Nathaniel Mackey and Will Alexander
This is Nathaniel Mackey reading from his first epistolary novel Bedouin Hornbook. It is one of my favorite recordings of anything ever. I remember listening to this recording in the late 90’s and turning around a corner in my apartment just as Mackey read the phrase “Dear Birds” about halfway through. It was a physical sensation of being “hit” by something, of hearing something that was very important to hear but I didn’t know why. I had ordered the cassette from SFSU and I remember being excited that my cassette deck had an endless repeat function. I think this one looped all day and night long. (The other side was this John Taggart reading.) I would walk in and out of the room and catch different parts of it. There were several minutes of silence at the end of each side, and I remember being startled each time the voices would start up again. Even now, after hearing it maybe 60 or 70 times I still get caught up in it. In listening to it again recently, I was struck by the longstanding resonances between the works of Alexander and Mackey.
Listen to Will Alexander read his poem A National Day in Bangladesh from the KENNING magazine CD.
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