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Nova Convention, The Spoken Word

This segment features one of Laurie Anderson's first public performances in a collaborative electro-rap with Julia Heyward, Brion Gysin doing his legendary repetition riffing (I Am That!), Steve Lacy (not on sax), John Giorno (Grasping at Emptiness) John Cage reading part of his Writing Through Finnegans Wake, and Anne Waldman's incantations against nuclear war. John Giorno provides some additional commentary recorded in 2012.

The Nova Convention programs document a three day event that took place in New York City in 1978 as an homage to William S. Burroughs. While parts of the event have been released on vinyl and online, this resoration contains hours of material lost or unheard for 40 years.

The original series was produced by Giorno Poetry systems for WBAI radio. The recordings have been restored from John Giorno's private tapes in partnership with the Clocktower Gallery's radio station at


Historic Audio from the Archives of Charles Ruas


An unparalleled collection of recovered and restored programs from the seventies produced by Charles Ruas, and featuring Allen Ginsberg, John Giorno, Anaïs Nin, William Boroughs, Buckminster Fuller, Sylvia Plath, Pablo Neruda, and Jorge Luis Borges, among numerous others.