Upcoming Reading Dates

On Oct. 18 I’ll be reading in the Cecil Taylor segment of the 50th anniversary celebration of jazz at NEC. 7:30 pm, Jordan Hall

Among NEC’s many prominent alums, Cecil Taylor stands out for his influence over the history of jazz. Taylor’s significant legacy will be recognized with a series of piano solos featuring NEC faculty and alums: Ran Blake, Bruce Brubaker, Ethan Iverson, Matthew Shipp and Dan Tepfer. Ensemble performances will include Steve Lacy’s “Rain” as well as an ensemble led by NEC faculty member Joe Morris.

There will be a pre-concert Panel Discussion, open to public at 5 pm in Brown Hall.

On Oct 26 I’ll be reading at the Armory in Somerville, MA, an afternoon reading, starting at 2pm, with Russian poet Katia Kapovich and percussionist/composer Mario Fabrizio.

Looking forward to seeing some of you there!

Noah Preminger: After Life // Jazz Journal Review

Tenor saxophonist and composer Noah Preminger currently lives in Boston. I had the good fortune to come across him a couple of years ago when he was fronting Rob Garcia’s band at Smalls jazz club in New York. His performance was highly impressive, matching his work on Garcia’s albums – Passion Of Color and Finding Love In An Oligarchy On A Dying Planet.


Aside from Garcia, Preminger has also performed or recorded with Joe Lovano, Dave Holland, Fred Hersch, John Patitucci, Dave Douglas, Billy Hart, Cecil McBee, George Cables and Roscoe Mitchell amongst others.

After Life is his 13th album as leader. He’s joined in the project by longtime associate Jason Palmer on trumpet, regular bassist Kim Cass, drum giant Rudy Royston and rising-star guitarist Max Light. Preminger composed seven of the album’s eight songs. The other song is his arrangement of Handel’s Ombra Mai Fu. His intention is that each song reflects a world we may inhabit when we leave Earth.

Highlights of the album include Cass’s lissom bass playing and Royston’s deft percussion in World Of Twelve Faces, the interplay of Light’s jazz-rock guitar and Palmer’s trumpet in World Of Growth, Preminger’s spanning of registers in his soulful sax solo in Senseless World, the raga-like quality of Hovering World, and the intricate sax/trumpet duets in World Of Hunger and Nothing World – the latter being Preminger’s arrangement of Handel’s Ombra Mai Fu. Then there’s the all-hands-on-deck improvisation of World Of Illusion.

This music has spiritual depth with a contemporary edge. There’s the occasional sparse landscape as can often be the case with Preminger’s work but don’t be put off – whilst this may be a sonic contemplation of the afterlife, it’s not gloom jazz. Indeed, it’s uplifting and hauntingly beautiful at times. As if to underpin the paradox, a booklet of amusing poems by Ruth Lepson who was inspired by the music comes with the album.

NOON: An Anthology of Short Poems

May 2019. Paperback. 162 pages. 8.5 x 5.5. ISBN 978-4-907359-26-3.

May 2019. Paperback. 162 pages. 8.5 x 5.5. ISBN 978-4-907359-26-3.

NOON: An Anthology of Short Poems, edited by Philip Rowland, presents a carefully arranged and strikingly diverse selection of poems from the issues of NOON: journal of the short poem that appeared between 2004 and 2017. Focusing on poems of less than fourteen lines, Philip Rowland has assembled a richly suggestive, renga-like chain of over two hundred poems by almost half as many poets, at the same time showcasing some of the most interesting minimalist poetry being written in English today.

It cheers me up that there are still people on the planet who think poetry is worth such care and attention. – Geraldine Monk

So full of splintered richness. – Jane Hirshfield

Evidences the wealth of the minimalist tradition, resolutely international. – Alistair Noon

NOON succeeds in exemplifying the Borgesian idea that all literature can be read as by a single author, that ‘in this correlation, the identity or plurality of men’ (or of women) ‘doesn’t matter.’
– Barry Schwabsky

You have drawn together so many I have prized so long – who would have seemed an improbable mix, if not ‘incompatible’ – and, placing them side by side, shown how they are wholly of a time, a world, ours. – John Martone

Click here to read Philip Rowland’s Introduction, plus a full list of contributors to the anthology.

Celebrating Robert Duncan

Michael Franco is hosting a day-long celebration of the life and work of poet Robert Duncan on April 13 at The Print Room in Somerville. Gratified to participate by talking about The Poet’s Mind, Duncan’s collected interviews. We’ll each read a poem by Duncan. Others will talk about his vowel-leading course, his correspondence with Denise Levertov, his flora and fauna, and so on. 2-9 PM.

For more information please click here to go to my “Readings” section.

Dinner at Fanny Howe's

Good to have dinner with poet Katie Peterson and her beautiful family at Fanny Howe’s place, with Christina Davis and Sandra Lim. Katie teaches at the University of California now and we miss her here. She has a new book, coming in a few days.

Hilma af Klint & R.H. Quaytman at the Guggenheim

Don’t miss these exhibitions: Fri, Oct 12, 2018 – Tue, Apr 23, 2019

Mimi Gross

I had a wonderful and exciting visit with artist Mimi Gross at her studio today. She’s finally getting the credit she’s due for the collaborations she did with her then-husband Red Grooms back in the day, and she has a show of her early work now. Thank you Mimi!

Gerrit Lansing Panel 2019

Panel on Gerrit Lansing today at Poets House in NY. Well attended--poets of all stripes came--Anne Waldman, Pierre Joris, Geoffrey O'Brien, Kristin Prevallet, Mitch Highfill, Don Byrd, Kimberly Lyons, Mark Weiss, Star Black, Patrick Donnelly, Joe Elliot, etc. Simon Pettet flew in from SF just for this & then flew back! There will be other panels on Gerrit at Poets House and elsewhere in NY in the coming months, I hear. Thanks to Paolo at PH for having the panel & to Bob Podgurski for hosting it. Cd listen to Chuck Stein talk about Gerrit all day. Kate Tarlow Moragn talked about Gerrit & proprioception. I winged it. So many loved Gerrit....

My blurb for NY poet Andre Spears’ new book, Ship of State.

Beautiful is the book that can contain and yet mix and spill myriad and sometimes paradoxical sources and images: Margaret Yourcenar’s “between indefatigable/ hope and the wise/ absence of hope,” Foucault’s “…what we have to rediscover through/ the whiteness and/ inertia of death isn’t/ the lost shudder of life,/ it’s the meticulous/ deployment of truth,” Nietzsche’s “That for which we find/ words is something already/ dead in our hearts,” The Zohar’s “For there is a rose,/ and then there is a rose!”, Gertrude Stein’s “I like anything/ that a word can do,” Baudelaire’s “The poet is like…/ A rider of storms.” And a Zen koan, “Life is like getting/ in a boat that is about/ to sail out to sea/ and sink.”

The quotations run down the left-hand sides of the pages, the story of the voyage on the right, riffing on the Tarot card Death, intimating continuity between life and death, throwing overboard what is no longer of use. The ship sets sail in astral waters off the lost land of Mu (no thing, the gate to enlightenment). When the ship is marooned, captain and crew see they have resisted “joy, love and laughter,” so “[t]he hope is that by mapping/the Heavens, we will discover/the Guiding Sprit to enlighten us.”

Spears knows this is a caper, so he names his characters, for instance, Cowabunga and Tarzan, and juxtaposes ancient and mythical with the contemporary hashtag and psychosphere and the absurdities of the political.

This adventure without end, this section of his dazzling long poem, is enthralling. Here is a seafarer who not only assimilates what is valuable, but groks what to do with it: play.

Upcoming Panel Discussion 2019

Hello Everyone!

I am happy to announce that I’ll be on a panel on the life and work of poet Gerrit Lansing on March 16. It will be held at the Poets House, NYC. More details to come soon. If you have any questions, you can always contact me by clicking here and sending a note.

Update: *Other panelists are Chuck Stein, Kate Tarlow Morgan, and Robert Podgurski, who will introduce the panel.

Reading with Geoffrey O'Brien

Hello Everyone!

I will be reading with Geoffrey O’Brien at Outpost 186. The event will be held on Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM EST. Outpost 186 is located at 186 1/2 Hampshire St, Inman Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Let me know if you have any questions.


Geoffrey O’Brien is the author of eight collections of poetry including Floating City (Talisman House, 1996), A View of Buildings and Water (Salt, 2002), Red Sky Café (Salt, 2005), Early Autumn (Salt, 2010), In a Mist (Shearsman, 2015), and The Blue Hill (Marsh Hawk, 2018). His other books include Hardboiled America (Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1981), Dream Time: Chapters from the Sixties (1988, Viking), The Phantom Empire (W. W. Norton, 1993), Bardic Deadlines: Reviewing Poetry 1984-1995 (University of Michigan Press, 1998), The Browser’s Ecstasy (Counterpoint, 2000), Sonata for Jukebox (Counterpoint, 2004), The Fall of the House of Walworth (Henry Holt, 2010), and Stolen Glimpses, Captive Shadows: Writing on Film 2002-2012 (Counterpoint, 2013). He was editor-in-chief of The Library of America (1998-2017) and has contributed frequently to The New York Review of Books, Film Comment, The Village Voice, Artforum, and other periodicals. He lives in Brooklyn.

Ruth Lepson is poet-in-residence at the New England Conservatory of Music and has often collaborated with musicians, including for her last book, ask anyone—go to ruthlepson.com & click below the book cover to hear the musical settings.
Her other books are Dreaming in Color, Morphology (short dream prose poems with photographs), and I Went Looking for You; she edited Poetry from Sojourner: A Feminist Anthology. Ask anyone won the Philip Whalen Award from Chax Press. Her poems and prose have appeared in Let the Bucket Down, Jacket2, spoKe, Harvard Review, Agni, The Brooklyn Rail and many other places, including anthologies. She organized poetry readings for Oxfam America, taught in the poets-in-the-schools program, and worked at Partisan Review and the BUJournal. She taught at Boston College, Northeastern, The Art Institute of Boston, Bentley, The Kennedy School of Government, and Lorain County Comm. College in Ohio.

Linda Chase Ensemble

I am pleased to announce that I recently worked with Linda Chase, and attended one of her classes last week to collaborate with her current NEC ensemble. Linda’s students, graduate and undergrad, collaborate with artists of other kinds. I read some poems & they improved to them and we did a few poetry exercises as well.

For more about Linda: necmusic.edu/faculty/linda-chase

Grolier Poetry Book Shop // Meet Our August Poet in the Spotlight: Ruth Lepson


Ruth Lepson is poet-in-residence at the New England Conservatory of Music. Her most recent book of poems, ask anyone (Pressed Wafer), won the Philip Whalen Award from Chax Books; her other books are I Went Looking for You (blazeVOX), Morphology (photographs and dream prose poems, blazeVOX), and Dreaming in Color (Alice James Books). She edited Poetry from Sojourner: A Feminist Anthology (University of Illinois Press). Her poetry and prose have appeared in Jacket2, Ping Pong, Let the Bucket Down, spoKe, Harvard Review, Talisman, EAOGH, AGNI, and in City of Notions: An Anthology of Contemporary Boston, Resist Much Obey Little, Supplement, Boog City: An Anthology of New York and Boston Poets, and Caterina Davinio’s animation game at the Venice Biennale.
She has read on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” in St Petersburg, Russia and Barcelona, at the ICA Black Mountain College exhibit, and the Gloucester Writers Center, and will read in the Pioneer Valley Poetry Festival this October.
Though she has collaborated with visual artists and dancers, she has worked primarily with musicians, performing in the bands low road and Box Lunch, improvising at The Bee Hive (Boston Center for the Arts), and recording with musicians who set poems from her last book (listen at ruthlepson.com). She has often performed with musicians in New York and Massachusetts. Flutist Mario Caroli and electronic composer Jean-Paul Charles played Charles’ setting of her poetry at Harvard. She has been lucky enough to perform with some of today’s most exciting musicians from the Conservatory.
Ruth has taught at Boston College, The Kennedy School of Government, Bentley University, Northeastern University, The School of the Museum of Fine Arts and The Art Institute of Boston. She worked at Partisan Review and Boston University Journal, gave workshops in the poets-in-the-schools program, and organized poetry readings for Oxfam America.

Read more at: http://www.grolierpoetrybookshop.org/
**Update: We are happy to announce that the August spotlight was featured on www.masspoetry.org. Thank you!