“The Poetry Project burns like a red hot coal in New York’s snow”. Our good friends in New York at the St Marks Poetry Project spotlight Allen’s high praise of that venerable and beloved institution (and rightly so!). For their fund-raiser earlier this year, they teamed up with the equally-venerable Anthology Film Archive, to present first-time-ever showings of selections from a remarkable trove of old video-tapes – Public Access Poetry, produced, as the organizers are quick to point out, by the poets themselves, “with little or no broadcasting experience”, for the nascent local cable-access tv channel. “Even if you were watching the innovation called cable tv in 1977 and 1978, what are the chances that you saw a show called Public Access Poetry?”. How many people, we wonder, tuned in on January 26, 1978 to witness the remarkable spectacle of Peter Orlovsky accompanied by Steven Hall and Arthur Russell? (and, in the very same program, Jackson Mac Low and Sharon Mattlin too!). Fortunately this footage has been preserved (and plenty of other remarkable moments too) and is now freely available, at the click of a button, from the remarkable resource that is PennSound.
Readings there also (rare footage) from a passing-through-town Joanne Kyger, not to mention
Ted Berrigan, Ron Padgett, Lewis Warsh, Bernadette Mayer, Alice Notley, Eileen Myles, Rene Ricard, Simon Pettet, Bob Rosenthal, Michael Scholnick – the list goes on..
Scroll down about half-way down the page to access the Orlovsky-Mac Low tape.