Here is another gathering of some recent news, links, and announcements that might be of interest:
- Ron Padgett’s Collected Poems has been named a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, along with four other finalists, Joshua Beckman, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Elizabeth Robinson, and Lynn Xu.
- Craig Morgan Teicher reviews the new collection of poems by Michael Benedikt, edited (and “rescued from oblivion”) by John Gallaher and Laura Boss, for NPR. As I mentioned in a post a few months ago, Benedikt had important early ties to the New York School, a point Teicher makes as well: Benedikt, he writes, “made some significant contributions, bridging the gap between the conversational poems of major New York School figures (especially Frank O’Hara) and the surreal poetry that became popular in the ’70s. And he helped define the strange, comic and quotidian tone of the American prose poem, which remains one of our poets’ favorite forms to this day. He was also a dedicated editor of anthologies, especially the groundbreaking The Prose Poem: An International Anthology…”
- Ann Douglas (who was one of my dissertation advisors and mentors in graduate school) reviews Call Me Burroughs, Barry Miles’s new biography of William S. Burroughs in yesterday’s New York Times Book Review.
- At the Museum of Modern Art, there is an exhibit devoted to John Cage (running until June) called “There Will Never Be Silence: Scoring John Cage’s 4’33″”:
“This exhibition introduces the Museum’s recently acquired score for 4’33” and examines it, and Cage’s influence, as a critical pivot around which a diverse array of artists working throughout the 20th century can be united. Taking its title from a letter written by Cage in 1954, There Will Never Be Silence features prints, drawings, artists’ books, photographs, paintings, sculptures, and films by such artists as Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Schwitters, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Morris, Lawrence Weiner, Yoko Ono, Andy Warhol, and other artists associated with Fluxus, Minimalism, and Conceptual art who pushed preconceived boundaries of space, time, and physicality to new ends.”
- In other Cage news, there is a new John Cage 4’33” app for your phone! As this piece in the Guardian says, “it’s not as silly as it sounds…” As I was checking out this app, I noticed there’s another (free) app available on iTunes that allows you to replicate the sounds of Cage’s famous prepared piano on your phone and invent your own compositions. It’s fun!
- Through March 8, there is an exhibit of the photographs of Fred W. McDarrah, at the Stephen Kasher Gallery in New York. McDarrah, the longtime photographer for Village Voice, famously captured so many iconic and terrific images of the various counter-cultures of the 1950, 1960s, and 1970s. The show includes photographs of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, the Velvet Underground, the Cedar Tavern, Norman Mailer, Robert Rauschenberg, the Stonewall riots, and much more. John Leland wrote about the show for the New York Times a few weeks ago.
- The Poets House in New York is offering a poetry workshop called “Rilking with Ariana Reines,” which takes its unusual title from a funny moment in one of Kenneth Koch’s poems where he invented a useful new verb. As Reines puts it in the description for the workshop:
“Norris Embry said to me on Hydra one morning, when I was being / Supersensitive and profound on an unimportant subject, / ‘Kenneth, you’re Rilking!’ and there you were,” wrote Kenneth Koch in “Fame.” Rainer Maria Rilke was a poet of encounter — with love & lovers, with art & artists, with languages & traditions, which, as poets, are also our inherited obsessions, however ironically or irreverently we choose to approach them. Readings from Rilke’s extensive correspondence and works, including Sonnets to Orpheus and The Duino Elegies, will be balanced by invitations to write, which is to say to Rilk, with all the rigor, humor, and candor we can muster.”
- John Ashbery and Mark Ford will be reading at the 92nd St. Y on Thursday, April 3, 2014.
- Although it’s over now, this still may be of interest: in conjunction with the “Jane Freilicher: Painter Among Poets” exhibition, the Poetry Foundation recently screened four films by the photographer and filmmaker Rudy Burkhardt in Chicago. These rare films either star, or are based on, works by poets of the New York School:
The frolicking “Mounting Tension” (1950) stars Larry Rivers as an obsessed artist, Jane Freilicher as his eccentric psychiatrist, and John Ashbery as a baseball jock turned abstract painter. “Automotive Story” (1954) is a quiet, humorous mockumentary on cars, with Freilicher narrating Kenneth Koch’s text and Frank O’Hara as the pianist. (Both films are mentioned in Jenni Quilter’s essay on Freilicher, “Explicit as a Star,” from the January 2014 issue of Poetry.) In contrast to these early black-and-white prints are two color films Burckhardt shot in the 1980s. “In Bed” (1986) visualizes Koch’s poem of the same name, with Chopin played by Gena Raps. “Ostensibly” (1989) is a collage film featuring dual narrations of Ashbery’s eponymous poem of the same name, with both Ashbery and Burckhardt appearing in in front of the camera.