Basil Bunting: April 29, 1976

The Poetry Center presents Basil Bunting, reading Briggflatts, his most celebrated long poem, and, by request, his earlier long poem, "Chomei at Toyama," at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, its Van Ness Avenue location. On a rare visit to the U.S., the Poetry Center/SFMOMA reading was Bunting's only West Coast stop on a month-long tour, visiting from his home in Northumberland, in England on the Scottish border. Bunting reads from the Fulcrum Press edition of his Collected Poems (1968); the later Oxford University Press edition, which followed Fulcrum publisher Stuart Montgomery's cover design featuring a black and white Barnett Newman drawing, wouldn't appear until 1978, two years after Bunting's appearance here. Though he doesn't appear on-screen, Lewis MacAdams was director of The Poetry Center at the time of Bunting's visit and reading.

Note: from contemporary media, as of this date the San Francisco Museum of Art has been renamed San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The occasion is indicated as "part of the Poets' Theatre series" at the museum, and as Bunting's "first public reading in the United States since the 'Rolling Renaissance' of 1968." Actually, this San Francisco date was the concluding appearance in Bunting's 9-city U.S. tour, begun April 5 at Harvard University, and apparently organized at the incentive of Jonathan Williams, of The Jargon Foundation.


American Poetry Archives
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Event Run Time
Lewis MacAdams

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Basil Bunting, reading Briggflatts (00:57:36)

Basil Bunting, reading "Chomei at Toyama" (00:27:20)

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