By Daniel Kane
The voices and works of John Ashbery, Amiri Baraka, Charles Bernstein, invoice Berkson, Ted Berrigan, Kenneth Koch, Bernadette Mayer, Ron Padgett, Denise Levertov, Paul Blackburn, Frank O'Hara, and so on brighten up those pages, and the thirty five-track CD contains recordings of numerous of the poets analyzing from their paintings within the sixties and seventies. The decrease East Side's cafes, coffeehouses, and salons introduced jointly poets of varied aesthetic sensibilities, together with writers linked to the so-called long island institution, Beats, Black Mountain, Deep snapshot, San Francisco Renaissance, Umbra, and others. Kane exhibits that the importance for literary historical past of this loosely outlined neighborhood of poets and artists lies partly in its reclaiming an orally situated poetic culture, tailored in particular to open up the probabilities for an aesthetically bold, playful poetics and a politics of pleasure and resistance.
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Extra resources for All Poets Welcome: The Lower East Side Poetry Scene in the 1960s
The New York School as Corrective to Machismo At the memorial service for Charles Olson held at the Poetry Project, Ted Berrigan discussed Olson as a great reconciler of previously competing “schools”: It’s nice to be here with everybody, even on such a sad occasion. I thought not to read since I thought that the reading would be restricted to Vincent [Ferrini] and John [Wieners] and Ed [Sanders] and the kind of the ﬁrst circle of Charles’s friends and fellow poets, but Anne [Waldman] pointed out quite properly that Charles is more than just that.
A poetry that was tied to jazz and its attendant associations of active, collaborative crowd response (that is, cheering, clapping, booing, yelling epithets and praise) strengthened the Lower East Side scene’s alternative status. As Michael Magee has pointed out, jazz sets were social models for poets: Monk and Coltrane were among a handful of musician-composers regularly playing at The Five Spot in the late 1950’s. . ” Monk’s inﬂuence on the young jazz avant-garde which congregated at the Five Spot .
The “Y ” series, featuring mostly established and relatively formal poets who read from a raised stage to an audience seated in rows, was not amenable to such activity. However, rebellious behavior attendant to poetry went beyond the kinds of sexually libertine behavior to which Mayer refers. On a more complicated and politically engaged level, the Poetry Project prominently featured poets included in Grove Press–related publications reading at fund-raisers for other poets and political activists who were in jail for reasons as varied as political dissidence and drug charges.