Commentaries

Wadiʿ Saʿada: poetry out in the open

Wadiʿ Saʿada
Wadiʿ Saʿada
The writers and artists of Beirut’s Hamra street remember a day in 1973 when a young man from the northern village of Shabtin stood handing out his poetry to passersby. It was Wadiʿ Saʿada (b. 1948) with a stack of handwritten copies of his first poetry collection, The Evening has no Brothers. Stepping outside the established avenues for “making it” in the world of writing and publishing, Saʿada placed himself and his writing out in the open, literally on the side of the street.

Jerome Rothenberg and Ariel Resnikoff

'A Poem Beginning with Two Lines by Likht' (in English and Yiddish)

[Author’s Note:“A lid vos heybt on mit tsvey shuros fun likhtn”(“A Poem Beginning with Two Lines from Likht”) is a translingual epistolary experiment and collaborative double-iteration between English and Yiddish poetic tongues. Mikhl Likht (1893–1953), our radical Yiddish modernist ancestor (New York and “Objectivist” based) calls out from the interstices of an expanded-Yiddish praxis, coaxing our poem into the the wor(l)d with two lines from his “poem-of-a-life,” Protsestiyes (Processions).

On Ginger Ko's 'Ghosts, Models, Visions' (2017)

Cover of Ginger Ko’s ‘Ghosts, Models, Visions’
Cover of Ginger Ko’s ‘Ghosts, Models, Visions’

The speakers in Ginger Ko’s chapbook Ghosts, Models, Visions contemplate the peculiarities of living in the present and a near-future populated by post-human automatons, strangely evolved mammals, and the unborn. All of these entities have a voice in this collection, along with seemingly regular human beings, and all are subject to the numbing effects of late capitalism, enacting labor that divorces the mind from the body and the self from its selves, and straining under unyielding debt in spite of constant effort.

The speakers in Ginger Ko’s chapbook Ghosts, Models, Visions contemplate the peculiarities of living in the present and a near-future populated by post-human automatons, strangely evolved mammals, and the unborn.

Mei-mei Berseenbrugge: 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)

Clipping the Poetry Series: Selections from the Sir George Williams Poetry Series, 1965-1974

Jason Camlot, Deanna Fong and Katherine McLeod

The Sir George Williams University Poetry Reading Series ran from 1965 to 1974 in Montreal at what is now Concordia University, featuring live performances by prominent North American poets, including Beat poets, Black Mountain poets, and members of the western Canadian poetry collective TISH. Curated and organized primarily by professors in the English department, the series hosted over sixty poets during its eight-year run, bringing local writers into contact with regional, national, and international contemporaries.