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Reflections on Alex Caldiero
Theater X-net

Alex Caldiero , Sonosopher, wordshaker, polyartist, and scholar of humanities and intermedia.
Born in Licodia Eubea, near Catania, Sicily. He immigrated to the U.S. at age nine and was raised in New York. He attended Queens College in Flushing, NY, and was apprenticed to the sculptor Michael Lekakis and the poet-bard Ignazio Buttitta. He has traveled to, and collected proverbs, tales, and folk-instruments from Sicily, Sardinia, Turkey, and Greece, and co-founded Arba Sicula, to preserve the language and traditions of Sicily. Caldiero teaches Philosophy and Humanities at Utah Valley State College, about 20 miles south of Salt Lake City.
Partial Bibliography and Discography:
Various Atmospheres: Poems and Drawings (Signature Books); Sphota Probe (CD), Ah Bh Gh (artist book), U Latti Di La Matri/The Milk of the Mother (bi-lingual Sicilian poems, CSSSS, Catania), Said Z (artist book), From Stone to Star (Incurve Press), Or: Book O Lights (artist book), Pieces in Places (CD),Toy Blood (self-published limited ed.), Words: Exterior/Interior (video with Steve Olpin), Illegible Tattoos (artist book), Body/Dreams/Organs (Elik Press), Text-Sound Texts (Anthology, Richard Kostelanetz, ed., Morrow, NY), Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes (Routledge, London/NY), Utah: State of the Arts (Trudy McMurrin, ed. Meridian International Ogden, Utah).

Michael Evans: I first met Alex at Ken Sanders' Rare Books in Salt Lake City in 1998. I had been away for most of ten years, but I was in town doing temporary tech work. I had known Sanders since 1968, and had proudly observed his career as a book dealer and publisher. Ken invited me into his lounge area and introduced us. Caldiero had purchased some some out-of-print chapbooks of his own poetry, and was looking through them. They invited me to an upcoming celebration of the lives of Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and Jack Keroac where Alex read his own poetry and finished the evening with a recital of Ginsberg's Howl. I met my old aquaintence Sherm Clow and other people from Salt Lake's alternative scene that night, plus I heard some damn fine poetry. Caldiero is an indescribably electrifying performer as well as a masterful writer. He is completely fearless -- using props, drums, and other resonating noisemakers. After Alex finished with his original works, we had an intermission. When he came back to read Howl, I thought of Lawrence Talbot turning into the Wolf Man.

The Salt Lake Magazine descibes a later event for the 50th anniversary of the poem's first recitation on October 7, 1955:
Howl, which begins, I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness…, is an oft-quoted, three-part, 2,400-word stretch of dizzying verse that has influenced generations of writers and artists. Its subject matter was thought taboo-breaking at the time of publication... But it's not the references to genitalia and drugs that has Caldiero rapt. The lines are long-up to 22 syllables each-and meant to be read with one breath. "Reading the poem requires the whole body," he explains, hands behind his woolly head in his office at Orem's Utah Valley State College..."When Alex reads 'Howl,'" says the owner of Ken Sanders Rare Books, "it's like he's channeling Ginsberg." To evoke the original Six Gallery reading, Sanders and other organizers will convert the SLC Library auditorium into a replica of a 1950s venue, complete with members of the Salt Lake Alternative Jazz Orchestra ... "But the highlight will be Alex reading Howl," says Sanders... "The rhythms (of Howl) go back to the beginning of language," Caldiero notes, "to the beginning of art and civilization, to the caves of Lascaux -- or before." -- James Ross Gardner       Complete S.L. Magazine article and color photo HERE

Michael Evans: I next saw Alex in Trent Harris' movie satire Plan 10 From Outer Space. After that, whenever I saw Caldiero's name I made the effort to be there too. It was always worth the trip. I saw him making movies-as-poems. I saw him abstractly vocalizing noises-as-poetry, and saw him doing visual ensembles with other performers that made exciting theater-as-poetry. The last time I saw Alex was at a multimedia extravaganza called Mesh which was streamed live on the Internet from the wonderfully eccentric Kilby Court Gallery. Alex's poems were muscular and vivid -- the other poets' works were sometimes good, but Caldiero's rhythmic phrases washed over the crowd like surf from an unexpected ocean. He finished up with some classically "Beat" verbal jamming, accompanied by young bass player.

Links for Alex Caldiero and his friends
Listen: THETA NAUGHT w/ Alex Caldiero Read about Ken Sanders   Visit his Bookstore
Listen: A story about Alex on National Public Radio Plan 10 and other films by Trent Harris
Listen: Alex Caldiero on Scott Carrier's Hearing Voices Read about Various Atmospheres -- Poems and Drawings

Digital Mesh Montage from personal memorabillia and original photos by Michael R. Evans -- Introductory text amalgamated from too manyInternet sites to recall.