The Poetry Project has spent the last few years digitizing a pretty extraordinary archive of taped readings by a group of New York poets who could be broadly characterized as "downtown," including Eileen Myles, Alice Notley, John Yau, and Ted Berrigan.

Filmed in the late 70s, the readings aired on a cable show called Public Access Poetry. A grant and anonymous donations allowed The Poetry Project to digitize the first 31 fragile open-reel videotapes and a recent (and successful!) Kickstarter campaign will now allow them to preserve the final 16. The Poetry Project writes:

Your contributions quickly funded this project and now the last 16 Public Access Poetry open-reel tapes will get out of their boxes and into the hands of professionals sooner than later. Early in the New Year, they will be safely preserved and digitally transferred by The Standby Program at MercerMedia. Once the job is completed and the digital files are returned to us, they will be made accessible via PennSound and The Poetry Project’s website. We’ll keep you posted on their progress.

You can see some of the previously digitized episodes here.

Originally Published: November 18th, 2011