by Kevin Killian; David Brazil, (Poet); Book : Drama
Judith Malina on The Kenning Anthology of Poets Theater   (2010-02-27)
This is a great book! Here are the poets, the great modern poets who have given us our language, our imagery, our style—plunging us into their theater: John Ashbery’s The Heroes, with its classical echo in Ashbery’s singular idiom, which The Living Theatre produced in 1952; Bunny Lang’s marvelous re-invention of English phrases, which The Poets Theatre at Cambridge so boldly produced; Frank O’Hara’s The Houses at Falling Hanging, which inspired a whole generation of poet-playwrights; the stylist Schuyler, our blustering hero Corso, the magical Duncan; their names themselves are poetry. Michael McClure read me his poem play The Feast with vocalizations beyond words—in the sense of outstripping them. The Living Theatre produced VKTMS, McClure’s Oedipal drama in 1988, a highpoint in poetical theatre. Kenneth Koch, magisterial leader of the new poetry and teacher of the art; Diane di Prima, the legendary strong woman’s voice among the poets; Jackson Mac Low, whose The Marrying Maiden, at The Living Theater in 1960, overthrew all the rules of theatre, playing Cagean chance against the hexagrams of the I Ching, with a pair of dice ordering the action; Amiri Baraka, world famous Revolutionary playwright, author of the masterpiece, Dutchman; Anne Waldman, beloved high priestess of Poetry, who is here represented by The Stoop, a poem of the 60’s, and who now carries forward the banner of poetic theatre in her new play, Red/Noir, to open in The Living Theatre in December 2009.
So many more are contained in this treasure of a book. For these are the very creators of our art—and though the fickle theater has sometimes betrayed them, they remain the foundation of our hope that the theatre of poetry lives today—and will flourish tomorrow if our planet is to be saved from oblivion.
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