Dial-A-Poem Poets – Big Ego (1978)

“American label set up in 1972 by the poet John Giorno, the earliest releases were exclusively poetry collections of the ‘Dial-A-Poets’ (John Giorno, William S Burroughs, Brion Gysin, Allen Ginsberg, John Cage etc.): ‘In 1961 I was a young poet who hung out with young artists like Andy Warhol, Bob Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, as well as with members of the Judson Dance Theatre. The use of modern mass media and technologies by these artists made me realize that poetry was 75 years behind painting and sculpture, dance and music. And I thought, if they can do it, why can’t I do it for poetry. Why not try to connect with an audience using all the entertainments of ordinary life: television, the telephone, record albums, etc? It was the poet’s job to invent new venues and make fresh contact with the audience. This inspiration gave rise to Giorno Poetry Systems.’ – John Giorno”
Discogs: Various ‎– Big Ego
UbuWeb (Video)

The Poetry Project’s Half-Century of Dissent

“February 10, 1971, on a Wednesday night in the East Village, a full moon glowed in the wintry sky over St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery. Inside, a group of New York’s most cutting-edge scene-makers gathered at the Poetry Project to hear a reading by poet and Warhol aide-de-camp Gerard Malanga. Andy was there, as was Lou Reed, along with poets Gregory Corso, John Giorno, Joe Brainard, and Bernadette Mayer. First up that night was a dark-eyed, lanky young poetess by the name of Patti Smith. An up-and-coming playwright named Sam Shepard, with whom she’d recently become involved, was there in support, as was her closest friend and collaborator, Robert Mapplethorpe. Smith knew she didn’t just want to read that night; rather, she wanted to electrify the audience with poems that possessed the power of rock ‘n’ roll. She invited the guitarist Lenny Kaye to play while she recited, and she decided to sing a few songs as well, including a cover of ‘Mack the Knife,’ in honor of Bertolt Brecht’s birthday. …”

Visit John Ashbery’s Nest, Virtually

“Over the past few years, there has been a lot of attention paid to John Ashbery’s unusual and beautiful house in Hudson, New York, and its relationship to his poetry and aesthetics.  I’ve written about this before on a number of occasions, including about the concept behind ‘The Ashbery Home School’ writers retreat (which at least originally involved a visit to the Ashbery home), a recent gallery exhibit devoted to Ashbery as collector, and a gathering of critical essays on Ashbery’s ‘created spaces’ in Rain Taxi. If you aren’t one of the lucky few to be able to visit Ashbery’s home in person, rest easy: you can now visit this remarkable house virtually, thanks to ‘John Ashbery’s Nest,’ a stunning new project produced by Karin Roffman (who has just published a biography of Ashbery’s early years), in conjunction with the Yale Digital Humanities Lab. …”
Locus Solus: The New York School of Poets
John Ashbery’s Nest

People Who Died – Jim Carroll (1980)

“It’s not easy to come up with a second act when your first act was being Jim Carroll. He was the author of ‘The Basketball Diaries,’ a cult-classic memoir of his drug-fueled misadventures as a teenager in the 1960s; he then became a celebrated downtown poet; and then, the star of his own hit rock band. Mr. Carroll had lived a panoramic New York youth that his fans had turned into legend. But by the time he died of a heart attack this Sept. 11 at 60, Mr. Carroll, who had once hung out with the Rolling Stones and Allen Ginsberg, no longer bore much resemblance to the downtown cover-boy with the chiseled cheekbones and flowing red hair. His once-powerful athlete’s body had been weakened by pneumonia and hepatitis C, said Rosemary Carroll, his former wife, who had remained a close friend. At times, circulation problems in his legs prevented him from leaving his apartment. His trademark hair was flecked with gray, and often tucked under a wool beanie. His cheekbones were hidden behind a white beard that plunged to the collar of his T-shirts. …”
NY Times: Jim Carroll’s Long Way Home
Genius (Audio)
W – Jim Carroll
“People Who Died” – by The Jim Carroll Band – February 16th 80’s Quest Song/Band of the Day (Video)
The Basketball Diaries by Jim Caroll – The Paris Review 1988
YouTube: Lou Reed – People Who Died w/ Jim Carroll – 9/25/1984 – Capitol Theatre, People Who Died

Tom Johnson – The Voice of New Music: New York 1972-1982

“The ten years, from 1972-1982, during which Tom Johnson closely followed the developments in the new music in New York and reported his experiences in the Village Voice, constitute the most innovative and experimental period of recent musical history. A considerable number of his articles and reviews has been brought together in this collection. Together they provide a lively impression of the genesis and the exciting adventure of the new music, of the diversity of utterances that were part of it from the very start, and of the circumstances and opinions which prompted it. Johnson recorded the emergence of a generation of composers and musicians which has set out to probe once more all conventions of the Western musical tradition and to remove the barriers between different cultures and various artistic disciplines. That process is still in full swing. Therefore it is of interest today to read how that process was triggered.”
W – Tom Johnson
[PDF] The Voice of New Music: New York 1972-1982

Einstein on the Beach – Composed Philip Glass / Directed Robert Wilson (1976)

Einstein on the Beach is an opera in four acts (framed and connected by five ‘knee plays’ or intermezzos), composed by Philip Glass and directed by theatrical producer Robert Wilson. The opera eschews traditional narrative in favor of a formalist approach based on structured spaces laid out by Wilson in a series of storyboards. The music was written ‘in the spring, summer and fall of 1975’. Glass recounts the collaborative process: ‘I put [Wilson’s notebook of sketches] on the piano and composed each section like a portrait of the drawing before me. The score was begun in the spring of 1975 and completed by the following November, and those drawings were before me all the time.’ The premiere took place on July 25, 1976, at the Avignon Festival in France. The opera contains writings by Christopher Knowles, Samuel M. Johnson and Lucinda Childs. It is Glass’s first and longest opera score, taking approximately five hours in full performance without intermission; given the length, the audience is permitted to enter and leave as desired. … From the beginning of Glass and Wilson’s collaboration, they insisted on portraying the icon purely as a historical figure, in the absence of a storyline attached to his image. While they did incorporate symbols from Einstein’s life within the opera’s scenery, characters, and music, they intentionally chose not to give the opera a specific plot. This is in accord with Wilson’s formalist approach, which he asserts creates more truth on stage than naturalist theater. Wilson structured Einstein on the Beach as a repeating sequence of three different kinds of space. Between major acts are shorter entr’actes known as ‘knee plays,’ a signature technique that Wilson has applied throughout his oeuvre. Propelling idea of ‘non-plot’ within Einstein on the Beach, its libretto employs solfège syllables, numbers, and short sections of poetry. …”
The Method and Madness of ‘Einstein on the Beach’
NPR: The Minds Behind ‘Einstein On The Beach’ Talk Shop (Video)
UbuWeb: Einstein on the Beach: The Changing Image of Opera (Video)
THE EARTH MOVES. A documentary about Einstein on the Beach. (Video)
YouTube: Einstein on the Beach 4:36:23
YouTube: Philip Glass Ensemble “Train/Spaceship” part 1, “Train/Spaceship” part 2

Edward Dorn – Recollections of Gran Apacheria (1972)

“Edward Dorn (1929–1999) wrote poetry, fiction, non-fiction, journalism, and translations, all from a position outside the centers of power of our time but close enough to see them clearly and to indict their control over our lives. This same position — that of the outsider able to see into the heart of the contemporary world — has been occupied by some of the most incisive and persistently valuable critics of American culture, such as Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, Ralph Ellison, and Charles Olson. Like these writers, Dorn takes as the central obligation of a citizen’s life the task of finding out exactly where one stands — geographically, politically, and spiritually — in order to maintain a critical distance from coercive institutions and to honor the integrity of one’s own sense of things. … In his next book, Recollections of Gran Apachería, Dorn presents the Apaches as noble ‘not in themselves / so much as in their Ideas.’ Apache thought, like the Gunslinger’s, arises from dwelling undistractedly in a timeless, local space, defined by actual geographical features: ‘Their leading ideas / come directly from the landform.’ Western culture, in contrast, wants to control everything through the abstract force of predictive reason, which Dorn labels ‘Mind.’ Mind is a deadly tool in the wrong hands, and Dorn distinguishes it from the thinking practices of people who think with the landform. …”
Jacket2: Introduction to Edward Dorn
Tom Clark: Geronimo in Exile (Edward Dorn: Recollections of Gran Apacheria)
Wordplay this week: Ed Dorn
Ron Silliman: Way More West: New and Selected Poems
amazon: Recollections of Gran Apachería