100 Ear Inn recordings from the early 1990s

PennSound has just made available 104 recordings made at the Ear Inn in the early 1990s. These include recordings by Cabri, Child, K. Davies, A. Davies, Derksen, Dewdney, DiPalma, DuPlessis, Farrell, Fitterman, Fodaski, Foster, Fyman, Gander, Gizzi, Goldsmith, Frim, Heller, Hixon, Hoover, Inman, Kalendeck, Killian, A. Kim, Kocik, Kraut, Levy, Lewis, Lubeski, Lusk, Lyons, Mac Low, Matthews, Messerli, Myles, Neilson, O’Brien, Pearson, Price, Raworth, Regan, Rettallack, Richard, Roberson, Rosenfeld, Rower, Sala, Shaw, Sirowitz, Smith, Tillman, Toscano, Venuti, K. Waldrop, R. Waldrop, Wallace, Wheeler, C.D. Wright,  J. Williams, Ziolkowski, Zivancevic, Zurawski, and more.

For hundreds of other Ear Inn recordings from the Ear Inn go to the Ear Inn page at PennSound. I started to make (and then collect) these recordings in 1978, when Ted Greenwald and I started the series. And since PennSound started, we have been working on making a full set of Ear Inn recordings available. There are still plenty more to come! So stay tuned.

A good introduction to the the Ear Inn series is the 1994 CD I edited, Live at the Ear, also available on PennSound. This is what I wrote for the liner notes:

The Ear Inn, a small bar on Spring Street near Tribeca (just before it turns into the Hudson River), has been the home of arguably the best reading series in New York City over the past two decades. Ted Greeenwald and I started the Saturday afternoon series in the Fall of 1978 with a reading by John Ashbery and Michael Lally. Over the many Saturdays that followed, the audience has shifted in size, the PA system has worked and had conked out, the noise from the bar has sometimes become intrusive.

But the commitment to a continuing renewal of the art of poetry has never faltered; a commitment, that is, to a spectrum of writing that places its attention primarily on language and ways of making meaning, that takes for granted neither vocabulary, grammar, process, syntax, program, or subject matter – indeed where all these dynamics remain at play.

Over the years, the Ear Inn series has been able to retain its vitality because of the energy and judgment of the poets who have curated the program, for sometimes just a month and for sometimes several years; in particular Mitch Highfill, Jeanne Lance, Andrew Levy, Rob Fitterman, Laynie Brown, James Sherry of the Segue Foundation, George Peck of the Ear Inn have all been crucial to keeping the series going.

The series continues on at the Bowery Poetry Club. Special thanks to James Sherry of Segue Foundation, for his ongoing coordination of the series, and to the many curators. I want to also thank George Peck, long-time barkeep at the Ear, who was a huge support for the series over the years; George sent me a few boxes of cassettes he had made a while back, and those recordings form part of this new collection.