The Matrix: A Poetry Resource Center
"What thou lovest well remains,
the rest is dross
What thou lov’st well shall not be reft from thee
What thou lov’st well is thy true heritage..."
—Ezra Pound, Canto 81
Welcome to the Matrix. This site has been created as a hub for materials related to poetry in the Western Tradition.
The Electronic Poetry Center at Buffalo is a large website dedicated to documenting the current scene: its poets, its journals, its events. This is a terrifically important index of who's who and what's happening in the world of poetry.
The Poetry Project in New York City has been the stomping ground of experimental New York City poets for thirty plus years. Readings happen on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during the regular season (October thru May).
Al Filreis's Poetry Information Clearinghouse is the perfect resource if you are looking for the bigger picture of the relationships between poetry, history, and culture.
Small Press Distribution's Book Catalogue is online here. Small Press Distribution is the one remaining warehouse and distribution company in the country dedicated to avant-garde traditions. Support them, and get some excellent books.
St. Mark's Bookshop on 9th Street and 3rd Avenue in Manhattan is an excellent place to check out new poetry books. They also stock some rarities from the New York Scene. Skip Barnes & Noble, go to St. Mark's.
Ubu Web Sound Archive is the place to go to find the rarest and most beautiful recordings of poets reading their poems. Here you will also find an archive of experimental films that you can download onto your computer. The range of materials from Europe, Canada, the Americas, is totally stunning. The site will provide you with an excellent well-rounded education.
The Slought Foundation has archived the readings and lectures of the Vancouver Conference, 1963, which included performances by Robert Creeley, Denise Levertov, Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, and others.
The Poetry Grid:
a Partial Map of Key Reading in Avant-garde Traditions
European Precursors to American experimental poetries:
Poems for the Millenium. Volume 1 (U Cal Press) (Eds. Jerome Rothenberg & Pierre Joris) is a good resource overview for manifestos and key poems of early 20th century European and American poetry, including Breton’s Manifesto of Surrealism and the Futurist Manifesto.
Ezra Pound. The Cantos.
H.D. (Hilda Doolittle). The Trilogy.
T.S. Eliot. "The Waste Land". Also check out Eliot's source material: Jessie Weston's From Ritual to Romance a classic study of the pagan origins of grail legends.
William Carlos Williams. Paterson.
Gertrude Stein. Poetry and Grammar,
Tender Buttons is available in its entirety at Tender Buttons.
The "Imagist Manifesto" of 1912 by Pound, H.D., and Richard Aldington.
Amy Lowell. An excerpt from Amy Lowell's Tendencies in Modern American Poetry. Also, here's a main site for Lowell information: Lowell Central. As Brooklyn College MFA graduate Eduardo Go says, "While it is absolutely appropriate to mention the vital "Imagist Manifesto" of 1912 & to give credit to Pound, H.D., and Richard Aldington, it was Lowell who brought the tenets of Imagism to America after meeting w/ Pound in Europe, & she expanded on them & promoted them in the years after 1912 when Pound abandoned the movement, claiming it was just a marketing scheme."
Charles Reznikoff. Testimony is an excellent collection of poems that double as a sociological study.
Louis Zukofsky's “A”.
George Oppen. Of Being Numerous.
Lorine Neidecker. For a good collection of Niedecker's work, look for editor Jenny Penberthy's version of LN's Collected Poems.
Contemporary: The key anthology of this era is Don Allen's The New American Poetry. It was originally published in 1960. It was recently reprinted by University of California Press.
Ed Sanders is a poet and musician. During the 1960s he ran the Peace Eye Bookstore on the Lower East Side and edited Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts. He is also a founding member of the Fugs alongside Tuli Kupferberg.
Anne Waldman is the author of many books and is a performance poet. Her epic series is called Iovis.
Diane diPrima lives in San Francisco but she started her career in New York City.
Charles Olson. The Maximus Poems and also check out Olson's Projective Verse Essay.
Robert Creeley. 1926-2005. Creeley's Collected Poems are a must have must read.
Robert Duncan. The Opening of the Field is a good place to start. Here is a link to The Robert Duncan Website.
Paul Blackburn was a terrific poet and also he translated poems of the Troubadours.
Robert Kelly lives in Upstate New York and teaches at Bard College. He is the author of many collections of poems.
Fielding Dawson was a student at Black Mountain College. He was a fiction writer and worked with prisoners in New York State.
Michael Rumaker is a fiction writer. He wrote a memoir of his student days at Black Mountain College called Black Mountain Days.
Ed Dorn lived in Boulder, Colorado and taught at the University of Colorado. His book Gunslinger is a poetry classic.
John Wieners was from Boston. He was a terrific lyric poet. You might like to read his work alongside James Schuyler's work.
Stan Brakhage was a filmmaker and was influenced by Jackson Pollock, Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, and Gertrude Stein. You can now view his work in DVD format courtesy the Criterion Collection. Dog Star Man and Moth Light and Window Water Baby Moving are especially excellent films.
James Broughton was a poet and filmmaker.
Helen Adam was born in Scotland and wrote Scottish Border Ballads. Her Collected Writings was recently published by the Poetry Foundation of Orono, Maine. (Edited by Kristin Prevallet.)
Jack Spicer was born in Los Angeles in 1925. His poems are easily findable in the form of a book called The Collected Books of Jack Spicer also, there is a book of his lectures called The House that Jack Built, edited by poet Peter Gizzi. Jack Spicer was a master of keen cutting economic wit, with a pinch of surrealism and a lot of knowledge of linguistics.
Robert Duncan. (see above "Black Mountain School" but also remember that Duncan lived in SF for most of his life and was, during the 1940s, very close with Jack Spicer and Robin Blaser (the three formed a triumverate called "The Berkeley Renaissance" which was a precursor to the San Francisco Renaissance.
[Bob Kaufman]. (see Beat).
Joanne Kyger moved to San Francisco during the 1950s and was part of the Jack Spicer/Robert Duncan scene.
Gary Snyder is also considered a Beat poet. If you are interested in environmental issues, buddhism, and poetry, check out Gary Snyder's work.
Madeline Gleason was a San Francisco poet associated with James Broughton and Robert Duncan.
New York School:
John Ashbery's work is easy to find. He lives in New York City. He also writes essays about art.
Frank O’Hara is the master of New York. He is a four star poet.
Kenneth Koch was a poet and he also wrote plays.
James Schuyler is less known than O'Hara or Ashbery, but well worth reading. "A Few Days" is a masterful book-length poem.
New York School:
Bernadette Mayer is the author of several books of poetry. See also Bernadette Mayer's Experiments in Poetry.
Anne Waldman. See "Beat".
Lewis Warsh is a poet and novelist who edits United Artists books.
Alice Notley lives in Paris.
Ted Berrigan's Collected Poems was recently published by University of California Press.
John Godfrey lives on the Lower East Side and works as a nurse.
Ted Greenwald is sometimes categorized as a Language poet as well as a New York School poet.
Frank Lima is a poet and cook.
Paul Violi is a funny poet and New Yorker.
Tony Towle is also a funny poet and New Yorker.
Kenward Elmslie is a poet and composer. You can hear him sing at Kenward's Site.
Joe Brainard was a poet and visual artist. His book I Remember is a must read. Check out his website at JB site.
Ron Padgett Oklahoma Tough.
Joe Ceravolo was an excellent New York Poet born in Astoria, Queens. Check out this poem:
GHOSTS OF SPRING
The ghost of Spring
clearing my throat
I make the first move
There is a website of his work at: Ceravolo Site.
David Henderson lives on the Lower East Side of New York City. He is a poet and was originally associated with the Umbra movement. He also wrote a biography of Jimi Hendrix.
David Shapiro is smart, lyric, and funny.
Larry Fagin is a poet and editor and he lives on the Lower East Side.
Language Poetry (1970s-present) and other writers born between the 1930s and 1940s:
Keith and Rosmarie are poets and translators and run Burning Deck Press, one of the key publishers of experimental poetry in the United States.
Michael Palmer lives in San Francisco. His work is influenced by Robert Duncan, Gertrude Stein, and writers from France.
Norma Cole has a new multimedia piece called Scout. She is also a translator.
Susan Howe is a poet and she has also written some terrific scholarly books. Her work on Emily Dickinson, called My Emily Dickinson is a must read book.
Charles Bernstein now has a blog. He will fill you in on his own work and will give you a lot of information about reading and writing and knowing stuff.
Bruce Andrews lives in New York City.
Barrett Watten has a website at One Year Plan. His poem "Complete Thought" is an excellent piece of writing but Watten is also known for his book Bad History.
Bob Perelman is a poet and critic and he lives in Philadelphia.
Ron Silliman is a poet and blogmaster too. A lot of people check out Ron's blog for info about poetry and current events. His poetry is obsessive, in a good way, with long prose chunks, and cataloging techniques, and attention to the every day.
Harryette Mullen lives in Los Angeles, California.
Mac Wellman writes plays and poetry. He is internationally known for his plays. If you have a chance to see a production of his work you should do so.
Myung Mi Kim.
Rae Armantrout lives in San Diego. Her work is quick and economically beautiful.
One good starting point is An Anthology of New (American) Poets. Eds. Stroffolino, Schwartz & Jarnot. Talisman House Publishers, 1996.
Jennifer Moxley's Imagination Verses.
Lee Ann Brown is a poet and balladeer and edits Tender Buttons Books.
Elizabeth Willis has some excellent books. Check out Turneresque from Burning Deck Press.
Mark Nowak is the editor of XCP: Cross Cultural Poetics. His books are published by Coffee House Press.
Peter Gizzi is the author of several books and has been influenced by John Wieners, Jack Spicer, Robert Creeley, and Frank O'Hara and John Ashbery.
Juliana Spahr teaches at Mills College. She has a website at . Her first book Response is available online at UBU Response.
Jena Osman is a poet who teaches at Temple University.
Bill Luoma is a poet and translator and is the author of Work and Days.
Lisa Jarnot: LJ Site.
Mark McMorris. Mark McMorris teaches at Georgetown University. He is a lyric poet who integrates his study of classical languages into his work.
Eleni Sikelianos lives in Boulder, Colorado and her books are published by Coffee House Press.
Laynie Browne is a poet and novelist who currently lives in Tucson, Arizona.
Brenda Coultas lives in New York City. Her work is published by Coffee House Press.
Edwin Torres got his start at the Nuyorican Cafe. He is a performance poet and writes in Spanish and English.
Paul Beatty is a poet and novelist. He's influenced by the Beats and by Nuyorican Performance poetry.
Thomas Sayers Ellis mixes avant-garde and narrative traditions and funk into his work.
Rod Smith. Rod lives in Washington, DC and runs Aerial/Edge Books. His work is sharp, witty, influenced by Tom Raworth, John Cage, Robert Creeley, and a whole lot more.
Anselm Berrigan's books are published by Aerial/Edge in Washington, DC.
Ange Mlinko has a new book out from Coffee House Press.
Prageeta Sharma's first book Bliss to Fill is available from Subpress Collective.
Kristin Prevallet lives in Brooklyn and is a poet and political activist. Renee Gladman got her start in the San Francisco scene. She is a poet and novelist and is currently teaching at Brown University.
Stacy Szymaszek is a poet from Milwaukee who now lives in New York City and directs the Poetry Project.
Brian Kim Stefans.
Devin Johnston is a poet and scholar and teacher and he is the editor of Flood Editions.
Daniel Kane writes critical books about avant-garde poetry.
Ben Friedlander is a poet and he teaches at the University of Maine up in Orono. You may want to look at one of his websites that has excellent links to the works of Modernist and Contemporary poets such as Pound, H.D., O'Hara and Niedecker.
Hoa Nguyen lives in Texas and writes great poetry.
Drew Gardner is a poet and musician who lives in New York City.
British Poets worth checking out:
Keith Tuma edited an excellent collection called Anthology of Twentieth Century British and Irish Poetry.
Tom Raworth (England) has a site called Tomraworth.Com.
His name is pronounced Ray-worth. Tom is a superb writer and is also a collage artist. Read him first for an introduction to the best of British poetry.
Miles Champion moved to New York a few years back. His poetry is fantastic and he likes to re-invent what poetry is by re-visiting the poems of other writers and re-composing them into his own original compositions.
Tim Atkins edits Onedit, an online magazine out of Colliers Wood, London.
Alec Finlay lives in Scotland and has a website called www.alecfinlay.com.
Andrea Brady is an American-British Poet.
Rob Holloway is a British Poet.
Keston Sutherland is a British Poet.
Those Crazy Canadians:
If you don't know about The Four Horsemen, check them out.
B.P. Nichol. Two thumbs up for innovation.
If you don't know about the Kootenay School, check them out too.
Kevin Davies used to live in Canada and now he lives in New York City.
Lisa Robertson used to live in Canada and now lives in Paris.
Jeff Derksen is a poet who got his start as part of the Kootenay School.
Lissa Wolsak is a poet and a jeweler who lives up in Vancouver.
Mark Truscott is a Toronto poet whose first book was published by Coach House.
Stuart Ross is a Toronto poet.
Younger Younger American Poets (an ongoing expanding list):
Tim Lane directs a web magazine at The Attic Which Is Desire.
Edmund Berrigan lives in New York City.
Jim Behrle is a poet. Check out his blog for the smartest funniest news about poetry politics: Best American Poetry.
Tony Tost is a poet from North Carolina.
Ken Rumble runs the Desert City Reading Series in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He is a cool poet too.
Alejandro Crawford is a performance poet and co-founder of Nolej Records.
Derek Fenner and Ryan Gallagher run Bootstrap Productions. Ryan has translated all of Catullus's poems. Derek is a photographer, novelist, and poet.
Allison Cobb, Jen Coleman, and Susan Landers are co-editors of PomPom Magazine along with Ethan Fugate.
David Perry and Jackie Waters each have had books published by Adventures in Poetry edited by poet Larry Fagin (see above "NY School, 2nd Generation"). Joe Robitaille, Kate Jaeger, Will Sanders, and Nora Almeida are the editors of They Are Flying Planes.
Michael Whalen and Eduardo Go edit Other Rooms
Evan Kennedy is the author of The Cheer-Up Book of Wounded Soldiers
Sara Wintz and Cristiana Baik are The Press Gang
A Recap of the Online Naropa Class One's Own Language, Fall 2005
One's Own Language: Poetry Poetry Workshop, Autumn 2005
Bard College Summer Poetry Workshop
Wesleyan College Summer Poetry Workshop