Saturday, 31 July 2010

Are you radioactive, pal?

A couple of years ago I managed to get my hands on a copy of a recording of John Berryman and Robert Lowell reading together. To this day it is one of the most listened to things on my iPod. Berryman really knew how to read his poetry out loud. He knew that your audience needs it nice and slow. And honest. Not a whiff of that god-awful 'poetry voice' you hear so many others doing... JB's the real deal.

If only there were more footage of him. Still, we have to be grateful for the ready availability of this interview with Al Alvarez, and this superb reading of one of the Dream Songs.

Most disturbing and beautiful of all, however, is this superb hour-long interview with a semi-coherant Berryman:

There is also this series of audio recordings:

EDIT... 31st July 17:07

Any creative writing students, or indeed anyone interested in Lowell and/or Berryman will find this interview with Philip Levine fascinating... he discusses the two poets' style of teaching creative writing. I get the impression he preferred Berryman.

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful and terrifying. I never heard these tapes; thank you for posting them.