Al Filreis

For 9/11/13: "No Formal Space for Intimacy"

by Frank Sherlock & Carlos Soto-Roman

Frank Sherlock (left) with Carlos Soto-Roman

LISTEN HERE [audio arrangement by Kinan Abou-afach]

Forty years ago today, a military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet waged war on the democratically elected government of Chile. It was the South American September 11th. That day began a period of cruel repression, characterized by extreme violence and human rights abuses. Thousands of people were tortured, murdered and disappeared. The Chilean people commemorate this day with remembrance, mourning and renewed commitment. We observe this date in solidarity from within the borders of the Empire where the coup began. Our collaborative composition examines the damage beyond the event itself, crossing continents and spanning years. You may hear resonances of folk singer Victor Jara, fundraiser/activist Ronni Moffitt, poet Pablo Neruda and CIA agent Michael Townley. Of course, there are also the voices inside the house.

The house is the site of an artist salon hosted by novelist Mariana Callejas, as recounted in Roberto Bolano's novel By Night in Chile. One of the few gathering places for artists after the coup, many artists attended — though almost no one would admit that they were there.

Erin Moure on translation and multi-lingual poetry

Erin Moure

Erin Moure spoke with Charles Bernstein in 2010 about reading, translation, and multi-lingual poetry — audio, 7 minutes long: MP3.  Her long discussion with Bernstein, part of his Close Listening series, has recently been segmented. Moure also talks about her identity as a Canadian and living in Montreal, the importance of identity and nationality in reading a poem, on how sound as a texture operates in her work, among other topics.

ModPo fall '13 live webcast schedule

Below is a list of the live webcast sessions for ModPo fall '13. At the time of the webcast, participants can click here and join the discussion. The origination is the Arts Cafe of the Kelly Writers House at 3805 Locust Walk, Philadephia USA; those who can join in person are welcome to do so. ModPo is a free, non-credit course and is open to all; enroll here. We begin on 9/7/13.

Goldsmith finale at MoMA

Above: a photograph by Lawrence Schwartzwald of Kenneth Goldsmith in his final appearance as Poet Laureate at MoMA yesterday, reading from Seven American Deaths and Disasters in front of (and here gesturing toward) Andy Warhol’s Orange Car Crash Fourteen Times. (Photo cannot be reproduced without permission from the photographer.) On March 20, 2013, Goldsmith gave his "poet laureate lecture," titled “My Career in Poetry, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Institution”; this was recorded and is available as a video hereSeven Deaths was recently reviewed by Dwight Garner in the New York Times.

Steve Benson improvises poems consisting entirely of questions

Photo credit: screenshot taken from video made by Konrad Steiner

On February 8, 2003, performing at the Bowery Poetry Club without prepared text or notes, Steve Benson improvised a long poem composed entirely of questions. His transcript of this performance later appeared in his book Open Clothes (Atelos, 2005) as "Did the lights just go out" [text].  Later, Steve McLaughlin created two excerpts from the full audio recording:

Excerpt 1 (2:55): MP3
Excerpt 2 (2:37): MP3

Three nights later, then at the Kelly Writers House, Benson again improvised a long poem composed entirely of questions, and then he responded to questions from the audience. His transcript of this performance also appears in Open Clothes as "If you stop to listen to yourself think" and "Is your thinking about the words." A full audio recording of the event can be heard here. Again, Steve McLaughlin created excerpts:

Excerpt 1 (2:25): MP3
Excerpt 2 (1:42): MP3
Excerpt 3 (2:27): MP3