Friday, September 4, 2015

Diane Wakoski | The Magellanic Clouds

Diane Wakoski
The Magellanic Clouds
New York City, USA: The Letter Edged in Black Press, 1968
7" 33 1/3 rpm flexi-disk
Edition of 2000

Diane Wakoski is an American poet who worked as part of the 'deep image' movement that included Jerome Rothenberg, Robert Kelly, and Clayton Eshleman. When studying at the University of California, Berkeley, she met artist/composer La Monte Young and the two moved to New York City together, where they briefly lived together on Bank Street, before breaking up. Their only child, who they put up for adoption at birth, is now working as a bookkeeper near Sacramento.

Wakoski's work has been published in more than twenty collections and her selected poems, Emerald Ice, won the 1989 William Carlos Williams Prize from the Poetry Society of America. She is best perhaps known for a series of poems collectively known as The Motorcycle Betrayal Poems.

The Magellanic Clouds is a four and a half minute reading of a poem dedicated "for Eleanor who likes to see her name in print". Mounted to a four-page card booklet, inside and on the back of which the complete text of the poem is printed (though Wakoski transposes the order of two words in the reading). The same title was later published as a 150 page book by the Black Sparrow Press in 1975.

The SMS recording (included in SMS #5) can be heard here. The same work, recorded two years later as part of a larger public reading, can be heard here.

It can be purchased from the New Museum shop, for $50.00, here.

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