Al Filreis

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.

An afternoon of surrealist writing

Sunday, January 26, 2014, starting at 2 PM, in the Special Exhibitions Gallery of the Perelman Building, Philadelphia Museum of Art (free after Museum admission). Kenneth Goldsmith, Tracie Morris, and Marina Rosenfeld.

Williams's 'Between Walls': A student's notes

(c) Maddie Gee, September 2012, English 88, University of Pennsylvania

A vocabulary of sounds for Amiri Baraka

Andrew Demirjian participated in ModPo during the fall of 2013.  “As I was reading the poems and watching/listening to the videos,” he wrote me recently, "I was working on two pieces as a creative response to the course.” One of those pieces is entitled “Amiri Baraka A-Z.” It is an alphabetical vocabulary for Baraka, consisting of word-length clips drawn from PennSound’s Baraka recordings, each embedded under a letter of the alphabet. Click on a letter — or touch a letter on the iPad — and Baraka’s voice performs single words beginning with that letter. Once you start the web-installation poem, it will continue; you can stay with a letter, or move around and spell out your own performative vocabulary.