Sean McCann and Charlie Morrow (eds.)

'The 12th Annual International Sound Poetry Festival' (1980) 4x cassette and book

After years of preparation, Recital is proud to present The 12th Annual International Sound Poetry Festival box set. Held in New York in 1980, this was the last festival of the pioneering sound poetry series started in Stockholm in the 1960s. This ambitious document holds nearly five hours of audio from thirty artists. A 240-page book with biographies, texts, and artwork from each artist supplements the edition, including program notes by Charlie Morrow and Sean McCann.

Organized by Sten Hanson and Charlie Morrow, the ten-day festival gathered a battalion of sound poets from around the globe to share the stage at Washington Square Church in Manhattan. Both established sound poets are juxtaposed with more obscure artists, some more fervent than others. Carles Santos, John Giorno, and The Four Horsemen, for example, convey a verbal onslaught. And Bernard Heidsieck; you can hear his shouted and snarled words of “Democratie II” shimmer against the walls and ceiling, amplifying in intensity as if he is screaming at the French Parliament in the Palais du Luxembourg. Not all performances are aggressive; Alison Knowles presents a theatrical ensemble reading (with bean performance), and the subdued conceptual work Robert Joseph and Pier Van Dijk’s for voice and the sound of turning book pages is particularly interesting.

Artists included: Carles Santos, Jackson Mac Low, Greta Monach, Bernard Heidsieck, Katalin Ladik, Jerome Rothenberg, Mary Ellen Solt, John Giorno, Armand Schwerner, Charles Stein, Beth Anderson, Charles Amirkhanian, Richard Kostelanetz, Franz Kamin, Michael Gibbs, The Four Horsemen (bpNichol, Rafael Barreto-Rivera, Paul Dutton, and Steve McCaffery), Adriano Spatola, Paula Claire, Sten Hanson, Charlie Morrow, Glen Velez, Larry Wendt, Nina Yankowitz, Robert Joseph, Pier Van Dijk, Alison Knowles, Bern Porter, P. Clive Fencott, Bob Cobbing, Ocarina Orchestra, and John Beaulieu.


  • 4x Cassettes (nearly five hours of music)
  • 240-page book, 6″x9″ perfect bound
  • Hand-numbered edition of two hundred  (+35 AP)
  • Housed in printed box
  • Digital download card

You can buy them all together as a discounted bundle: 

Price: $75.00


  1. Sten Hanson — Introduction 03:30
  2. Carles Santos — To-Ca-Ti-Co-To-Ca-T 04:36
  3. Carles Santos — Conversa 05:06
  4. Jackson Mac Low — HUNGER STrIkE wh A t doeS lifemean 08:37
  5. Greta Monach — Fonergon 79–5: Otto the Rhino on the Fitti-Hooli-Islands in the Benga-Sea 18:03
  6. Bernard Heidsieck — Poeme-Partition A 11:11
  7. Bernard Heidsieck — Sisyphe (passepartout 25) 04:53
  8. Bernard Heidsieck — Democratie II (passepartout 27) 07:25
  9. Katalin Ladik — Untitled 07:17
  10. Jerome Rothenberg — First Horse-Song for 4 Voices 08:39
  11. Mary Ellen Solt — USA 05:36
  12. John Giorno — Put Your Ear to Stone and Open Your Heart to the Sky 18:50
  13. Armand Schwerner and Charles Stein — A piece for 2 Bflat clarinets and voices 05:13
  14. Beth Anderson — Six Stories In Sequence 05:41
  15. Charles Amirkhanian — Dreams Freud Dreamed 05:38
  16. Richard Kostelanetz — Turfs 06:50
  17. Franz Kamin — Kathy’s By The Oceanside 09:14
  18. Intermission 02:20
  19. Michael Gibbs — ABOUT THE BOOK, THE READER and THE WRITER 17:48
  20. Michael Gibbs — Tome Tones 02:53
  21. The Four Horsemen — Mayakovsky 03:37
  22. The Four Horsemen — Air Blind 04:12
  23. Adriano Spatola — Ocarina 04:09
  24. Adriano Spatola — Al Capone Poem 01:51
  25. Adriano Spatola — Aviation Aviateur 04:47
  26. Paula Claire — JETAKEOFF 01:03
  27. Paula Claire — Popcorn 04:08
  28. Sten Hanson — How Are You? 03:03
  29. Sten Hanson — Au 197.0 06:07
  30. Charlie Morrow and Glen Velez — Entrance Music and Bows 05:21
  31. Larry Wendt — Earthworm (excerpt) 10:34
  32. Nina Yankowitz — Personae Mimicking or Voices from the Piano 07:42
  33. Robert Joseph & Pier Van Dijk — Untitled 11:59
  34. Alison Knowles — Fishes of the Philippine Seas 27:23
  35. Bern Porter — George (Ode to Friendship) 01:37
  36. P. Clive Fencott — His Dexter Daylight Utterly Darkened 10:42
  37. Bob Cobbing — Sha Ma Na 04:30
  38. Bob Cobbing — Statue of Liberty Suite 06:11
  39. Ocarina Orchestra — Forest 07:17
  40. BONUS TRACK — John Beaulieu — Channel 11:20

* A note that several artists who performed in the original ten-day festival are not included due to their sets not being recorded and/or due to time restraints.

Released on November 11th, 2022