Al Filreis and Divya Victor cocurated this episode of PoemTalk, and it was recorded on a day when Divya Victor was back at the Kelly Writers House for several events, including a marvelous reading from her new work and discussion with Julia Bloch. Earlier, we had entered the Wexler Studio and convened Whitney Trettien and Dagmawi Woubshet to talk about two poems in Douglas Kearney’s book titled SHO, which was published by Wave Books in 2021. The two poems we discussed were “Welter” and “Static.”
Al Filreis brought together Abdulhamit Arvas, Dagmawi Woubshet, and Carlos Decena to talk about one of John Ashbery’s very early poems. “Some Trees,” preceded only by “The Painter” among verse written when Ashbery was an undergraduate at Harvard that the poet chose to keep and publish later, was written during the evening of November 16, 1948. Ashbery was just twnety-one years old. PennSound’s Ashbery page includes several recordings of him reciting this poem.