Nearly six months in the making, this page brings together nearly twenty full-length recordings by the poet, including important readings, conversations and lectures, along with supplementary materials responding to Zukofsky’s work.
The earliest of the seventeen readings contained in our Zukofsky archives is a 1954 appearance on Berkeley’s KPFA Radio, which includes a number of excerpts from 1946’s Anew, as well as “A”-11 and the second half of “A”-9. Selections from Anew and 1941’s 55 Poems comprise much of the setlist from his 1958 reading at the Poetry Center at the San Francisco State University…
They continue up through “a 1975 recording by Hugh Kenner of a reading at Johns Hopkins University featuring selections from “A” and 80 Flowers, plus ‘A Foin Lass Bodders,’ Zukofsky’s Brooklynese rendering of Cavalcanti’s ‘Donna Me Prega'”; there’s also “a 1961 conversation between Zukofsky and Robert Creeley, a 1971 lecture on Wallace Stevens at the University of Connecticut,” and “a number of recordings of contemporary poets performing and interpreting Zukofsky’s work,” as well as some videos. What a treasure!
Mind you, we’re not talking about a Dylan Thomas reading. If you’re not already a Zukofsky fan, hearing him read his poems will probably not convert you. But if you’re already attuned to the subtle music of his wonderfully constructed verse, it’s endlessly fascinating to hear it realized with that Brooklyn voice overlaid with a strange suggestion of a British accent.