A Conversation about “New York School Painters and Poets: Neon in Daylight”

(l to r): Anne Waldman, Ron Padgett, Carter Ratcliff, Bill Berkson, Larry Fagin, Jenni Quilter, Allison Power

Last week, the Poetry Foundation’s Harriet blog posted an item about a recent event held at the Joan Mitchell Foundation to mark Mitchell’s birthday and to celebrate the publication of New York School Painters and Poets: Neon in Daylight, a remarkable new book I’ve mentioned several times before.

Joan Mitchell, of course, was a central Abstract Expressionist painter and close friend to the poets of the New York School (whose work, not coincidentally, serves as the backdrop for this humble blog), so the Joan Mitchell Foundation is an auspicious place to hold such an event.

The Foundation has now posted a video of an event it hosted on February 12, which featured a lively conversation with a group of second-generation New York School poets, including Bill Berkson and Larry Fagin (who served as Advisory Editors for the book), Ron Padgett, Anne Waldman, the poet and art critic Carter Ratcliff (who wrote a foreword for the book), along with Allison Power (who edited the book) and Quilter, the book’s author.

The video, which runs for over an hour, features the poets reading from their own work (for example, Anne Waldman reads from her collaboration with Ted Berrigan, “Memorial Day”); discussing the nature and importance of collaboration; talking about the dialogue between painting and poetry in their milieu; reading poems related to Joan Mitchell (Bill Berkson reads O’Hara’s great poem “Adieu to Norman, Bonjour to Joan and Jean-Paul” at around 1 hour 11 minutes); and generally reminiscing about their own formative years and discussing the genesis of the recently published book.

You can see the entire video here.

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