Al Filreis brought together Michelle Taransky, Brooke O’Harra, and Christopher Funkhouser to talk about a piece created, performed, and recorded by John Giorno, titled “Everyone is a complete disappointment.” It was included on the album John Giorno and Anne Waldman: A Kulchur Selection, released in 1977 from the Giorno Poetry Systems label. Among the album’s cuts are two Giorno pieces and four by Anne Waldman (famously among the latter: “Fast Speaking Woman” and “White Eyes”). “Everyone Is a Complete Disappointment” was recorded on May 1, 1977, at ZBS Media.
Murat Nemet-Nejat, Henry Steinberg, and Chantine Akiyama Poh joined Al Filreis in our Wexler Studio to discuss a published excerpt of dated sections or entries from Dodie Bellamy’s Vomit Journal. The text as published can be consulted here. In part because of time constraints, we listened to and discussed most although not all of these sections. Our recording came directly from Dodie — who graciously agreed to record a reading for us (it is now linked in our Bellamy PennSound page).
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 convened Bethany Swann, Jonathan Dick, and Kate Colby to talk about a poem by Hoa Nguyen titled “Long Light.” The poem has been collected in Red Juice: Poems, 1998–2008 (150), published by Wave Books. Our recording of the poem comes from Hoa’s PennSound author page. The recording we used is from a reading presented as part of the St. Bonaveture Visiting Poets Series, on March 22, 2016.
PoemTalk went on the road again, this time to Chicago, where Al Filreis convened Lisa Fishman, Gabriel Ojeda-Sagué, and Laynie Browne at the Poetry Foundation. Before a lively live audience, the four discussed seven short poems selected from Lisa Fishman’s recent book Mad World, Mad Kings, Mad Composition (Wave Books, 2020). They are: “Many People have heard” (51); “Others could tell the difference” (65); “Have sent a point” and “Who will confess that …” (73); “Taking a sick day to remember Mr. Fishman” (149); “A line through a forest” (150); and “Steering-wheel-in-the-field” (163).