Jackson Mac Low: Ten-Page Biography
JACKSON MAC LOW, born in Chicago on 12 September 1922, is a poet and composer of musical works, sound poetry, and performance pieces and a writer of essays, talks, plays, and radio works (mostly produced by Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln). He is also a painter and multimedia performer with other composers, musicians and/or poets, most often with his wife, Anne Tardos. His works have been published in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, in 27 books (of which one went into three editions and three into two), in over 90 anthologies and other collections, and in many periodicals.
From 1937 to 1954 he wrote and composed many verbal and musical works by "intentional" and/or “quasi-intentional” methods (see below). From 1954 to 1980 "nonintentional" methods figured largely in his production of verbal, musical, visual, and performance works. The methods include systematic chance operations, indeterminacy, "deterministic” acrostic and diastic reading-through text-selection methods, and "translation" of music notation into verbal texts and vice versa. His "simultaneities" for speakers, vocalists, instrumentalists, and/or projectionists and his sound poems require performers to make many choices—before and especially during performances—which determine significant aspects of their realizations.
From about 1980 to 1989 many of his works were composed by "quasi-intentional" methods. These are writingways involving both subliminal and liminal choices, as well as some deliberate ones. However, the composition of many other works involved "nonintentional" methods, predominantly diastic ones. Sources of these included the Cantos of Ezra Pound and works by Goethe. In 1987 he began working on computers. From 1987 to 1989 he made a series of poems drawing from works by and about Kurt Schwitters, first utilizing chance operations involving “glossaries” and later computer-automated diastic methods by which he also wrote a book of poems drawing words from several works by Djuna Barnes.
From September 1989 to April 1998 most of his verbal works, notably the poems in the series Twenties: 100 Poems and “154 Forties,” comprised verbal materials “gathered” quasi-intentionally or liminally from what he saw, heard, or thought of while writing them. The “Forties” were extensively revised. However, both performers' choices, “guided” by scores and performance environments continued then and later to figure largely in his verbal and musical performance work. He also continued to write and compose some works by "nonintentional" procedures (often drawing words, etc., from his own "quasi-intentional" writings) and also continued to write and compose some works by more "intentional" methods.
From mid-April 1998 to the present he has been writing Stein, a series of poems drawing words, etc. from works by Gertrude Stein, utilizing passages from other works by Stein as “seed” for computer-automated diastic and other deterministic procedures and then revising the procedures’ output. He has also been completing the revision of his extensive series of poems “154 Forties,” (first drafts written 1990-95). Each poem comprises words, phrases, etc., “gathered,” mostly “liminally,”—from what he saw, heard, and thought of during the writing of the first drafts—into a 40-line “fuzzy verse form.” These poems include caesural silences, rapid and slowed-down compound words, most of them neologistic, and other prosodic devices, some of which were first introduced in his series Twenties (written 1989-90; published 1991).
Beginning in 1960, he has read his poetry and realized his performance works (after 1979, often with Anne Tardos) throughout North America, Europe, and New Zealand, often at universities. Others have read and performed his work in those places and in South America, Australia, and Japan. He has participated in many poetry, music, and performance festivals, including sound poetry and Fluxus festivals, in the United States, Canada, and Europe. In New York City he has often read and performed at The Poetry Project (St. Mark's Church), the Paula Cooper Gallery, the Ear Inn, Here, The Kitchen, Roulette, the Experimental Intermedia Foundation, the Dia Center for the Arts, and elsewhere. He and Anne Tardos have often presented collaborative performances (sometimes of works written collaboratively) both North America and Europe.
Mac Low's work has been appearing in print since 1941—in his 27 books and in anthologies, and periodicals and on audiotapes and LPs, CDs, and CD-ROMs. These include the anthology CDs The Museum Inside the Telephone Network (1991) and A Chance Operation: The John Cage Tribute (1993), on the anthology CD-ROM The Little Magazine, Volume 21 (1995), and on his and Tardos's CD Open Secrets (1993).
In 1960-61 The Living Theatre presented his play The Marrying Maiden in New York. It was directed by Judith Malina, with decor by Julian Beck and music by John Cage. From 1961 his play Verdurous Sanguinaria was enacted several times in New York and Baton Rouge. Other theatrical works of his have been presented in the U.S., the U.K., and elsewhere from 1960 to the present.
With its editor, La Monte Young, he co-published in 1963 the first edition of An Anthology, designed by George Maciunas, who later founded Fluxus, of which Mac Low was the first literary editor. In 1962-63 Maciunas presented the first European performances of Mac Low's works in Fluxus festivals.
He has taught at New York University (1966-73), The Mannes College of Music (New York, 1966), Naropa Institute (Boulder, 1975, 1991, 1994, 1999), The State University of New York (SUNY), Albany (1984); SUNY, Binghamton (1989); Temple University (Philadelphia, 1989), the University of California, San Diego (1990), the Schule für Dichtung in Wien (Vienna, 1992, 1993), Bard College (Annandale on Hudson, NY, 1992, 1994), Brown University (Providence, RI, 1994), and Saint Mary’s College, Moraga, CA, and he has led seminars at SUNY-Buffalo (1997), and the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1997).
From 1964 through 1980 he participated as a visual artist, composer, poet, and performer in the 2nd through the 15th Annual Festivals of the Avant-Garde in New York, organized by Charlotte Moorman.
In 1969 he produced computer-assisted poetry at Information International, Inc., Los Angeles, for the Art and Technology Program of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. And in 1979, for "Sound at P.S. 1" (Long Island City, N.Y.), he made the poetry-environment room A Vocabulary for Annie Brigitte Gilles Tardos, which included computer-assisted wall-sized verbal oil-stick drawings, colored-acetate pattern-poem transparencies (placed over the windowpanes), and computer printouts, all composed of sentences spelled solely with letters in the dedicatee's name.
Beginning in 1981, he has written, directed, and performed in seven radioworks (Hörspiele), with Anne Tardos collaborating and/or performing in all except one of them. Six were produced and broadcast by Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln (Cologne), and one was produced by the Sound Foundation (New York) and broadcast by National Public Radio stations throughout the United States.
In 1986 he lectured as keynote speaker, read, and performed at the University of Auckland as part of that year's conference of the Australian and New Zealand American Studies Association, and in 1990 he served as Regents' Lecturer at the University of California, San Diego. He read and lectured at SUNY, Buffalo, in 1989, and in 1995 he presented a paper at a conference on John Cage and his works at Mills College (Oakland, Calif.). In 1996 he participated with a group of French, and some American, poets and other translators in a seminar at Fondation Royaumont, Asnières (Oise), France, translating recent poems of his from the series “154 Forties.” In 1997 he read in New York and read, lectured, and participated in classes and panel discussions at SUNY-Buffalo and the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).
Since 1957 he has worked as an etymologist, writer of reference-book articles, copy editor, indexer, proofreader, and fact checker for many publishers, including Knopf, Funk & Wagnalls, Pantheon, Bantam, and Macmillan.
Fellowships, etc.: He was awarded two fellowships by New York State's Creative Artists Public Service Program (CAPS): for Multimedia Art, 1973-74, and for Poetry, 1976-77; and in 1975 he served on the CAPS Poetry Panel. He received grants from PEN in 1974 and 1982. In 1979 he served as Literature Judge for the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts' Grants-in-Aid to Individual Artists. He was awarded a Creative Writing Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1979, and a Guggenheim Fellowship for Poetry in 1985. His 1984 book Bloomsday was co-winner in 1985 of the San Francisco State University Poetry Center's Book Award. He also received grants and fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation (for New Zealand, 1986) and the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council (New Zealand, 1986 [see below]), the New York Foundation for the Arts (1988), unsolicited grants from The Fund for Poetry (1988-89, 1991-92, and 1998), and in 1999 the Dorothea Tanning Prize of the American Academy of Poets (also unsolicited).
Detailed Log of Activities, 1985–1999
In 1985 Mac Low won a Guggenheim Fellowship; his book Bloomsday was co-winner of the San Francisco State University Poetry Center Award for a book published in 1984; and he began serving as a member of the Artists’ Certification Committee, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs , which he continued to do through 1988, and then served on its Appeals Panel through 1992.
In 1986 he received a Fulbright travel grant for New Zealand, where he was the keynote speaker at the Australia and New Zealand American Studies Association conference at the University of Auckland and participated in a New Zealand composers’ conference in Nelson, N.Z., where he led a workshop. Afterwards, aided by a composer's grant from The Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council of New Zealand, he read, performed, made broadcasts in which he performed and was interviewed, and led workshops in Wellington, Dunedin, and Auckland, and read and performed at a Maori artists' and writers' conference in at the Maori queen’s sacred compound near Hamilton.
In 1988 he was awarded a Fellowship in Poetry by the New York Foundation for the Arts, and he participated in the "John Cage Festival-Symposium" at Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT., and in "Performing Language," a conference-festival at the State University of New York, Binghamton. In 1988–89 he received an unsolicited grant from The Fund for poetry (New York.).
In 1989 he participated in the "Fine Arts Festival" at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; in a "John Cage Symposium" at Strathmore Hall Arts Center, Rockville, Md.; and in festivals and concert series in Milan (Milanopoesia), Graz (Steirischer Herbst), Cologne (Zwischentöne), and Heidelberg (3. Heidelberger Festival für experimentelle Literatur und Musik), as well as in a concert at Logos (Ghent), in most of these with Anne Tardos, with whom he led a two-day workshop in Munich.
In 1990 he read at Ear Inn, New York; took part in three S.E.M. Ensemble Concerts at Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, and elsewhere; exhibited scores and a Hörspiel tape at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; took part as Hörspiel-writer and performer in Westdeutscher Rundfunk's 2nd Acustica International at the Whitney Museum's Equitable Center, New York; exhibited graphic scores in "Fluxus S.P.Q.R.," Galleria F. Borghese, Rome; performed simultaneities and exhibited a 1961 score (enlarged) and two recent paintings in the "Ubi Fluxus ibi motus" pavilion at the Venice Biennale; exhibited graphic scores in "Fluxus!," Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; read in a group program for Avec magazine, Galerie Lelong, New York; exhibited a construction at the Salvatore Ala Gallery and a painting at the Emily Harvey Gallery, both in New York; performed in The City Wears a Slouch Hat (Cage-Patchen), RAPP Arts Center, New York; and read at Small Press Distribution, Berkeley, the National Poetry Week Festival, San Francisco, and The Poetry Project, New York. In October, he began his series of poems “154 Forties.” [Its first drafts were completed 1995, revisions continued several years after that, and poems from it were published in 1999 as 20 Forties (Zasterle Press, Tenerife, Canary Islands)]. In 1990-91 he served on the poetry panel of the New York Foundation for the Arts.
Early in 1991, having been commissioned by the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation's Intercommunications Center to compose a verbal work for the CD The Museum Inside The Telephone Network (Tokyo, etc., 1991),Mac Low, Tardos, and the computer composer Curtis Bahn, performed, recorded, and produced the verbal simultaneity, Communication(s), at the Brooklyn College Computer Music Center. He performed and had works performed in S.E.M. Ensemble concerts in New York; read at the Ear Inn, Granary Books, and elsewhere in New York; and read and performed with Anne Tardos at Woodland Pattern, Milwaukee. A new choral work of his was premiered by the choir of the First Unitarian Society of Madison, conducted by the choir director, Ellsworth Snyder; and his instrumental work Lucas 1 to 29 (composed in 1990) was premiered by the group austraLYSIS in Sydney, Australia. He taught, read, performed with Tardos, and was a panelist at Naropa Institute, Boulder, CO.. In October he participated in the conference/festival "The disappearing pheasant: Italian poetry today," with many Italian and American poets and critics, at Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, New York University. Some of his visual works and scores were exhibited in Fluxus-related shows at the Plug In, Brian Melnychenko, and 1.1.1 galleries in Winnipeg, at Galerie Krinzinger, Innsbruck, and in a four-artist show at Atelier 96, Vienna. In December he exhibited a new painting at the Emily Harvey Gallery, New York. In 1991-92 he received an unsolicited grant from The Fund for Poetry.
In 1992 he gave two readings of his poems at the Ear Inn, New York; and Anne Tardos and he performed and presented new musical and verbal works, some with instrumentalists, at the Experimental Intermedia Foundation (New York). He also performed and presented new musical and verbal works with the S.E.M. Ensemble, "Fluxus" artists, and an orchestra at S.E.M.'s Willow Place Auditorium, Brooklyn; and he exhibited in group shows at the North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks, and at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Toronto. In April, Tardos and he taught and performed in Vienna at the Schule für Dichtung in Wien. In August, they read and performed at Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.), and in September they performed during the "Fluxus Virus" festival in Cologne and in the "Poésies Sonores" (sound poetry) festival in Geneva. In New York in October, he and Tardos exhibited and performed their collaborative painting and performance score 1st Four-Language Word Event in Memoriam John Cage in the FluxAttitudes show at the New Museum and participated in the "Musicircus" for Mr. Cage at Symphony Space.
In March 1993 Tardos and Mac Low gave a joint concert of their works for voices with prerecorded tapes at Experimental Intermedia, New York. In April, they taught in Vienna at the Schule für Dichtung in Wien and performed during its opening ceremonies and performed their works for voices with prerecorded tapes at the Merlin Theater in Budapest and at other performance spaces in Budapest, Szeged, and Szentendre, Hungary. In June, They gave a reading of their poetry and a performance of a collaborative painting and score at Biblio's, New York. In June, Mac Low performed in a work by Petr Kotik in an S.E.M. Ensemble concert which also included works by Morton Feldman and Vivaldi in Brooklyn In September, the compact disc Open Secrets (XI-110), comprising works by Mac Low (one composed with Tardos) performed by Tardos, Mac Low, and seven instrumentalists, was issued by Experimental Intermedia, New York. In October, the double compact disc A Chance Operation: The John Cage Tribute (Westbury, NY: Koch International USA, 1993), which includes Tardos's and Mac Low's performance of one of their three collaboratively composed painting-scores in memory of Mr. Cage, was issued. In October, they performed one of these collaborative works during the Cage conference and festival "Days of Silence" in Warsaw, where Mac Low also read his essay on Cage's writings and Tardos gave a workshop on the use of the computer in making visual artworks. In November, they performed a program of their works in John Cage's "work for museum" Rolywholyover A Circus at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, where Mac Low, in another program, performed for four hours with the premier of the latest videotape realization of his Tree* Movie [entitled Beach Movie]. Later in November, they performed a program of their works during the festival "Fluxus Vivus" at the Arts Club, Chicago. In December, they performed a program of their works during the festival "WORD(S)OUND--Text-Based Sound Art and Poetry" at the Miami-Dade Community College, Miami, and Mac Low read some of his recent poetry at the Ear Inn, New York.
In February 1994, he performed with Anne Tardos and the orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble in Tardos's multimedia work Among Men, at the Willow Place Auditorium, Brooklyn. In March, read recent poetry at the Poetry Project, St. Mark's Church, New York, and in May, participated in a panel on performance there. In June, at The Guggenheim Museum SoHo (New York), he performed with Anne Tardos in a program of their works. In June and July he taught in the MFA program at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., and read and performed his work there. He taught creative writing, read recent poetry, and with Anne Tardos, performed some of their "simultaneities" at Naropa Institute, Boulder. In August he performed with the 1993 Beach Movie realization of his 1961 Tree* Movie , repeating the word "beach" for four hours. Both Guggenheim-SoHo performances were connected with the museum's presentation of John Cage's "work for museum" Rolywholyover A Circus. In October in New York, Tardos and Mac Low performed and read their works at the Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University; they premiered their collaborative performance work Cellular Dialogue during the "Seoul-NYMAX" performance festival at Anthology Film Archives; and Mac Low narrated stories by Franz Kafka in a work by theCzech composer Klusak with the S.E.M. Ensemble during the festival "400 Years of Music in Prague" at the World Financial Center Winter Garden. In November, he taught creative writing and read some of his recent poetry at Brown University (Providence, RI), and in December, Tardos and he performed a new version of their Cellular Dialogue at Biblio's in New York.
In January 1995 in New York, Anne Tardos and he read and performed their work at the Poetry Project’s Marathon Benefit Reading in St. Mark’s Church, and they performed their Cellular Dialogue at The Kitchen. (They "embedded" performance works by each of them in the latter performance.) In February, Pauline Oliveros and he performed their collaborative work A "Forties" Opera, combining instrumental and vocal improvisation by Oliveros with Mac Low's improvisatorily regulated readings of several recent poems from his series “154 Forties,” at the Renee Weiler Concert Hall of Greenwich House Music School (New York). In April, Tardos and he participated in "The End of Language: a Symphosophia on Experimental, Visual, and Concrete Poetry since 1960" at Yale University: they performed a program of verbal-musical works together and he did a separate reading of recent poems from “154 Forties.” In May, he read other poems from “154 Forties” at the Ear Inn (New York). In August, Pauline Oliveros and he performed a new version of their collaborative "Forties" Opera, combining electronic improvisation by Oliveros, as well as her instrumental and vocal improvisation, with Mac Low's improvisatorily regulated reading of poems from “154 Forties,” at the Rhinebeck Performance Center, Rhinebeck, NY. In October, Mac Low read the most recently completed poems from “154 Forties” at the Ear Inn (New York). In November he presented a paper on John Cage's writings during the conference and concert series "Here Comes Everybody: the Music, Poetry, and Art of John Cage" at Mills College (Oakland, Calif.). During 1995, his 42 Merzgedichte in Memoriam Kurt Schwitters shared the America Award for a book of poetry published in 1994 with Robert Creeley's Echoes, and he served as one of three judges for the America Award for a book of belle lettres or a collection published in 1995.
In January 1996 he presented readings and performances at Cowell College of the University of California, Santa Cruz; at Copperfield's Book Store (Sebastopol, Calif.); and at New Langton Arts (San Francisco), where he read poems from “154 Forties” and collaborated with the poet Steve Benson in two improvisatorily regulated verbal performances drawing upon parts of their own poems and other texts. In April, he and Tardos presented a program of their musical and performance works at Roulette, in New York with Andrew Bolotowsky, flutist. It included Tardos's multimedia work Among Men, for speakers and instrumentalist(s), and her Edit Mode, a work for poet and video, including in this performance live editing from her videotapes by Tardos and spontaneous selection and reading of phrases, lines, etc., by Mac Low from his “154 Forties,” and two new works by Mac Low, Laboratory Fantastication, for two speakers and instrumentalist(s), and Fieldpiece 1, for two speakers. In May, he and Tardos performed Laboratory Fantastication with Theresa Solomon, violinist, in a program of the S. E. M. Ensemble, directed by Petr Kotik, at the Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. In June, after participating in the Fondation Royaumont's American–French translation seminar, which translated five poems from his “154 Forties” into French at L'Abbaye de Royaumont, Asnières (Oise). Subsequently, he presented readings of five “Forties”poems, with Bernard Heidsieck reading the French translations in three venues, Royaumont, La Maison des Ecrivains, Paris; and Le Centre International de Poésie Marseille (Centre de Vieile Charité); and Juliette Valéry reading the translations in the studio of Alexandre Delay, in Bouliac (near Bordeaux). In each program he also presented versions of Tardos's Edit Mode, including showings of a recent videotape by Tardos and Mac Low's live selection of words, phrases, etc., from poems in “154 Forties.” In November, in New York, he read recent poetry at the St. Marks Poetry Project, and he and Tardos presented at The Kitchen their new work Provence, comprising a videotape, edited by Tardos from tapes she shot in France that summer, and a verbal performance work on Provence by Mac Low for two speakers, performed by Tardos and him.
In March 1997, at the Ear Inn, New York, Mac Low read several poems from “154 Forties” and performed a duo with Joan Retallack, of which they wrote their parts separately. In May, at The Poets Theater, New York, he read "Forties 126-131" and performed a duo with Anne Tardos, of which they each had written their own parts. In September, a 75th-birthday celebration was held for him at New York University, including a birthday cake, performances (musical, verbal, and dance), poetry readings, and a book party for the premier issue of the magazine Crayon, which is a 313-page Festschrift for his 75th birthday and includes a CD of musical works for and by him. In October and November, as a part of a series of 75th-birthday celebrations, he read his poetry, lectured, and participated in seminars at SUNY-Buffalo and at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and he performed with the East Buffalo Media Association in a concert of his works for speakers and/or instrumentalists at Hallwalls, Buffalo. In December, Clarinda Mac Low performed several of his dance-instructions poems from The Pronouns (written in 1964, published 1964, 1971, and 1979) in the Danspace of St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bouwerie in New York
In March 1998, he read programs of his recent poetry at Brooklyn College, where he also discussed the poetry, and at HERE, New York, and he read recent poems in a benefit for two magazines. In mid-April, he began a new poem series, “Stein,” the words of which are drawn from works by Gertrude Stein by deterministic “nonintentional” procedures whose output is subject to revision. By December 2000 he had completed 156 substantial poems in the series. In October, he read recent poems at Double Happiness, in New York, and in November, at the Neuberger Museum of SUNY—Purchase, NY, in connection with a show of visual artworks involving language, in which he and Anne Tardos exhibited a painting and works on paper. In December, at the Dia Center for the Arts, New York, he gave a retrospective reading of his writings 1955-98, during which Tardos and he performed a 1980 work of his for speaker-vocalists and/or instrumentalists. Later in December, Tardos and he presented For Dick Higgins, a performance piece for speaker-vocalists that they had collaboratively composed in Higgins’s memory in New York, first, during the S.E.M. Ensemble’s memorial concert for Higgins at the Paula Cooper Gallery, and then during the memorial for Higgins at the Judson Memorial Church.
In January 1999, Mac Low and Tardos realized For Dick Higgins at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bouwerie during the Poetry Project’s New Year’s Day Benefit Marathon Reading. Later in January, they read poems by Armand Schwerner at a prepublication celebration for him at Teachers & Writers Collaborative, and read some of their own recent poems—Tardos from her forthcoming book Uxudo and Mac Low from his series “Stein”—and parts of a poem by Hölderlin, in a program at the St. Mark’s Poetry Project featuring a collaborative work based on it by Robert Kelly and Schuldt. Later in January, he read poems from “Stein” at Double Happiness in the Segue poetry series, and in February, he did so at the Dactyl Gallery and participated in a reading of works by William Burroughs at the St. Marks Poetry Project. In March and April, he and Anne Tardos collaboratively composed a multilingual group of Gathas (performance scores) in memory of Armand Schwerner and performed them in New York in April at Cooper Union as part of the People’s Poetry Gathering and at Teachers and Writers Collaborative as part of a banquet in honor of Schwerner. In May he participated in a reading of poems by Philip Whalen at the St. Mark’s Poetry Project, and in June in a Conference on Poetry and Pedagogy at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, where he also read a paper. In July, he taught the writing of performance pieces and did a reading of his poetry at Naropa Institute, Boulder, CO. In October, he participated in a panel discussion on John Cage and his work with Merce Cunningham and Alison Knowles at The New School University in New York. In November, he and Anne Tardos performed a poem by Dick Higgins as part of a memorial program for him at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and they performed in a program of verbal and musical works by him and Tardos for speaker, singer, and instrumentalists at Roulette, both in New York., and he received the Dorothea Tanning Award from The Academy of American Poets. In December, he was guest performer with the Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble in his Free Gatha 1 for speakers and/or instrumentalists (composed in 1978), in a program including works by J. S. Bach, Richard Strauss, John Cage, and Morton Feldman at the Willow Place Auditorium, Brooklyn, and at the Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, where he and Anne Tardos later began the 26th and last Marathon Reading of Gertrude Stein’s The Making of Americans.
In January 2000, he and Anne Tardos realized his 2000, a performance score for speakers, after Tardos read some of her recent poems, in the New Year’s Day Benefit Marathon Reading, at the St. Mark’s Poetry Project, New York. In April, a concert of 10 of his substantial musical works was presented in Dettenhausen, Germany; he introduced a videotape, The Language of Music—Conversations with Grete Sultan, at the Westbeth Community Room, New York, and he read his poetry and participated, reading poems from “Stein,” in “A New Language: Russian and American Poetry Today,” a conference of Russian and American poets at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey. In May, he and Anne Tardos read some of their poems and performed their collaborative Four Gathas in Memoriam Armand Schwerner at KGB in New York, and two weeks later, he read one of his poems and was honored with nine other poets for receiving awards from The Academy of American Poets in 1999 (he, for receiving the Dorothea Tanning Prize), at the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York. In August, did two readings of his poetry in the Bjørnson Festival 2000 in Molde, Norway, and on an island off Molde and unveiled a monument to Kurt Schwitters. In October, he acted as the Distinguished Visiting Writer for Fall 2000 in the MFA Creative Writing Program and read his poetry in the Creative Writing Reading Series at St. Mary’s College, Moraga, CA. In December he will read with Robert Creeley, Anselm Hollo, and Alison Knowles at the Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville, TN.
In January 2001 he will do a reading and lead a poetry workshop at the University of Arizona, Tucson.
His books include The Twin Plays (1963, 1966), The Pronouns--A Collection of 40 Dances--For the Dancers (1964, 1971, 1979), Verdurous Sanguinaria [abridged edition] (1967), August Light Poems (1967), 22 Light Poems (1968), 23rd Light Poem: For Larry Eigner, (1969), Stanzas for Iris Lezak (1972), 4 trains (1974), 36th Light Poem: In Memoriam Buster Keaton, (1975), 21 Matched Asymmetries (1978), 54th Light Poem: For Ian Tyson (1978), A Dozen Douzains for Eve Rosenthal (1978), phone (1978), Asymmetries 1-260 (1980), "Is That Wool Hat My Hat?" (1982), From Pearl Harbor Day to FDR's Birthday (1982, 1995), Bloomsday (1984), French Sonnets (1984, 1989), The Virginia Woolf Poems (1985), Eight Drawing-Asymmetries (1985), Representative Works: 1938-1985 (1986), Words nd Ends from Ez (1989), Twenties: 100 Poems (1991), Pieces o' Six: Thirty-three Poems in Prose (1992), 42 Merzgedichte in Memoriam Kurt Schwitters (1994), Barnesbook (1996), and 20 Forties (1999).
Published posthumously: Doings: An Assortment of Performance Pieces 1955–2002 (Granary Books, New York, 2005), Thing of Beauty: New and Selected Works, Edited by Anne Tardos (University of California Press, Berkeley, 2008), 154 Forties, Edited by Anne Tardos (Counterpath Press, Denver, 2012), The Complete Light Poems: 1-60, Edited by Anne Tardos and Michael O'Driscoll (Chax Press, Victoria, TX, 2015).