PennSound is an online archive of recordings of modern and contemporary poets housed at the University of Pennsylvania.

Teaching Brathwaite without a text

Jacob Edmond, editor of PennSound’s extensive Kamau Brathwaite author page, has published an essay on teaching Brathwaite without a text — by doing close listening through the audio archive. “This essay demonstrates the utility of this close listening approach by taking advantage of the digital platform of archipelagos journal to interweave its text with Brathwaite’s recorded voice.” Here is a paragraph from the essay, one in which Edmond mentions the poets recording of the poem “Negus,” which was the topic of the episode of PoemTalk in which Edmond and two others discussed in detail the performance of that poem:

One side or the other of that 'you'

Note: This conversation between David Naimon and Claudia Rankine is part of Between the Covers, hosted by Naimon, and was recorded on November 13, 2014 at the KBOO-FM studios in Portland, Oregon.

Davy Knittle with Rodney Koeneke


Not-me-ness: Eileen Myles and Davy Knittle

Davy Knittle and Eileen Myles had a conversation at Myles’s home in the East Village in New York City in August, 2018, for this PennSound podcast. Their discussion began in the midst of an exchange about Myles’s 1991 collection Not Me and changes in their neighborhood at the time.

New at PennSound: Edwin Torres and Will Alexander reading and conversation

On October 25, 2016, Edwin Torres and Will Alexander gave a double reading at the Kelly Writers House in Philadelphia, and then joined together in conversation. The program, organized by Edwin Torres in collaboration with the Creative Writing Program at the University of Pennsylvania, was titled “Paradigm Shifting.” The event was recorded and is available in both audio and video. Details of the event are archived at the Kelly Writers House web calendar here. Now, thanks to the efforts of PennSound staff editor Luisa Healey, the recordings have been completely segmented; one can listen to individual poems read by each poet, and the conversation has also been segmented by topic. This new addition can be found on both Alexander’s and Torres’s PennSound author pages. 

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge: recordings of poems from 'Four Year Old Girl'

From Mei-mei Berssenbrugge’s PennSound page, here are audio recordings (from various readings over the years) of poems published in the book Four Year Old Girl:

Irises: MP3
Daughter: MP3 in three parts: 1 | 2 | 3
Health: MP3
Pollen: MP3
Kali: MP3 (part 3 only)

Segmented audio from performances of Maggie Nelson's 'Bluets'

Thanks to the efforts of PennSound staff editor Luisa Healey, we are now able to make available segmented audio recordings of the numbered sections (propositions) of Bluets as performaed by Maggie Nelson at two readings.

I. from LA-Lit #21, March 11, 2007:

  • #52. (1:11): MP3
  • #53. (0:26): MP3
  • #54. (1:17): MP3
  • #55. (0:19): MP3
  • #56. (0:10): MP3
  • #57. (0:30): MP3
  • #58. (0:11): MP3
  • #59. (1:14): MP3

David Bromige: two new readings

David Bromiges reading for A. L. Nielsen’s Incognito Lounge, at UC Berkeley, on May 23, 1989, has now been segmented (by PennSound staff editor Luisa Healey). Here is the whole recording, and here are the segments:

Rodney Koeneke's 2004 Segue reading

Thanks to the efforts of PennSound staffer Luisa Healey, we are now making available segmented (poem-by-poem) recordings of Rodney Koeneke’s Segue Series reading, given at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City on November 6, 2004. 

  1. Introduction (5:27): MP3
  2. Opening Remarks (3:35): MP3
  3. #16 “Excavate the Mexican game-show host …” from Rouge State (1:45): MP3
  4. #17 “Eric the red on kickapoo juice …” from Rouge State (1:17): MP3
  5. #2 “Caravansaries cavorting invite too-hot desires … from Rouge State (2:37): MP3
  6. How to find safe passage …” from Rouge State (2:08): MP3
  7. “Space then is time …” from Rouge State (1:32): MP3
  8. Save it for the Clam from On the Clamways (1:54): MP3
  9. Houston, We Have a Clam Problem from On the Clamways (0:31): MP3

Wai Chee Dimock, 'Education Populism'

Wai Chee Dimock, editor of PMLA, published her editor’s comment during fall 2017 on the “education populism” she discerned in several affiliated projects hosted at the Kelly Writers House — among them, PennSound, PoemTalk, ModPo, and the programs offered in the old house at 3805 Locust Walk itself. A PDF copy of the article is available HERE.

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