In mid-October poet Paolo Javier spent an hour talking about his New York origins story along with his new work:
"experiences with language": It was a delight (in every Brainard-esque sense of the word) to talk with former Queens Poet Laureate, sound poet, and visual artist Paolo Javier, author of the spectacular O.B.B. (Nightboat, 2021), the time at the end of this writing (2004), and Court of the Dragon (2015), as well as the forthcoming True Account of Talking to the 7 in Sunnyside (Roof Books, November). Our conversation was about conversations - about discovering New York School writers through reading, through personal connection, through moving in and around the city, through writing; about outsider status, the paraliterary, the not-quite-poem; about 'schools' as places of learning, of discovery, of connection, of experimentation, of the childlike; about Queens, resilience, and the spirit of the New Yorker; about Frantz Fanon, Joe Brainard, Frank Lima; about 'unheard rhythms', comics, collaboration, and collage... You can watch/listen to the interview by clicking the image above, or on our Youtube channel.
Alice Notley: A Couple of Things I See in Get the Money!:
Alice has kindly shared the opening remarks from our online launch of Ted Berrigan's Collected Prose - her gorgeous thoughts on this gorgeous book can be read here.
New work from Nightboat Books:
Chia-Lun Chang's Prescribee (November 15) is in the lineage of Tender Buttons and The Tennis Court Oath, a transformation of the familiar ingredients of everyday life into a wild and alchemical language; Anne Waldman and Emma Gomis meanwhile bring us New Weathers: Poetics from the Naropa Archive, a series of lectures asking how poetics might embolden deeper engagements with the world.
New work from Coffee House Press:
Ron Padgett's new collection, Dot, full of wit and wonder, is out today! Ron is reading this afternoon, 4pm ET, with the Yale Literary Magazine (Zoom link: yale.zoom.us/j/95862472840).
New work from Fonograf Editions:
Alice Notley's The Speak Angel Series and Early Works will be released in February 2023 and are available for pre-order now. The Speak Angel Series is composed of six full-length books in various forms: it is meant to be read for plot, pleasure, musical experience, wisdom and truth. The books present something like a cosmology in the philosophical sense, a reading of existence and of death. Early Works, edited by Nick Sturm, collects Notley’s first four out of print poetry collections, along with 80 pages of previously uncollected material, and includes original collection cover artwork by Philip Guston, Philip Whalen and George Schneeman, among others.
New work from Two Rivers Press:
Peter Robinson's Retrieved Attachments,about people and places, friends and loved ones, mentor poets and artists, will also be published in February 2023, but is available to pre-order now.
Jordan Davis has a new pamphlet out with Sam Riviere’s If a Leaf Falls Press, Hidden Poems (this is a selection from Jordan's 2023 collection Yeah, No, forthcoming from MadHat): https://samriviere.com/index.php?/together/if-a-leaf-falls-press/. Jordan has also recently written about Ted Berrigan’s exuberant and idiosyncratic prose for the Poetry Foundation: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/articles/158608/what-do-i-say-next-fast .
Anne Waldman's Bard, Kinetic will be published in January 2023, with Coffee House Press, and is available for preorder. In Bard, Kinetic, Waldman assembles a layered compendium of essays, letters, poems, and interviews that form a portrait of her life and praxis as a groundbreaking poet. Waldman charts her journey through a maelstrom of radical artistic activity, from growing up in Greenwich Village to creative partnership with Allen Ginsberg and touring with Bob Dylan. She recalls founding the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church and later the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, and she discusses the political and artistic philosophies that guide her activities as writer, activist, performer, instigator, and Buddhist practitioner. Throughout Bard, Kinetic, Waldman pays homage to friends and collaborators including Amiri Baraka, Lou Reed, John Ashbery, and Diane di Prima.
Vincent Katz's Broadway for Paul is now out in paperback, with Knopf. Elaine Equi has talked about how this 'virtuoso collection' highlights 'the pleasure of sharing spaces, ideas, and art', whilst Paul Vangelisti describes the poetry as a 'voice in the grand tradition of New York poetry, from Walt Whitman to Frank O’Hara, engaging in ‘equable’ conversation (Whitman’s term) with the city’s people and places'.
Tia Shearer Bassett, a theatre-maker based in the Washington, DC area, performs a one-actor, Zoom theatre version of Kenneth Koch's Edward and Christine. It premiered in the spring of this year, and Tia is now beginning to perform it monthly (and by request). The next show is on Sunday 11th December at 3.30pm EST: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/edward-christine-tickets-296927176177. You can read a review of the show here: https://dctheaterarts.org/2022/05/20/fun-and-intimate-edward-and-christine-plays-live-on-line/.
Ted made everything he did be a work of art -- everything he wrote down for any reason. He never just scrawled. His prose exhibits this propensity of his; it was as much a part of him as his humor was. I'm not like that except unconsciously, so I'm in awe of it. Ted was deliberate. The strangeness and devotion of something like the Basho journals manuscripts, which I sold at the Phoenix bookstore, but he made the package, consisting of the Penguin translation by Nobuyuki Yuasa that he changed (assisted) into terrific English, that copy of the book, with his black-ink corrections, along with a typescript or typescripts perhaps, decorated? Nick will know. Ted kept making booklets out of the typescripts or their copies, I have one with Victorian flower stickers on it. He would lovingly put such materials together, and I would go to the Phoenix and chat up Bob Wilson (always a pleasure) and Get The Money! I see this care, this saving of things, all the folders and the folders remade by me into further folders, in the book we have just edited and published . . . And I see . . . For example, the implication that a whole poem by a poet reviewed was itself a review (like when you read a poem you like aloud to a friend); or that a rearrangement of lines from the book by the poet being reviewed, was a review, in fact a way of having a dialogue in the language of poetry, which is the most relevant one finally, isn't it? You can say what's really being said by highlighting lines, and you can talk to lines with other lines -- the criticism is already in the poetry . . . Or I recall rescuing "Brain Damage" from the trash -- it is outrageous and offensive and out-to-lunch, but I rescued it! Or I remember when he cut up "Ten Things About the Trip to Boston" into strips, having found an old typescript of it, an original archival sheet typed way before the book Back to Boston, with contributions also by Ron Padgett and Tom Clark, was published by Telegraph Books. He was sort of falling asleep but asked me to find an envelope to put them in, and I counted them and said, 'There are only nine.' Then he dictated to me the missing "Thing" – the final one -- and I wrote it on the outside of the envelope. A new item of potential exhibit for the folder "Longer Works of the More Academic Type"! This was fun . . . Or the outrageousness of everything we did in the 70s, so I can barely read those Journals (NOTE: Just reread them; they’re fabulous) . . . My embarrassment at "The Arrival Report," being its subject, so I didn't see the place at the very end, in this edition, where Gisele's name didn't get properly spelled out (Pardon me, Gisele Brotherston, friend in Wivenhoe!). Get the Money! is a book about life and art being coincident, all the time. Ted was always making art (like Joe, and Andy -- Joe Brainard, Andy Warhol). And he was very funny. "Longer Works Of the More Academic Type" was something he wrote on a folder in which he kept some of the works presented in what is now Get The Money! When the folder fell apart about ten years ago (I had carted everything he'd written, across the ocean, a long time before) I just rewrote the title on a new folder. Over the years everything in it -- all the originals -- have become art. They look old, and yellow, and some of them are from newspapers. Originals of fliers. Pages of The Poetry Project Newsletter cut out and made into booklets with magic markers and glitter. This is what an archive is, like ancient art is. Things becoming more beautiful and interesting through time. The work in itself is that too. This is possibly the only thing time is good for. I now in fact like Brain Damage: before, I only rescued it. I love everything he wrote for The Poetry Project Newsletter. Before, it was what was going on. But it's art, obviously. Tributes to people and things no one knows about now, because of the weirdness of mainstream decisions as to what is "great" -- those tributes are very poignant. I would like for George and Joe to be around for this. There is an entire incomprehensible letter, probably to Bernadette, never typed or sent, on the other side of Something, maybe two Somethings, in the original mss of Longer Works Of the More Academic Type. Just to say. Lita Hornick. The Beeks. The N.Y. Jets. The prose is measured, almost metered, in different ways. It's often like poetry. Or like talking. Or like Boswell's Johnson. Or like being with Ted. The secret is presence, Or, presence is the secret to everything. Offside, he continues to help Anselm do his math homework by taking the telephone apart. He essentially does Eddie's homework for him, under the guise of showing him how to write neatly between margins. He is amusing himself. He is caring. About every single thing. As he finds new friends even now: Nick Sturm for example. Yasmine. Rona. And Garrett of course. We respond back with love.
P.S. Ron has sent us some further information about "Brain Damage," that Larry Fagin called a 1970 mimeo book Brain Damage (in homage?), that a small magazine that ran for two issues was called Brain Damage, and that Ron's old Columbia roommate Eddie Kaim, well his dad worked for the AMA Journal, portions of which Ted cut up into "Brain Damage." Somewhere in all of this information Alice Neel and Jane Freilicher and Red Grooms sit serenely, having been reviewed in ART News. Jim Brodey. Harry Fainlight. Anselm Hollo. Joe Ceravolo. Blurbed, introduced at readings, obited . . . Where was the review of Joel Oppenheimer published? How old was Jim Carroll, really, at any time? Ask Steve Facey. Steve Carey. Ed Sanders. Lorenzo Thomas. Can Anne Waldman's character really be explained by The Great Constella's Aries horoscope? Who's buried behind Lufkin's Diner, for chrissakes? Maybe Frank knows by now. Too many names? Too many? Didn't you ever know anyone in your life?
P.P.S. I’ve been re-rereading the book for the last two days, and it’s so good. So alive . . . so inspiring. It isn’t ancient art, I repeat: it’s utterly alive.
Alice Notley, Sept 2022
Charlotte Rampling, Jean-Luc Goddard, Agnes Varda, Nathanial Hawthorne, and Emma Goldman walk into a Bowling Alley….
Directed by Tony Torn, and produced by Lee Ann Brown, Bernadette Mayer's unpublished play, Famous People, premiered on film at the Boog City Festival in February 2022. In celebration of Mayer's birthday, you can watch the film here: https://vimeo.com/707934586
Bernadette Mayer is the author of over 27 collections, including most recently Works and Days (2016), Eating The Colors Of A Lineup Of Words: The Early Books of Bernadette Mayer (2015) and The Helens of Troy (2013), as well as countless chapbooks and artist-books. She has received grants from The Guggenheim Foundation, Creative Capital, National Endowment for the Arts and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. She is also the recipient of the 2014 Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. From 1980-1984, she served as the director of the St. Mark's Poetry Project, and has also edited and founded 0 to 9 journal and United Artists books and magazines. She has taught at the New School for Social Research, Naropa University, Long Island University, the College of Saint Rose, Miami University and at University of Pennsylvania as a Kelly Writers House Fellow. Her influence in the contemporary avant-garde is felt widely.
Tony Torn is an actor, director, and producer who has worked extensively for the past 30 years in theater, film, and television, in both traditional and experimental projects. Known for his extensive work with legendary theater artists Reza Abdoh and Richard Foreman, Tony was the founding director of Bill Talen’s Reverend Billy and The Church of Stop Shopping (now in its 20th year), and created and starred in the absurdist theater/punk rock mash-up Ubu Sings Ubu with co-director Dan Safer. Tony currently teaches acting at NYU and MIT, and manages Torn Page, a private event space in New York City named in honor of his parents, the award-winning actors Rip Torn and Geraldine Page.
Lee Ann Brown is the author of Other Archer, which also appears in French translation by Stéphane Bouquet as Autre Archere (Presses Universitaires de Rouen et du Havre, 2015), In the Laurels, Caught (Fence Books, 2013), which won the 2012 Fence Modern Poets Series Award, as well as Crowns of Charlotte (Carolina Wren Press, 2013), The Sleep That Changed Everything (Wesleyan, 2003), and Polyverse (Sun & Moon Press, 1999), which won the 1996 New American Poetry Competition, selected by Charles Bernstein. In 1989, Brown founded Tender Buttons Press, which is dedicated to publishing experimental women’s poetry. She has taught at Brown University, Naropa University, Bard College, and The New School, St. John’s University, among others. Brown has held fellowships with Teachers & Writers Collaborative, Yaddo, Djerassi, the MacDowell Colony, the International Center for Poetry in Marseille, France, the Howard Foundation and was the Judith E. Wilson Poetry Fellow at Cambridge University. She lives in New York.
Our Paris symposium was a festival of listening and conversation, gently themed 'what we talk about when we talk about the New York School'. You can find the programme of speakers (including titles of talks, abstracts, and speaker bios) here. There is also a Twitter thread that unfolded during the day on our account (@NYSSNetwork).
Things we talked about...
In the evening, we relocated to Michael Woolworth's atelier, where Olivier Brossard read from his translation of The Tennis Court Oath, Abigail Lang read from her translation of A Nest of Ninnies, and Stéphane Bouquet read from his translations of James Schuyler’s poetry. Lindsay Turner then read from Songs & Ballads, A Fortnight, and from new and unpublished work; she also read a translation of a poem by Stéphane Bouquet. Lee Ann Brown headlined the evening, reading poems including ‘Poem for Joe Brainard’, ‘You are Not Gorgeous and I Am Coming Anyway’, and ‘Portal’; she was also joined by Stéphane, who read his translations of three of her poems, and by Sabine Macher, who read her translations of Lee Ann’s work.
Footage of the symposium talks and of the poetry evening will follow soon! We remain indebted to Olivier Brossard for his stellar co-hosting of this event - thank you Olivier!
At our inaugural symposium in Paris, in April 2022, Tony Torn discussed his production of both the 1951 and 1953 versions of Frank O'Hara's play Try! Try! presented back to back under the title Try! Try! Try! at the Polyphonic Poetry Festival in 2018. He paid close attention to how O'Hara specifically wrote, and then rewrote, the text in each case to suit his collaborators, including John Ashbery and Violet Lang in the 1951 version, and Larry Rivers in the 1953 version.
You can read the play(s) here: try__try__twice.pdf
You can view the performances, featuring Tony himself, here: https://vimeo.com/701534574/3baac71944.
Tony Torn is an actor, director and teacher based in New York City and Asheville, North Carolina. With Lee Ann Brown, he co-produced the Polyphonic Poetry Festival in June, 2018, presented at Kettles Yard and at the Judith E. Wilson Center at Cambridge University. He has recently been teaching undergraduate acting at MIT and at the Playwright Horizons Theater School (Tisch-NYU).
Tuesday, April 19 @ 7:00 pm
Live on Zoom: mit.zoom.us/j/94744411275.
Where: Zoom - register here
When: Monday 18th April 6PM-7:30PM
Join Poets @ Pace for their Spring 2022 event, featuring celebrated poet and essayist Maggie Nelson as she reads from her work and answers questions in a Q&A.
From time to time, The Flow Chart Foundation offers a Gathering, a space for presentations and networking around topics related to John Ashbery, his work, and his circle of artists, influences, and legacy.
Call for Presentations
On the 60th anniversary of the publication of Ashbery’s The Tennis Court Oath, and what would have been Ashbery’s 95 birthday, The Flow Chart Foundation will be hosting an inaugural Gathering at its Ashbery Resource Center and Flow Chart Space (348 Warren Street, Hudson, NY 12534). We will take a new look at The Tennis Court Oath, and at how Ashbery at 95 continues to inspire, confound, and entrance. How might Ashbery’s work continue to be relevant and inspirational in this moment and beyond?
The Gathering will take place on Sunday, July 31, 2022, pandemic-permitting, following The Flow Chart Foundation’s annual “Night of Neo-Benshi” at Hudson Hall opera house, located across the street and taking place the evening of July 30th.
We invite poets, writers, scholars, artists, and readers to submit proposals for presentations of any kind about, in response to, or in dialogue with The Tennis Court Oath and/or Ashbery’s work now and going forward. One may propose presentations for either or both. These may include papers, performances, readings, or showings, and should be conceived to be approximately five to ten minutes in length.
Submit proposals HERE.
DEADLINE: April 15, 2022
MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND HERE: https://www.flowchartfoundation.org/gathering