On October 19, 1966, The Poetry Project hosted Lawrence Ferlinghetti for our first Wednesday Night Reading, to an audience of 1,200 (with 500 turned away at the door). This year Ferlinghetti turns 100, and we’re thrilled to join a nationwide week of Ferlinghetti reverie with a special edition of Omniscient Tape Recorder at The Poetry Project. We’ll be sharing previously unreleased recordings of Ferlinghetti at The Poetry Project along with readings and performances from Penny Arcade, Steve Dalachinsky, Mary Jane Dunphe, John S. Hall, Janet Hamill, Filip Marinovich, Lee Ranaldo, Bob Rosenthal, Jeffrey Cyphers Wright, and others TBA.
The Poetry Project’s vast collection, recently processed by the Library of Congress, is a goldmine of potential knowledge and inspiration. Spanning the entirety of the Project’s existence, it includes over 4,000 hours of audio, much of it untapped as a scholarly resource. Started during Judah Rubin’s curation of the Monday Night Series in 2016, Omniscient Tape Recorder is a series in which participants choose particularly rich poems and discuss their historical impact, the texture and grain of the work’s recitation, and the impact of these readings, poems, and people on the landscape of poetry and art. The goal of this series is both to showcase The Poetry Project’s history and to encourage engagement with the organization’s archival collection.