On the Level Everyday: Talks on Poetry and the Art of Living

On the Level Everyday: Talks on Poetry and the Art of Living

by Ted Berrigan, Joel Lewis
     
 
Ted Berrigan was not only one of his generation's most respected poets; he was among its most influential teachers. In many ways, the currents followed by contemporary poetry were established by him in classes and poetry workshops he taught at the University of Michigan, Yale, the City College of New York, Stevens Institute of Technology, the University of Essex in

Overview

Ted Berrigan was not only one of his generation's most respected poets; he was among its most influential teachers. In many ways, the currents followed by contemporary poetry were established by him in classes and poetry workshops he taught at the University of Michigan, Yale, the City College of New York, Stevens Institute of Technology, the University of Essex in England, the St. Mark's Poetry Project, and elsewhere. He was a particularly strong influence on his students at the Jack Kerouac School of the Naropa Institute.

Berrigan lived with his family in a small apartment in Manhattan's East Village. "Ted was ceaselessly interested in what you might call technique", his wife Alice Notley wrote, "and probably talked about it more than any poet or academician in America". He was so famous for his opinions on the subject that the apartment was often crowded with writers from around the world who came to hear what he had to say.

"Ted famously believed that being a poet was a 24-hour-a day job", wrote Notley. Poetry was at the core of everything a poet did, Berrigan believed, and he demanded that his students shape their lives accordingly.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The late poet Berrigan (1934-83) never wrote down his craft lectures, but they were recorded and transcribed and are presented here by poet Lewis, whose House Rent Boogie (Yellow Pr., 1992) won the Ted Berrigan Award. These six pieces certainly suggest how energetic Berrigan's speech was. Conceptually, though, they are far too foggy for anyone other than Berrigan's staunchest fans. For example, Berrigan says (referring to an exotic form of execution he mentions in one of his poems): "The Persians thought it up, or if it wasn't the Persians it was somebody who didn't like the Persians, but it was one or the other," a sentence an editor would have blue-penciled had these talks been written out as essays. Recommended for readers with a keen interest in Berrigan and also poet-singer Jim Carroll, whose dialog with Berrigan about songwriting is the only piece specific enough to transcend the tone of vague, well-meant enthusiasm.David Kirby, Florida State Univ., Tallahassee

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781883689551
Publisher:
Talisman House, Publishers
Publication date:
06/01/1997
Pages:
140
Product dimensions:
5.47(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.33(d)

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