Up next, Bob Perelman

The poet Bob Perelman, a recent recipient of the $50,000 PEW Fellowship, will read in the NWS on Wednesday, 18 October. He’s touring this fall in support of a brand new book from Roof Press, Iflife, some tracks from which can be heard via PennSound (scroll down to the 11 March 2006 reading at the Bowery Poetry Club). Later in October, he’ll be participating in Autostart, a festival of Digital Literature hosted by the Kelly Writers House.

You can read a 2002 interview with Perelman here. And check out slides from the “Playing Bodies” sequence, Perelman’s collaboration with his wife, the artist Francie Shaw, here. A videotape of Perelman’s 1 May 2003 reading in the NWS (with Kit Robinson) is available through the UMaine English Department (contact Steve Evans on First Class for more information).

NWS Event Report: Robert Grenier Reading

Poet Robert Grenier in the UMaine New Writing Series, Fall 2006
An audience of approximately forty people turned out for poet Robert Grenier’s reading in the UMaine New Writing Series on Thursday, 5 October 2006. Grenier interpreted his hand-drawn notebook poems from slides projected onto the Soderberg Auditorium’s large screen. A first set of slides, showing poems composed in the early spring of 2006, explored the natural landscape of Connecticut. After a short break, Grenier showed a second set of slides, rooted in the environment of Bolinas, California, where he has long made his home. Grenier offered a running commentary on the process by which his “drawn” poems are made, their quatrain-like character (four words, four colors), their relationship to conventional mimesis and the history of poetry, the ecological imperatives underpinning them, and the activity required of readers, including himself, of deciphering them. Audience members asked questions and assisted in the reading at various points. Archival record: digital video tape (VHS and dvd duplicates available shortly). See more photos on Ben Friedlander’s flickr page.

Prior to showing the slides, Grenier talked about the limited-edition prints he makes from the notebook poems (an example of which can be seen lower left):

Robert Grenier pointing to one of his prints

This picture shows Grenier and his partner Susan Friedland sorting slides before the event:

Poet Robert Grenier with Susan Friedland

After the reading, an audience member studies Grenier’s work:

Some bio! (Robert Grenier)

The Marianne Boesky Gallery in Manhattan did a show of Robert Grenier‘s “Drawing Poems” in 2004. One senses the poet’s own hand in the dusie of a bio-note they put together: “Grenier is a 63-year-old, wiry/paunchy, white-haired, disaffected, formerly influential, prototypical/clean-shaven/Harvard-educated ‘Language Writer’ (from Minnesota) become wildly innovative, ‘neo-Romantic’/’old-fashioned’, hand-craft-writing/image-making, scruffy, corn, beans and squash-growing/blackberry-apple jam-making/set-in-his-ways type of opinionated, ‘archaic’-nuthead/vociferously ‘correct’, ‘liberal’/verbal/’extemporaneous’ person living in Bolinas, CA.” And there’s more where that came from!

From the Vaults – Robert Grenier Reading in 1981

You can hear the poet Robert Grenier give a reading at the St. Mark’s Poetry Project on 8 April 1981 via PENNsound (listen to mp3, 52’30”). Grenier reads from and comments on Sentences (02’00-30’00), does his 1980 Tuumba chapbook Oakland in its entirety (30’00-43’50), and closes with an unidentified sequence that includes the poems “Pelicans” and “Contempt” (44’00-52’30).

Interview with Poet & Publisher Rod Smith

The new issue of the Beltway Poetry Quarterly features an interview with Rod Smith (NWS F’00). Smith, who runs the literary journal Aerial and publishes Edge Books, is currently working with Kaplan Harris and Peter Baker on a volume Robert Creeley’s correspondence. • “GUTSTEIN: At this very minute, which two words constitute your favorite rhyme? SMITH: gazillion vermillion or Pâwsuck Kerouac.” • For more about Smith, check out his blog, Ghostbrain.

Rod Smith photograph from Beltway Poetry Quarterly