Saturday, December 12, 2009

 

Anthony Braxton, 12(+1)tet

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Friday, December 11, 2009

 



Dilip Chitre

1938 2009

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

 

On December 10, 2004, I posted the note below.

It was twenty years ago today that I last had a drink. Not that anyone’s counting. Well, as people who know me must understand by now, I tend to count everything, so why not this? I was seeing a therapist at the time, one Charlie Vella out at Kaiser Hospital in San Francisco, & he suggested stopping “while we’re meeting,” but, once I stopped, I never went back. Something, curiously enough, I have in common with both Howard Dean and George W.

“Better to read Jack Spicer than to be Jack Spicer” is the way I’ve explained it to more than a few people over the years. That’s a sentence that’s underscored, in my case, by the coincidence that Jack Spicer & my father died on the same day.

When I was coming up as a young poet in the 1960s, there was still a romance to the myth of the hard-living poet, who drank ravenously, did drugs constantly & certainly did not practice what was not yet known as safe sex. I remember when first I met Paul Blackburn, seeing him rotate a quartet of substances – beer, whiskey, doobie & cigarette – constantly in motion. He was always sucking on something. As it happened, I never met Jack Spicer, precisely because alcohol killed him at the age of 40. Never met Kerouac for the same reason. Brad Gooch has detailed, accurately I think, how Frank O’Hara’s prodigious drinking made it impossible to keep him alive after he was hit by a dune buggy. Who knows what the impact of their habits might have been in the early deaths of Ted Berrigan or Charles Olson? There are at least three contributors to In the American Tree whose friends despair of ever getting clean & sober. And every poet in my age cohort recoils at the memory of how Darrell Gray destroyed himself. This is a list that, once you start drawing it up, never stops. And it always cuts close to home. I have a half-brother who is a late-stage alcoholic & there’s nothing I can do to counter that.

Over the years, I’ve had a few poets – three or four – tell me that it was important to them that I talked about this. So today feels like a good time to mention it here.

Five years later, the clock is still ticking. The trick is always the same. I only have to go without drinking for one day, but it has to be today.  This somehow works. I’ve never been to an AA meeting, but I’m glad they’re around and when I go to a big event, such as a folk festival, it’s good to see a tent announcing the Friends of Bill W. Just knowing I’m not alone is a serious comfort. Allen Ginsberg once talked to me at length about how valuable NA had been for him in dealing with a relationship to a drug addict. It reminded me how, when I wrote to Ginsberg for the very first time – I must have been 18, sending a poem Richard Krech later printed in the Community Libertarian – Allen wrote back to tell me not to “take too much dex,” (i.e. Dexedrine). He sent this on a postcard & my mother thought the word was “sex.”

Since I posted that note five years ago, I’ve heard from quite a few other people, and have seen my note referenced on other blogs several times. So saying this out loud seems still to be a good idea. There is no reason you have to die for your art. In fact, it’s better if you don’t.

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

 



Tuesday, December 08, 2009

 

Photo by Ben Friedlander

Reading Carla Harryman

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Travis Nichols:
This is Your Brain on Poetry

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Rachel Blau DuPlessis on Lorine Niedecker

DuPlessis on how
Pound managed a “muse”

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Strictly speaking on Caroline Bergvall

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Geof Huth
on a reading by
Lynn Behrendt, Anne Gorick,
Deborah Poe & Kate Greenstreet
with recordings by each

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The Threads Talk Series
on the book arts

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“Poets, really, they’re the laziest, stupidest people I know”

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Christian Bök & Carmine Starmino:
The Cage Match of Canadian Poetry

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Edwin Torres on Viva Futurism!

Buffer Zone Galactica

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Gerrit Lansing’s journal Set
available for download

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John Ashbery’s Planisphere

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Charles Bernstein’s Republics of Poetry

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Busting the chauffeur of Kenward Elmslie

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An NPR profile of Keith Waldrop

“If transcendental immanence were possible,
it would be because
Keith Waldrop had invented it…”

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Talking with Ron Padgett

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Is this the only reading by
Ronald Johnson
ever recorded?

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Michelle Tea on Kevin Killian

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A reading & talk by Robert Glück

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Rae Armantrout & Fanny Howe

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Marianne Moore on animals

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The poems of Eugene Field

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Typebound:
books as sculpture,
typewriter poems

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Darwish’s map

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3 readings by Christopher Dewdney

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Talking with Tao Lin

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Leevi Lehto’s Lake Onega & Other Poems

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I cLebr8 myself

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Pierre Joris,
remembering Robert Creeley

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A forgotten manifesto from the 1960s

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More Naked Lunch

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The semantic limitations of visual poetry

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Anselm Berrigan: “Reading Habits”
Part I, II, III
(part II is Gloria Frym’s response,
a talk she gave at Chautauqua in 1996)

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Victor Shklovsky:
“Art as Technique”
(reg. req.)

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Dmitri Golynko
talking with Charles Bernstein

Transcript of the conversation

Golynko reading

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Remembering Miklos Radnoti

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From an opera on
the Battle of Seattle

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Cavafy’s Collected Poems

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Descent & transcendence
in African-American poetry

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Nobody fathered
contemporary African literature

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Theoretically unpublishable works
all published here
(Full disclosure: I declined to participate
since I don’t believe this category really exists)

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An open letter to Kent Johnson
on the subject of Boston
having “fallen into the sea”

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Poetic economies of performance

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Is BlazeVOX the Sub Pop of poetry?

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Can experimental poetry save the earth?

Yes, says John Kinsella

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A tale of 2 archives:
Poetry Archive’s Basil Bunting page
& that of PennSound

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The Mexican journal
Luvina
devotes its current issue
to the poets of LA

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Poetry & advertising

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Sophie Robinson & Nick Thurston
at The Other Room

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Leigh Davis
wins New Zealand’s
Kathleen Grattan Award

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Basil King reading
at the Side Walk Café in NYC

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Jose Emilio Pacheco wins Cervantes Prize

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LRL #4 has a big John Taggart feature

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Doug Messerli on Robin Blaser

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Are e-books the end of great writing?

What good is Kindle
without Dan Brown or Philip Roth?

The Atlantic turns to Kindle

Plan to sell Sony e-books
thru indie bookshops falters

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Emily Critchley on Lisa Robertson

Lisa Robertson: Dispatch from Jouhet

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Going to Tulsa for Alice

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Giuseppe Mazzotta:
Introduction to Dante

The full course

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Remembering Larry Eigner

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Tina Darragh & Marcella Durand

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Farrah Field’s Rising

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Talking with John Yau

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Beyond Neruda (Huerta & Bolaño)

Pablo Neruda’s seashells

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Finally, Whitman’s Camden home is a landmark

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3 poems by Nakahara Chuya
translated by Jerry Rothenberg & Yasuhiro Yotsumoto

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Divya Victor’s Sutures

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The insult of slang

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Eggcorn

think and thin

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Universities won’t save journalism

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The future of literary magazines

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Poetry in new media

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Can libraries be saved?

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Cormac McCarthy’s Lettera 32 Olivetti
brings $254,500

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Response to Bromige & Denner’s Spade

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A look back at Jack Kerouac

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Norma Cole’s Do the Monkey

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Gardner & Gass

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Jessica Wilkinson on Susan Howe

Howe’s Poems Found in a Pioneer Museum

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Stephen Spender, poet as printer
(part I) (part II)

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Haiku & its related forms

Haiku in the snow

William Appel
wins this year’s Haiku Challenge

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Metaphor & Iconicity

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School snubs poet over body of work

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Fact vs. fiction in Machado de Assis

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60 years of
National Book Award novels

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Philip Roth & “Stupidity’s Progress”

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W.S. Merwin’s “pure poetry”

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Translation now?
Admit the chaos

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The NY Times’ notable book list
keeps it local (and corporate)
(and, for the most part, hardback)

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D.A. Powell, Louise Glück & the Bible
make LA Times 2009
“favorite fiction” list

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The library of Paddy McGuinness

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Reflections on the First International
Poetic Ecologies Conference

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Pynchon’s California novels

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Drunk Sonnets vs. flarf

Appropriation, intertext & authorship
in 21st Century poetry

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The Poetry Bomb

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Paul Chowder’s presumptions

Nicholson Baker grows up

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Paula Bohince’s
Incident at the Edge of Bayonet Woods

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Ken Tucker
on H.L Hix & David Lehman

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Talking with Kassia Krozser
of BookSquare

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James Hoch’s Miscreants

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Robert Holdstock has died

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Walter Grallert has died

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Heaney:
Plant Hughes in the Poets’ Corner

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The Nabokov you weren’t supposed to read

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The value of hard copy

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A shopper’s guide to e- book readers

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Talking with Mark Coker
of Smashwords

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Katie Ford’s Colosseum

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Lethem skewers Manhattan

Lethem’s
The Ecstasy of Influence – A Plagiarism
(reg. req.)

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3 Peter Ganick works
“embodying contemporary literary theory”

tend. field. (a philosophy enters…)

apparitional corsairs.

structure of experience

(reg. req. for all 3)

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Can poetry mutter?
(A look back 15 years later)
Parts I, II, III, IV

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Geoffrey Hill’s Selected Poems

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Sarkozy honors Camus

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The price on Poe

“The black tulip of American lit”

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Larry Levis remembered

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Going negative
on David Lehman’s dismissal
of “Going Negative”

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Peter Campion’s The Lions

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The San Francisco Chronicle’s
poetry gift guide

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Ken Kesey on the lam

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

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Talking with Caroline Leavitt

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Larkin loved mum & dad, really

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Victoria Chang’s Salvinia Molesta

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Gascoine’s “Lullaby”

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Anne Atick:
How It Was:
A Memoir of Samuel Beckett
(reg. req.)

Andrew Gibson:
Beckett and Badiou

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The poems of Al-Saddiq AlRaddi
as a book, PDF download or podcast,
each in two languages

Plus 10 other bilingual books
available in bound or PDF formats

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Altered signs

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Anna Journey’s
If Birds Gather Your Hair for Nesting

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Feminist Road Trip Uncovers Girl Power”

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Gravity’s Rainbow and The Spiral Jetty
(reg. req.)

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Just in time for the holidays:
snow globes of the deadly sins

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When cartoons kill

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Judith Butler:
“Torture and the Ethics of Photography”
(reg. req.)

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Chaim Gross:
The Body, In Pieces

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Vermeer’s Milkmaid at the Met

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Andy Warhol’s “Red Portraits”

Warhol ruptured all of art history.”

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Pat Steir:
Self-Portrait 1987-2009

David Carrier on Pat Steir

Anne Waldman & John Yau
reading for Pat Steir
Dec. 13 @ 4 PM

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The decade in art

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Museum shortfall derails Koons

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Anish Kapoor’s Memory

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Confusion of the Senses

The “state of unreal

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Hal Foster:
“An Archival Impulse”

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Painting, Paris & the will to power

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The Whitney’s web redesign
almost works

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A recommendation of
David Rawlings
that I will second

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Remembering Bess Lomax Hawes

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Annie Gosfield:
Advice to a Young Composer

Talking with Annie Gosfield

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Harry Northup
on being at Altamont
40 years ago this week

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The “imprisoned birdsongs”
of Thelonious Monk

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John Gallaher’s
Morton Feldman files:
(on art vs. craft)
(Give My Regards to Eighth Street)

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The Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra

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Queering the Pitch:
New Gay & Lesbian Musicology
(reg. req.)

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The last of the Clancy brothers, Liam, has died

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Setting Yeats to music

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A home in Park Slope, Brooklyn

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Rinde Eckert’s Orpheus X

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Tony Kushner on climate change

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The decline of Cornell West

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Jennifer Bartlett
on mothering as a rebellious act

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David Bell
on Manuel Castells & Donna Haraway
(reg. req.)

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Ales Debeljak:
In Praise of Hybridity

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Chris Lott’s
Closing the Gutenberg Parenthesis

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Nightmare of the Great White

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Editors at Wikipedia are bailing

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Talking with Ayn Rand

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The new issue of
The Continental Review
offers lots to see & think about

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ArtCritical

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Tiger Woods
promotes a physics text
the hard way

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