credit online course on modern and contemporary American poetry), where among the Gertrude Stein readings we find a short prose poem called “Let Us Describe.” Its ending, an accident of descriptiveness gone thus awry, writes an automobile accident that seems to have occurred on wet rural French roads one stormy night. I'm very pleased to make Kyriakos’s comics rendering of “Let Us Describe” available here.