We close the week out with a new author page for Frank Samperi, featuring a number of his out-of-print books as well as a rare recording of the much-esteemed poet.
In this forty-seven minute reading — recorded at New York City's Ear Inn in 1987 — Samperi offers a wide-ranging survey of his poetic output, sharing selections from The Fourth (1973), The Prefiguration (1971), Morning and Evening (1967), Branches (1965) and Of Light (1965), among others. Gil Ott describes this historic event in an interview with CAConrad on the Philly Sound blog: "He gave a once in a lifetime reading at the Ear Inn. It's funny, because sometimes you meet people at the Ear Inn and you expect something from them that they're not. I guess that's true of many things. I expected this guy to look like a monk. And he shows up with his wife, who is wearing a frilly outfit, with fur around the edges. Everything I saw in them bespoke a struggle to maintain a middle class existence. Anyway, he sat down and read, and he read very softly. I have long-sought a recording of that reading, but apparently, due to the Ear Inn's technological failures, no recording is available. But it was beautiful! You really had to listen hard, because his voice was so soft, and the microphones weren't working."
We've also recently added four collections of Samperi's poetry to the PEPC Library: Quadrifariam (1971), The Prefiguration (1971), Lumen Gloriae (1973) and Day (1998), which was posthumously transcribed from 1970 notebook. Charles Bernstein enthusiastically announced these new additions on Jacket2 — the last three books earlier this month, and Quadrifariam just a few days ago.
These texts and recordings come to us through the generosity of Claudia Samperi Warren, the poet's daughter, who runs a wonderful blog dedicated to her father's life and work. Aside from the many wonderful resources there, we'd also like to refer listeners interested in learning more about the poet to Jamie Townsend's 2008 essay, "Spiritual Man, Modern Man: the Poetics of Frank Samperi, published in Jacket #36.