Al Filreis

Writers House in SoHo

Our annual "Writers House New York" evening will take place this year on November 7, as always at Meisel Gallery in SoHo, 141 Prince. If you want to join us, write to rsvp [at] writing [dot] upenn [dot] edu.

Ashbery: demotic grace

It is surprisingly difficult to find a very good brief summary and introduction to the writing of John Ashbery.

neither us nor them

I've re-read an essay John Yau published in American Poetry Review back in 1994 (vol. 23, no. 2, p. 45).

instead of implying, the poem ranted

In an essay on modernism and postmodernism in American poetry, David Antin quoted a passage from Allen Ginsberg's "America" and then pondered the contemporary response among "'establishment' critics" of the 1950s. How did Ginsberg's antic style strike them? From the later vantage (Antin was writing in the late 1970s) it is hard for us to remember that Ginsberg's writing seemed unliterary. The fact is that when we read Ginsberg today we assume that, whatever else his language is, it is at least literary.

Belsen Hatikva

Here is a rare recording: the Hatikva sung by Jewish inmates of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp on April 20, 1945. The recording, originally made by the BBC, had been lost until around 2000. It was aired in 2007 by NPR.

Thanks to Charles Bernstein for sending me this link.