Saturday, October 20, 2012


Robinson Jeffers

reading at the Library of Congress, 1941

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Friday, October 19, 2012


Michael Asher

1943 2012

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Thursday, October 18, 2012


I saw the first part of Tony Kushner’s great Angels in America, this part subtitled Millennium Approaches, at Philadelphia’s Wilma Theater last Saturday & could see, almost instantly, why it has set box-office records, been nominated for a slew of Barrymore Awards – the Philadelphia regional equivalent of Tonys – and why it’s the favorite to win most of them. For a piece of theater with such a great reputation – the play is often treated as the most significant piece of narrative theater since Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf – it’s rarely performed. The reason is obvious enough – the play is in two parts that add up to more than six hours of performance, even tho it is written be played by just eight actors, as it is here. There is also the not inconsiderable problem of persuading people to come back for a second half more or less either on the same day or not much more than one week apart, which will put the show over the splurge threshold for a lot of families. It’s not a splurge, it’s an investment.

It must also be grueling for the actors themselves, having to be in two halves of the same play simultaneously, particularly ones as physically & emotionally demanding as Angels. At least three of the eight in the Wilma’s cast are veterans of People’s Light Theatre Company of Malvern, PA, one of the few great suburban repertory theaters in America. The key part of Roy Cohn is played by Stephen Novelli, whom I’ve seen in maybe a dozen People’s Light productions & imagine I’d recognize on the street any day of the week, but whom I did not identify until the second hour into the play, even in reasonably modern garb with minimal make-up, he is so completely not himself in the role of the conniving, self-serving megalomaniac reactionary gargoyle who takes credit for the execution of Ethel Rosenberg & has one of the more elaborate – albeit entirely political – rationales for being in the closet in the early 1980s.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Tyrone Williams

reading in the POG series in Tucson, 2007

Thanks to POG & PennSound

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Amaranth Borsuk
The Material Text
Between Page and Screen

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Monday, October 15, 2012


Corina Copp on The Electrocution of Ruth Snyder

Poetry is dead, I killed it
(warning: may cause ennui)
Well, no, academics did
Vanessa Place will buy your soul
Luis Enrique Gutierrez Ortiz Monasterio (“LEGOM”) needs a kidney
Li Changchun congratulates Mo
Mo Yan calls for Liu Xiaobo’s freedom
Talking with Sabina Knight about Mo Yan
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Sunday, October 14, 2012


John Ashbery
talking about
David Schubert
at Harvard 1990

Thanks to PennSound & Harvard

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