Monday, February 8, 2016

This week on Tumblr: Giorno Poetry Systems

After befriending artists such as Andy Warhol (who cast him in Sleep and the unreleased Handjob), Roy Lichtenstein, John Cage and Merce Cunningham, John Giorno came to believe that poetry was lagging far behind the advancements being made in visual art, music and dance.

Determined to reach a broader audience, Giorno founded the free Dial-a-Poem series, and founded Giorno Poetry Systems. The non-profit record label released a series of recordings from 1972 to 1989.

Artists often designed the packaging: many of the performer portraits were taken by Les Levine and both Keith Haring and Robert Williams contributed cover illustrations. The discs included spoken word, audio art and the occasional pop performer (Nick Cave, New Order, Patti Smith, Frank Zappa, etc.). Artists/authors/composers included Laurie Anderson, William S Burroughs, Philip Glass, Diamanda Galás, Allen Ginsberg, Jim Carroll, Lydia Lunch, John Cage, Anne Waldman, and Brion Gysin.

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