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Poetry on KRAB

On Dec 17, 1962, when announcing that KRAB had arrived on the airways, CJ Skreen wrote in the Seattle Times that "Jeremy Lansman was in charge of poetry and drama."

Poetry was broadcast in regular (bi-weekly) and irregular programs from the beginning. In the earliest program listing (Feb 1963) Emile Snyder and Carolyn Kizer host the Poetry Program, featuring "a bag full of poets". In the program listing a few months later it is noted "We need people who can read French, German, Italian, Russian, Urdu, Chinese, and Japanese so, that we can broadcast more poetry in these languages." And a little later is "Helen Quarrier Poetry Reading - Second in our summer series of live poetry readings by this member of the Seattle Repertory Co. Eliot." In Dec, for the bi-weekly poetry program, "James Merrill, the New York poet, is heard in a recording made recently by KRAB at UW in which he reads several of his poems, and then from his journals. Organized by Robin Magowan." And on Dec 12th there was a program of "Contemporary German Poetry: A tape made at Cornell by Emile Snyder, with works of Buen, Celer and others. [Note: "Celer" is probably Celan, but I have no idea who "Buen" might be] Read in English and German." This last was the program that prompted me to take a bus to Seattle to get a copy of the recording (Todesfuge, Paul Celan).

1964 through 1965 the producer and host of the Poetry Program was Robin Magowan. In addition there was the occasional "mixed bag of poets who have recently dropped by our studios." In Oct 1965 Robert Sund took over the Poetry Program and hosted it through 1968. The Nov 1965 marathon retrospective of favorite programs included William Mandel (Soviet Press) discussing the poetry of Yevtushenko; Robert Creeley reading ("The pace of the reading and the choice of words create a tension that made a wreck out of us when we first played this tape"); Roethke reading on a KPFA tape from the 1950's; and the poetry of Seattle author Dale Nelson.

1968 - Gary Bates and Al Benditt each produced a series of poetry programs. Benditt's program, first called "Adolescent Mishmash", in Apr 1969 became "River Moth Radio - Poetry and stories from "Owl" Benditt. Tonight he reviews some city light."

In Aug 1969 " Toothpick, Lisbon, and the Orcas Islands" was launched: "A new poetry program that will alternate with Al Benditt's Rivermoth Radio. This effort is produced by Mike and JoAnne Wiater, University folk and both local poets." This was also the beginning of Mike Wiater's turn as Program Director, a time of increased emphasis on poetry and words art. You can read his reminiscence of working with poets and small presses in Letters and Things.

This takes us up to about 1974. More to come.


Some program series have their own pages:

Pacific Northwest Asian American Writers Conference, Seattle, Jul 1976

Poetry Windows, 1977 to 1979, produced by Karen Berge


Newest additions are at the top of the list below. Problems listening, or comments? Email: KRABarchive

As some tapes lack complete descriptions, and we do not yet have all the program guides in which to find a description, some of the notes below are vague. If you can enlighten us about any program, please email us about that too.


An Hour with Thich Nhat Hanh - KRAB Jun 4, 1968

Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese poet, reading and discussing his own work and the works of other Vietnamese poets.

During this program, at about 40 minutes one can hear what sounds like the University of Washington carillon, which would indicate this was recorded on or near campus. Another program of Thich Nhat Hanh recorded on May 14th and aired on KRAB May 28th ("Buddhist Proposals for Peace in Vietnam") was recorded at the University Methodist Church, 1415 NE 43rd. Perhaps this was also made at the church.

As with several other KRAB programs, this tape was shared with KPFA, where it was aired Dec 4, 1968, and eventually saved in the Pacifica Radio Archives.

Listen now - An Hour with Thich Nhat Hanh - KRAB Jun 4, 1968 (66:32)

Recording courtesy Pacifica Radio Archives


Duane Niatum Reading His Poetry at the UW - KRAB Dec 26, 1976; Rec Oct 8, 1976

Duane Niatum, Native American poet and author of "Ascending Red Cedar Moon", "Digging Out The Roots", "After The Death of an Elder Klallam" and the anthology "Carriers of the Dream Wheel" reading from his works Oct 8th at the UW.

Nelson Bentley introduces Mr Niatum. Recorded by Karen Berge.Tape Label

Listen now: Dune Niatum Reading - KRAB Dec 26, 1976 (46:50)

Recording courtesy Karen Berge, KB0030


Theodore Roethke, I Cry Love, Love - Rec KPFA 1954; KRAB Jun 11, 1964

I Cry Love, Love. A rare recording of a reading of poetry of Theodore Roethke by the author; it was recorded in the early 1950's in the studios of KPFA in Berkeley.

Played several times on KRAB, the tape seems to have lost its label, but there is no question as to what it is. Although KRAB and Roethke overlapped for a little over seven months (Roethke died Aug 1, 1963), I have not found any evidence that he ever visited the doughnut shop. Carolyn Kizer and Emile Snyder would know, but are no longer available to answer the question.

According to the Jun 1968 KPFA Folio, this was "recorded for KPFA in 1954". The first scheduled KPFA broadcast that I have been able to document was Oct 3, 1955 (Folio Vol 6, Nbr 14).

In this program, Theodore Roethke reads the following:

1 - Where Knock is Open Wide
2 - I Need, I Need
3 - Bring the Day!
4 - Give Way, Ye Gates
5 - Sensibility! O La!
6 - O Lull Me, Lull Me

The Lost SonTape Label
7 - The Flight
8 - The Pit
9 - The Gibber
10 - The Return
11 - (It was beginning Winter)

12 - The Long Alley
13 - A Field of Light
14 - The Shape of the Fire

Listen now Listen now: Theodore Roethke, I Cry Love, Love - Rec KPFA 1954; KRAB Jun 11, 1964 (46:54)

Recording courtesy Jack Straw Foundation (JSF L0573), and the Pacifica Radio Archives


All Poets are Aphasics - Diane Wakoski poet, reading - Rec May 9, 1969; KRAB Jul 4, 1975

ALL POETS ARE APHASICS. Diane Wakoski poet, reading "The George Washington Poems," "Magellanic Clouds", "I Can Taste Time on My Tongue like Salt," and more, at the San Francisco Poetry Center, May 9, 1969.

Introductory remarks chronicling the achievements, publications, and career of Diane Wakoski as well as commentary on poets as aphasics by Mark Linenthal

Probably acquired during Michael Wiater's term as program director.

Diane Wakoski's web siteTape Label

Listen now Listen now: All Poets are Aphasics - Diane Wakoski reading - Rec May 9, 1969; KRAB Jul 4, 1975 (64:19)

Recording courtesy Karen Berge, KB0026


Marge Piercy: Poems - Produced by Radio Free People; KRAB Aug 25, 1970

Six poems by Marge Piercy. A collection of her work, Breaking Camp, was published in 1968 by Wesleyan. Among the themes running through these poems are the irrationality and inhumanity of American institutions, and the urgent need to destroy and rebuild - to create a society based on human needs and human values: ". . . where people work/To make and do things necessary and good/Where work is real as bread and babies and trees and parks/And you would blossom slowly/And ripen into sound fruit." The poems are: "The Peaceable Kingdom 'Half Past Horne' Community", "The Death of the Small Commune", "The Morning Half-Life Blues", and "The Curse of the Earth Magician on a Metal Land". From Radio Free People.

Marge Piercy's web siteTape Label

Listen now Listen now: Marge Piercy: Poems - KRAB Aug 25, 1970 (16:58)

Recording courtesy Karen Berge, KB0023


Anne Waldman in Seattle - Rec at the U of W Nov 20, 1972; KRAB Dec 10, 1972


Anne Waldman, magazine editor (The World) editor of several anthologies and books (sic) including Giant Night, Corinth, Life Notes, and others, and director of the St Marks Poetry Project in New York City, reads her own work. Selections, in order, are: Life Notes, The Contemplative Life, Tape, Dark Commando, How To Write, Going in, Paris Day, Snow, Dear Miss Waldman, Pictures From Tofukuji, Memory, A continuing Work In Spanish (an excerpt), Dark Ages, No Nodding People, Brinks of Fame, Fluff, others.

Anne Waldman is introduced by Michael Wiater; Recorded by Pamela Jennings

Anne Waldman's web siteTape Label

Listen now Listen now: Anne Waldman in Seattle - Rec at U of W Nov 20, 1972; KRAB Dec 10, 1972 (40:53)

Recording courtesy Karen Berge, KB0024

 

The Poetry Program with Robert Sund talking with Galway Kinnell - Rec Nov 5, 1966; KRAB Jan 16 and Feb 13, 1967

The Poetry Program: Robert Sund introduces his interview with Galway Kinnell. (Jan 16, 1967)

The Poetry Program with Robert Sund's Metric Top 40, read with feeling. (Feb 13, 1967)

Recorded Nov 5, 1966 at Galway Kinnell's home in Gresham, Oregon. The entry in program guide Nbr 101 for Nov 21, 1966 describes Robert Sund as "fresh from San Francisco", so this may have been recorded as he travelled to, or from, California.

They read some recent poems later included in Kinnell's book Body Rags (1967). This is the full one hour interview, which was probably broadcast in two segments (Jan 16 and Feb 13), as Sund's monthly program was scheduled for only 30 minutes.

Listen now Listen now - The Poetry Program: Galway Kinnell interviewed by Robert Sund - Rec Nov 5, 1966; KRAB Jan 16, 1967 (59:46)

Recording courtesy Tim McNulty


IAMB SAID THE LAMB - KRAB 1977 to 1982

Beginning April 16, 1977 Art Wicks presents poets reading their works (local and national), as well as criticism, commentaries, new publications, and a poets calendar.

I AM! Says The LambBetween Apr 1977 and Feb 13, 1982, Art Wicks and Margaret Ann Spiers hosted somewhere around 193 30 minute programs. The title was punningly adapted from the title poem of a book by Theodore Roethke. This short teaser is made up of the opening minutes of the following programs:

May 7, 1977 - Art and Ann reading from their book "The Mixer"

Jun 7, 1979 - David Frank hosts a 2 part program devoted to Leonard Cohen

Sep 19, 1981 - Guest is Sam Green editor of Jawbone Press

Jul 8, 1978 - Guest is Lawrence Ferlinghetti (taped in KRAB studios Fall of 1977)

Mar 7, 1981 - A program for International Women's Day

Aug 18, 1979 - Annual performance of Ezra Pound's Le Testament de Villon

Apr 25, 1981 - Guest is Jeanne Yeasting

Listen now Listen now - IAMB SAID THE LAMB - Short program clips from 1977 to 1982 (8:17)

* * * * * *

IAMB SAID THE LAMB - Mar 29, 1980

Art Wicks packs 13 student poets from Olympic College into the studio. They are Dick Hanson, Lucinda Andress, Steve Ceruthic, Mark Horn, Rahleen Vinyard, Brad Reiss, Meryl Walker, Marilyn Trippy, Mary Chapell, Lucy Hato, Jeff Ramsey, Pam Johnson, and Boyd Peterson. Produced by M.A. Spiers and Art Wicks.

Listen now Listen now - IAMB SAID THE LAMB - Thirteen students from Oympic College - KRAB Mar 29, 1980 (25:14)

* * * * * *

IAMB SAID THE LAMB - Yeats Poetry Theatre - Mar 17, 1979

For Saint Patricks Day, the Yeats Poetry Theatre. Erica Helm and Michael Meade with the poetry of William Butler Yeats, and making their own music with drum and song.

A little more about Erica Helm is here.

Listen now Listen now - IAMB SAID THE LAMB - Yeats Poetry Theatre - KRAB Mar 17, 1979 (24:43)

 

Recordings courtesy Margaret Ann Spiers

 


Nelson Bentley Poetry Reading - KRAB Feb 1, 1975

Nelson Bentley, poet, reading his own works. Introduced by Jim Paradis.

Tape LabelThe label on the tape box indicates this was recorded during "Earth Music" (a mid-morning or early afternoon music program), and aired, Feb 1, 1975. This reading includes one of Bentley's "apocalyptic poems". Titled "Shilshole Apocalypse", it begins with "In January of the fifth year of Nixon.....".

Listen now Listen now - Nelson Bentley Poetry Reading - KRAB Feb 1, 1975 (31:14)

Recording courtesy of Jack Straw Foundation, L0415

 


The Saga of Goatbird by Michael Lyons - KRAB Jul 20, 1968

A poem a long time coming, written by poet/mailman Michael Lyons, who should now be on his way to sunny retirement on Hawaii. Notes on Twiggy and the Electric Fence at Badger Pocket.

Mike Lyons was also found on Dec 6, 1967: "'Lazy Voice' Lyons, The Michael, reads his own ..../3█{-} POEMS FOR MAILMEN /3█7"

Listen now Listen now - The Saga of Goatbird by Michael Lyons - KRAB Jul 20, 1968 (33:22)

Recording courtesy Sally Jackson and Tremaine and Gail Arkley

 


A Reading by Charlie Burks - KRAB May 18, 1977

Tape Label.....who is a Seattle poet and fictioneer. Charlie reads his poetry at the Book Project bookstore March 18th, 1977. Recorded by Karen Berge.

Listen now Listen now - A Reading by Charlie Burks - KRAB May 18, 1977 (46:50)

Recording courtesy Jack Straw Foundation, L0234

 


David Meltzer Reading Live in the KRAB Studio - KRAB Jun 22, 1972, recorded May 8, 1972

foot steps
doors open
and close
paper shuffles
chair squeaks
pages turn
voices
David Meltzer reads
foot steps
door closes

DAVID MELTZER - recorded at KRAB when David was in Seattle May 8th for a poetry reading at the University of Washington (we will present that reading next month). David produces HOME MOVIES for the station from Bolinas, California. His most recent book of poems is KNOTS (Tree Books). (repeated Thursday, July 6th, at 1:00 pm)

Although the tape label gives an air date of May 8, 1972, this was first scheduled in the guide on Jun 22. Perhaps it was first broadcast as it was recorded (?), although one cannot hear the transmitter blowers.

Note, the recording engineer was Marc Orgel ("M.ONGEL"), author of the "Donut Shop Operating Guide and Survival Manual" and one of KRAB's earliest Antioch interns. As best we have been able to determine, Marc died in an automobile accident in Columbus, Ohio in Spring 1973.

Michael Wiater, program director in the early 1970's, wrote us a couple of letters a while back in which he describes KRAB's, and his, efforts to present poetry and spoken word arts on KRAB at that time. You can read his letters in "Letters and Things".Tape Label

An excerpt from David Meltzer's "Home Movies" program can be found here.

Listen now Listen now - David Meltzer Reading Live at KRAB - Jun 22, 1972 (36:04)

Recording courtesy Jack Straw Foundation, M1360

 


The nonlectures of ee cummings - KRAB 1965

Cummings' nonlectures, the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures, were delivered at the Sanders Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1952 and 53. He died in 1962; Caedmon issued six LPs in 1965; They were aired on KRAB the same year. Did KRAB buy, or borrow, them? I don't remember seeing the LPs around the doughnut shop or firestation, and they are now out of print. These copies from long-playing vinyl vary from the unlistened-to and relatively scratchless to library abused hissing and pop-full.ee cummings nonlecture 1

ee cummings nonlecture one - KRAB Jul 6, 1965

i & my parents

Listen now Listen now - ee cummings nonlecture one - KRAB Jul 6, 1965 (57:07)


* * * * *

ee cummings nonlecture 2
ee cummings nonlecture two - KRAB Jul 22, 1965

i & their son

Listen now Listen now - ee cummings nonlecture two - KRAB Jul 22, 1965 (55:50)


* * * * *

ee cummings nonlecture 3
ee cummings nonlecture three - KRAB Aug 5, 1965

i & selfdiscovery

Listen now Listen now - ee cummings nonlecture three - KRAB Aug 5, 1965 (56:42)


* * * * *

ee cummings nonlecture 4
ee cummings nonlecture four - KRAB Aug 19, 1965

i & you & is

Listen now Listen now - ee cummings nonlecture four - KRAB Aug 19, 1965 (52:15)


* * * * *

ee cummings nonlecture 5
ee cummings nonlecture five - KRAB Sep 2, 1965

i & now & him

Listen now Listen now - ee cummings nonlecture five - KRAB Sep 2, 1965 (51:09)


* * * * *

ee cummings nonlecture 6
ee cummings nonlecture six - KRAB Sep 16, 1965

i & am & santa claus

Listen now Listen now - ee cummings nonlecture six - KRAB Sep 16, 1965


collection of c reinsch

 

tape label
tape label
tape label
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Allen Ginsberg at the University of Washington - Mar 30, 1970 - KRAB Apr 23, 1970

Allen Ginsberg at the UW - The first half of the complete tape Allen made at the reading he gave March 20 [sic], 1970. It was a f**k up that he was announced to be on campus at 8:30 that night and it just goes to show you
some more wonderful UW organizing, cause over a thousand showed up to see him - more than made it in the afternoon.

Part 2 was broadcast Apr 29, 1970.

Last month (that was May 2014 for those that have lost track) we shared Michael and Joanne Wiater's interview of Ginsberg from Mar 29, 1970 (immediately below). In addition to that, four tapes from Ginsberg's appearance at the UW have now been digitized: parts 1, 2, 3, and 6. Parts 4 and 5 we hope will be digitized soon.

Here he is, on the lawn in front of the Student Union Building ("HUB"), doing his thing pretty much as Stephen Dunphy describes in the Times below: singing, chanting, finger cymbals, playing harmonium, with These States, Neal Cassidy's Ashes, Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience, trying to raise money for the defense of Tim Leary, thumping, thumping, and more thumping (was he tapping his foot on the microphone stand?). And the wind, and the harmonium's bellows.

The Seattle Times (Mar 31, 1970) covered the reading outside the HUB.

Listen now Listen now - Allen Ginsberg at the University of Washington - Mar 30, 1970 (94:35)

Recording courtesy of the Jack Straw Foundation, JSF inv L0432, L0433, L0434, and L0438

 


Allen Ginsberg at KRAB - Mar 29, 1970, rebroadcast Oct 11, 1971

tape labelAllen Ginsberg's Breakfast Club - In March of 1970 Allen Ginsberg came to Seattle to read at the University of Washington. Michael and Joanne Wiater snatched him away for a bit, and that evening, they did a live program, lasting about thirty minutes. Ginsberg chants, plays his harmonium, sings some songs from his recent album (Songs of Innocence and Experience) and uses the famous KRAB Andy Haley White House Brick as an incense burner.

Where is that brick now? [Update Jan 15, 2017: At about the 20 min mark, he recites Police State Blues.]

Listen now Listen now - Allen Ginsberg at KRAB Mar 29, 1970 (26:38)

Recording courtesy of the Jack Straw Foundation, JSF inv L-435


him - an excerpt from the play read by ee cummings, from nonlecture five (Charles Eliot Norton lectures) - KRAB Sep, 1965 (we think*)

Strangely enough, the 1950's and 60's were fertile times for poetry and other word arts. Writers were writing and poets reciting, and recording companies were collecting their voices and putting them on phonograph records for use by schools and radio stations. KRAB had a large collection of these spoken word recordings. Caedmon Records had some incredible material, and KRAB bought it all. If Caedmon made any money it was from Dylan Thomas (A Child's Christmas.....), but I remember best Siobhán McKenna with Molly Bloom's soliloquy, Cyril Ritchard reciting Edward Lear, and ee cummings' nonlectures.

Where are those recordings now? Where are the people that listened to them?

Listen now Listen now - ee cummings reading from him (5:52)

*The nonlectures were broadcast once a program guide starting in July. Number 4 was broadcast Sep 2nd (guide 69), so the next should be found in guide 70, which, unfortunately is missing pages.

Recording collection of C Reinsch


Home Movies with David Meltzer - KRAB 1971

In September 1971 David Meltzer, a poet residing in Bolinas, California, appeared on KRAB reading some of his work. In November he started sending KRAB tapes of a program he titled "Home Movies", in which he played music, read, and talked.

In this short excerpt he reads about Native American metaphysics.

As a bonus, at the end of the recording is the start of Nancy Keith's late night program "Dry Slough Road".

Listen now Listen now - Home Movies with David Meltzer (29:19)

 


Robert Sund reading Ring Lardner's Round-Up - KRAB Jan 1968Robert Sund with autoharp

Robert Sund was a poet living in La Conner before it became a tourist destination.  He played the autoharp, drank beer, and was the KRAB poet laureate for years.  I think it was the marathon of 1964 that his recitation of The Pilgrim introduced me to Yeats. A year later it was Roethke’s Saginaw Song.  Wish I had a recording of those.  He died in 2001.

From Oct 1965 through 1968 Robert Sund hosted the Poetry Program on KRAB. Although he moved to La Conner in 1967(?) he occasionally reappeared in Seattle and would read or recite on KRAB. The last time I saw him was in 1975 or 76 at the Firestation.

Listen now Listen now - Robert Sund reading Ring Lardner's Round-Up - KRAB Jan 1968 (32:00)

Here's an example of a Sund poem, from “Bunch Grass”:

At quitting time
a combine clatters unseen behind a hill,
then emerges over the crest,
flowering orange against the sky.
The driver shuts off his engine.
Sweat and dust burn
in his swollen, red-rimmed eyes.
When he climbs off the seat and jumps down,
the field sways beneath him.
He is buried by silence,
lost in it.
Coming down the hill
to where he parked his car in the morning,
he is slowly becoming someone else,
entering another country.
Where he walks,
puffs of dust behind him
turn golden
in the slanted sunlight.

Recording courtesy Bob West


If you possess any souvenirs (program guides, tapes, or photos) or have a story about your experience with KRAB you are willing to share, please email archive@krabarchive.com

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