The Grand Piano is an experiment in collective autobiography by ten writers identified with Language poetry in San Francisco. The project takes its name from a coffeehouse at 1607 Haight Street in San Francisco where from 1976 to 1979 several of us programmed and coordinated – and all of us participated in – a weekly reading and performance series.
The Grand Piano is centered on the 1970s when we first met and collaborated. Yet we all engage issues beyond that time, and the project adheres to no prescribed set of themes. Originally, each author was to follow the prompt of the previous. In the event, many sections have been written out of order, and the project’s development has been nonlinear even as it is being published in serial form. Rae Armantrout, Steve Benson, Carla Harryman, Lyn Hejinian, Tom Mandel, Ted Pearson, Bob Perelman, Kit Robinson, Ron Silliman, and Barrett Watten write The Grand Piano.
New volumes appear several times a year. The complete series will comprise ten volumes, with the ten authors appearing in different sequence in each volume, according to the following grid:
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