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Ryan Eckes reads Old News accompanied by Daniel Yorty

Several years ago my nephew Daniel gave me a CD of the Philadelphia poet Ryan Eckes reading from his first book, Old News, with Daniel accompanying on drums, tambourine, and shakers. The poems are of a piece and tell a story. The poet and his wife move from an apartment on Spruce Street to a row house in South Philly, the first time there for them, but in the cleaning up, old newspapers are found. Sometimes in the delay of cleaning, the poet reads and writes of times and places that are uniquely Philadelphia, spoken with its particular accent, observations full of irony, the way they are there, where for centuries the living and the dead have been replenishing themselves, car wheels over cobblestone, the Liberty Bell and the Philly Sound. In one poem called new is the old old Ryan writes:

alice notley said “more important than having
been born is your city, the scale upon which
your heart when you die will be weighed
and then she said “i don’t know if that’s true
or not, i think about it a lot.” me too…

I’ve enjoyed putting this version of Old News together. As I did, I tried to think of other books of universal poems that capture a city as powerfully as this one captures Philadelphia. Spoon River? The Waste Land’s London. If you can think of any, let me know. Meanwhile, enjoy the poems.

odd years 2

evening bulletin 3




Daniel Yorty

Ryan Eckes

Old News is published by furniture press books. Check them out:



  1. Gary Introne

    Nice. Presentation, and work. gar

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