Common Ground#307

On Music and Memory

With Adele Bertei, Lucy Sante, and Bob Holman


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Musician and writer Adele Bertei and writer Lucy Sante join poet Bob Holman for a conversation on music and memory. We’ll conclude with a poetry reading.

In this talk

Adele Bertei

A photograph of Adele Bertei
Musician and writer Adele Bertei is an original member of New York incendiaries The Contortions. She played a lead role in filmmaker Lizzie Borden’s Born in Flames (1983) and her all-girl band The Bloods was the first “out” band of queer women. Bertai has worked with Tears for Fears, Thomas Dolby, Sandra Bernhard, Culture Club, Scritti Politti, John Lurie, Arthur Baker, Whitney Houston, Sheena Easton, Lydia Lunch, the Pointer Sisters, and the Anubian Lights. Bertei’s stories and essays appear in The New Fuck You: Adventures in Lesbian Reading (MIT Press, 1995) and other anthologies. Bertei’s first book Peter and the Wolves (Smog Veil Records, 2020) was recently followed by Why Labelle Matters, which was released with University of Texas Press in March 2021.

Lucy Sante

A photograph of Luc Sante
Writer, critic, and artist Lucy Sante’s books include Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York (FSG 2003), Evidence (Noonday Press 1992), The Factory of Facts (Vintage Press 1999), Kill All Your Darlings: Pieces 1990-2005 (Yeti Publishing 2007), and others. Sante has been a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books since 1981, alongside many other magazines and periodicals. She is the winner of the Whiting Award, an award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Grammy (for album notes), an Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography, and the Guggenheim and Cullman Fellowships. She has been a Visiting Professor of Writing and the History of Photography at Bard College since 1999.

Bob Holman

This is a portrait of Bob Holman. It is a pencil drawing on off white paper by the Rail's publisher, Phong Bui.
Portrait by Phong H. Bui
An American poet and poetry activist, Bob Holman is equal parts spoken word performer, professor, impresario, activist, proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club, filmmaker and host of Language Matters (2015 Documentary of the Year, Berkeley Film Festival), and beyond. From slam to hip-hop, from performance to spoken word, he’s been a central figure in redefining poetry as it exists on, off, and beyond the page. Author of 17 poetry collections, he was described by Henry Louis Gates Jr. in The New Yorker as “the postmodern promoter who has done more to bring poetry to cafes and bars than anyone since Ferlinghetti.” Bob is a contributor of the Brooklyn Rail. His two recent books, The UnSpoken and Life Poem (both YBK/Bowery Books, 2019), were written fifty years apart.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.