Readings and Recordings of LZ


Despite a reputation during his lifetime for being a neglected and reticent poet, LZ did in fact participate in quite a few poetry readings, especially later in life when younger poets sought him out. LZ was a fine reader of his own poetry and there exist many recordings—the Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas alone holds 17 recordings.

 

A large selection of these recordings is now readily available at PennSound. Please note and respect that these recordings are © 2008 Paul Zukofsky, and are made available strictly for noncommerical and educational use through PennSound. No other use of these recordings, including short excerpts of any kind, are allowed without the written permission of, and payment of a fee to, Paul Zukofsky.

 

The following is a chronological list of readings and public talks for which we have a record. The primary source of this information is indicated in parentheses:

CZ: Celia Zukofsky, A Bibliography of Louis Zukofsky (1969)

MB: Marcella Booth, A Catalogue of the Louis Zukofsky Manuscript Collection (1975)

CH: Cathy Henderson, “Supplement to Marcella Booth’s Catalogue” (1987)

 

1937, June 7. League of American Writers, radio station WOR, NYC

Notes for reading from “A”-8 (from “The Labor Process” to “SOCONY will not always sign off on this air”) and panel discussion chaired by Genevieve Taggart with Horace Gregory and Robert Fitzgerald (CH). Some of LZ’s remarks are quoted in Sherwood, “Introduction” to A Useful Art (1-2).

 

1938, October 24 (9:45-10:00pm) radio station WQXR, NYC

Radio script of broadcast for series Exploring the Arts and Sciences: A Reading of Original Poetry by Louis Zukofsky

Excerpt from “A”, Song 22 (“To my wash-stand”), Anew 4 (“So sounds grass, and if it is sun or no sun”), Anew 6 (“Anew, sun, to fire summer”), Anew 7 (“When the crickets”) (MB).

 

1941, January 23. Poetry Center, Young Men’s Hebrew Association, NYC

Outline of talk on “Objectivists” Program with readings of poems: “che di lor suona su nella tua vita,” “‘Mantis,’” from “A”-8 (from “bringing together facts” to “Labor light lights on earth, in air, on earth”) (MB).

 

1942, March 23. Poetry Center, Young Men’s Hebrew Association, NYC

Panel Discussion on Poetry in the American Way of Life, with Norman McLeod (Center Director), Robert Goffin & Shaemas O’Sheel.

 

1947, Winter. The Playwrights’ Seminar, Dramatic Workshop, NYC, Directed by Irwin Piscator

Reading of Arise, Arise (Scroggins).

 

1954, August 6. Radio station KPFA, Berkeley, California

Available at PennSound.

Recorded reading: “The Judge and the Bird,” “Spooks’ Sabbath, Five Bowings” “So That Even a Lover 1” (Little wrists), “Reading and Talking,” “George Washington,” “Anew 37 (“The world autumn”), Anew 16 (“I walk in the old street”), Anew 22 (Catullus viii), Anew 25 (for Zadkine), Anew 29 (“Glad they were there”), Anew 17 (Guillaume de Machault, Ballade: Plourès, dames), “A”-11, “A”-9 (second half), “On Valentine’s Day to Friends” (CZ).

 

1958, July 2. Little Theatre, San Francisco State College, California

Available at PennSound.

“The Guest,” “Sequence 1944-6,” “‘As to How Much,’” “Non Ti Fidar,” “Spooks’ Sabbath, Five Bowings,” “Songs of Degrees 2 & 3,” “An Incident,” “The Record,” Poem 27 (“Blue light is the night harbor-slip”), Song 22 (“To my wash-stand”), Song 28 (“‘Specifically, a writer of music’”), “‘Further than’—,” “‘Mantis’,” Anew 6 (“Anew, sun, to fire summer”), Anew 16 (“I walk in the old stree”), Anew 19 (“And so till we have died”), Anew 29 (“Glad they were there”), Anew 41 (After Charles Sedley), “A”-4, from “A”-12.

 

1958, July 10. San Francisco Museum, California

Same program as previous.

 

1960, November 3-4. Library of Congress, General Reference and Bibliography Division, Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature

Available at PennSound.

Recorded reading: from 55 Poems: Poems 13, 22, 27, “Poem beginning ‘The’,” Songs 3, 8, 13, 18, 22; from Anew: 12, 26, 29, 37, 41; from Some Time: “Sequence 1944-6,” “So That Even a Lover,” “Xenophanes,” “As to How Much,” “Air,” “The Judge and the Bird,” “Songs of Degrees 1-2,” The Guests,” “Shang Cup,” “The Record”; from Catullus: 1-8 (2 versions of 8); from Barely and widely: 7, 1, title poem, 2-5, 8-10, “4 Other Countries” (CZ, CH).

 

1961, August 6. Les Deux Megots, NYC

Available at PennSound.

Recorded reading: from “A”-6, “A”-7, “A”-9 (second half), “A”-11, “4 Other Countries,” Catullus 22 & 29 (CH).

 

1961, November 11. Recording made at LZ’s home in Brooklyn, New York

Available at PennSound.

Catullus 1-46 (CH).

 

1961. Interview with Robert Creeley for “The Single Voice” program on KHFM radio (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

Available at PennSound.

 

1961, November 14. Bard College, New York (invited by Robert Kelly)

Recorded reading: from I’s (pronounced eyes): “Ryokan’s Scroll,” “Homage,” “Jaunt,” “Peri Poietikes,” “I’s (pronounced eyes),” “To Friends, for Good Health”; from “A”-13 partita ii (from “Why hope” to “Look at the harbor,” from “The man on a bench” to “Wha-at!,” from “I lived it” to “ere the day dawn”), partitas iii, iv & v; from Catullus: 1, 3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14a, 29, 31, 34, 42, 45, 46 (CH).

 

1962, August 28. A & R Recording Co., NYC (taped for Stan Phillips)

Available at PennSound.

Recorded reading: “A”-13 partita i, ii, iv; “A”-5; “A”-11; from After I’s: “Atque in Perpetuum A.W.,” “Pretty,” “The Ways,” “The”; from Catullus: 7, 8, 14, 31, 32, 37, 46, 51, 51a; from Some Time: “‘Some time has gone’,” “Sequence 1944-6,” “So That Even a Lover,” “Non Ti Fidar,” “Reading and Talking,” “As to How Much,” “Claims”; from Barely and widely: 2, 4, 5, 8; from Anew: 2, 4, 7, 13, 16, 25, 29, 33, 35, 41; from 55 Poems: Poems 13, 25, 26, 27; Song 18, “’Further than’—” (CH).

 

1962, November 16. Mannes College of Music, NYC (CH)

Recorded reading.

 

1963, May 26. Symposium on The Role of the Poet in Society, Spencer Memorial Church, Brooklyn, New York with Rev. William Glenesk, Jules Feiffer, Norman Rosten, Joel Oppenheimer and Paul Blackburn.

 

1963, December 15. Lamont Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Recorded reading: Song 22 (“To my wash-stand”), Song 6 (“—‘her soil’s birth’), “A”-13 partita ii, “A”-11, “A”-9, Catullus 61 & 68, Song 16 (“Crickets’”), Song 13 (“in that this happening”), from “A”-12, “Finally a Valentine” (CZ)

Reading the previous night at Adams House, Harvard University.

 

1964, January. Five Spot Café, NYC

Reading with Paul Blackburn.

 

1964, January 30. The Guggenheim Museum, NYC (The Academy of American Poets)

Recorded reading: “Reading and Talking,” “4 Other Countries,” “Peri Poietikes,” from “A”-12, from “A”-13 partita ii, “Julia’s Wild” (“Come shadow, come”), Catullus 68, “Finally a Valentine” (CZ)

Reading with Charles Reznikoff, introduced by Robert Kelly.

 

1964, February 20. Long Island University, Brooklyn, New York

Recorded reading: “A”-17, “Daruma,” “Old Poet,” “The Translation,” “A”-11, “A”-20, Catullus 70, 72 & 73, “tam cari capitis” (CZ).

 

1964, December 10. Radio station WBAI-FM, NYC

Recorded reading: from “A”-6, “A”-7, “A”-9 (second half), “Old Poet,” Catullus 22 & 29.

 

1965, September 27-30. University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky

Centennial Seminar in the Humanities

Recorded reading: “A”-15, “Julia’s Wild” (“Come shadow, come”), Catullus 67 and Lectures (CZ).

 

1966, August 19. National Educational Television, WNDT, New York

Soundtrack available at PennSound.

Video recorded interview and reading at home (film released to other cities in USA): “Poem beginning ‘The’” (First Movement), Robert Herrick’s “Divination by a Daffodil” (included in A Test of Poetry 28, immediately preceding the following), “So That Even a Lover 1” (“Little wrists”), “I’s (pronounced eyes)” (first section: “Hi, Kuh”) with comments, “A”-9 (first strophe of both halves), Anew 30 (“Be happy you two”) and 31 (from “From my father” to end), Statement on Bottom (“Bottom, a weaver,” in Prepositions), “Julia’s Wild” (“Come shadow, come”) from Bottom, “Songs of Degrees 1 and 2,” “Barely and widely” (CZ).

 

1968, January 30. The Guggenheim Museum, NYC (The Academy of American Poets)

Recorded reading: from Catullus 64, from “A”-15 (Iyyob passage), from “A”-18, from “A”-12, “I’s (pronounced eyes),” “To Friends, for Good Health” (CZ).

 

1968, March 4. Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Available at PennSound.

Second Buffalo Festival of the Arts Today (broadcast over radio station WBFO, 10 March 1968)

Recorded reading: introduced by Robert Creeley; from “A”-12, Catullus 63, Song 5 (It’s a gay li-fe), Song 24 (This Fall, 1933), Song 25 (No One Inn), Song 27 (Song — ¾ time), “A”-11, “A”-19, “A”-9 (second half) (CZ, CH).

 

1968, May 16. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin

Recorded reading: from “A”-15 (Iyyob passage), Catullus 61, “Man in the Moon” from “A”-13, “A”-11, from “A”-12, “An unearthing” from “A”-18, “So That Even a Lover,” “As to How Much,” “Finally a Valentine,” 2 versions of “Catullus 8,” “Happier, happier, now” from “A”-15 (CZ).

 

1969, February 29. Poetry Society of America, NYC

Talk on poetry (Scroggins).

 

1969, May 15. Round House, London

Reads with Kenneth Koch at the Camden Festival.

 

1969, May 20. Jonathan Cape offices, London

Recorded reading.

 

1969, May 21. American Embassy, London

Reading (responses to questions appear as “The Gas Age” in Prepositions).

 

1969, November 20-22. International Poetry Festival, Austin, Texas

Reading.

 

1970, September 15. Spoken Word Program, radio station WNYC, NYC

Available at PennSound.

Broadcast 9 November and rebroadcast 3 March 1971; also broadcast by Pacifica Radio Network, Los Angeles and San Francisco

Recorded reading: from Little: Introduction, Preface, Chapters 4, 8, 13, 18 (CH).

 

1971, March 31. Lincoln Center Library & Museum of the Performing Arts, NYC

Available at PennSound.

Recording of first performance of Autobiography. LZ reads all the poems included in Autobiography followed by a performance of the poems using CZ’s musical settings sung by professional singers with LZ reading the autobiographical prose interludes (CH).

 

1971, April 29. The Eighth Wallace Stevens Program, Dept. of English, University of Connecticut, Storrs

Available from PennSound.

Recorded reading and lecture (revised lecture included in Prepositions). Includes readings of: from “A”-15 (Iyyob passage), Catullus 31, from “A”-21, Rudens (Act III.6, Voice off), from Bottom: on Shakespeare (from “Continents”), from “A”-22, from Little, from Chapter 22 (CH).

 

1971, October 27. Dept. of English, University of Connecticut, Storrs

Reading (LZ Guest Professor during Oct.-Nov.).

 

1972, October 12. Paley Library Cultural Series, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Available at PennSound.

Recorded reading: Song 22 (“To my wash-stand”), Song 21 (“Snows’ night’s winds on the window rattling”), Song 13 (“in that this happening”), “A Song for the Year’s End,” Poem 29 (“Glad they were there”), “Old,” from Little Chapter 4, from “A”-24 (Explanatory commentary, Dedication, CZ’s Preface and Act I, scene 1, Cousin, Lesson), from “A”-24 (Act II, scene 4 (from Thought voice)), “A”-7, “A”-20, Catullus 72, 87, 11, 45, “Sequence 1944-6” (CH).

 

1972 October 17. Glassboro State College, Glassboro, New Jersey

Available at PennSound.

Recorded reading: from “A”-22 and 23 (CH).

 

1972, November 2. Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

Available from PennSound.

Recorded reading: from Autobiography: Songs 22, 21, 13, “A Song for the Year’s End 1,” “Old,” Anew 29 (“Glad they were there”); from Little Chap. 11; from “A”-24: LZ dedication, CZ’s preface, Act I scene 1, from Act II scene (from thought: pages 170, 171, 215-231; poem: complete scene 4); Catullus: 8 (2 versions) & 70 (CH).

 

1973, October 15. The Poetry Center of the 92nd Street YM-YWHA, NYC

Available at PennSound.

Recorded reading: “A”-22, from Catullus: 8, 70, 73, 11, 45, 51; from Autobiography: Song 13 (“in that this happening”), “A Song for the Year’s End 1,” Anew 29 (“Glad they were there”), “So That Even a Lover 1,” “As to How Much,” “Old,” Anew 22 (Catullus viii) (CH).

 

1974, May 9. Franconia College, Franconia, NH

Soundtrack available at PennSound.

Videotaped reading at the invitation of Robert Grenier: Song 22 (“To my wash-stand”), Song 21 (“Snows’ night’s winds on the window rattling”), Song 13 (“in that this happening”), “A Song for the Year’s End,” Anew 29 (“Glad they were there”), “Old,” from Little Chapter 11, from “A”-24 (Explanatory commentary—tape breaks off) (CH).

 

1975, May 8. Turnbull Memorial Series, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

Color videotaped reading: from “A”-22; from “A”-23; from Anew: 19, 20, 21, 22 (Catullus viii); from “A”-24 (CH).

 

1975, June 16. Symposium to Celebrate the Ninetieth Birthyear of Ezra Pound, University of Maine, Orono (15-17 June 1975)

Notes for reading (CH).

 

1975, December 13. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

Available at PennSound.

Recorded private reading and discussion with Hugh Kenner: “A”-11, from “A”-15 (Iyyob passage), “A”-20, from “A”-21 (IV.7 Voice off), Song 5 (It’s a gay li – ife), “A foin lass bodders me,” from 80 Flowers (Epigraph through #22 Bayberry). Transcription of LZ’s discussion of #22 Bayberry in Leggott, Appendix B.