KPFA poetry festival (1977) / recorded by Randy Thom and Doug Maisel.

Program Title:
KPFA poetry festival (1977) / recorded by Randy Thom and Doug Maisel.
PRA Archive #: 

KPFA Poetry Festival May 14, 1977. From the folio: "On Saturday, May 14, U.C.'s S.U.P.E.R.B. Productions will present what will be the biggest poetry reading staged in the Bay Area since the Vietnam era, and perhaps the biggest ever. And all on behalf of raising funds for KPFA! KPFA and Pacifica have long been an important medium for the presentation of the works of contemporary poets. So it is fitting that KPFA now be the 'cause' for the poets and their toilers to rally around.

The first part of the festival opens with Allen Ginsberg leading the audience in breathing exercises, mantra and an approx 2 minute silent meditation. He then sings Wiliam Blake's "Voices of the Bard". He is followed by Fred Cody, Bobbie Louise Hawkins, and Jana Harris. The second part of the festival begins with Harlem's David Henderson followed by Jessica Hagedorn reading with musical accompaniment by Steve Marshall (clarinet, saxophone, flute), Clara Williams and Ota[sp?] (vocals), Hashima Mark Williams (bass), Bob Marshall (drums), William Brown (electric guitar), and Bugsy Moore (percussion). This tape ends with a mystical, miniature sermon by 1968 National Book Award winner Robert Bly, incorporating poems by, among others, Rilke, Yeats, and the world's first whirling dervish. Part three begins with Max Schwartz, poet and host of KPFA's prison poetry show STATE OF EMERGENCY, who conducts a spontaneous jam with his jazz musician friends. Edward Dorn, Joanne Kyger, and Simon Ortiz are the other poets on this program. The fourth part of the Poetry Festival begins with a reading by Lewis MacAdams, who opens with the question "What do you do if you are raised in Iowa and you still want to be a poet?" Next is Puerto Rican poet Victor Hernandez Cruz, followed by poet, novelist and publisher Ishmael Reed. This part finishes with the dynamic poet Alta of the Shameless Hussy Press. The fifth and final part of the program is Allen Ginsberg singing songs (with musical accompaniment) and reading poetry.

More information about the event available in the folios here: and here:

Original tape box image: 
Date Recorded on: 
at the Greek Theater, Berkeley (Calif.), May 14, 1977
Date Broadcast on: 
KPFA, July 17, 1977
Total duration (All reels): 
5 reels (287 min.)
Los Angeles : Pacifica Radio Archive, 1977.
Rights Summary: 
RESTRICTED. Permissions, licensing requests, Curriculum Initiative, Campus Campaign and all other inquiries should be directed to: Mark Torres, Archives Director, 800-735-0230,
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This recording has been digitally preserved as part of Pacifica's American Women Making History and Culture: 1963-1982 grant preservation project, and is available for research and reference . Please contact the archives via telephone: 818-506-1077 or email:  americanwomen at pacificaradioarchives dot org for information on how to obtain a copy of this program. Thank you.

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