The Arty Semite

Robert Pinsky, Live!

By Jake Marmer

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Rock stars go on wild tours around the world and poets sit holed up in their dusty bookish apartments. Right? The former United States Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky is on the road to prove you wrong. On the road around the country that is — alongside Ben Allison’s jazz collective. You can see them perform together last summer here.

As he goes, Pinsky — who wrote an “electronic novel” called “Mindwheel” in 1984 — is working with Portable Heroes, to record the shows and compile a next generation e-book enhanced with video and sonic layers to supplement and link to the text.

Before long, Pinsky will perform for you on your iPad! But, in the meantime, if you missed him at Emory on Jan 31, you can catch him reading live, in the good old pre-virtual metaphysical reality of the New School on Feb 19 or with Stanley Sagov’s band at Regatta Bar in Boston on March 5.

The first piece on the video, “Ginza Samba” (full text here), addresses African-American and Jewish heritage, the history of the saxophone and Alexander Pushkin in one fell swoop.


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