Memorial for Leslie Scalapino


It is with heavy hearts that we will open the doors of the Parish Hall so that we may all come together in friendship and grief to remember and celebrate the life and work of Leslie Scalapino, one of our greatest poets, who passed away on May 28th. Guests who will speak include Simone Fattal, Joan Retallack, Charles Bernstein, Susan Bee, Ann Lauterbach, Susan Howe, Paolo Javier, Fiona Templeton, Laura Elrick, Rodrigo Toscano, Steve Clay, Rachel Levitsky, Susan Landers, James Sherry, Brenda Iijima, Pierre Joris, Judith Goldman, E. Tracy Grinnell and Tom White.

There will be a wine and cheese reception to follow. We’ll have a book table with titles by Leslie, plus 50 canvas bags that she collaborated on with Kiki Smith. We’ll be accepting donations for the bags starting at $25. All proceeds from books and bags will be donated to Poets In Need.


If you can’t attend but would like to honor Leslie Scalapino, please consider a charitable donation in her memory to: Poets in Need, PO Box 5411, Berkeley, CA 94705;  Reed College for the Leslie Scalapino Scholarship, 3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, OR 97202-8199;  The AYCO Charitable Foundation, PO Box 15203, Albany, NY 12212-5203 for the Leslie Scalapino-O Books Fund to support innovative works of poetry, prose and art; or to a charitable organization of your choice.

The Memorial follows two performances of Scalapino’s Noh play Flow–Winged Crocodile at Poets House:

Saturday, June 19, at 7:00pm & Sunday, June 20, at 2:00pm
Flow—Winged Crocodile: A Noh Play by Leslie Scalapino

Directed by Fiona Templeton, with Katie Brown, Stephanie Silver and Julie Troost.  Dance by Molissa Fenley. Music by Joan Jeanrenaud. Projected drawings by Eve Biddle. Technical director: Ray Roy III.

This Noh play by poet Leslie Scalapino travels between the left and right sides of the brain, with appearances by a reincarnated Patty Hearst in the 1974 SLA bank heist and a green-winged creature that is part crocodile, part Michelin man and part charging rhino. The play is performed by The Relationship, a performance group directed by Fiona Templeton that specializes in innovative language and use of site.

Leslie Scalapino is the ground-breaking, genre-stretching author of thirty books of poetry, poem-plays, essays, and fiction, including way, which won the American Book Award; Sight, a collaboration with Lyn Hejinian; Zither & Autobiography; The Tango; New Time; and It’s go in horizontal: Selected Poems 1974-2006.

Cosponsored by Belladonna and The Poetry Project.

$10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poetry Project and Poets House Members