The Cortland Review


Yusef Komunyakaa
  An interview with Yusef Komunyakaa by David Lehman and a reading of some of his finest poems, all in RealAudio.

Chantelle Bentley
  Listening for the Whispers Above the Screams: The necessity of poetry in the age of technology.

Daniela Gioseffi
  From the Serious to the Silly: A review of three new anthologies of women's writing from the Stone Age to the Present Age.

Renee Bandazian
  Visions of Wheaties Boxes Danced in My Head: A report from the Poetry Olympics.

John Kinsella
  Next Door to the Racing Pigeon Clubhouse: The next chapter in John Kinsella's continuing autobiographical series.

Yusef Komunyakaa


Yusef Komunyakaa (Photo by Renee)Yusef Komunyakaa has published eleven books of poems including: Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems 1977-1989, the winner of the 1994 Pulitzer Prize and Thieves of Paradise, a finalist for the 1999 National Book Critics Circle Award.  Forthcoming are Blue Notes: Essays Interviews & Commentaries, Talking Dirty to the Gods, and Pleasure Dome: New and Collected Poems, 1975-1999. He has written Slip Knot, a libretto in collaboration with Composer T.J. Anderson and commissioned by Northwestern University. Besides the CD recording Love Notes from the Madhouse, future jazz-related releases feature Komunyakaa's poem about Charlie Parker's life on Testimony and lyrics on Thirteen Kinds of Desire sung by Pamela Knowles. He is a professor in the Council of Humanities and Creative Writing Program at Princeton University, and a recently elected Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Yusef Komunyakaa - Interview and Reading


Yusef Komunyakaa was interviewed by David Lehman at New School University on November 10, 1999, following his poetry reading.  

Yusef Komunyakaa (Photo by Renee)

The poetry reading/interview is separated into several parts.  Click on any link below to begin listening from that moment onward:

#        TITLE    TIME
1 Introduction by David Lehman


2 "An Old Low-down Blues" 2:21
3 "Ode to a Drum"2 1:30
4 "The Deck"2 2:02
5 "Camouflaging the Chimera"1 2:04
6 "Ode to the Maggot"4 :55
7 "The Scapegoat"4 1:02
8 "Venus's-flytraps"3 1:41
9 "My Father's Love Letters"3 1:33
10 "Slam, Dunk, & Hook" 1:24
11 "Blue Light Lounge Sutra..."1 1:18
12 "Thanks"1 1:26
13 "We Never Know"1 :47
14 "Rhythm Method" 1:54
15 "Jasmine"3 1:58
16 "Facing It"1 1:30
17 "Anodyne"2 1:51
18 "Yellowjackets"3 :52
19 "No-good Blues" 2:15
20 Interview by David Lehman 25:42

Interview by David Lehman    


1 Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems, 1977-1989
2 Thieves of Paradise
3 Pleasure Dome: New and Collected Poems, 1975-1999
4 Talking Dirty to the Gods

Special thanks to: David Lehman, Yusef Komunyakaa, Robert Polito, Zoe Anglesey, and everyone at New School University for participating in the broadcast of this event.



2002 The Cortland Review