Daytime never ends (PoemTalk #63)

Laynie Browne, 'Daily Sonnets'


PoemTalkers Jessica Lowenthal, Lee Ann Brown, and Sueyeun Juliette Lee gathered with Al Filreis to talk about five poems from Laynie Browne’s Daily Sonnets, which was published by Counterpath Press of Denver in 2007. We chose two of Browne’s “fractional sonnets,” two of the sonnets in which the talk of her children is picked up partly or wholly as lines of the poem, and one of her “personal amulet” sonnets. These are, to be specific: “Six-Fourteenths Donne Sonnet” [MP3], “Two-Fourteenths Sonnet” [MP3], “In Chinese astrology you are a snake” [MP3], “I’m a bunny in a human suit” [MP3], and “Protector #2: Your Personal Amulet” [MP3]. The sonnet after Donne is a constrained rewriting of a “holy” sonnet: “I am a little world made cunningly.”

From her daily life, Browne derives a sense of writing written uncunningly, not so much by repudiating the made autotelic perfection of the traditional poem — of the sonnet in particular as a (holy) form — as by implying that in reality we don’t live our writing lives that way.  Her unsequential sonnet sequence explores the daily influxes of the moments of which and in which the poems are composed. She makes the ordinary extraordinary. There's a conceptualism here, and Jessica, Lee Ann and Juliette discuss it: the procedural constraint was to treat the regular work of making a book of sonnets as a specific daily habit or practice. “Finally,” Browne has written (in the book’s afterword), “after many years of controlled circumstances, the allowing in of all voices, all time.” The sonnets are acts of collaboration “with the bumpiness of days passing.” Browne’s two children, noted in the dedication, are the makers of some of those bumps. “To Benjamin and Jacob,” the dedication runs, “my daily sonneteers / inventors of the ‘real time sonnet’ and ‘dailiness.’” (Above from left to right: Lee Ann Brown with Miranda, Sueyeun Juliette Lee, and Jessica Lowenthal with Alice.)

Here, appended to Browne’s PennSound page, is the text of our poems: PDF. Thanks to the work of Anna Zalokostas, all of Browne’s various readings from Daily Sonnets are identified as such on the PennSound page.

This episode of PoemTalk was directed and engineered by Chris Martin, produced by Al Filreis, and expertly edited, as always, by Steve McLaughlin.

Howe interviews Bernstein and Andrews in 1979

from left: Susan Howe, Bruce Andrews, Charles Bernstein


On March 14, 1979, Bruce Andrews and Charles Bernstein visited the studios of WBAI in New York and were interviewed by Susan Howe, host then of the Pacifica Radio Poetry Show. This installment in the PennSound podcast series, introduced again by Amaris Cuchanski and based on editing done by Nick DeFina, features an excerpt from that interview focusing on a discussion of opaque as distinct from transparent language and of language’s materiality.

During their appearance on Howe's show, they read some poems: Andrews read from R&B and “How” and Bernstein read “Matters of Policy.” Of course the entire one-hour program can be heard on PennSound.

Susan Howe’s WBAI-Pacifica Radio shows are available on PennSound in collaboration with the Archive for New Poetry at the University of California, San Diego. PennSound’s digital copies were made from recordings housed at the archive.

From the voice to the book

Jerome Rothenberg, 2010 Threads Talk Series presentation


Jerome Rothenberg on May 7, 2010, presenting at the Threads Talk Series (curated by Steve Clay and Kyle Schlesinger), mapped branches of book culture that are typically kept apart. Rothenberg reviews the differences between — and the need to bring together — speech and writing and printing, and he uses this summary as a way of freshly re-defining ethnopoetics.  The title of the talk from which this podcast-length (18 mins.) excerpt is taken: “From the Voice to the Book, from the Book to the Voice: a Dialectic.”  The Threads Talk Series page at PennSound includes, of course, the full audio recording of the talk, the introduction by Steve Clay, and the 38 minutes of discussion that followed the talk. Amaris Cuchanski hosts and introduces this 24th podcast in the PennSound Podcast series.  The editing was done by Nick DeFina. T.he produce of PennSound Podcasts is Al Filreis.

PoemTalk in 'Open Culture'

We at PoemTalk were pleased to see the series featured in the current issue of Open Culture.

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Burning Deck Press

An anthology of readings by eight poets at the 2001 event


Amaris Cuchanski introduces the newest PennSound podcast in the series, now numbering 23 episodes. Nick DeFina created this 20-minute audio selection from the five-volume set of recordings made at Brown University at the May 2001 celebration of (then) forty years of Burning Deck Press publishing of books, chapbooks and pamphlets, by, of course, Rosmarie and Keith Waldrop. The entire recording has its own page at PennSound.We hope this excerpt entices you to listen to the whole, itself an aptly remarkable testimony to the range, longevity and generous persistence of the Waldrops in Providence. The Waldrops, of course, are no stranger to Jacket: we’ve published reviews, video clips, and (among many other items) Anne Dewey’s essay on Olsonian poetics in Rosmarie’s work.