All Poets Welcome
The Lower East Side Poetry Scene in the 1960s
Publication Year: 2003
The voices and works of John Ashbery, Amiri Baraka, Charles Bernstein, Bill Berkson, Ted Berrigan, Kenneth Koch, Bernadette Mayer, Ron Padgett, Denise Levertov, Paul Blackburn, Frank O'Hara, and many others enliven these pages, and the thirty five-track CD includes recordings of several of the poets reading from their work in the sixties and seventies. The Lower East Side's cafes, coffeehouses, and salons brought together poets of various aesthetic sensibilities, including writers associated with the so-called New York School, Beats, Black Mountain, Deep Image, San Francisco Renaissance, Umbra, and others. Kane shows that the significance for literary history of this loosely defined community of poets and artists lies in part in its reclaiming an orally centered poetic tradition, adapted specifically to open up the possibilities for an aesthetically daring, playful poetics and a politics of joy and resistance.
Published by: University of California Press
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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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...16. Frank O’Hara, “Poem (Lana Turner Has Collapsed!)” (0:44) Originally taped on “Susan Howe with Poetry” radio show, WBAI, New York City,21. Ron Padgett, “Joe Brainard’s Painting ‘Bingo’” (1:05) Originally taped on “Susan Howe with Poetry” radio show, WBAI, New York City,Originally taped on “Susan Howe with Poetry” radio show, WBAI, New York City,...
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I GRATEFULLY ACKNOWLEDGE ALL THE POETS, WRITERS, SCHOLARS, AND READINGseries organizers who took the time to share their stories and ideas with methrough interviews, phone calls, and e-mails: Bruce Andrews, John Ashbery,Carol Bergé, Bill Berkson, Charles Bernstein, Sara Blackburn, Jerry Bloedow,Peter Cenedella, Paul Chevigny, Tom Clark, Steven Clay, Andrei Codrescu,...
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IN THE EARLY TO MID-1960S, A GROWING POETRY-READING SCENE WAS DEVELOP-ing in dozens of cafés and lofts around Manhattan, particularly in the neigh-borhood known as the Lower East Side. Especially significant reading seriesin this area were centered, chronologically, at Mickey Ruskin and Ed Kaplan’sTenth Street Coffeehouse, at Ruskin and Bill Mackey’s Les Deux Mégots coffee-...
1 Community through Poetry
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During the early to mid-1960s, before the founding of the Poetry Project atSt. Mark’s Church in 1966, a series of poetry readings based in various coffee-houses on the Lower East Side of Manhattan began to receive growing atten-tion from the local press and the wider literary community. These readings,the most important of which began at Les Deux Mégots (on East Seventh...
2 Oral Poetics on the Lower East Side
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Poets of the Lower East Side directed attention to the function of art in so-ciety by reinvigorating the tradition of the poetry reading. Readings were notjust public presentations of texts, but events that defined a contemporaryavant-garde as they redefined the way poetry was used in contemporary Ameri-can culture. Amiri Baraka’s description of his writing practice helps us see how...
3 The Aesthetics of the Little
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A little magazine’s only rationale is its editor’s belief that the writers he prints must be presented as a group. Anything else is just a collation of pages.On the Lower East Side throughout the 1960s, much of the poetry that wasread at places including Les Deux Mégots, Le Metro, and the Poetry Projectcould best be disseminated through the mimeograph magazine and the small-...
4 The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church
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Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch governor of what was then known as New Amster-dam, founded St. Mark’s Church, officially called St. Mark’s-in-the-Bouwerie.The original chapel was built in 1660. Stuyvesant’s land holdings extendedfrom what is now Broadway to the East River and Fifth Street to SeventeenthStreet. This property was known as Stuyvesant’s “Bouwerie,” derived from the...
5 Anne Waldman, The World, and the Early Years at the Poetry Project
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Although the meeting ground of the Lower East Side Group was Tulsa, Okla-homa, it currently centers itself around St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery, and is united by regularly scheduled readings there, several more-or-less self-serving publications (of which The World is the most prominent), “Dial-a-Poem” and other frivolities, and most especially by a worship of the Gospel Accord-...
6 Bernadette Mayer and “Language” in the Poetry Project
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I didn’t know Ted Berrigan that well—I wasn’t part of his clique. Certainly some of the people around him were hostile to what we were trying to do. A lot of that was couched strictly in terms of anti-intellectualism. There wasn’t much interest in creating another alternative way of writing, or sense of what’s read-ing all about, or reconfiguring of literary history. But people were amiable ...
Epilogue: Bob Holman, the Poetry Project, and the Nuyorican Poets Café
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A POETRY SLAM INVOLVES A GROUP OF POETS READING THEIR WORK TO AN AUDI-ence—members of this audience then score the poet’s poem and perform-ance, and the winner receives some kind of symbolic or cash prize.1 In his in-troduction to Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Cafe, Cafe founder MiguelAlgarín writes that slams in the early 1990s at the Nuyorican started with...
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Sources and Permissions
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The section of chapter 3 relating to Ed Sanders and Fuck You / a magazine of the arts waspreviously published in a slightly different form in Arshile: A Magazine of the Arts 11 (1999):Grateful acknowledgment is made for permission to print or reproduce material fromVito Acconci, letter to Clayton Eshleman, March 26, 1969, from the Clayton EshlemanArchives, Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, Fales Library, New York University. Reproduced...
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Playlist for compact disc
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...3. Jackson Mac Low and Anne Tardos, excerpt from “Phoneme Dance in MemoriamFrom the compact disc Open Secrets (XI 110), Experimental Intermedia Foundation,5. Jerome Rothenberg, “A Valentine, No, a Valedictory for Gertrude Stein” (0:23) 8. Robert Creeley, “The Charm,” “A STEP,” and “KATE’S” (1:30) 9. Robert Kelly, Troubadour text, translated by Robert Kelly (0:42) ...
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Page Count: 348
Publication Year: 2003