Al Filreis gathered together Jerome Rothenberg, Charles Bernstein, and Pierre Joris to talk about two poems by Armand Schwerner. The first was written near the end of Schwerner’s life, for his major series titled The Tablets. The poem discussed here is “Tablet XXV” [TEXT; AUDIO] and, along with all the other sections, it can be found in the complete edition published by the National Poetry Foundation in 1999. The second poem is an earlier one, “‘daddy, can you staple these two stars together to make an airplane?’” [TEXT; AUDIO] originally published in Seaweed and available on page 50 of Selected Shorter Poems (Junction Press, 1999).
This episode of PoemTalk features a discussion of two poems from Maggie O’Sullivan’s bookIn the House of the Shaman, which was published in 1993 by Reality Street. The first piece, “To our Own Day,” was grouped with other poems under the heading “Kinship with Animals.” The second poem discussed is “Hill Figures” from the section titled “Prisms & Hearers.” For this conversation, PoemTalk’s producer and host Al Filreis convened Julia Bloch, Charles Bernstein, and (visiting from Berkeley) Eric Falci. O’Sullivan’s extensive PennSound page includes a recording made — no doubt by Charles Bernstein himself — of a reading given in Buffalo on October 27, 1993; the two poems were chosen for that performance.
Editorial note: Charles Bernstein and Will Alexander had a conversation about Alexander’s work for Clocktower Radio’s Close Listening at PennSound’s Carroll Garden Studios in Brooklyn, New York, on October 19, 2016. Some of the topics they touched on include: Alexander’s works, philosophy, connections and citations and references and sources, mythology, genre, aural properties of writing and performance, jazz, drawing and sketching, identity and politics of writing, location, and the writer’s mindset.
Al Filreis convened Charles Bernstein, Anthony Elms, and Laynie Browne to talk about two poems by George Quasha. These were selected from Quasha’s most recent collection of his “preverbs.” The book, published by Spuyten Duyvil in 2020, titled Not Even Rabbits Go Down This Hole, consists of eight gatherings of preverbs; our two poems, coming from the final section — which bears the name of the book — are “self fast” (numbered 12; TEXT) and “that music razors through” (numbered 13; TEXT). The recordings we use in this episode can be found on PennSound’s extensive Quasha author page.
Charles Bernstein: The Poetry of Idiomatic Insistences, edited by Paul Bové, focusses, mostly, on international contexts, including forewords to translated editions (translated for the first time), interviews, and a review of Topsy-Turvy.
This episode presents a remarkable — freewheeling, energetic, yet comprehensive — discussion of a remarkable artist, Tuli Kupferberg. It is our first in-person recording in quite a while. Charles Bernstein, Rachel Levitsky, Lee Ann Brown, Pierre Joris, and Al Filreis gathered at the Brooklyn home of Susan Bee and Charles. We considered two works by Tuli: “Morning, Morning,” among the most famous songs performed by The Fugs; and one of Tuli’s spoken-word pieces or “pop poems,” titled “No Deposit, No Return.” The latter is the title cut on an album produced and released in 1966. The album was subtitled “An Evening of Pop Poetry with Tuli Kupferberg.” “Morning, Morning” first appeared as a track on the album entitled The Fugs in March 1966. This song and the entire album, along with liner notes, are available on our Tuli Kupferberg page at PennSound, reproduced with the kind permission of Samara Kupferberg.
On June 15, boundary 2 editor Paul Bové convened Yunte Huang (from California), Runa Bandyopadhyay (from India), Abigail Lang (from France), and me for b2’s webinar on Topsy-Turvy, focusing on non-U.S. perspectives, in anticipation of an issue of boundary 2 coming out in the fall. In the b2 issue, Runa gives a Vedic and Bengali spin to her reading of my poetics, Yunte writes about our ongoing mishmash of American and Chinese encounters, and Abigail continues her exploration of American/French poetry exchanges in an introduction to her translation of my work.
The new issue of NLO (New Literary Review, Russia, 168:2, 2021) features a section on American poetry edited edited by Vladimir Feschenko. Two of the essays, both machine translated, with some modification, are published here. Please consult the Russian original for accuracy.