Last week in London I met with Mark Ford and concurred enthusiastically when he said that a cable TV station dedicated to the New York School would be a good idea. Jenny Quilter would serve as anchor at NYS headquarters and would moderate "Breakfast with James Schuyler" among other shows.
Some programs immediately come to mind as ideal for their time slots. "Lunch Walk" with Frank O'Hara (theme music from Poulenc's "Perpetual Motion"), "Happy Hour" with John Ashbery (theme music from Elliott Carter), and the aforementioned "Breakfast with James Schuyler" with Guests such as Barbara brought to you by Tiptree Gooseberry Preserve. Lewis Saul will compose music specially for the opening and closing credits weaving in fragments from JS's poem "June 30, 1974." Also, we plan to air "Gardening with Jimmy," at 3:30, hosted by Susan Baran and Marc Cohen with visits by C. North, E. Myles, et al, "Morning Prayer" with Anne Porter daily at 7 in lush interiors depicted by her husband, and "Fairfield's Opinions," Sundays at 11 AM, in which, against a backdrop of incredible seascapes, the painter airs his views on subjects ranging from cancer cures to risk-averse investment strategies. Maureen Owen will host "Telephone," with each show devoted to a phone call of note. Bonus feature: the poets' answering machine announcements and selected messages.
The "Harry Mathews Wine Hour," "Looking at Lookiing" with Jane Freilicher, and "Looking at the Dance with Edwin Denby" (hosted by Anne Waldman) are in the works. I have not yet consulted with Ron Padgett to determine whether he will produce and star in "The Tennis Court Coach" in the pilot of which Ron explicates Ashbery's The Tennis Court Oath in relation to the historical events preceding the actual tennis court oath in Paris in 1789.
For "Koch and his Circle," Kenneth Koch and friends will collaborate on poems and act in Koch's plays and skits such as "Keats and His Circle" set in Hampstead Heath in 1819. Harvard and Columbia students will receive course credit for regular viewing.
Larry Rivers and the Climax Band will play sets on weekend evenings at 9:30, 11, and 1 AM. We have been encouraging David Shapiro to bring his violin, Charles North his clarinet, and Larry Fagin his expertise on great girl singers of the Big Band Era, such as Louanne Hogan.
Vincent Katz will host a weekly "Studio Visit" featuring such painters, artists, and collage makers as Trevor Winkfield, Joe Brainard, Alex Katz, Joan Mitchell, the late Nell Blaine, the late George Schneeman, Jim Dine, Darragh Park. New work will be displayed by Star Black, David Shapiro, Susan Wheeler, Marjorie Welish, many others.
James Cummins will executive-produce and serve as chief writer on a brand new series of "PerryMason" courtroom dramas where everyone speaks only in sestinas.
Special consultant: Paul Violi (see his poem "Triptych"). Bureau chiefs: John Tranter in Sydney, Pyotr Sommer in Warsaw, Amy Gerstler in Los Angeles, David Trinidad in Chicago, Alice Notley in Paris, Terence Winch in DC, James Cummins in Cincinnati, Paul Hoover in San Francisco. Denise Duhamel wil report from Miami, Karin Roffman from West Point, Tony Towle from the taxi, and Nin Andrews from the AWP Conference. David Shapiro will be himself. These are just preliminary thoughts. More to come. This is as they say in French a "work in progress." (Like Finnegans Wake.) Suggestions welcome. -- DL