This morning I finished reading John Giorno‘s excellent memoir Great Demon Kings. Among other things, Giorno was known for his Dial-a-Poem project which allowed the general public to call a phone number and hear recorded poetry from the greats of the time – William Burroughs, Amiri Baraka, Patti Smith, Anne Waldman, and many others.
I first became aware of Giorno when a group of us aspiring and working poets from Schuler Books got together in the mid-1990s to watch the 1982 documentary Poetry In Motion. Giorno’s performance made an impression.
All of the Dial-a-Poem poetry from Giorno Poetry Systems can be heard here on UbuWeb. This collection is a treasure.