Podcasts

Girls in the supply chain (PoemTalk #174)

Sawako Nakayasu, 'Some Girls Walk into the Country Where They Are From'

from left: Caroline Bergvall, Henry Steinberg, Bethany Swann

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Al Filreis brought together Bethany Swann, Henry Steinberg, and Caroline Bergvall (who was then completing her residence as a Kelly Writers House Fellow) to talk about four poems Caroline and Al had selected from Sawako Nakayasu’s book Some Girls Walk into the Country They Are From (published in 2020 by Wave Books). The four poems: “Girl A’s Peanuts and Girl D’s Mouthful,” “Gun,” “Girl in a Field of Flowers,” and “Ten Girls in a Bag of Potato Chips.” This last poem — “Ten Girls” — is also presented in the book in a French translation by Geneve Chao and a Japanese translation by Miwako Ozawa. Our recordings were made by Sawako Nakayasu just for PoemTalk, for which we are grateful, and we are also pleased to have recordings of French and Japanese translations by Chao and Ozawa.

When a name falls from a face (PoemTalk #173)

Divya Victor, 'Curb'

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For this new episode, Al Filreis convened Timothy Yu (who had traveled to Philadelphia from Madison, Wisconsin, for a day of programs and recordings), Josephine Nock-Hee Park, and Piyali Bhattacharya to discuss a selection of poems from Divya Victor’s book Curb (Nightboat Books, 2021): three poems from the titular “Curb” series in the middle of the book (“Curb” 3, 4, and 5) and another poem, “Frequency (Alka’s Testimony).” We provide the text of these pages here. PennSound’s Divya Victor author page did not yet include any recordings of her performances from Curb, so she generously produced audio just for PoemTalk. These are now, of course, available at PennSound (and below).

Trance of language (PoemTalk #172)

Harryette Mullen, 'Sleeping with the Dictionary' and 'Dim Lady'

from left: Larissa Lai, Maxe Crandall, Julia Bloch

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An in-person reunion of favorite colloquists after a year of planning: Al Filreis met up with Maxe Crandall (traveling from Oakland), Larissa Lai (having flown in from Calgary), and Julia Bloch (who walked five minutes through campus) — in the Arts Café of the Kelly Writers House. They talked about two prose poems in Harryette Mullen’s collection Sleeping with the Dictionary, published by California in 2002. The poems are “Dim Lady” and the title poem, “Sleeping with the Dictionary.” Our recordings of Mullen’s performance of these two pieces — they can be heard here and here — come from episode #92 (aired in 2005) of Leonard Schwartz’s radio show, Cross Cultural Poetics, an interview/conversation in which Schwartz and Mullen devoted the entire program to Sleeping with the Dictionary.

Gail Scott and Christy Davids

PennSound Podcast #74

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In this PennSound podcast, Christy Davids talks with Montréal writer Gail Scott about her recent release Permanent Revolution (Book*hug Press, 2021), a compilation of new and revised essays, including work that originally appeared in Scott’s foundational feminist text, Spaces Like Stairs (Women’s Press, 1996). 

Teach us love (PoemTalk #171)

Eugene Ostashevsky, 'Language' and 'The Anatomy of Monotony'

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Al Filreis convened Matvei Yankelevich, Ahmad Almallah, and Kevin Platt at the Kelly Writers House to talk about two poems by Eugene Ostashevsky: “The Anatomy of Monotony” [audio] and “Language” [audio]. They were included in The Unraveller Seasons (2000). The recordings of the two poems we use in this episode come from a 2005 reading at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York, available at Ostashevsky’s PennSound page