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Archive 2009
Charles Bernstein

(EPC author page)

Main Web Log Page


Emma Bee Bernstein
In Memorium

Robin Blaser
Poems from The Holy Forest
at EPC


The Hunger of Sound
1 from Cups
The Truth is Laughter
Image Nation 19
As If By Chance
Dante Alighiere
Robert Duncan
Even on Sunday
Image Nation 5
In Remembrance of Matthew Shephard

with thanks to
Miriam Nichols & Peter Quartermain
& the Estate of Robin Blaser
& Jack Krick for web design

also at EPC
"The Violets: Charles Olson and Alfred North Whitehead"  (1983), from The Fire

link    |  12-31-09

Peter Gizzi

Go to blog to see this video in streaming version.

Peter's Marigolds
The flowering Spring trees amidst the pines.
June 4, 2007
(mp4, 30 sec., 6.2 mb)

link    |  12-30-09

MLA Annual Convention, Philadelphia 2009

Sunday, 27 December
23. Radical Poetics and Secular Jewish Culture
a launch for our new title in the Modern and Contemporary Poetics series

40 percent discount still available

3:30–4:45 p.m., Commonwealth Hall C, Loews
convention registration required
details here


Tuesday, December 29
539. “Coming In from the Cold”
Celebrating Twenty Years of the MLA Off-Site Poetry Reading

5:15–6:30 p.m.
Liberty Ballroom Salon A, Philadelphia Marriott
details here


Tuesday, December 29
Off-Site Poetry Reading
The Rotunda
4014 Walnut Street, Philadelphia
details here


I won't be able to attend the Tuesday night off-site reading, but will be at sessions 23 & 539

link    |  12-26-09

Reznikoff reads Holocaust

Abraham Ravett, a film maker and photographer who teaches at Hampshire
made a recording of Charles Reznkioff reading from Holocaust
on December 21, 1975, exactly 35 years ago.
He has sent the recording and phtographas he made to PennSound
& we will be making them available soon.

Reznikoff reads "Children," a poem that had long haunted me
& which I write about in "The Second War and Postmodern Memory" (in A Poetics).

1:15: MP3


A visitor once stopped one of the children
a boy of seven or eight, handsome, alert and gay.
He had only one shoe and the other foot was bare,
and his coat of good quality had no buttons.
The visitor asked him for his name
and then what his parents were doing;
and he said, "Father is working in the office
and Mother is playing the piano."
Then he asked the visitor if he would be joining his parents soon--
they always told the children they would be leaving soon to rejoin their parents--
and the visitor answered, "Certainly.  In a day or two."
At that the child took out of his pocket
half an army biscuit he had been given in the camp
and said, "I am keeping this half for Mother;"
and then the child who had been so gay
burst into tears.

Holocaust (Los Angeles: Black Sparrow, 1975), p. 69

photo © 2009 Abraham Ravett
recording © Reznikoff Estate and Ravett

link    |  12-23-09


Upcoming Readings

University of Washington Bothell
 Wednesday, January 6, 4:00pm
Library Room 205  

Henry Art Gallery
Thursday, January 7, 7:30pm
Henry Auditorium

Kootenay School of Writing
 Friday, January 8, 8pm to 10pm
Location: W2 Perel Gallery
112 West Hastings Street


Leevi Leht reading tr. of my "Besotted Desquamation"
Suomenlinna, Helsinki, Sept. 18, 2009. Video by Pekka Luhta  

link    |  12-22-09


A.I.R. Gallery is honored to announce the first recipient of the Emma Bee Bernstein Emerging Artist Fellowship, 2009-2010 A.I.R. Fellow, Jee Hwang.
The Emma Bee Bernstein Emerging Artist Fellowship was named in honor of Emma Bee Bernstein (1985-2008). In recognition of Emma’s significant contributions as a young artist, writer and feminist, each year one Fellowship Recipient, under the age of thirty, will receive the additional honor of holding the A.I.R. Emma Bee Bernstein Fellowship.
Jee Hwang (b. 1984) graduated from the Pratt Institute with a MFA degree in 2009. Born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, Hwang immigrated with her family to Maryland in 2003, transferring from her undergraduate studies at Kook-min University in Seoul to Salisbury University in Maryland. Hwang’s paintings use the physical act of eating as a metaphor for psychological action, and the flower as a symbol for desire and the body. Hwang’s solo exhibition, “I Have Something to Say.” will be on view at A.I.R. Gallery from January 6th through January 31st, 2010.
Read the entire Press Release here (pdf)
The A.I.R. Fellowship Program for Emerging and Underrepresented Artists, established in 1993, has helped launch the careers of over 35 women artists. Recipients participate in eighteen months of professional development workshops, receive a studio visit with an art professional, have their first solo show at A.I.R., and are mentored by A.I.R. artists and staff members.
Contributions towards the A.I.R. Emma Bee Bernstein Fellowship can be made on our donations page or can be sent to A.I.R. Gallery, 111 Front St., #228, Brooklyn, NY, 11201. A.I.R. Gallery is a not-for-profit 503(c) organization. All donors will be acknowledged on A.I.R. Fellowship Program materials.
A.I.R. would like to acknowledge the generous contributors to the Emma Bee Bernstein Fellowship:
 Roselyn Abrahams and  Bruce Pandolfini
Jesse Huntley Ausubel
Lillian Ball and David  Reed
Susan Bee and Charles Bernstein
Alan Bernheimer
Sherry Bernstein
Rachel and Robert Blau DuPlessis
Nancy Bowen
Mary Ann Caws
Carol Cohen
Penelope Creeley
Peter Inman and Tina Darragh
Brian and Stephanie Ferneyhough
Peter Frank
Susan Friedland and Robert Grenier
Donald and Leslie Gross
Mimi Gross
Michael Heller and Jane Augustine
Susanna Heller
Lyn Hejinian
Patt and Paul Henry
Bob Holman
Paul and Maxine Hoover
Susan Howe
Kenneth and Florence Jacobs
Kevin Killian
Rita, Bob, and Antonia Lascaro
Joseph Ledoux
Lenore Malen
Nancy Manter
Gillian McCain
JoAnne McFarland
Bruce McPherson
Richard Milazzo
Robert C. Morgan
Margaret Moorman
Charles and Paula North
Bruce Pearson  and Monica de la Torre
Marjorie Perloff
Jeff Preiss and
Rebecca Quaytman
Ahni and Kit Robinson
Erika Rothenberg
Ruth and Marvin Sackner
Leslie Scalapino and Thomas J. White
Mira Schor
Carolee Schneemann
Sarah Schulman
Susan Schultz
Francie Shaw
Gloria and Leo Siegel
Jeremy Sigler
Ron Silliman
Sally Silvers
Mildred Sullivan
Susan Stewart
Nancy Storrow
Peter and Susan Straub
Eileen Tabios
Keith and Rosmarie Waldrop
Joan Weber
Deane Yang
A.I.R. Gallery is in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn. Gallery hours: Wed.–Sun., 11am to 6pm. For directions please visit . For more information please contact Gallery Director, Kat Griefen at 212-255-6651 or kgriefen  AT  
      The A.I.R. Fellowship Program is also made possible by public funds from the New York
City Department of Cultural Affairs, a state agency, the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) through a re-grant from Brooklyn Arts Council, as well as generous support from Louise McCagg, The Bernheim Foundation, The Gifford Foundation, The Timken Foundation, Elizabeth A. Sackler, and The Milton and Sally Avery Foundation.

link    |  12-21-09

All the Whiskey in Heaven

Selected Poems of
Charles Bernstein

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
March 2010
app. 300 pp.
ISBN 978-0-374-10344-6

    cover photo by Emma Bee Bernstein; cover design by Jeff Clark

link    |  12-18-09

Susan Howe and David Grubbs Seminar
The Humanities and Arts Research Centre at Royal Holloway University of London

Wednesday 7 October 2009 
Room B35 Birkbeck Main Building

Susan Howe
 and David Grubbs speak about the ideas that have nourished their collaboration as poet and musician.
This is an edited version of a seminar given by Susan Howe and David Grubbs on 7 October 2009 at Birkbeck College, the University of London. Illustrative recordings by John Cage have been cut from Grubbs’s presentation for copyright reasons. Also cut was the part of Howe’s presentation devoted to Emily Dickinson’s late manuscripts – this was a commentary on a series of slides projected during the event. The Q&A session that follows the presentations was chaired by Peter Middleton.
Buy the CD
Presented jointly by the Poetics Research Group at Royal Holloway, University of London and Birkbeck Contemporary Poetics Research Centre. Supported by Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, by the Humanities and Arts Research Centre, the Faculty of Arts and the English Department at Royal Holloway, University of London.

David Grubbs:MP3 
Susan Howe: MP3
questions: MP3

link    |  12-17-09-x

© 2009, Visual Arts Press, Ltd. All rights reserved. To contact us click here.
209 East 23 Street, NY, NY 10010-3994 Tel: 212.592.2000 Fax: 212.725.3587


link    |  12-17-09

"Thank You for Saying Thank You"
from Girly Man
 performaned by Roberto Azaretto & Matías Giulian

link    |  12-16-09

The Kind of Poetry I Want ....

Will Alexander
The Sri Lankan Loxodrome

New Directions, 2009

Rob Halpern
Disaster Suites
Los Angeles: Palm Press, 2009

Maggie O'Sullivan
ALTO - London Poems 1975-1984
London: Veer Books, 2009
[Note: New collection of her visual works at her website]

Kit Robinson
The Messianic Trees: Selected Poems  
Adventures in Poetry

Keith Waldrop
Transcendental Studies
University of California Press, 2009

C. S. Giscombe
Prairie Style
Dalkey Archive Press, 2008

Hank Lazer
Lavender Ink, 2009

link    |  12-15-09

Susan Holbrook
Joy Is So Exhausting
Coach House 2009

This is guaranteed 100% authentic North American poetry product. Designed as the perfect ludic accompaniment to any mood, Joy Is So Exhausting is the ideal aperitif for your Journey-of-Life-Actual-Everyday Experience. There are basically two kinds of readers for this book: those who will delight in Susan Holbrook’s comic inventions … and, well, let’s not bother about the others.


Reading the Unseen: Offstage Hamlet
Stephen Ratcliffe
Counterpath, 2009

What's unseen but said's as consequent as what's apparent but unspoken, as Stephen Ratcliffe shows in this beguilingly original study.
Shakespeare's words perform for an inner eye we overlook at pleasure's peril.


Susan Howe
translated into Portuguese by Sergio Bessa
Sao  Paulo: Lumme Editor, 2008



Alan Golding
 "Charles Bernstein and Professional Avant-Gardism"
Talisman, 36/37, 2008/2009

Allen Mozak on
Girly Man
"For the Birds"
December 8, 2009

link    |  12-12-09


The University of Alabama Press
Two new books in the Modern and Contemporary Poetry Series

40% Discount on Newest MCP Titles

Radical Poetics and Secular Jewish Culture
edited by Daniel Morris and Stephen Paul Miller
retail price: $39.95 paper | discounted price:$23.97

"What have I in common with Jews? I hardly have anything in common with myself!"
--Franz Kafka

Kafka's quip--paradoxical, self-questioning, ironic--highlights vividly some of the key issues of identity and self-representation for Jewish writers in the 20th century. No group of writers better represents the problems of Jewish identity than Jewish poets writing in the American modernist tradition--specifically secular Jews: those disdainful or suspicious of organized religion, yet forever shaped by those traditions.

This collection of essays is the first to address this often obscured dimension of modern and contemporary poetry: the secular Jewish dimension. Editors Daniel Morris and Stephen Paul Miller asked their contributors to address what constitutes radical poetry written by Jews defined as "secular," and whether or not there is a Jewish component or dimension to radical and modernist poetic practice in general. These poets and critics address these questions by exploring the legacy of those poets who preceded and influenced them--Stein, Zukofsky, Reznikoff, Oppen, and Ginsberg, among others.

While there is no easy answer for these writers about what it means to be a Jew, in their responses there is a rich sense of how being Jewish reflects on their aesthetics and practices as poets, and how the tradition of the avant-garde informs their identities as Jews. Fragmented identities, irony, skepticism, a sense of self as "other" or "outsider," distrust of the literal, and belief in a tradition that questions rather than answers--these are some of the qualities these poets see as common to themselves, the poetry they make, and the tradition they work within.


Thinking Poetics: Essays on George Oppen
edited and with an introduction by Steve Shoemaker
retail price: $34.95 paper | discounted price: $20.97

George Oppen, a crucial figure in the founding of the Objectivist poetry movement, is considered by many critics and poets to be one of the foremost innovators of 20th-century American poetry. Oppen's Of Being Numerous won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1969, and his influence on subsequent generations of poets has been profound. 

The contributors to this unique collection of essays are both poets and critics who adopt a variety of critical stances. Some write as fellow poets who knew Oppen well during his lifetime and who have been deeply influenced by his example in their own work. Others write as poet-critics affiliated with the Language Poetry movement and bring to Oppen's work a keen appreciation for its relevance to contemporary avant-garde poetics. Still others come to Oppen as members of a younger generation of readers and writers working to articulate a new stage in Oppen's reception. The result is a rich and productive critical dialogue, touching on many of the most significant facets of Oppen's life and work. Thinking Poetics is a testament to Oppen's place in 20th and 21st-century poetic culture and an essential volume for anyone interested in Oppen's life or poetry.

To purchase a copy of either of these titles at the 40% discout offer, good through January 31, 2010, just call our warehouse in Chicago tollfree at (800) 6212736 or locally at (773) 7027000 and mention sales code MCPRS02.
As always, we invite you to forward this email to any of your colleagues who you think might be interested, or suggest names and addresses to which we should send future mailings. If you have any questions, please contact me directly at rminder -- AT or 205.348.156.

For more information on these and other titles in the Modern and Contemporary Poetics Series, visit our recently redesigned website at

All prices are in U.S. Dollars / Canada residents add 7% GST Domestic shipping: $5.00 for the first book and $1.00 for each additional book International shipping: $9.50 for the first book and $5.00 for each additional book
Offer expires January 31, 2010 Sales Code: MCPRS02


Radical Poetics and Secular Jewish Culture
edited by Daniel Morris and Stephen Paul Miller


Meet the Preface
Stephen Paul Miller xiii
Daniel Morris 1
Radical Jewish Culture / Secular Jewish Practice
Charles Bernstein 12
Who or What Is a Jewish American Poet, with Specifi c Reference to David Antin,
Charles Bernstein, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, and Jerome Rothenberg
Hank Lazer 18
The House of Jews: Experimental Modernism and Traditional Jewish Practice
Jerome Rothenberg 32
Zukofsky at 100: Zukofsky as a Body of Work
Bob Perelman 40
Addendum: On “The Jewish Question”: Three Perspectives
Bob Perelman 49
Norman Fischer 60
On Yiddish Poetry and Translation of Yiddish Poetry
Kathryn Hellerstein 71
An “Exotic” on East Broadway: Mikhl Likht and the Paradoxes of Yiddish
Modernist Poetry
Merle Bachman 79
Revisiting Charles Reznikoff ’s Urban Poetics of Diaspora and Contingency
Ranen Omer- Sherman 103
Looking at Louis Zukofsky’s Poetics through Spinozist Glasses
Joshua Schuster 127
“Can a jew be wild”: The Radical Jewish Grammar of Gertrude Stein’s
Voices Poems
Amy Feinstein 151
Remains of the Diaspora: A Personal Meditation
Michael Heller 170
Secular and Sacred: Returning (to) the Repressed
Alicia Ostriker 184
Midrashic Sensibilities: Secular Judaism and Radical Poetics (A personal essay in
several chapters)
Rachel Blau DuPlessis 199
Secular Jewish Culture and Its Radical Poetic Discontents
Norman Finkelstein 225
Radical Relation: Jewish Identity and the Power of Contradictions in the Poetics
of Muriel Rukeyser and George Oppen
Meg Schoerke 245
“Yes and No, Not Either/Or”: Aesthetics, Identity, and Marjorie Perloff ’s
Vienna Paradox
Daniel Morris 274
“Sound Scraps, Vision Scraps”: Paul Celan’s Poetic Practice
Marjorie Perloff 287
Language in the Dark: The Legacy of Walter Benjamin in the Opera Shadowtime
Charlie Bertsch 310
Danger, Skepticism, and Democratic Longing: Five Contemporary Secular Jewish
American Poets
Thomas Fink 323
Relentlessly Going On and On: How Jews Remade Modern Poetry without
Even Trying
Stephen Paul Miller 343
Azoy Toot a Yid: Secular Poetics and “The Jewish Way”
Eric Murphy Selinger 354
A Jew in New York
Bob Holman 378
Imp/penetrable Archive: Adeena Karasick’s Wall of Sound
Maria Damon 379
In the Shadow of Desire: Charles Bernstein’s Shadowtime and Its Kabbalistic
Adeena Karasick 397
Hijacking Language: Kabbalistic Trajectories
Adeena Karasick 409
Letter to the Romans
Benjamin Friedlander 418
Paul Auster 439


Thinking Poetics
Essays on George Oppen
edited and with an introduction by Steve Shoemaker


Preface: Meaning a Life vii
Introduction: Thinking Poetics 1
Steve Shoemaker
I. Working Papers / The Mind Thinking
1. Palimtexts: Postmodern Poetry and the Material Text
Michael Davidson 23
II. On Discrete Series / Of the World, Weather- Swept
2. Preliminary to a Close Reading of George Oppen’s
Discrete Series
Lyn Hejinian 47
3. Discrete Series and the Posthuman City
Steve Shoemaker 62
III. Among the Philosophers
4. Oppen’s Heidegger
Peter Nicholls 91
5. Finding the Phenomenal Oppen
Forrest Gander 120
IV. Two Wars
6. One among Rubble: George Oppen and World War II
Kristin Prevallet 131
7. “The Air of Atrocity”: “Of Being Numerous”
and the Vietnam War
John Lowney 143
V. Receptions
8. Third- Phase Objectivism
Ron Silliman 163
9. George Oppen and the Anthologies
John Taggart 170
10. Conviction’s Net of Branches
Michael Heller 184
11. Hinge Picture (on George Oppen)
Charles Bernstein 197
12. “Uncannily in the Open”: In Light of Oppen
Rachel Blau DuPlessis 203
13. George Oppen: A Radical Practice (excerpt)
Susan Thackrey 228
14. if it fails—
Theodore Enslin 255
15. Excerpts from “‘Because the Known and the Unknown
Touch’: A Reading of Oppen’s ‘Of Being Numerous’”
Henry Weinfield 259

link    |  12-11-09

The best in town, the best, the best
The best in town
Not a quack, not a quack, not a waddle or a quack
But a glide and a whistle and a snowy white back
And a head so noble and high . . .
       —Frank Loesser

I was honored to join the board of Ugly Duckling Presse near to its start. It struck me at the time as one of the best small presses I had ever encountered. Over the years I think that has become apparent to just about anyone who pays attention to such things – and I know that’s true of you our there in virtual reality.

Here’s the thing (you’ve heard it before): for Ugly Duckling to survive and thrive, it needs the financial support of those who share my commitment to its remarkable and necessary work.

UDP has recently announced its 2010 “Full Presse Subscription.” The editors note that “this is going to be one of the Presse's most ambitious years yet, with more than 25 titles planned, including new poetry by emerging and established authors, artist books, works in translation, new titles in the Lost Literature series, and more.”

UDP’s Full Presse “basic” subscription is a great deal at $150, which covers the cost of production and postage  Subscriptions are limited to 200 per year, to guarantee that all subscribers receive the hand-made chapbooks and ephemera in addition to the "regular" books.  While the basic subscription gets the books out, which is the whole point of UDP, this basic subscription is not a donation. I hope you will consider becoming a “Supporting Subscriber” ($250) or joining the “Collector’s Circle” ($1,000). By contributing at one of these levels, you receive the full subscription package while making a tax-deductible contribution to the Presse. The editors note that supporting contributors “will be acknowledged on our donor list and invited to a UDP cocktail reception, to be held in Spring 2010, a unique opportunity to meet writers, editors, designers, and board members. Collector's Circle subscribers will also receive a one-of-a-kind book, written and designed by the UDP collective, and will be credited in our print catalog.”  

UDP also welcomes cash donations, which can be sent via the link or to the press by mail. All contributors will be added to UDP's list of supporters.

And hey!: it’s not really an ugly ducking.  It’s a swan.

Yours, truly,

Charles Bernstein

at the Old American Can Factory
232 Third Street, #E-002
Brooklyn, NY 11215

link    |  12-09-09-x

Marjorie Perloff
Close Listening

readings and conversations at Art International Radio
Clocktower Studio, New York, November 11, 2009

Program One:Vienna Paradox reading
Perloff  reads from her memoir Vienna Paradox (New Directions, 2004) about growing up in Vienna, and her subsequent move, just before the holocaust, to Riverdale. 
Complete Program (26:49): MP3

Program Two: Conversation with Charles Bernstein
Perloff talks about Vienna Paradox, the influence of her experience as a refugee on her literary criticism, her perspective on being a second-language writer of English, the unknown 1950s, her graduate school days with the Christian Brothers at Catholic University of America, irony and Jewish identity, the importance of Karl Kraus and Ludwig Wittgenstein, and the pernicious influence of Martin Heidegger on postwar thought. 
Complete Program (27:21) :MP3

Program Three: Conversation with Charles Bernstein
Perloff talks about a set of schisms that seem to divide 20th century poetry: Yeats versus Futurism; Robert Lowell versus Frank O’Hara; and Wallace Stevens versus Ezra Pound. She reflects on the ongoing legacies of radical modernism for contemporary poetry.
Complete Program (29:27): MP3

link    |  12-09-09


Protect Our America
from mob rule

"no public option"

paid for by
Republicans for Limited Democracy
Michael Bloomberg & Hiram Monserrate, Honorary Chairs


full set of Fall 2008 Election Placards



Tehran University, 2008

today in Tehran

link    |  12-07-09-x

(5¾ x 12 inches)
This is a c. 1976 "Veil" not included in the book Veil
which is from the Ruth & Marvin Sackner Collection of Visual Poetry
and reproduced in a terrific catalog for the show

a show from University of Southern Florida from early 2009
curated by Craig Sapir Theo Lotz

TypeBound - The Reading Machine
(web announcement)
but the treasure trove here is
>>>>>>>>>>pdf of catalog<<<<<<<<<<<<<

The Sackner collection has one other Veil not in the book

though I think the date is c. 1976|

link    |  12-07-09

The Body, in Pieces

Inaugural exhibition of

The Renee & Chaim Gross Center for the Arts

Featuring works from the collection of
The Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation
new web site

Through February 4, 2010
Thursdays 1-5 pm or by appointment
info --at --  (212) 529-4906
526 LaGuardia Place New York NY 10012

Chaim Gross
(American, born Austrian Galicia, 1904-1991)
Two Interlocked Figures

David Burliuk
(American, born Ukraine,1882-1967)
Garden of Boots ca. 1922 - 32

link    |  12-06-09-x


Martina Kudláček's
now available in DVD
my short review of the original release here


pdfs of isues 1 and 2
of Gerrit Lansing's SET magazine [note: now at EPC digital library]
1961 and 1963
via OpenMourth.Org
(Christina Strong)


Arakawa & Ginz on-line conference


Allen Mozek on Republics of Reality
at "For the Birds" blog
(Dec. 1, 2009)

link    |  12-06-09

John Yau

Go to web log to see this streaming.

The Language of Bears
Even the literal is metaphoric. My claws have grown into fingers.

May 30, 2007
(mp4, 40 sec., 9.2 mb)

link    |  12=05-09

Volume 3 number 3
HOW2 logo

Strictly Speaking on Caroline Bergvall
Featuring papers from:
Caroline Bergvall
Sophie Robinson
Nathan Brown
cris cheek
Laura Goldstein
Majene Mafe

Reading Carla Harryman
Featuring papers from:
Carla Harryman
Laura Hinton
Christine Hume
J. Darling
Carla Billitteri
Renee Gladman
Austin Publicover

Poetic Economies of Performance: Part 2
Featuring poems & papers from:
Elizabeth-Jane Burnett
Emily Carr
Christina Continelli
David Emanuel
Jennifer Karmin
Shannon Maguire
Julia Lee Barclay
Amy Sara Carroll
Laylage Courie
Bonnie Emerick

new media
Aya Karpińska
Katie Clapham
Becky Cremin
Simone Gilson

New Writing
Featuring poems by:
Jessica Wilkinson
Emily Critchley
Karen Sandhu

Jessica Wilkinson on Susan Howe’s Souls of the Labadie Tract
Emily Critchley: on Lisa Robertson's Magenta Soul Whip

In Conference
Arpine Konyalian Grenier:
Reflections on the First International Poetic Ecologies Conference, Université Libre de Bruxelles, May 2008

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE HOW(ever) ARCHIVES Featuring selected work by:
Susan Gervitz
Hannah Weiner
Rosemarie Waldrop
Lydia Davis

Contribute a Postcard, view Calls for Submissions, viewUpdates and the read the new blog at the new How2 Blog.
How2 is now on Twitter. Follow us: @how2journal.
Search How2
Visit our Links section
Visit our Archives

Editor: Redell Olsen (London)
Managing Editor: Kai Fierle Hedrick (New York)
Designer / Programmer: John Sparrow (London)
Publisher: Kathleen Fraser

link    |  12-04-09

Bruce Boone's 1980 work has now been republished by Nightboat Books in a beautiful edition., with a thoughtful and engaging introduction by Rob Halpern.
Years ago, Michael Amanasan's Ottotole published (in the first issue in 1985), a long conversation I had with Boone. I hope also that Boone's earlier My Walk with Bob with also find a way to come back into print. Some of the context for Boone's work is explored in a Bay-Area focussed essay by Kaplan Harris "New Narrative and the Making of Language Poetry,” in the new issue of  American Literature 2009 81(4).

Bruce Boone
Century of Clouds
Nightboat, 2009

Digression is a necessary path to truthfulness, just as reflection is the poetic foundation for social change. “Gossip and truth. Truth and rhetoric.”  This is Bruce Boone’s motto in this lively and necessary reinvention of the essay. Unlike one of the characters in his narrative, Boone refuses to be mouthpiece for the dead (what is dead in us); he speaks, with a newly foundering affective eloquence, for the living. 


link    |  11-30-09-xx

Earliest Poetry Video Uncovered!:
Found in Poe's Tomb

[Jim Clark's animation of Poe reading "The Raven"]
(thanks to Leevi Lehto for alert)

link    |  11-30-09

Susan Howe
Poems Found in a Pioneer Museum
Coracle Press, 2009
32 letterpress cards printed on Canaletto Liscio paper
in binders box 130 x 100. 300 copies
I copied these poems, almost verbatim, from typed identification cards placed beside items in display cases at Salt Lake City’s Pioneer Memorial Museum founded in 1901 by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers. The artifacts and memorabilia in their collection date from 1847 when Mormon settlers first entered the Valley of the Great Salt Lake until the joining of the railroads at Promontory Point, Utah in 1869.

link    |  11-29-09-x

Deadly Sin #2

Just in time for the holidays,
latest edition of snow globes - Deadly Sins #1-7

A signed edition of 100, available as a set or a la carte

A whole lot of sin

for more details and ordering information

link    |  11-29-09

Pierre Joris
on Robert Creeley

from his new Salt essay book
Justifying the Margins 
(Salt 2009)
new at Sybil


Two Poems by Robin Blaser
from The Holy Forest


Michael Peverett's review of Leevi Lehto's Lake Onega and Other Poems


link    |  11-26-09


New at PennSound

How We Place African American Poetry, University of Wisconsin, April 2003
A.L. Nielsen writes of this reading: In April of 2003, Lorenzo Thomas and I appeared at a symposium at the University of Wisconsin organized by Lynn Keller, titled WHAT'S NEW IN AMERICAN POETRY. Lorenzo and I had by then been on many panels together, acting as a sort of roving tag team of poetry criticism. This time out, Lorenzo delivered a talk he called "How We Place African American Poetry" and I delivered a prepared response to his talk.

Lorenzo Thomas (59:07): MP3
A.L. Nielsen (33:20): MP3


New author page for Christopher Dewdney


our only reading by
Ronald Johnson
(47:26): MP3
at Stanford University, November 19, 1989
reading was with Norma Cole (24:38): MP3


Robert Grenier
Interview and Discussion on 1959-1964 with Grenier, Al FilreisRon Silliman, and Bob Perelman at theKelly Writers Hous
on October 27, 2009 complete interview (1:16:28): 

& Grenier's earlier reading/talk on that same day at Penn:
(1:16:35): MP3 / MOV


New at Sibyl
Two essays by Rachel Blau DuPlessis
from Blue Studios
available from the University of Alabama Press

link    |  11-25-09-x

Dmitri Golynko on Close Listening
on Art International Radio
operationg at
& presented as part of the University of Pennsylvania's
Writers Without Borders Series
at the Kelly Writers House

November 10, 2009

Program 1: Reading (30:48): MP3

Program 2: Conversation with Charles Bernstein (40:46): MP3 

Read a transcript of this program at  Sybil

Mike Hennessay on the shows from PennSound Daily:

In the first program, Golynko reads a selection of his poetry, assisted by Eugene Ostashevsky, who reads his (and others') translations in English to complement the poet's Russian, and provides cultural and technical contexts for the works. The second set — a forty-minute conversation — begins with host Charles Bernstein asking Golynko about the influence of post-Cold War culture on his work (n.b. the program was recorded on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall). His life almost perfectly bisected by this influential event, Golynko views that event as "a historic moment encompassing the highpoint of the heat of catastrophic socio-political changes, as well as a melting-pot moment characterized by a huge influx of novel cultural influences and vast amounts of knowledge that had been kept in secret by official party censorship in the previous epoch," however, he's quick to note that "this doesn't mean that the state of war and emergency was banished from Post-Soviet cultural process. Quite the opposite is true: language itself turned out to be a battlefield where a fierce contest between controversial layers of everyday speech resulted in the effect of immersion in incessant warfare." This leads to questions about the political stance of the poet's work, as well as the evolving gender-consciousness that's present there.

In the program's second half, Bernstein asks Golynko about his interest in "the tension between the poetry archive [...] and other non- or even anti-archival sites for poetic thinking and action." "I'm really fascinated with poetry archives like PennSound and consider this to be fruitful and fantastic work," he observes, however such projects force him to wonder whether "writing itself tend[s] towards the further archivization and retention in cultural memory or does it tend towards a spontaneous emergence from an inexplicable source?" His "dubious and controversial" answer is that "poetical utterance stretches between archivization and spontaneity and the site for its occurrence resides at the point of the elusiveness of poetry itself, which could disguise it in vernacular language or in the idiosyncratic voice of a phantom authority, but cannot be caught in its force field." 

The show concludes with Golynko discussing his role as an art critic and its effects upon his writing. He sees "poetry and critical-academic activity [as] two completely separate professional fields, two crafts which in principal cannot be mixed together." In the early 1990s, he saw "art criticism as the most necessary form of intellectual production," due to art's role as "an instrument, on one hand, of daring and future-oriented aesthetic search, and on the other hand, of immediate reaction on social catastrophes," however he notes the increasing influence of the market upon the art world today, likening it to "a glamorous variety show." Returning to the role of poetry, he ends by observing that "[q]uite possibly, the reformist task now standing before poetry and art is one and the same: to produce a community, elite and at the same time dialogically open, which could respond to the problematic of the loss of the concrete human individual in the context of globalized cultural processes." 

Golynko's new PennSound page
also includes a reading he did in St. Petersburg, in July 2007 during Summer Literary Seminars.

link    |  11-25-09

A Celebration
of Gerrit Lansing’s new book,
Heavenly Tree, Northern Earth
at the Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery
Sunday, November 29
4  p.m. 


 Ammiel Alcalay, Jim Behrle, Charles Bernstein,

Donald Byrd, C.A. Conrad, William Corbett,

Mike County, Jim Dunn, Drew Gardner,

Mitch Highfill, Basil King, Kimberly Lyons,

Eileen Myles, Tim Peterson, Simon Pettet,

Kristen Prevallet, George Quasha, Marshall Reese,

Charles Stein, Stacey Szymaszek, Joseph  Torra,

Gerrit Lansing & other surprise guests! 


link    |  11-23-09

Not to miss ...
Icons of the Desert: Early Aboriginal Paintings from Papunya
at New York University's Grey Art Gallery
till Dec. 5

all the images from the show here



link    |  11-22-09x

Has Robert Grenier gone conceptual? (Has he always been?) Is this repurposing, self-apprpriation, or just the evidence of love's labor?

Robert Grenier


(listed by volume & page number, in order of occurrence in edition)

excerpt: full guide at Grenier's EPC page

A. Master List of Corrections & Queries to Printer
    1. Vol. I, p. xvii (check dot above “the” (on proof page only?) & delete—not in original).
    2. Vol. I, pp. xxvii-11-22-09iv (delete —mistakenly placed here; repeats pp. xxvii-11-22-09iv in Vol. IV).
    3. Vol. I, p. 40 (fix broken “e” in “the”—not in original).
    4. Vol. I, p. 41 (fix broken “e” in “enemy”—not in original).
    5. Vol. I, p. 57 (fix broken “r” in “nursery”—not in original).
    6. Vol. I, p. 58 (fix broken “r” in “surveyed”—not in original).
    7. Vol. I, p. 71 (fix broken “m” in “time”—not in original).
    8. Vol. I, p. 76 (fix broken “t” in “tread”—not in original).
    9. Vol. I, p. 77 (insert space between “4” & “7” in date line—error in original).
    10. Vol. I, p. 81 (fix broken “b” in “bush”—error in original).
    11. Vol. I, p. 90 (fix broken “o” in “October”—not in original).
    12. Vol. I, p. 105 (fix broken “y” in “musty”—not in original).
    13. Vol. I, p. 139 (check smudge (on proof page only?) & delete as necessary).
    14. Vol. I, p. 177 (delete space between “#” & “n” in date line—error in original).
    15. Vol. I, p. 178 (fix broken “l” in “flagpole”—error in original).
    16. Vol. I, p. 197 (fix broken “a” in “taken”—not in original).
    17. Vol. I, p. 198 (check smudge (on proof page only?) & delete as necessary).
    18. Vol. I, p. 205 (fix broken “b” in “imperceptible”—not in original).
    19. Vol. I, p. 208 (check smudge (on proof page only?) & delete as necessary).
    20. Vol. I, p. 210 (change “Marshal” to “Marshall” in footnote—error in original).
    21. Vol. I, p. 238 (check 3 dots (on proof page only?) & delete as necessary).
    22. Vol. I, p. 249 (fix black dot in “f” in “fat”—not in original).
    23. Vol. I, p. 250 (fix broken “s” in “Mountains”—not in original).
    24. Vol. I, p. 282 (fix broken “n” in “L’une”—not in original).
    25. Vol. I, p. 283 (fix broken “a” in “coals”—not in original).
    26. Vol. II, p. 289 (fix broken “r” in “Ares”—not in original).
    27. Vol. II, p. 290 (restore “0” in “# L 1 0”—omitted in proof copy).
    28. Vol. II, p. 305 (fix broken letters in “broken”—not in original).
    29. Vol. II, p. 321 (check large dot (on proof page only?) & delete as necessary).
    30. Vol. II, p. 323 (restore apostrophe in “# 3 i '”—omitted in proof copy).
    31. Vol. II, p. 326 (fix broken “e” in “shepherd”—error in original).
    32. Vol. II, p. 327 (fix broken “w” in “how”—not in original).
    33. Vol. II, p. 331 (fix broken “a” in “all”—not in original).
    34. Vol. II, p. 351 (check blotch (on proof page only?) & delete as necessary).

    excerpt: full guide at Grenier's EPC page

link    |  11-22-09

New at Sibyl

Jean-Marie Gleize
on contemporary French poetry   

Où vont les chiens? 

[excerpt: read full essay here]

‘Où vont les chiens?’, ‘Where do the dogs go?’, this question is posed by Baudelaire in the last ‘prose’ poem (in Spleen de Paris) in order to evoke a kind of literature that would correspond with urban, modern life – a kind of poetry which is adapted to those ‘sinuous ravines’ of the cities where the ‘poor’ roaming dogs are, the famished dogs. This question is also relevant to poetry: ‘where does poetry go?’, ‘where do the poets go?’. 

This question has troubled me for far too many years, and this is the reason why I cannot separate my poetic endeavours from a critical reflection on these. This critical reflection constitutes both the context and condition for my poetry (which for me constitutes the conditions of legibility).
I reserve an important place for the historical line of theoreticians and practitioners of sortie critique: Rimbaud, Ponge and Denis Roche. This lineage within ‘poésie critique’ (or critical post-poetry) is characterised by foregrounding the principle of ‘de-lyricising’ poetry and by the search of some kind of ‘objective poetry’ (the latter is announced – but not defined – by Rimbaud in one of his letters ‘du voyant’). In our modern (or modernist?) tradition, there might exist a literal objectivism or an objective literalism (which, by the way, always refrains from calling itself by that name, to present itself like that or dogmatise itself as such) which is made evident in the works of Claude Royet-Journoud, Jean Daive, Anne-Marie Albiach, Emmanuel Hocquard, Dominique Fourcade…, oeuvres that are drawn upon as Sortiesprogresses. This corpus (which is objective objectivistic and literal), which represents the lineage of critique, has affinities with the classics of experimental modernism, the relevant inheritors of the historical avant-gardes: poésie sonore, poésie concrete, poésie élémentaire, poésie-action or performance poetry, which are e.g. represented by poets like Bernard Heidsieck or Julien Blaine, and it is also has affinities with the most recent generation, that which emerges during the nineties; the origin of this generation is centred on the publication of two volumes of Revue de Littérature générale (‘RLG’) in 1995 published by Olivier Cadiot and Pierre Alferi at the publishing company POL; it is a book project which may partly be perceived as a manifesto (it being technical and practical rather than theoretical), the propositions in which many recognise themselves or against which they position themselves: C. Hanna, O. Quintyn, N. Quintane, M. Joseph….

It is necessary to direct our efforts towards a description of the way in which contemporary poetry is organised in France after the death of the avant-garde, after the death of the neo-avant-garde from the sixties and seventies, an époque where this movement was organised around the predominant groups of poets and magazines: the ‘textualists’ of Tel Quel, the ‘formalists’ of Change, and various groups inspired by them, along with groups in the periphery who were subjected to the necessity of not defining oneself in relation to or as a reaction against anything else but these hegemonic groups. In the eighties and nineties this field is dissolved, and one bears witness to a destruction of the field which, thus, becomes extremely blurred to the extent that everything from this time on can coexist; this allowed serious attempts at restoring traditional lyric poetry to reoccur; restoration, that is, a ‘return’ to a previous condition which is prior to the sterilising ‘catastrophe’ from the years where the systematic destruction of fundamental poetic values took place, i.e. the destruction of the lyric tradition: expression, the lyric I, emotion, metre and prosody, song… I am content to merely name in passing this moment, which is extremely interesting for the abundant resurgence of discourses which openly and aggressively are regressive (there are numerous texts that need to be looked out and analysed…).  It is in this context that I have proposed the idea (an idea that I pursue in Sorties) of comprehending the field after the sixties and seventies as a clear division into lapoésie (which I write as one word) and repoésie on the one hand, and néo-poésie and post-poésie on the other hand. The former willingly inherit the formal and thematic aspects of traditional poetry either to be legitimised by the ‘magistrates’ or incontestable ‘officials’ (Valéry in the beginning of the last century and Yves Bonnefoy today), or they inherit it as a reactionary mode: they are composed by the new lyric poets from the eighties, the re-lyric poets in continuation of whom a number of suggestions follow – from prosaic lyricisms to emphatic lyricisms (e.g. James Sacré and Pierre Oster). The latter part contains those who could be called the reformers or refounders of poetry, those who want to change poetry through a permanent reinvention of itself and its various forms; this is what I call neo-poetry, which is both the ex-formalists of Change ( they have close affinities with the Oulipo-group) and the neo-experimentalists (performance poetry, elementary poetry, etc.). They depend on the term ‘poetry’ in so far as they recognise themselves herein, but they also use it to flaunt a distance to what we understand by poetry. Last but not least post-poetry, i.e. poets who no longer define their poetic praxis in relation to questions which concern the intra-poetic debate: verse or non-verse, verse or prose, poem or non-poem, image or non-image etc.; poets who reflect on what they do, the non-identified objects that they produce, the ways in which their works circulate (in the book or outside the book), in another context. Just like the term ‘sortie interne’ applies to the ‘modernist critics’, it may also be used to designate the post-poets, and I believe it has an actual effect concerning the latter ones. All that is left to be done is to state that something different happens in different way. I.e. when one speaks of post-poetry you continue to place these movements in relation to poetry, in relation to the poetry from which they had sought ‘operation’ (to repeat Mallarmé’s comment on Rimbaud). Yes, but it is necessary to point out that there is a difference between post-poets and critical poets (non- or contra-poets), and this difference concerns 1.) the way in which they move outside any reference to formal, technical and theoretical questions, questions concerning poetry, so to speak, disregarding pretensions of novelty, 2.) the fact that the textual or other objects that they produce are very difficult to recuperate within any generic frame. I continue to assume that post-poetry is not an optical illusion. It tends to proliferate among us.

There is no doubt another possible way of understanding the term ‘sortie’. It is inspired by Francis Ponge and it is connected with the effort in prose, the effort to invent a prose in prose, it is the effort to exit the circle enchanted by stylistic sublimation and by the idealising poeticity or re-poeticity (the key word here is: avoid to ‘arrange things’…). This other way of perceiving the exit has to do with the role which may be attributed to the literary activity after poetry. Let me quote the very short text by Ponge (which I reproduce here) from Cahier de l’Herne:

Christ glorifies the humble.
             The Church glorifies humility. Be careful! This is not the same 
                     thing. On the contrary.
             Christ degrades the powerful.
             The church lavishes on the powerful.
             Arise ye wretched of the earth! I am the one who incites.[tr. Serge Gavronsky]

This text is written in 1942. At that time, Ponge was a member of the Communist Party. As early as in the thirties he says that it is important to ‘teach everyone the art of founding your own rhetoric’, the art of ‘resisting words’; or phrased differently: to resist the dominant ideological discourse, which surrounds us, which traverses us, which we interiorise to the extent that we no longer speak but are spoken to. When Ponge wrote in 1942 that ‘je suis un suscitateur’ (‘I suscitate’) it did not signify that he wanted to found a literary movement, he simply declared and suggested that when all is said and done, the act of writing ispolitical. It is necessary to let those speak who do not speak or no longer speak.

We, the readers, must bear in mind that our culture juxtaposes politics and discourse and sense (the ‘message’); this is one of the fundamental aspects in what we name ‘commitment’; and politics is also juxtaposed with the technical modalities of representation, of mimesis; this is what we call ‘realism(s)’ which is/are historically inseparable from the social conscience of the artists and the writers: critical and romantic realism(s) in different guises of ‘socialist’ realism ...

read the full essay here

"Oúvont les chiens" is a talk given by Jean-Marie Gleize at the conference "Poetry Today" on October 20-21 2009 at Aarhus University, Denmark. The talk published here is translated by Louise Højgaard Marcussen & Lasse Gammelgaard.

link    |  11-21-09


Rosmarie Waldrop
on Close Listening

photo ©2009 Bernstein/Pennsound

Art International Radio, operationg at
November 5, 2009
  • Program 1: Reading "Holderlin Hybrids" from Blindsight (New Directions, 2004) (34:28): MP3

  • Program 2: Conversation with Charles Bernstein (28:51): MP3
link    |  11-20-09

Tan Lin
Chalk Playground, LitTwitChalk
for Performa 09

full set of pictures

link    |  11-18-09-xx

The last night of my 80 Langton Street Residency
in San Francisco
January 1983
a talk and discussion
later trasncribed and edited by Bob Perelman
published in Content's Dream

now available at PennSound
as part of our current digitizing of the SF talk series
from Bob's tapes
(1 1/2 hours)

link    |  11-18-09-x

New on Sibyl
(Sibila's English language portal)

Upper Layers of the Armosphere

Arkadii Dragomoshchenko   

[on Alexei Parshchikov]

                     He was walking uphill, and it was as if he was tightening the strings with himself
                      and nut drawings were taking form.
                                                       -- A. Parshchikov, DACHA ELEGY

I’m not good with chronology, never have been. Everything happens now or didn’t happen at all. 

One the one hand, I am absolutely certain of my sensation of our absolutely unceasing, mutual mute speech, and on the other hand, everything  crumbles into splotches of color. Now that the “funerary feasts” have taken  place it is impossible to imagine. ...

read the full essay

translated from Russian by Genya Turovskaya
first presented at
Contact: A Symposium in Memory of Alexei Parshchikov(1954—2009)
Tuesday, November 10, 4:00pm-8:30pm
University of Pennsylvania
Organized by Kevin Platt
(at which I read AD's essay)

link    |  11-18-09

Pierre Joris
Justifying the Margins
Salt, 2009

frontmatter & "Nimrod in Hell


Nimrod in Hell

On the Nomadic Circulation of Contemporary Poetics
The Seamlessly Nomadic Future of Collage
ReadySteadyBlog Interview

A Memoir for Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine
The Tea-Brown Light of Kindness
The Space Opened by Blanchot
A Short Good-Bye for Jacques Derrida
“One Had The Company …”

Paul Celan’s Counterword: Who Witnesses for The Witness?
Translation At The Mountain of Death
The Celan Ledge

Letters and Dolls: The Cruel Syntax of Zürn & Bellmer
Toward A Performance of Cruelty
Steve’s Standards
An Epic Without History
From Exile to Transgression: On Adonis
Where Is Olson Now?


Joris on Heidegger/Faye on Nomadics today


link    |  11-16-09

just out

American Poetry after 1975
edited by Charles Bernstein

a special issue of boundary 2
(Volume 36, Number 3, Fall 2009) 

[ISBN13 978-0-8223-6719-2]

225 pages
(November 2009)
Duke University Press

This issue offers a wide-ranging survey of poetic practice in the United States since the mid-1970s. Comprising scholarship, essays, and poems, “American Poetry after 1975” brings together notable senior critics such as Al Filreis, Marjorie Perloff, and Herman Rapaport, as well as younger critics who are redefining the field. The issue looks at new directions in American poetry as well as contemporary trends such as conceptual poetry; multilingual poetry; ecopoetics, in which writing reaches environmental concerns; and Flarf, subversive poetry that uses search-engine results, grammatical inaccuracies, and intentionally bad taste. 

Writing from the forefront of American poetry criticism, contributors to this special issue address topics such as the poetics of disability and the work of clairvoyant poet Hannah Weiner, ambience and the work of Tan Lin, intentionality and conceptual poetics, ecopoetitcs, the continuing influence of Wallace Stevens, and the use of found text in Susan Howe’s “The Midnight.” Two younger critics address their generation’s poetics, one by considering the social relevance of the lyric and the other by examining resistance to innovative poetry practice. The intersection of poetry and technology is explored in articles about digital spaces and radical poetry’s relationship with the digital archive. One contributor applies the work of philosopher J. L. Austin to the language of hip-hop and the work of rapper Rakim. Also included are four short poems, a panegyric for the poetics of sophism in critical discourse, and essays that address the aesthetics of sentimental poetry, "Flarf," multi-lexical poetry, and the poetics of place and site-speficity.


Charles Bernstein / American Poetry After 1975: Editor’s Note / 1

Jim Rosenberg / Bios / The Logosphere / The Finite-Made Evolver Space /3

Peter Gizzi / Eclogues / 9

Christian Bök / Two Dots Over a Vowel / 11

Lytle Shaw / Docents of Discourse: The Logic of Dispersed Sites / 25

Tracie Morris / Rakim’s Performativity / 49

Jennifer Scappettone / Versus Seamlessness: Architectonics of Pseudocomplicity in
Tan Lin’s Ambient Poetics / 63

Craig Dworkin / Hypermnesia / 77

Jonathan Skinner / Poetry Animal / 97

Herman Rapaport / A Liquid Hand Blossoms / 105

Kenneth Goldsmith / In Barry Bonds I See the Future of Poetry / 121

Joyelle McSweeney / Disabled Texts and the Threat of Hannah Weiner / 123

Brian Reed / Grammar Trouble / 133

Juliana Spahr / The ’90s / 159

Al Filreis / The Stevens Wars / 183

Nada Gordon / Not Ideas about the Bling but the Bling Itself / 203

Marjorie Perloff / “The Rattle of Statistical Traffic”: Citation and Found Text in Susan

Howe’s The Midnight / 205

Elizabeth Willis / Lyric Dissent / 229

Tan Lin / SOFT INDEX (OF repeating PLACES, PEOPLE, AND WORKS) / 235

Benjamin Friedlander / After Petrarch (In the Rigging) / 241

& in the following issue of boundary 2 [36:4]
Scott Pound, Lucid/Ludic

link    |  11-13-09

Bronx Museum of Art

North Building—2nd Floor
Admission: Free
Marjorie Perloff and Richard Sieburth, and Charles Bernstein
will discuss topics related to the legacy of futurism.

note also:
Nov. 15 Peforma events with Tan Lin amd John Yau

David Antin
"Words to the Wise"


link    |  11-07-09-x

Keith Waldrop

photo: ©2009 Charles Bernstein/PennSound

Close Listening
Art International Radio, operating at
November 7, 2009

Program 1: Keith Waldrop: full reading of selected poems (25:51): MP3

Program 2: Keith Waldrop in conversation with Charles Bernstein (30:13): MP3


link    |  11-07-09

When I was in Århus, Denmark, last month
Jean-Marie Gleize and I noticed this paining of a private poetry reading in the Århus museum.
Jens Ferdinand Willumsen
Sophus Clausssen Reading Poems


link    |  11-06-09

The Lady Lilith
[for Emma] 
(2009, oil on linen, 20 x 16 ").

Susan Bee
New Paintings

The Gaze  
(12 x 16")

link    |  11-03-09

Sarah Dowling
Security Positions

Montreal: Snare Books
In these exquisitely reserved poems, the relation of person to body, stare to reflection, touch to sight is incised in a poetic dry point that cuts deep. Sarah Dowling’s Security Posture is both elusive and evocative. It shimmers with erotic precision.

Joel Bettridge
Presocratic Blues
Tucson: Chax Press
We breathe in Greek and exhale the pure products of Americana; a vernacular philosophy. Joel Bettridge not only knows this but has strummed it in poems witty, raucous, and bluesy.

Norman Fischer
San Diego: Singing Horse Press
Fischer's most rhetorically expansive book. In the four works that comprise this this book, Fischer absorbs the energies from his great translations of the Psalms and the narrative elan of Sailing Home and continues the self-reflective lyric work of his pervious books. In the "Voices" section he speaks through several personae, including one Reb Yosl of Kemenetz, "a simple tailor of Lithuania," whose prayers are tonic because so down-to-earth. Here's a poem called "Err" in the voice of Elena Rivera: "letters, not yet words // tear freedom loose // from rude wretched world". The final and longest section of the book, "Seasons" is vintage Fischer, a serial poem of mostly one to three words, clusterd in one tofour line stanzas: An astonishing and exuberant work.


link    |  11-02-09-x

Got to see this last night. Richard Foreman in classic form: part happening, part Dada, part Surrealism, part reverie, part Pirandello, part Brecht, part mesmerizing, always bend-bending; totally Foreman. Dafoe is a powerful counterweight to the Foreman circus, exerting a sheer physical presence as one of Foreman's recurring Quixotic figures (Don Juan, King Rufus, and the Mind King go to Poetry City).

The New York Public Theater
October 27 - December 6 
$65/$75 Saturday evenings. 
But for readers of this site:
$40 tickets.
Valid performances are 10/27--11/15. 
The code is SAVANT4


link    |  11-02-09

click on image for readable version; or go to hi-res

Paradise Lost," New York Post
Nov. 1, 2009

link    |  11-01-09


Recordings made on the occasion of Jerome McGann's 70th Birthday in 2007

  1. For Love Has Such a Spirit that if It Is Portrayed it Dies (from Controlling Interests)(6:01): MP3
  2. The Simply (from The Sophist)(15:58): MP3
  3. from Lines of Swinburne (from The Sophist)(1:15): MP3
  4. A Foin Lass Bodders Me by Louis Zukofsky (6:04): MP3
  5. Don't Get me Wrong (from Girly Man)(1:30): MP3
  6. Shenandoah (from Girly Man)(2:39): MP3
  7. Lenny Paschen Redux (1:00): MP3
  8. Wherever Angels Go (from Girly Man) (1:37): MP3
  9. Sad Boy's Sad Boy (1:25): MP3
  10. Loneliness in Linden (1:16): MP3
  11. from Canti Antichi (from Girly Man) (1:00): MP3
  12. Dea%r Fr~ien%d, (3:38): MP3
  13. Shenandoah (2:39): MP3
link    |  10-30-09

Caroline Bergvall
on the Serpentine Poetry Marathon
at the Poetry Foundation web site

" ...
The Poetry Marathon used the idea of “poetry” very loosely, nearly archaically. It is more to do with doing and making (language) than with applying the stricter and formal bounds of any art form per se. Indeed the remit for “poetry” this weekend is “performances from leading poets, writers, artists, philosophers, scholars, and musicians.” As such it is an umbrella term, a reminder that everybody writes, sometimes. However, in the context of a highly secluded British poetry culture, perhaps they’ve taken the idea one step too far. ...

...A closer look revealed that only a very small handful of poets from the many (established and less established) scenes of Britain were represented. The gender and ethnicity count among these was also troublingly unequal, where this is in fact the one thing the Brit Po establishment has represented quite systematically, even at the expense of other, more formally pertinent values. This struck me as the clearest sign of the scission between visual arts and poetic practice in Britain. ...

....Furthermore, although a number of the chosen artists are known for dealing with writing and language pertinently and intrinsically as part of their artwork ... it was something of a disappointment to see so many of them react with undisguised anxiety at that same word, “poetry.” Otherwise lucid, articulate artists found themselves in the throes of open self loathing, “I don’t know poetry,” “I dont know what to read,” choosing to calm the audience by reading from known values such as Eliot, Ted Hughes, Lorca, and Hamburger’s Celan, rather than tracing their own engagement with writing as part of the event. Here, poetry itself was treated as a historical, in the sense of acquired, decorative, rather than productive, mode of functioning. ....


read more

link    |  10-28-09-x

Chalk Playground, LitTwitChalk
Tan Lin

In cooperation  with the Museum of Chinese in America
P.S. 2 playground, 122 Henry St. NY NY
Saturday, November 14 1:00pm

A performance-based chalk translation and street drawing in a parking lot. Chalking of a Futurist manifesto, a Chinese manifesto, and a collaborative, real-time poetry “line” installation piece by New York writers. Writers include: Bruce Andrews, Chris Alexander, Joe Amrhein, Anselm Berrigan, Lee Ann Brown, Yina Chun, Sarah Gambito, Kristen Gallagher, Kenneth Goldsmith, Paolo Javier, Eric Laine, Joseph Legaspi, Frances Richard, Katherine Sanders, Oliva Shao, Phillipa Shao, Jeremy Sigler, Danny Snelson, Helena Zhang, and others.Chalk Playground is preceded by a live street-chalking exercise, TwitChalkLit, beginning at 9am at 315 West 36th street and terminating at P.S. 2 at 12:30pm. YouTube: TwitChalkLit.TwitChalkLit is rain or shine.For further details and updates: see Twitter: chalkknit.

The Futurisms of American Poetry
Charles Bernstein and John Yau
Museum of the Chinese in America
215 Centre Street (between Grand and Howard) /// New York, NY
Saturday, November 14 4:00pm

A reading/performance event with Charles Bernstein and John Yau.
With an introduction on Futurism in China by Defne Ayas.
Introduction by Chris Alexander and Kristen Gallagher. Organized by Tan Lin. I will be giving a performance of "Recantorium: A Bachelor Machine after Duchamp after Kafka" Sponsored by the Asian American Writers Workshop, Museum of the Chinese in America, the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University, and the Chinese American Association for Poetry and Poetics.

FREE, with museum admission.

link    |  10-28-09


from Girly Man

every lake has a house
& every house has a stove
& every stove has a pot
& every pot has a lid
& every lid has a handle
& every handle has a stem
& every stem has an edge
& every edge has a lining
& every lining has a margin
& every margin has a slit
& every slit has a slope
& every slope has a sum
& every sum has a factor
& every factor has a face
& every face has a thought
& every thought has a trap
& every trap has a door
& every door has a frame
& every frame has a roof
& every roof has a house
& every house has a lake


I recorded this in Oslo on October 23
for a recording related to Oslo Poesifestival 2009
Hear/read also poems by
Torgeir Rebolledo Pedersen
 | Øyvind Berg | Caroline Bergvall 

link    |  10-26-09

Close Listening
withRégis Bonvicino
October 13, 2009 at Kelly Writers House, University of Pennsylvania
Art International Radio, operating at  / PennSound

Conversation with Charles Bernstein (29:27): MP3
Reading (34:52): MP3

Segmented Reading: Translations Read by Bernstein

  1. Introduction (2:15): MP3
  2. El Mataa (1:08): MP3
  3. El Mataa (1:09): MP3 tr. Odile Cisneros
  4. "Imagem impossível," interspersed with "Image Impossible"(3:12): MP3 tr. Charles Bernstein
  5. Outra tempestade (0:42): MP3
  6. Another Storm (0:48): MP3 tr. Odile Cisneros
  7. Poema sério (0:48): MP3
  8. Serious Poem (0:37): MP3 tr. Odile Cisneros
  9. Tatugem (0:55): MP3
  10. Tattoo (2:11): MP3 tr. Charles Bernstein
  11. Azulejo (0:34): MP3
  12. Blue Tile (0:27): MP3 tr. Charles Bernstein
  13. Azulejo (0:26): MP3
  14. Caminho de hamster (1:12): MP3 tr. Odile Cisneros
  15. The Hampster's Way (1:14): MP3
  16. Definitions of Brazil with Charles Berstein (7:21): MP3
  17. Cocaine Kate (3:58): MP3 tr. Charles Bernstein and Maria do Carmo Zanini
  18. Prosa (0:55): MP3
  19. Prose (1:04): MP3 tr. Charles Bernstein
  20. Untitled (1:05): MP3
  21. Sem título (1:14): MP3 tr. Odile Cisneros


Poems for the Millennium, vol. 3
ed. Jerome Rothenberg and Jeffrey Robinson

Panel and Reading
at Kelly Writers House, University of Pennsylvania
Oct. 7, 2009

Complete Discussion (1:22:09): MP3 / MOV

Complete Reading (1:46:24): MP3 / MOV

segmented reading:

  1. Introduction by Charles Bernstein (3:41): MP3
  2. Introduction by Michael Gamer (4:46): MP3
  3. Jerome Rothenberg and Jeffery Robinson (11:51): MP3
  4. Charles Bernstein (12:12): MP3
  5. Jerome Rothenberg (3:38): MP3
  6. Rachel Blau DuPlessis (12:04): MP3
  7. Jeffery Robinson (6:29): MP3
  8. George Economou (13:33): MP3
  9. Jerome Rothenberg (3:02): MP3
  10. Rochelle Owens (16:05): MP3
  11. Jeffery Robinson (1:50): MP3
  12. Bob Perelman (13:33): MP3
  13. Jerome Rothenberg (1:23): MP3

N.B. cut 4 [(12:12): MP3] is a montage
For Emma:
After Edward Lear’s “The Old Man of Whitehaven”
My tr. of  an 1847 poem from Hugo’s  Les Contemplations
From Swinburne, “The Ballad of Burdens”
My tr of Heine’s "Der Tod, das ist die kühle Nacht" followed by my poem after "Der Tod" from Shadowtime:
“The Introvert,” after Wordworth’s The Hermet
An excerpt from Whitman’s “RESPONDEZ!”
My tr. of Baudelaire’s “Enivrez-vous”: “Be Drunken”
Blake’s “The Sick Rose” from Song of Experience

link    |  10-25-09

Publishers Weekly web edition
starred review

  Girldrive: Criss-Crossing America, Redefining Feminism
Nona Willis Aronowitz and Emma Bee Bernstein. Seal, $19.95 paper (256p) ISBN 9781580052733
Embarking on a road trip across the U.S. to engage with contemporary women, writer Aronowitz and the late artist Bernstein (1985-2008) assert that “all we want is conversation.” Through 127 casual discussions with female college students, burlesque dancers, musicians, nuns-in-training, single mothers, abortion clinic staffers and others, the authors privilege the unique experiences and perspectives of both established activists and women who hesitate to identify with any notion of feminism. Coupling luminous, enigmatic photography with insightful diary entries, the pair contribute sharp commentary on modern womanhood and gender issues. The project is most striking when exploring the personal stories of interview subjects, but the authors’ ambitious scope makes some encounters feel repetitive. Clearly a work of passion for Bernstein (who committed suicide before the book’s publication) and Aronowitz both, the authors share of themselves generously, imprinting the “open-ended, fluid conversation” with their voices, feelings and personalities. (Oct.)

link    |  10-19-09-xx

Nancy Spero 
(1926 - 2009)

link    |  10-19-09-x

Language Writing, Poetics, Faith

Joel Bettridge

Reading as Belief advances the provocative idea that the disruptive techniques of recent innovative poetry require readers to become believers, occupying the same philosophical ground as the religious faithful. Pairing the poets Charles Bernstein and Bruce Andrews with John Calvin and Jonathan Edwards, and drawing on the work of diverse thinkers such as Wendy Brown, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Walter Benjamin, Stanley Cavell, William James, and Gilles Deleuze, this book demonstrates how belief, faith and language-attuned critical inquiry share an epistemology, one concerned with making meaning in the absence of certainty. Bettridge argues that recognizing such common ground helps overcome the cultural and philosophical impasse following the collapse of modernity’s central narratives about language and liberal subjectivity.

“Bettridge’s Reading as Belief is surprising, provocative, and engaging.  On the surface of it, to link Charles Bernstein and Bruce Andrews to John Calvin and Jonathan Edwards, and to do so around issues of faith and poetics will strike most readers as quite peculiar.  And that is precisely the heart of the book’s attractiveness: providing us with a truly fresh perspective for considering the premises of experimental poetry and poetics as modes of faith.  Bettridge asks us to consider the ethics of reading, instructing us to think about the relationship of poetics to faith. The result is a strange, wonderful book that points toward an ethics of engagement that applies equally to poetry and scripture and that leads us toward a mode of reading that links fully with the conduct of a life.”—Hank Lazer, author of Lyric & Spirit: Selected Essays 1996-2008

“Bettridge offers a dare. He dares you to read the notorious Language poets as if they professed a faith. What faith? A faith that creative readers, residing in the gap between words and the world, can constantly remake themselves and what they know.”—Stephen Fredman, University of Notre Dame

link    |  10-19-09

 (World Premiere) 
Written and Directed by RICHARD FOREMAN 
Presented in association with Ontological-Hysteric Theater at

The New York Public Theater
October 27 - December 6
$65/$75 Saturday evenings.
But for readers of this site:
$40 tickets.
Valid performances are 10/27--11/15.
The code is SAVANT4

Marie asks the Idiot Savant, "But what makes certain words - magic?" What follows is a wild theatrical odyssey that could only have sprung from the fantastical mind of Richard Foreman. This new work is a philosophical comedy, in the great tradition of Ionesco and Preston Sturges. From precise existential and metaphysical acrobatics, to a ridiculous game of inter-species golf with a Giant Duck, IDIOT SAVANT is a fresh, bracing and hilarious exploration of the boundaries of the legitimate.

Tickets and more info

link    |  10-16-09-x

New York Book Launches for

Criss-Crossing America, Redefining Feminism

There will be two events in NYC to celebrate
Emma Bee Bernstein and Nona Willis Aronowitz's

new book about young women and the future of feminism.

Girldrive reading at KBG Bar
Special appearances by 
Kathleen Hanna, Michele Wallace, and Carolee Schneemann.
7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29
KGB Bar, 85 E 4th St
between 2nd and Bowery
Manhattan. Near to B, D, F, V, 6.

Girldrive launch party
6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30
A.I.R. Gallery, 111 Front St., #228, Brooklyn, NY.
Close to the York St. F stop (first stop in Brooklyn).

The book is available at bookstores and online as well.
More information at:

link    |  10-16-09

Videos of my performances at the
Futurism and the New Manifesto program
Museum of Modern Art / New York
February 20, 2009.

F. T. Marinetti, "The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism" (1909)
MP3 audio

.mov video for download

Mina Loy, "Aphorisms on Futurism" (1914)
MP3 audio

.mov video for download

Charles Bernstein,
"Manifest Aversions, Conceptual Conundrums & Implausibly Deniable Links" (2008)

MP3 audio

MP4 video for downloading

link    |  10-11-09

The Sound of Poetry / The Poetry of Sound

Edited by Marjorie Perloff and Craig Dworkin

352 pages, paper $26.00 ISBN: 9780226657431  
Published November 2009 -- now out!

Sound—one of the central elements of poetry—finds itself all but ignored in the current discourse on lyric forms. The essays collected here by Marjorie Perloff and Craig Dworkinbreak that critical silence to readdress some of the fundamental connections between poetry and sound—connections that go far beyond traditional metrical studies. 

Futurism and the New Manifesto program Museum of Modern Art / New York February 20, 2009. On the one hundredth anniversary of the publication of the Founding and Manifesto of Futurism

A genuinely comparatist study, The Sound of Poetry/The Poetry of Sound is designed to challenge current preconceptions about what Susan Howe has called “articulations of sound forms in time” as they have transformed the expanded poetic field of the twenty-first century.

link    |  10-10-09


Régis Bonvicino   

Since the end of World War II, the United States has been the world’s superpower, a condition that was confirmed in 1991 with the demise of the Soviet Union.  To speak, then, of a “Poetry of the Americas” is, to a certain extent, to speak of a poetry of centrality. The advantages achieved by the force of American capitalism have given American poets worldwide visibility. The usual cultural flow was inverted: American poetry came to influence and nourish the various poetries of Europe and—to a lesser extent—of Latin America. Through the opposite mechanism, the United States exported its modernism (Objectivism, Imagism, Gertrude Stein) to Europe and fascinated the other Americas.
continued here on Sibyl, Sibila's English Language Portal

Bonvicino will present this talk on Weds.Oct. 14 at the Poets House in NY at 7pm, along with a bilingual reading (details at my post last week). He will also be reading and talking with me at the Kelly Writers House at Penn on Tuesday, October 13.


link    |  10-09-09

Raymond Federman

Some questions for Raymond Federman

Raymond, what is the use of fiction? What is the use of stories? And what is the use of telling them, the same ones or different ones, over and again?
            How about historical memory? Collective memory? Does fiction serve to spark or to spank memory? To make sure people don't forget or to be sure they remember the right things, and also remember the right things about the right things? You are a survivor of the Holocaust, your family was killed during the systematic extermination of the European Jews during World War II. We have many memorials of this systematic extermination.  What do you think that such memorials should represent? Your work, which I would say is one of the most significant of the memorials to the systematic extermination process, in many ways veers into abstraction and digression — it refuses to represent those events.  Why do you evade history?  Is it that facts, or not any facts but those facts, refuse representation? But then do they refuse memory too? In any case, you make light of facts rooted (or is it rotting?) in that dark history.  But whose history? Your history? Our history? You refuse to be solemn in the face of those horrendous events that have, in all actuality, in living color and dead black and white, occurred historically, but also hysterically. What gives you the right ­— moreover, what gives you the nerve — to be funny about this? Why aren't you, not only a real survivor but a famous one, terribly solemn and profoundly serious, like the memorials that we have all grown accustomed to, that make us weep and in our weeping comfort us?  Your work seems to mock not only the possibility of accurate representation, but also the idea that mourning should be dignified. Do you think mourning is a joke? Why do you make readers so uncomfortable with your laughter, your self-consciousness? Why do you still kick up a fuss instead of writing with poignant, eloquent, tearful resignation?   
            What is 'The Voice in the Closet'?  Whose voice? What is the voice saying?
            When you speak of Federman, is that you? If so, why do you refer to yourself in the third person? Or are you not you to yourself? Did you lose that you in the closet? Or later? Who or what are you calling attention to when you name yourself, as you do so often, so insistently? Why do you call so much attention to this anxious act of self-naming? Is it because the name names an absence? Or is because in the absence of this naming you cease to exist to yourself, for yourself? Or for "us"?
            Do you think your work is better understood in Germany or in Europe than it is in the United States? In Germany, do you represent a response to a German catastrophe and is that why you take a place of honor as a witness of, and commentator on, that catastrophe? In the U.S., are you seen as just another unintelligible experimental novelist refusing to give the dignity of sense to the catastrophes of your lifetime? Is your work American in its refusal to represent, in its insistence that response and representation are mutually exclusive? Were your works made possible because they are grounded in a cultural space that is non-European or anyway (for you) post-European? In what ways would you say your works portray a coming of age in America that is also the coming of age of America?
            Ray, are you a poet or are you a fiction writer, and does it make any difference?
            Your work is often immersed in some of the seamier sides of male culture, and it has sometimes been read as sexist. Yet, why is there is so little reference to the outdoors, to men doing virile things in open spaces? Why is there so little male bonding? And what about the sexual desperation of the men in your books? How do you imagine male sexuality?
            Who is this guy who drops down by parachute into an Army barracks in the South in the 1950s? Why tell your story from the point of view of the man who fell to earth, or let's say to America? Why do you blur memoir with fiction? Why don't you take out the rough edges of that first encounter with America? Why does what is most 'experimental' about your books – the typography, the digressions, the multiple point of view, the insistent intrusion of aesthetics and philosophy – seem at first playful and then deadly, uncannily serious?
            How about improvisation, Raymond? Your work plays a lot with a feeling of spontaneity, of just going on, with the pleasure of telling the story as it is happening. But if that's true, why does your work seem so composed that it decomposes in its own afterburn?


 Raymond Federman LINEbreak from 1995(29:13): mp3
Dada Poem for Two Face to Face" with Raymond Federman & Charles Bernstein (40 seconds)
Federman EPC author page
Wiki page
Mark Amerika interview
Rain Taxi interview
Federman at 80: Buffalo Artvoice (Buck Quigley and Charles Bernstein)

photos ©Charles Bernstein, at Buffalo 10/18/08

link    |  10-07-09

I will be giving a talk at
Verbale Pupiller
in Århus, Denmark
on October 20

& a reading in Copenhagen at
on Oct. 21

then I will be appearing at
Oslo Poetry Festival
October 23 and 24
giving a reading and delivering the keynote
in their annual "Attack on Poetry" lecture series
introduced by Caroline Bergvall, who will be performing in the festival.
also  Ellen Ugelvik will peform "Opus Contra Naturum" from Shadowtime

link    |  10-05-09

Wednesday, October 14, 7:00pm
A Reading & Conversation with Charles Bernstein & Régis Bonvicino

Charles Bernstein speaks with Brazilian poet and editor Régis Bonvicino
about contemporary Brazilian poetry, translation and, more generally, the poetics of the Americas. 
$10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House Members.
(Photo: ©2006 Bernstien/Pennsound)

Friday, October 16, 7:00pm
Living in Advance: A Tribute to David Bromige
with Charles Bernstein, Corinna Copp, Kathleen Fraser, Rachel Levitsky, Bob Perelman, Nick Piombino, Ron Silliman, Gary Sullivan, Geoffrey Young & Others
. This evening celebrates the life and work of poet David Bromige (1933–2009), who was born in London, grew up in Canada, and arrived in 1962 in Northern California, where he spent the rest of his life, teaching and writing more than forty books of poetry. Cosponsored by the Poetry Project. Admission Free

Poets House
10 River Terrace
New York, NY 10282

link    |  10-04-09

A. L. Nielsen:
Close Listening Reading and Conversation

& as written up by Mike Hennessey on PennSound Daily

Nielsen in conversation with Charles Bernstein (31:24): MP3

Nielsen's Reading of Selected Poems (25:38): MP3

  • Introduction (0:56): MP3
  • Self-Organizing Networks (0:58): MP3
  • This Is One Way to Begin (0:23): MP3
  • Halcyon Road (0:32): MP3
  • The News (0:11): MP3
  • Unsub (027): MP3
  • The Virginia Monologues (6:06): MP3
  • Petirroja (1:15): MP3
  • My Dinner with Andrea (1:34): MP3
  • 1/2 a Poem for David Bromige (0:59): MP3
  • Exemplary Sentences (2:49): MP3
  • The Very Large Array (0:59): MP3
  • Emily's List (0:23): MP3
  • Stained Glass Widow (1:21): MP3
  • Epistemological Hesitation (0:10): MP3
  • For Michael Davidson (1:18): MP3
  • Child of the Willows (0:47): MP3
  • Legal Notice (0:27): MP3
  • On the Disappearance of Species (0:31): MP3
  • Glottophagia (1:02): MP3
  • In the Land of a Thousand Dunces (0:19): MP3
  • untitled (0:17): MP3
link    |  10-03-09-x

Leigh Davis (1955-2009)
New Zealand poet, a critic, an artist and a publisher

There is a good selection of Leigh's writing at


Ocotber 3, 2009

Dear Charles,
Leigh died this morning. There was no pain, indeed at no stage had there been any.
We have been reading a lot to him these last few weeks during which he has been bedridden
and unable to speak or read. In the time since he was first diagnosed he wrote two books,
Nameless and A Stunning Debut, the first of which will be published early next year.


from New Zealand Book Council site

Davis was born in Wanganui. He attended Auckland University where he completed an MA First Class Hons in English. He went on to study at Victoria University of Wellington where he took numerous graduate papers including, economics, mathematics, and commercial law.

Since the early 1980s Davis has been a high profile businessman and merchant banker. He has worked in both the public and private sectors before going on to start JUMP - his management company.

Davis’s first book Willy’s Gazette (1983) won the Best NZ First Book of Poetry Award. Willy’s Gazette as well as co-editing the magazine AND with Alex Calder and Roger Horrocks from 1983 to 1985 established Davis as a leading avant-garde artist and public intellectual.

Late in the 1990s Davis returned to art/publishing with Station of Earth-Bound Ghosts (1998) an installation of flags (writing and visual art). Davis went on to publish Te Tangi a te Matuhi (1999) with Jack Books, another Davis project. Jack Books added their web site in 2000 with the publication of General Motors a collection of poetry and visual art that is available as both a physical and virtual book.

In 2001 Jack Books published The Book of Hours, a trilogy that is available as both a physical and virtual book. Last year David’s poem ‘The Footstool’ from the General Motors collection was selected for the Best New Zealand Poems 2001. 

Leigh Davis has published widely as a critic. His essays on art and letters have appeared in Landfall, ArtAsia Pacific, and Brief Description. He has also contributed to art ventures and promotions including public lectures on art and poetry, as well as participating in the Bad Language Series (with Artspace) in 2001.

Davis describes his work as 'Book length contemporary poems which engage their physical media (books, textiles, web) as ideas in the work.'


Leigh lived in Auckland. I had the pleasure to meet him a few times and I admired his work very much.

link    |  10-03-09

Mira Schor on Close Listening
August 23, 2009

Mira Schor reads several of her essays: "Figure/Ground" from Wet and "Email to a Young Artist," "Recipe Art," and "Modest Painting" from A Decade of Negative Thinking. Schor is an artist, writer, and editor.

Mira Schor discussion "wet" painting versus dry dogma, the state of art criticism, the relation of feminism to art and its reception, "modest" art, her use of language in her paintings, and her dual work as essayist and visual artist.

Schor is a painter living in New York. She is the author of Wet: On Painting, Feminism and Art Culture and co-editor with Susan Bee of M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology of Artists' Writings, Theory and Criticism and M/E/A/N/I/N/G Online. She is the editor of The Extreme of the Middle: Writings of Jack Tworkov, published by Yale University Press in 2009. In early 2010 a second  collection of her writings, A Decade of Negative Thinking: Essays on Art, Politics, and Daily Life will be published by Duke University Press. She lives and works in New York City and Provincetown.

link    |  10-02-09-x

Leigh Davis (1955-2009)
New Zealand poet, a critic, an artist and a publisher

A selection of his writing may be found at

Ocotber 3, 2009

Dear Charles,

Leigh died this morning. There was no pain, indeed at no stage had there been any.
We have been reading a lot to him these last few weeks during which he has been bedridden
and unable to speak or read. In the time since he was first diagnosed he wrote two books,
Nameless and A Stunning Debut, the first of which will be published early next year.



from New Zealand Book Council site

Davis was born in Wanganui. He attended Auckland University where he completed an MA First Class Hons in English. He went on to study at Victoria University of Wellington where he took numerous graduate papers including, economics, mathematics, and commercial law.

Since the early 1980s Davis has been a high profile businessman and merchant banker. He has worked in both the public and private sectors before going on to start JUMP - his management company.

Davis’s first book Willy’s Gazette (1983) won the Best NZ First Book of Poetry Award. Willy’s Gazette as well as co-editing the magazine AND with Alex Calder and Roger Horrocks from 1983 to 1985 established Davis as a leading avant-garde artist and public intellectual.

Late in the 1990s Davis returned to art/publishing with Station of Earth-Bound Ghosts (1998) an installation of flags (writing and visual art). Davis went on to publish Te Tangi a te Matuhi (1999) with Jack Books, another Davis project. Jack Books added their web site in 2000 with the publication of General Motors a collection of poetry and visual art that is available as both a physical and virtual book.

In 2001 Jack Books published The Book of Hours, a trilogy that is available as both a physical and virtual book. Last year David’s poem ‘The Footstool’ from the General Motors collection was selected for the Best New Zealand Poems 2001. 

Leigh Davis has published widely as a critic. His essays on art and letters have appeared in Landfall, ArtAsia Pacific, and Brief Description. He has also contributed to art ventures and promotions including public lectures on art and poetry, as well as participating in the Bad Language Series (with Artspace) in 2001.

Davis describes his work as 'Book length contemporary poems which engage their physical media (books, textiles, web) as ideas in the work.'

He lived in Auckland


link    |  10-03-09

Peter Seaton on Eclipse


Crisis Intervention

The Son Master

link    |  10-02-09

The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry

Edited by Cecilia Vicuña and Ernesto Livon Grosman

This is a thrilling book and one that will be a foundational for the Poetics of the Amercas as we come to terms with it in North  America. 500 years of poetry from south of the U.S. border, in just 600 pages; this book is synoptic, a starting point, a map, a guide book. Short, concise, useful headnotes for each poet, the English translation, then the "original" (condensed by / horizontal lineation). And the translations are often fresh and engaging, bringing into English not just new voices but new tones, textures, and possibilities.

608 pages
ISBN13: 978-0-19-512454-5ISBN10: 0-19-512454-5

there will be a couple of events celebrating the book

Launch reading/celebration
Tues., October 6th, 2009, 7pm
Americas Society
680 Park Avenue, 
New York, NY
Cecilia Vicuña, Charles Bernstein, Sergio Bessa, Michelle Gil-Montero,  Clayton Eshleman, Molly Weigel, Liz Macklin, Monica de la Torre, Mark Lokensgard, James Scully, Odi Gonzalez, Daniel Shapiro, Gary Racz

note also

The exhibition, through October 31, features the work of poet/artists including Octavio Paz, Vicente Huidobro; illustrated books and periodicals by Torres-García; pre-Columbian ceramics, a Quipu fragment; a site specific sculpture by Cecilia Vicuña; and photographs and photocopies documenting pre-Columbian times to the present. Signed copies of the bi-lingual anthology will be available.

SoHo, New York

link    |  09-30-09

2009 UC Press Online Book Sale.
Many of their key poetry book
including Blaser, Silliman, Mullen (both), Spahr, Bersssebrugge, Creeley, Olson, Vallejo
Stein, Waldrop, Antin, Clover, Darwish, Myung Mi Kim, Berrigan, O'Hara, Neidecker, Césaire
Poems for the Millennium
essential poetics books  by Hejinian, Retallack, Oppen, & Blaser
superb edns of Apollinaire and Mallarmé & Gavronsky's French anthology,
scholarly studies by Daniel Kane and Yunte Huang
Go to
Save up to 70% on purchases when you use this code:10M7172.
Sale runs through October 31.

link    |  09-28-09-x

George Kuchar

Photo: Charles Bernstein/PennSound © 2009

Close Listening
readings and conversations at 

Recorded in Provincetown, Mass.
August 13, 2009

Program #1:

George Kuchar in conversation with Charles Bernstein (28:59): MP3

Program #2:

Cans and Cassettes (c. 2006) & The Movie Factory (c. 2008) (34:56): MP3

Program #3:

Kuchar reads:
Letter to Bob Cowan (c. 2002)
Tribute to Curt MacDowell (2008)
French Fried (on French films) (2007)
AncesTree (2009)
& two recent letters of recommendation Complete Recording (27:06): MP3

George Kuchar at PEPC: The Kiss of Frankenstein (2003)


link    |  09-28-09

As we near the close of our High Holy Day services for
5770, in these last hours of the Day of Atonement, Yom
Kippur, let us say the litanies of confession,
We are filled with guilt, we have been in
bad faith, we have transgressed
against others and we have mouthed
lies. We have tolerated evil and prodded
our hands to violence; we have been
presumptuous, broken trusts, caused hatred
and resentment, framed falsehood;
We have counselled in self-interest, we have
failed in promise, we have scoffed
the powerless, minded the powerful, and blasphemed
against hope; we have rebelled too
little against injustice, we have been
selfish and arrogant, we have oppressed;
We have done badly, we have
corrupted ourselves and committed abominations;
we have gone astray and have led astray;
We have turned aside from our collective
good and it has availed us not at all.
But you are right in
all that has become us,
you have acted truthfully
but we have wrought
despair. What shall we say
before you, who dwell
within, and what shall we
recount to you, who abide
in the heavenly and know
all things, hidden and
not hidden?
May it be our will to forgive and be
forgiven, may we grant, and be granted,
remission for all our transgressions


This is the 18th section of  "A Person Is Not an Entity Symbolic but the
Divine Incarnate" from The Sophist (1987). (The Hebrew year has been updated.)  
The poem is a revisioning (and reversing) of the Yom Kippur prayer of confession (also spelled "Ashamnu").
In Hebrew, each of the 24 confessions begins with a different letter of the alphabet (with the last letter repeated).

link    |  09-27-09

I will be reading at Harvard
on Monday, October 5
at 5pm
in the Kresge Room in Barker Center
(12 Quincy St)

link    |  09-25-09-x


Emma Bee Bernstein &
Nona Willis Aronowitz

now out!

Girldrive reading at KGB Bar in NYC on Oct 29 at 7 p.m.
Girldrive launch at A.I.R. Gallery in NYC on Oct 30 at 7:30 p.m.

from Seal Press

Nona and Emma have done what I suspect many women, young and old, have
always dreamed of doing: Hit the open road with nothing more than a
partner in crime, a full tank of gas, a playlist of good music, a pad
of paper, a camera, and an unyielding curiosity. The duo - self-
described progressives from New York with impeccable credentials in
East Coast establishment feminism—aren't content to let their
backgrounds define the history of gender equality in the U.S.... or
its future. Instead, they take—nay, create—the opportunity to
explore the nooks and crannies of their country, their female
compatriots, their friendship, and their own psyches through a Thelma
& Louise-like trip around the United States in which they interview
and photograph a diverse sampling of American women. Unlike the title
characters of that beloved 1991 film however, Nona and Emma's journey
is notable in that they are traveling to, not away, from something,
namely, an understanding of contemporary feminism, both its successes
and limitations. Girldrive is part travel diary, part social document,
part art exhibit and, sadly, part eulogy; not only do I recommend it
highly, I have to admit that I'm insanely jealous I didn't think of it
—Anna Holmes, Founder/Editor,

Girldrive is the first book on feminism I’ve seen based on the Web 2.0 model: short conversational stories, striking pictures, multi-racial. I wanted to click “share” every time I started reading another young woman’s reflection on gender and politics and how the two intertwine with race, class and geographical experiences. It reminds me that feminism (like this country) has its strength in its diversity, in its many voices. Girldrive is truly a roadmap to feminism today and a must-read for anyone who wants to know where its future is headed.
—Daisy Hernández, Editor, ColorLines magazine

Girldrive is a fascinating, fiery, dramatic whirlwind tour through
modern-day women’s lives. Aronowitz and Bernstein treat feminism both
as sacred and something that can, and is, being refashioned, and in
some cases, dismissed in favor of other ways of advancing change.
Thankfully, they don’t only talk to self-described “feminists,” but to
all sorts of women of different ages, races, sexualities, and belief
systems. Girldrive is very likely to make you excited, impassioned,
and, at times, infuriated--and that’s a good thing. Rather than
handing you preformatted answers, Girldrive lets its diversity of
opinion speak to you, rather than for you.
—Rachel Kramer Bussel, Editor, Dirty Girls: Erotica for Women, Host,
in The Flesh Reading Series


Girldrive web site


link    |  09-25-09

Collected Poems by Larry Eigner

edited by Curtis Faville and Robert Grenier
Stanford University Press
is forthcoming December 2009
(four cloth volumes, 1848 pages)

There is no 20th century American poet more present, more pertinent, more necessary than Larry Eigner. The editorial focus in this definitive collection is to present Eigner’s work in a manner that rigorously adheres to the author’s typewritten manuscripts as the best guide to the visual shape of each poem. As a result, this astonishing edition is the first full-scale publication of Eigner’s serial poetry that give a comprehensive experience of both the epic scale and meticulously intricate details of his aesthetic vision. Grenier and Faville have done a heroic job assembling the poems of an American hero, whose splendor shines through each and every one of these pages and whose spirit lingers in the spaces between the words.

Robert Grenier's Introuduction
now available at Sybil (Sibila's English language portal)

Larry Eigner had great eyes—he could look right through you, or, alternatively, he could look right at you (or both, at the same time).

That very presence of the eyes—and the intelligence and sympathy and ‘openness of understanding’ in them—was what was initially absolutely engaging to me, when I first walked up to the door at 23 Bates Road in Swampscott, Massachusetts in January 1971 (Larry’s workspace was the front porch)—this was determinative.

I was a creepy little magazine editor trying to crawl in there and get a poem (for nothing!) for my (unpublished) ‘periodical’ this—from the author of From The Sustaining Air, On My Eyes and Another Time In Fragments—and Larry welcomed me, warmly and openly. (This was his opportunity to talk…) His diminutive mother, Bessie, brought out a plate of snacks, and I was introduced to his father, Israel, who receded into the background of the house.

read more

new at Sibyl
Sibyl RSS feed

link    |  09-20-09

Segue Reading Series

Saturdays ar 4:00p to 6:00p
at Bowery Poetry Club, New York, NY

Oct 3: Zhang Er & Trey Sager
Oct 10: Laura Moriarty & Paul Foster Johnson
Oct 17: Keith Waldrop & John Keene
Oct 24: Catherine Wagner & Amy King
Oct 31: Kim Lyons & James Belflower
Nov 7: Mary Burger & Stefani Barber
Nov 14: Laura Elrick & Jesse Seldess
Nov 21: Evelyn Reilly & Cathy Eisenhower


link    |  09-19-09

just begun to learn
(PoemTalk #22)

Bob Perlelam, Wystan Curnow, Charles Bernstein
and host Al Filries (r to l) discuss
Louis Zukofsky's "Anew" #12 ("It's hard to see but think of a sea.")
which is collected in the the LZ Selected Poems from Library of America

Louis Zukofsky: Selected Poems book jacket

Listen or download:


Allen Fisher's Ekphrastics
published in the new on-line issue of Spine

here is one of the two published
with painting and poem by Fisher:

Proposals 31

Ocean series in
a rhythm of orange
squares of light
turn on and off are distant
lorries taking the hill
out of town
and return commodities
to an earth and methane
exhaust quarry


Proposals 31. Commentary.

Stratospheres are spreads of surfaces with boundaries and stimulate the discussion of identity and category.

link    |  09-18-09


David Arnold

Poetry and Language Writing
Objective and Surreal

256 pages
Liverpool University Press

[jacket image]

publisher's blurb:
Language Poetry, Language Writing, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E writing—no matter the moniker, the impact of the movement and its particular pedigree of theory-conscious poetics, postmodern aesthetics, and non-academic stance cannot be denied. In this timely volume, David Arnold not only provides a means for coming to terms with this influential mode of writing and its ongoing crisis of representation but also reassesses the complex relationship between language poetry and surrealism, through discussion of some of late twentieth-century’s most innovative poets, including Charles Bernstein, Susan Howe, Michael Palmer, and Barrett Watten.

Google Books preview of intro and toc
Google Books delightfully categorzes this book as "juvenile nonfiction."

The Scholarly Life of Language Writing
An Excommunicated Vessel?
William Carlos Williams
The SurrealObjectivist Nexus
Michael Palmers Poetics of Witness
The Writing of Susan Howe
Just Rehashed Surrealism? The Writing of Barrett Watten

link    |  09-15-09

Nona Willis-Aronowitz
has launched the new
GirlDrive web site
which replces the blog.
-- the book --
coauthored by Emma Bee Bernstein
will be out in about 6 weeks


Newark Star-Ledger review of Café Buffé


Poets House's
Fabulous New Space
opens September 24 and 25

Saturday, September 26, 11:00am–5:00pm
Admission Free
Invocation of the Muse: Poets & Musicians Toast the New Poets House

A charismatic poet and musician who was featured in Bill Moyers’ Fooling with Words documentary, Kurt Lamkin delivers a spirited performance for children and their adults. This event starts at Poets House.
Open House! Take a stroll through our new home.
Join us for this blowout celebration on our new "front lawn," Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, with dynamic readings by acclaimed poets, including Meena Alexander, Charles Bernstein, Regie Cabico, Billy Collins, Mark Doty, Cornelius Eady, Kathleen Fraser, Kimiko Hahn, Michael Heller, Marie Howe, Dave Johnson, Patricia Spears Jones, Galway Kinnell, Philip Levine, Marie Ponsot, Quincy Troupe and others, as well as poetry-inspired songs by Natalie Merchant. Cosponsored by the Battery Park City Authority.

Tuesday, October 6, 7:00pm
Songs of Ascension: The Psalms & Other Sky-Bound Structures
A Conversation between Norman Fischer & Meredith Monk
$10, $7 for students and seniors, Free to Poets House Members

Wednesday, October 14, 7:00pm
CORRESPONDENCES: A Reading & Conversation with Charles Bernstein & Régis Bonvicino
Charles Bernstein speaks with Brazilian poet and editor Régis Bonvicino about contemporary Brazilian poetry, translation and, more generally, the poetics of the Americas.
$10, $7 for students and seniors, Free to Poets House Members

Friday, October 16, 7:00pm
Living in Advance: A Tribute to David Bromige
with Charles Bernstein, Corina Copp, Rachel Levitsky, Bob Perelman, Nick Piombino, Ron Silliman, Gary Sullivan, Geoffrey Young & Others
This evening celebrates the life and work of poet David Bromige (1933–2009), who was born in London, grew up in Canada, and arrived in 1962 in Northern California, where he spent the rest of his life, teaching and writing more than forty books of poetry. Cosponsored by the Poetry Project.
Admission Free



Bamf Conference


Literary Practice At The Edge: A Gathering
Program dates: February 18, 2010 - February 21, 2010
Registration deadline: January 29, 2010
Early Bird registration: October 30, 2009

Director:  Steven Ross Smith
Presenters: Caroline Bergvall, Charles Bernstein, Jen Bervin, Christian Bök, J.R. Carpenter, Ram Devineni, Craig Dworkin, Al Filreis, Kathleen Fraser, Christopher Funkhouser, Kenneth Goldsmith, Aya Karpinska, D. Kimm, Daphne Marlatt, Nick Montfort, Erin Moure, Lance Olsen, Stephen Osborne, Marjorie Perloff, Stephanie Strickland, Steve Tomasula, Fred Wah


Glossator: Practice and Theory of .the Commentary, Vol 1 (2009
A new magazine devoted to commentary and gloss: includes Prynne on Wordsworth, Michael Stone-Richards on Cha's Dictée, and an interesting appropriation/rearticulation of a Bob Perelman poem (which has given rise to a new addion to the experiments list: take phrases from a source text and embed them into a narrative of your own construction).


my translation of
"Be Drunken"


link    |  09-14-09

Singular Examples: Artistic Politics and the Neo-Avant-Garde
by Tyrus Miller
Northwestern University Press, 2009

Singular Examples provides acute readings John Cage, Gilbert Sorrentino, David Tudor, Stan Brakhage, Samuel Beckett, with special and very welcome attention to Jackson Mac Low. Of particular note is Miller’s account of Mac Low’s relation, via his diastic poems, to Ezra Pound and  Kurt Schwitters. This is a central motif of the book: the way postwar artists have responded to the legacy, and possibly the “theory death” of radical modernism. Miller offers a Salubrious Swerve from the more reductive, if still generative, theories of “influence” such as Harold Bloom’s. He reads Mac Low’s textual practice as responding, even elegizing, Schwitters and Pound, with a keen sense of the achievements of the modernist poets but with an eye (and ear) toward opening up the space of the present.

In a key passage in the book, Miller writes:

… these poems represent a singular mode of retro-avantgarde elegy: retroactively recapitulating the history and techniques of the avant-garde to release its unquiet ghosts from their compulsion to speak (or shout); performing the work of mourning that will let the avant-garde's claims on the future be at long last over …

In 1992, Antony Easthope edited a collection of essays called Contemporary Poetry Meets Modern Theory. It was novel, and necessary at the time. I kept thinking of that book when reading Miller’s new book, given the way he takes for granted an aesthetic and philosophical orientation to his close readings (bringing to mind the work of Jean-Michel Rabaté, Gerald Bruns, and Herman Rappaport).

A highlight of the book is Miller’s use of Harold Rosenberg on “event” and Sartre on “situation,” as well as Guy Debord, Michel Foucault, Giles Deleuze, in his discussion of  Mac Low’s work for dancers, The Pronouns.  

Miller offers a useful discussion of Brakhage – and Olson – on immanence, and in the process rescues Brakhage from a naïve Romanticism that is sometimes used to praise him but which undermines the importance of his work. And perhaps the best writing in the book comes in the discussion of Beckett and Miller’s use of Theodor Adorno to rethink some key Beckett motifs. Like Miller’s other bracketing of philosophers and artists, this one works both ways. He doesn’t so much use Adorno to explain Becket (one could just as well say he uses Beckett to explain Adorno) as consider Adorno and Becket as responding to the same historical and ontological problems – crisis really. And that final chapter on Beckett give a deep resonance to whole book.

link    |  09-13-09

Café Buffé
final rehearsal
September 9, 2009

tickets here

Thursday September 10, 2009
The John J Cali School of Music
Montclair State University
World Premiere of Café Buffé
comic farce - chamber opera (concert performance)
for six soloists, 18-piece band/chorus (instruments invented by Dean Drummond and Harry Partch, plus winds, strings and percussion).

music by Dean Drummond
libretto by Charles Bernstein

Thursday, September 10,  7:30pm
Kasser Theater, Montclair State University
for a lot more info:



link    |  09-09-09

Café Buffé
in rehearsal yesterday ...
a thrill to hear a run-through
Dean Drummond has written a fabulous score

Dean Drummond

Jared Soldiviero on Bamboo Marimba

Beth Griffith as Hilda Honey


link    |  09-06-09

Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry

The first issue is out now, 112 pp:
Scott Thurston and Robert Sheppard, Eds.

Dragging at the haemorrhage of uns : Maggie
O Sullivan s excavations of Irish history
Mandy Bloomfield

Democratic consensus in J. H. Prynne s Refuse Collection
Ian Davidson

Veronica Forrest-Thomson s Cordelia , tradition and
the Triumph of Artifice
Gareth Farmer

Expectant contexts : Corporeal and desiring spaces in
Denise Riley s poetry
Christine Kennedy and David Kennedy

Tony Lopez, Meaning Performance
Reviewed by Robert Sheppard

John Wilkinson, The Lyric Touch
Reviewed by Scott Thurston


preview of opening pages

link    |  09-04-09-x

09-04-09 -->

[from Caen, France; Yoann Thommerel, ed.]
n° 1

8 Mladen Dolar : Vox
53 Ian Monk : Lire à haute voix
61 Jérôme Game : L'agencement lecture/perf.
69 Gwenaëlle Stubbe : Une réponse concise
81 Benoît Casas : Vous lire
87 Sonia Chiambretto : La prochaine fois
105 Vincent Tholomé : Une lente et longue explosion souterraine
Room 14
115 Christian Prigent : Demain je meurs dans la voix de l'écrit
123 Luc Bénazet : le devant, le dos
149 Christophe Manon : Lyrisme de masse (quelques notes)
qui vive (extrait)
163 Jacques Demarcq : la Vie volatile (extrait)
hO vUe
175 Ettore Labbate : À perte de voix
"Écho 1" et "Écho 2"
187 Hubert Lucot : Voyage à Bordeaux-Gradignan
193 Jacques Jouet : Le phonographe de Charles Cros
La pierre magnétique


Dossier edited by Double Change: Abigail Laing, Olivier Brossard, Vincent Broqua:


201 Charles Bernstein : Écouter de près, La poésie et sa performance
205 Stephen Ratcliffe : Listening to reading
Human / Nature
209 Jerome Rothenberg : Comment nous sommes venus à la performance : un témoignage personnel
215 Keith Waldrop : Entretien
219 Norma Cole : Probation (extrait)
225 Michael Davidson : Technologie de la présence. L'oralité et la voix enregistrée de la poésie contemporaine.
1-La construction de la tradition orale
229 David Antin : La rivière (extrait)
233 Michael Davidson : Technologie de la présence. L'oralité et la voix enregistrée de la poésie contemporaine.
2-La culture de la surveillance
237 Charles Bernstein : Manifeste pour PennSound
242 Slavoj Zizek : "Je vous entends avec mes yeux" ou le maître invisible
282 les auteurs  

link    |  09-04-09

photo: Bernstein/PennSound © 2009

Ken Jacobs


Close Listening
readings and conversations at
Art International Radio / ArtOnAir.Org
Clocktower Studio
New York, August 4, 2009

Program #1:

Ken Jacobs in conversation with Charles Bernstein (28:19): MP3
A note from Ken Jacobs:

It was 1954 when I returned from military servitude. No later than 57 when I began SSTD. Busting with fury at the big con job we tolerate. Somehow I scrambled the dates on your show, possibly because mention of the Fifties seemed altogether absurd.�Anyway, thanks for the opportunity to say some of this. I wish I would've picked up more on the ideas you were introducing but when one is on a trajectory it can be hard to veer off. '61 I was already with Flo, on Easy Street. A mere 5 years later I'd even earn a living, modest ($3500 a year) but we ate.

Program #2:

The Day the Moon Gave Up the Ghost, 1961 (28:21): MP3

Program #3:

The Joys and Sorrows of Evanescent Cinema (27:29): MP3
Note: The text for this 2003 autobiographical essay is available from Millennium Film Journal, here.


link    |  08-31-09

Not to be missed ...
Belladonna conference at CUNY in New York
The Advancing Feminist Poetics and Activism Gathering
Sept. 24 and 25



Paul Kahn's Gloucester-based magazine of the 70s, now online:


the kind of poetry I want ....

Jörgen Gassilewski

from boundary 2 Swedish sampler
tr, Anders Lundberg &. Jesper Olsson
>Close-reading of non-existing texts is a political act
To Catullus

>saturation, tr. Robert Österbergh (from Jacket 37)




buy tickets now

Thursday September 10, 2009
The John J Cali School of Music
Montclair State University

Café Buffé

Music by Dean Drummond
Libretto by Charles Bernstein
with New Band
Paul Hostetter — conductor


a microtonal opera

Café Buffé is a one-act comic opera: an existential foray into food and food service. Set in a café/restaurant/bar, the cast consists of a waiter and several patrons. They discuss the menu, order food and each character tells his/her own absurdist story. The libretto is replete with nonsequitors, plays on words, hyperbole, and farce — all interlaced with a series of often bluesy songs.  The eighteen musicians — who play a mixture of conventional, electronic, Harry Partch and Dean Drummond instruments — are onstage throughout. They are the cafés house band — and they demand — and are served — ice cold water.  Everyone's voices are brought together at once for a grand finale.

Café Buffé was formally initiated in 1991, when I invited Charles Bernstein (who I knew as a fellow Upper West Side preschool parent) to create a comic farce about food.  My idea was that it would be set in a café in which my microtonal ensemble Newband, performing on the Newband/Harry Partch Instrumentarium, would be the accompanying orchestra in the form of an on stage café house band. Very importantly, Charles and I were agreed that I would make every attempt to set the text so that all words would be clearly understood.

Café Buffé is my first opera, but hopefully the first of several to be composed in the next decade or so.  It is also something I have been pondering for a long time. As I see it, I am someone who set out to compose operas, but who got sidetracked into microtonality, building instruments and directing a chamber ensemble to perform my microtonal chamber music.   For me this has been a large learning curve because I needed to develop a personal musical language (which happens to be microtonal) before composing an opera. Even after Charles created his text I needed to compose Congressional Record to develop an approach to setting text and The Last Laugh (a work for live ensemble and silent film) to develop an approach to mixing music with another medium.   

I also have to credit and thank my first conducting teacher, Hans Baer at University of Southern California, for warning me not to conduct my own music (because composers always drag the tempo in their own music) and not to try to compose a comic opera before composing numerous tragedies (because it's almost impossible to compose a good comic opera).   I have been conducting my own music for many years, and when I drag the tempo, I am fortunate enough to have musician/friends who tell me.    Hans Baer's explanation, that Wagner and Verdi waited to compose Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Falstaff respectively, was futile.  Perhaps I am merely a product of my time, growing up with movies and TV, but for me, opera is an absurd medium by definition.  I am only interested in composing comic operas.

—Dean Drummond

Note: the libretto for Café Buffé was featured in Slope 15 (2002):
archive copy here

cast list, instrumentals, and synopsis
at the New Band site

buy tickets now


link    |  08-30-09

Bruce Pearson

Photo: Bernstein/PennSound © 2009

Close Listening
readings and conversations at ArtOnAir
Clocktower Studio, New York, August 4, 2009

Bruce Pearson
(27:23): MP3

My conversation with Bruce Pearson. Pearson describes his method of making a painting. He also discusses his use of language as a base element for his paintings and notes how this confutes traditional dichotomies such as figuration versus abstraction and visual meaning versus verbal meaning. Pearson also talks about his approaches to color and the thickness of his paintings' surfaces/depths. Pearson is a visual artist living in Brooklyn, NY. He shows his paintings at the Ronald Feldman Gallery, though his first solo show was at Pierogi in 1996. He has a new web site, still under construction, at:

link    |  08-26-09


[copy from PoemTalk blog announcment]

a podcast series sponsored by
the Poetry Foundation | the Kelly Writers House | & PennSound

totally indivisible (PoemTalk #21)


In PT #21 we talk about a poem by Charles Bernstein written in 2002, published in World on Fire and eventually collected in Girly Man: "In a Restless World Like This Is." As Marcella Durand informs the PoemTalkers, the title is taken from the lyrics of a sweet 1940s song, sung later by Nat King Cole, Doris Day, et alia. Why derive the title from so sentimental a source? Hank Lazer and Marcella each speculate: it's the postwar thing, bitter-sweet, looking simultaneously forward and back, done with it but still needing the balm. Okay, but why now, here--why in this poem?

It's a post-9/11 poem. Eli Goldblatt describes for us Bernstein's initial written responses to 9/11, providing us a context for this poem's unstraightforward all-preamble going-nowhere-ness. Al asserts the obvious: the poem enacts the restlessness the speaker feels: linguistically, tonally, idiomatically. The "no" of the fourth line is one of those staring-over words, as is, of course, "well" in line 8. The poem gives us an alternative "way" or path from the (non)start of its opening to the (non)finish of its ending. It is the opposite of an A->Z poem. There is not a single direction, not a point, and, needless to say--ah, but we at PoemTalk say it!--that is its point


Where are we going? What is going to happen next? Is it narratively possible to discern ("Not long ago" is story-telling phrasing)? Ah, but "maybe I dreamt it / Or made it up, or have suddenly lost / Track of its train." If you decide you need to go "In one direction" only, you'll find--note the contorted, merged idiomatic language--that "you'll / Have to go on before the way back has / Become totally indivisible." The final word, the PoemTalkers agree, is a national word--a term from the pledge of allegiance to the United States of America, yet a notion that counters rather than abets the concept of discrete parts, clear paths, moving along the road from regress to progress.

In a Restless World Like This Is
(from World on Fire) in Girly Man

Not long ago, or maybe I dreamt it
Or made it up, or have suddenly lost
Track of its train in the hocus pocus
Of the dissolving days; no, if I bend
The turn around the corner, come at it
From all three sides at once, or bounce the ball
Against all manner of bleary-eyed fortune
Tellers--well, you can see for yourselves there's
Nothing up my sleeves, or notice even
Rocks occasionally break if enough
Pressure is applied. As far as you go
In one direction, all the further you'll
Have to go on before the way back has
Become totally indivisible.

Our recording of the poem
was made during a moving outdoor reading in September 2003 at the Kelly Writers House.
It and all PoemTalk poems are available through PennSound.

We at PoemTalk are grateful as ever to James LaMarre for his expert engineering and directing, and to Steve McLaughlin, our masterful sound editor.

[from PoemTalk blog]

link    |  08-24-09

Prickly Paradigm #36

Are the Humanities Inconsequent? Or, Marx's Riddle of the Dog

Jerome McGann

A polemical, riotous pamphlet, chock full of startling passages from Blake, Byron, Wordsworth, Tennyson, Arnold, Borges, Hardy, Langer, Yourcenar, and ending with a marvelous discussion of Christian Bök's Euonia. McGann's argument moves by means of the citations, which are never reduced to examples; the essays work by a poetic/paratactic logic that McGann calla "paracriticism": the ludic, dialogic, exploratory possibility for the essay which more disciplinary and expository, and journalistic approaches, no matter how radical in "content," necessarily suppress.

Here's the catalog copy:
A spectre is haunting literature today -- the spectre of patacriticism. Nowhere is the threat more evident than in the dog riddle propounded by the late Marx: "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." This book, which explains for the first time what Marx meant, works from two assumptions: 1. That the riddle conceals an allegory about book culture and is addressed to the academic custodians of book culture; and 2. that our explanation is necessarily implicated in the problem posed by the riddle of the dog. It therefore remains to be seen -- it is the reader's part to decide -- whether the book is a friend to man or, perhaps like Marx's riddle, too dark to read.


Last days of the Modern and Contemporary Poetics series "Recession Special"
Half price on books by McGann and Marjorie Perloff (key work of theirs on contemporary poetry), Ben Friedlander (his great paracritical book mapping Poe's essays onto the contemporary poetry landscape), Brian Reed (an illuminating book on Hart Crane), Mark Scroggins (on Zukofsky and epistemology), Rachel Back (on Susan Howe), Susan Schultz (collects her key essays), Jed Rasula (a marvelously wide-ranging collection); and also Hank Lazer (ed.), What Is a Poet?, and Bill Lavender's revelatory anthology of innovative poetry from the South.


New Summer on-line issue of Rain Taxi.


Douglas Dunn on Merce Cunningham

link    |  08-23-09

New@Sibyl, Sibila's English portal
[RSS feed for Sibyl]

A Note on “The Kingfishers” for Arkaddi’s Dragomoschenko’s Translation

[Arkadii Dragomoshchenko asked me to write a commentary on “The Kingfisher’s” for his new Russian translation (forthcoming, 2009. PennSound features a sound file of Olson reading most of “The Kingfishers” (6:31); the poem can be found on-line here.] 

Olson’s “The Kingfisher’s” is an inaugural poem of postwar American poetry and it takes its place of honor at the opening of Don Allen’s defining anthology, The New American Poetry.

“The Kingfishers” is both thrilling and exasperating, inspiring and challenging. The date of its composition has become as emblematic as anything in the poem: 1949. Just four years after the bombing of Hiroshima, just four years after the gates of Auschwitz were broken open and the unfathomable lies of what happened there were revealed, the same year as Mao’s forces triumphed in China (Olson’s "La lumiere de l'aurore est devant. Nous nous devant nous lever et agir" [The light of dawn is before us. We must arise and act.] is from Mao). Sixty years later, and on the verge of celebrating Olson’s centennial, we are still confronted with the dogged question at the heart of this poem, “shall you uncover honey / where maggots are?,” a line that has the status of Adorno’s questioning of the possibility of lyric poetry in the wake of the “final solution” (the systematic extermination process). Is our Western heritage salvageable?

A stirring, iconic voice rises up in this poem, one phrase tumbling upon the next, hectoring, charged, bursting through the dead silence and complacency often associated with this proto Cold War moment in U.S. history. Olson’s rhetorical power is a blast against conformity, against the postwar methodology of “prosperity” through repression. “What pudor pejorocracy affronts”: our decency, if we still have it in the human dethronement of that moment, 1949 (or 2009) is offended by the worsening rule of government. And Olson breaks beyond “the Western box” with his opening, signal, invocation of Heraklitus: all is change, stasis is Thanatos (a death wish). And so the poem enacts this very Heraklitian change/movement/dynamic/parataxis; it invokes a poetics of dynamic movement, where each phrase takes on new meaning in new contexts. One thought is overlaid on another, a veritable palimpsest, like they say.

I’ve read the poems many times over the years and I still don’t follow it, keep diving back in for more. You can never step into the same poem twice (to conflate Olson and Heraklitus). The poem is a bracing test of nonlinear reading: because it quickly loses the reader trying diligently to “follow,” since it demands another approach, one that doesn’t follow the leader but the lieder (why am I writing this way for you, Arkaadi, since my puns can’t be translated into Russian?). Guy Davenport calls the poem as a whole an ideogram, marking its unmistakle, and not entirely happy, Poundian lineage. The poem is weighted/freighted by those Poundian need-to-know (or do you?) uncited references, as for example the appropriations from Prescott’s History of the Conquest of Mexico (“the priests rush in among the people,” “of green feathers feet, beaks and eyes / of gold”).

And at or near the center: “I thought of the E on the stone”: this is not Frank O’Hara referring casually and without consequence to graffiti on Second Avenue but an allusion to the Inscrutable Inscription on the Stone at Delphi. But this is the weight that for Olson we cannot cast off: of the enigma of our cultural histories, which form us and from which we are formed. We are not one but many, and from the many threads the fabric of our possible lives will be woven. Do we weave it or let it be woven for us? Will dawn follow this dark night?  

We come late to a world that we feel, less and less, is of our making: we are estranged from that which we feel we are, by right of nature, familiar; as if our own hand was not part of our body, or our own society no longer a polis, no longer “ours” (to extend a fragment of Hekalitus quoted by Olson in his Special View of History).

Near the end, Olson quotes a couplet from Rimbaud’s Season in Hell (“Alchemy of the Word”): “Si j'ai du goût, ce n'est guère / Que pour la terre et les pierres”  (“I only find within my bones / A taste for eating earth and stones” as Paul Schmidt translates it). Rimbaud, Heraklitus, Mao, Prescott, Delphi are, for Olson, points outside the deadness that inscribes “us” in the “West” in the wake the war. They are stones with which we might build a new world, word by word; but they are also the weights of that other demonic world (of which the New World is not innocent). This dead-mid-century poem marks a liminal moment between a controlled Poundian montage (ideogram) and the possibility for a more open-ended collage that might come after.

“The Kingfisher”’s acknowledgement of the crisis for Western culture in the wake of the war is the postmodern turn, where the call of the poet is so much bird feed. "The kingfishers! / who cares / for their feathers / now?" As Jack Spicer would say a decade later, “No / One listens to poetry.”


 "The Kinghisers"  is collected in Collected Poems, ed. Geoerge Butterick (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1987). A great deal has been written about this poem, documenting its sources line for line, see especially: Ralph Maude, What Does Not Change: The Significance of Charles Olson’s ‘The Kingfishers’ (Madison, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1997); George Butterick, Charles Olson’s ‘The Kingfishers’ and the Poetics of Change in American Poetry 6:2 (1988): 28-69; and Guy Davenport, “Scholia and Conjectures for ‘The Kingfishers’ in The Geography of the Imagination (Berkeley: North Point Press, 1981). 


link    |  08-22-09

Mónica de la Torre

Photo: Charles Bernstein/PennSound © 2009

Close Listening
readings and conversations at
Art Internation Radio (ArtOnAir.Org)
Clocktower Studio, New York, August 4, 2009

Program #1:
Mónica de la Torre reads "The Crush," from Public Domain (Roof Books, 2008)
profile.php(27:49): MP3

Program #2
Mónica de la Torre in conversation with Charles Bernstein
(28:45): MP3

link    |  08-18-09


New at Penn EPC (PEPC)

Paperback $28
464 pages, first edition
ISBN-10: 0-88214-574-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-88214-574-7
Spring Publications

Fragment 1
Fragment 2
Fragment 16
Fragment 31
Fragment 94
Fragment 96

link    |  08-16-09

rob mclennan's blog
12 or 20 questions: with Charles Bernstein

1 - How did your first book or chapbook change your life? How does your most recent work compare to your previous? How does it feel different?

Hard to say.

2 - How did you come to poetry first, as opposed to, say, fiction or non-fiction?

Poetry is non-fiction.

3 - How long does it take to start any particular writing project? Does your writing intitially come quickly, or is it a slow process? Do first drafts appear looking close to their final shape, or does your work come out of copious notes?

It takes forever to start a work and even longer to finish. Initially the work comes very quickly, perhaps instantly, but I am too slow to process it. My work is copious notes.

4 - Where does a poem usually begin for you?

Poems begin for me somewhere in the middle of the middle (the poet is perpetually assigned the “it” role in a kind of aesthetic monkey-in-the-middle game, trying to catch things from competing and irreconcilable interests and desires).

4A. Are you an author of short pieces that end up combining into a larger project, or are you working on a "book" from the very beginning?


5 - Are public readings part of or counter to your creative process? Are you the sort of writer who enjoys doing readings?

I feel performance corrupts the true inner life of a poem. I eschew both performances of my own work and those of other poets. Poetry should be silent, unread, invisible, inconceivable. The true poem can never be written or heard.

6 - Do you have any theoretical concerns behind your writing? What kinds of questions are you trying to answer with your work? What do you even think the current questions are?

Not ideas but the idea of ideas; not questions but the inadequacies of answers; not currency but against the tides.

7 – What do you see the current role of the writer being in larger culture? Does s/he even have one? What do you think the role of the writer should be?

Better a weak jaw than an iron fist.

8 - Do you find the process of working with an outside editor difficult or essential (or both)?

I am too involved working with my inside editor; anyway, there is no way to get rid of that, hard as I’ve tried.

9 - What is the best piece of advice you've heard (not necessarily given to you directly)?

This answer intentionally left blank

10 - How easy has it been for you to move between genres (poetry to critical prose)? What do you see as the appeal?

I find it impossible not to. Not appeal, necessity.

11 - What kind of writing routine do you tend to keep, or do you even have one? How does a typical day (for you) begin?

I don’t sleep as well as I once did.

12 - When your writing gets stalled, where do you turn or return for (for lack of a better word) inspiration?

Stalling is my inspiration.

13 - What fairy tale character do you resonate with most?

Oscar Wilde.

14 - David W. McFadden once said that books come from books, but are there any other forms that influence your work, whether nature, music, science or visual art?


15 - What other writers or writings are important for your work, or simply your life outside of your work?

I keep Mr. Emerson by my bedside.

16 - What would you like to do that you haven't yet done?

It’s what I’d like to undo that keeps me up at night.

17 - If you could pick any other occupation to attempt, what would it be? Or, alternately, what do you think you would have ended up doing had you not been a writer?

Night warden.

18 - What made you write, as opposed to doing something else?

What else?

19 - What was the last great book you read? What was the last great film?

Ah, yes, I remember it well.

20 - What are you currently working on?


link    |  08-13-09

DNA Gallery
288 Bradford St
Provincetown, Mass.

Friday, August 14
Poetry reading with
Gordon Faylor, Liz Fodaski, and Eddie Hopely

Sunday, August 16
A night of film, poetry, and art
Mimi Gross, Charles Bernstein, & George Kuchar

link    |  08-10-09

Regis Bonvicino's poems


Susan Bee's graphics
slide show of book
with my introduction
book published by
Collectif Génération / Gervais Jassaud


On Sibyl
Sibila's English language portal
I've posted two late poems of Robin Blaser
part of a Blaser selection we are working on for EPC.
We'll be positng more poems and essays on this site.
You can can updates via the RSS feed.



call for poetry mss

link    |  08-08-09

Perverts Put Out

Fox News has exposed what commentator Megyn Kelly describes as an abuse of government stimulus money: a $25,000 grant from the NEA to the Pacfic Cinematheque. The sin in question: a purported future showing of the 1975 underground camp/porno classic Thundercrack! directed by Curt McDowell and written by George Kuchar (left in picture above). (Note: The Cinemateque's web site does not list any showings of this film.). Variety describes Thundercrack! this way: "Thundercrack! is an awful sexpo spoof that suggests Russ Meyer trying to do a Tennessee Williams subject." Keep in mind that the animal-human sex referred to by Congressman Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) refers to a scene with Kuchar dressed in a gorilla suit (he plays Medusa, a female gorilla). What this is really about is Kelly and Stearns abusing Fox viewer's intelligence. The silver lining in this nonsense is that Kuchar's great slogan for the movie gets top billing --

"Ecstasy so great that all Heaven and Hell become one Shangri-La."

... and you heard it on Fox!

link    |  08-08-09-x

My tribute to Budd Schulberg, "Class" audio work from 1976: "Class" uses improvised repetitions by way of the rewind button on a mono cassette player; its primary sources being Marlon Brando in Elia Kazan's "On the Waterfront" (1954), screenplay by Budd Schulberg; and two songs by Lew Brown and Jay Gorney from "Stand Up and Cheer" (1934): "Baby Take a Bow", sung by James Dunn, and "I'm Laughing", sung by Tess Gardella

Class, 1976 (Stereo, 10:30)
from Early Tape Works

link    |  08-07-09

Helen Adam Sampler
selected by Charles Bernstein

from A Helen Adam Reader, ed. Kristin Prevallet
(Orono, Maine: National Poetry Foundation, 2007

Used with the permission of  The Poetry Collection, University at Buffalo.
With thanks to Kristin Prevallet and Michel Basknski.
© Estate of Helen Adam, 2009.

The Fair Young Wife

The House o’ the Mirror

A Tale Best Forgotten

Counting Out Rhyme

Song for a Sea Tower

Miss Laura

The Chestnut Tree

Cheerless Junkie’s Song


Helen Adam at EPC
Helen Adam at PennSound

link    |  08-05-09


Johannes Göransson
American Hybrid

A Norton Anthology of New Poetry

edited by Cole Swensen and David St. John

from the summer issue of
Rain Taxi

some excerpts:

. . . There is a strange paradox at work here, however: in order to have a “hybrid” of two kinds of poetry, you must subscribe to the two-camp structure; viewing the proliferation of styles and aesthetics as more complicated disturbs the attempt to create a synthesis. In her detailed and well-researched introduction, Swensen quotes Robert Lowell’s famous claim from the 1950s that there is “cooked” and “uncooked” poetry. Swensen is trying to show how far back the “two-camp” mentality reaches, but she seems to miss the most important point in this reference: Lowell made this statement as a way to defuse the oppositionality of the poetry scene, to set himself up as a compromise between the raw emotionality of the New American poets and the overly nerdy sophistication of the New Critical poets. In other words, the ideal of the “hybrid” goes back as far as the “two-camp” system. This idealization of the middle ground can be traced back to the New Critics themselves, who aimed to clear away the “excesses” of the experimentation of the 1920s while retaining its advances.

An essential feature of this kind of “middle-of-the-road” rhetoric is that it needs to caricature a multiplicity of styles as two extremes. Ignoring the incredible sophistication and cosmopolitan influences of the Beats and the New York School, Lowell lumped them together as simplistically “uncooked,” while defining the New Critical poets (of which he was the darling) as too sophisticated. Given that choice, a reasonable person will go for the middle of the road every time. In Swensen’s and St. John’s version of this rhetoric, there is on one side a traditional poetry that is emotional but simplistic, consisting of imagery and clear narratives; and on the other side a history-less avant-garde poetry of total indeterminacy and fragmentation. From the first “camp,” these hybrids take an idea of poetry as authentic and emotional, able to capture human consciousness. From the avant-garde flank, they take a fragmented style that makes for a more sophisticated idea of that consciousness. The resulting poetry is “oblique” but emotional and “carefully crafted”—it is “complex,” a word that is repeated like a mantra throughout the book.

Curiously, the fragmentation that poets in the book take from the avant-garde seems to run absolutely counter to the fragmentation —or “shocks” as Walter Benjamin famously termed it—of the historical avant-garde. As Benjamin noted, these “shocks” were meant to jar the reader/viewer out of the “contemplative immersion” of 19th-century bourgeois humanism. The fragmentation of American Hybrid, however, demands a contemplative immersion—the reader must pay attention to subtle imagistic changes. Hybrid poetry then brings the indeterminate fragmentation of the avant-garde back into the real of the human through the epiphany, thus avoiding the monstrous and grotesque. (This may explain the startling prevalence of Christianity among the anthology’s poets, who clearly want to bring the literary epiphany back to its original meaning.)

Moderation is thus not only more sophisticated, it is also, apparently, more human. After reading the entire book, however, one might conclude that it’s not so much a moderation of traditional and avant-garde poetics, but a moderation between too much and not enough, excess and lack. The “too much” in this case is not the over-the-top sentimentality of the 1970s-style workshop poem, but the grotesque and the political. The only politics mentioned in American Hybrid involves the struggle for “the integrity of the language” against the forces of base mass culture. This is, of course, the politics of New Criticism as well.


The logic of hybridity seems to pave the way for language poetry to fit smoothly into this anthology—the work of Rae Armantrout, for example, can be seen as a kind of model for the new lyric that American Hybrid espouses. However, it is important to note that the representation of language poetry is very limited here—poets such as Bruce Andrews or Leslie Scalapino are not included in the anthology, nor could they be. These poets are not about detailed “attention” but rather what Benjamin called “distraction,” and they are excessively political, rather than sophisticated. . . . This may also explain why there is very little trace of the influence of Surrealism, Sylvia Plath, the Beats, or the New York School in American Hybrid.. . . .

full review

link    |  06-28-09

Kenneth Goldsmith

Go to main blog page to see this video.

Kenny's Desire
We met for lunch on West 72nd Street, just a couple of block from where I grew up.
(mp4, 19 sec., 4.6 mb)


link    |  08-01-09



edited by Maria Damon and Ira Livingston
University of Illinois Press, 2009

 1. Wordsworth’s "Preface” was first published in his Lyrical Ballads of1800 and revised substantially in 1802 (the version used here) and again in 1805.
2. Theodor Adorno, "Lyric Poetry and Society," Telos 20 (1974); and "Cultural Criticism and Society," Prisms.  Cambridge MA: MIT Press.
3. Walter Benjamin, "On Some Motifs in Baudelaire," Illuminations. New York: Schocken: 1968.
4. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, "On Minor Literature."
5. W. E. B. Du Bois, "Of the Sorrow Songs."
6. Antony Easthope, Poetry as Discourse.

7. Americo Paredes, "Some Aspects of Folk Poetry."
8. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., "The Signifying Monkey and the Language of Signifying: Rhetorical Difference and Orders of Meaning."
9. Lila Abu-Lughod, "Shifting Politics in Bedouin Poetry.”
10. Steven Caton’s "The Poetic Construction of Self."
11. Maria Damon, "Tell Them About Us: Some Poems from Southie."

12. Barrett Watten, "The Bride of the Assembly Line: from Material Text to Cultural Poetics."
13. Bruce Campbell, "Assembly Poetics in the Global Economy: Nicaragua."
14. Robin D. G. Kelley, "Kickin' Reality, Kickin' Ballistics: Gangsta Rap and Postindustrial Los Angeles."
15. Tricia Rose, "Black Texts, Black Contexts."
16. Amitava Kumar, "Poetry for the People."
17. Jauss’s "La douceur du foyer: Lyric Poetry of the Year 1857 as a Model for the Communication of Social Norms."

18. Jacques Rancière, "Smoke-rings: Worker-poets in the Louis-Philippe’s France.”
19.  Kristin Ross, "Rimbaud and the Transformation of Social Space.”
20. Joseph Harrington, “Why is American Poetry not American Studies?”
21. Dipesh Chakrabarty’s "Nation and Imagination."
22. Yunte Huang, "Angel Island and the Poetics of Error."
23. Rachel Blau Du Plessis, "'HOO, HOO, HOO': some episodes in the construction of modern male whiteness."
24. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, "A Poem is Being Written."
25. John Mowitt, "A Musician is Being Beaten."
26. Trinh Minh Ha, "Introduction," Discourse 11.2 (Spring—Summer 1989).
27. Audre Lorde, "Poetry is not a Luxury."
28. Guillermo Gómez-Pena, "The Border is…"
29. Charles Bernstein, "A Blow is like an Instrument.”

 30. Page du Bois, "Fragmentary Introduction" (Sappho is Burning).
31. Walter Kalaidjian, "The Edge of Modernism: Genocide and the Poetics of Traumatic Memory."
32. Stephen Henderson, "The Form of Things Unknown."
33. Kamau Brathwaite, "History of the Voice, 1979/1981."
34. Zofia Burr, "Maya Angelou on the Inaugural Stage."
35. Miguel Algarín, "Introduction" (Nuyorican Poetry: An Anthology of Puerto Rican Words and Feelings)


September 19, 2009
3:00-5:30 PM
& starting at 4:30pm:
readings by Tracie Morris, Charles Bernstein, Amitava Kumar and other special guests.

link    |  07-29-09-x

Nioques # 5
Parution : 24/04/2009
ISBN : 978-2-9153-7882-5
160 pages
14,8 x 21 cm
15.00 euros

Nioques # 5
Au sommaire :

Charles Bernstein
Rémi Marie
Ulf Karl Olov Nilsson
Jean-Marie Gleize
Joël Baqué
Clara Elliott
Sabine Tamisier
Guillaume Fayard
Bernard Noël
Revue bi-annuelle / issn : 1148–4896

Charles Bernstein Le renflouement de la poésie devrait restaurer la confiance des lecteurs
traduit de l’américain par Abigail Lang
“Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Secrétaire Général, distingués poètes et lecteurs, j’ai le regret d’être dans l’obligation d’inter­rompre ce soir les célébrations pour faire une annonce importante.
Comme vous le savez, la surabondance de poèmes illiquides, insolvables et troubles, est en train d’encrasser les artères littéraires de l’Occident. Ces poèmes criblés de dettes menacent d’infecter d’autres secteurs du domaine littéraire et, à terme, d’abattre notre industrie culturelle.
Les responsables de la culture se sont associés pour annoncer un rachat massif de poésie : les poèmes à fort taux d’endettement ou non garantis, les poèmes dérivés, les poèmes en souffrance et les poèmes subprime seront retirés de la circulation à l’occasion du plus important renflouement de la poésie depuis la période victorienne. Nous estimons que ce plan apporte une réponse globale pour réduire la pression qui pèse sur nos institutions et marchés littéraires.
Ne nous méprenons pas : les fondements de notre poésie sont sains. Ce n’est pas la poésie qui est en cause, mais les poèmes. La crise a été précipitée par l’escalade de la dette poétique, causée par des poèmes qui circulent à perte dans le marché économique en raison de leur difficulté, leur insuffisance ou leur manque de pertinence.”

Charles Bernstein Recantorium (une machine célibataire, d’après Duchamp d’après Kafka)
traduit de l’américain par Abigail Lang
“Moi, Charles, fils de feu Joseph Herman, subséquemment dénommé Herman Joseph, et de Shirley K., subséquemment connue sous le nom de Sherry, de New York, en mon âge de cinquante-huit ans, cité personnellement en jugement et agenouillé devant ce Corps Estimé, très Éminents et très Révérends Lecteurs, Inquisiteurs généraux contre la dépravation hérétique dans toute la République Poétique, ayant sous les yeux les Livres des Poètes Accessibles, que je touche de mes propres mains, je jure que j’ai toujours cru, que je crois à présent et qu’avec votre aide je croirai pour l’avenir tout ce que contiennent, prêchent, enseignent et expriment les Livres des Poètes Accessibles
J’ai eu tort, je demande pardon, je me repens. J’abandonne entièrement la fausse opinion selon laquelle le Mois National de la Poésie n’est pas bon pour la poésie ni pour les poètes. J’abjure, maudis et déteste la susdite erreur et apostasie. Et j’atteste maintenant de mon propre chef et au vu de tous les vertus du Mois National de la Poésie qui en braquant l’attention de la nation sur la poésie aide magistralement à faire vivre le vers au vingt et unième siècle.
J’ai eu tort, je demande pardon et je me repens. J’abandonne entièrement la fausse opinion selon laquelle seule la poésie élitiste et obscure mérite l’éloge. J’abjure, maudis, déteste et renie l’erreur et l’aversion susdites. Et j’atteste maintenant de mon propre chef et au vu de tous que le meilleur moyen pour que le grand public se mette à lire de la poésie est de lui proposer des œuvres globalement attrayantes avec un contenu affectif fort et une ligne ­narrative claire.”

Rémi Marie Je
je marche dans la rue déserte, je me regarde marcher dans la rue déserte, j’écoute le bruit de mes pas dans la rue silencieuse, je boutonne mon col, j’ai froid à l’intérieur, je suis un peu saoul, je suis un peu saoul mais ça n’aide pas, je marche vite pour dissiper l’alcool, je suis les rails du tram, je marche vers westbanhof, je marche vite, je ne sais pas pourquoi je suis parti, je sais pourquoi, je connais le contrat, j’ai fixé la règle, je joue le jeu, je suis parti très vite, je ne m’y attendais pas, je n’ai rien dit, j’ai repris mon pull sur tes épaules, j’ai mis ma veste en cuir, je me suis enroulé dans ton écharpe africaine, je suis sorti, je n’ai pas voulu discuter, je t’ai dit ne complique pas tout, je suis sorti, j’ai demandé mon chemin à stefan, je suis ses indications, je tourne à droite encore à droite, je me guide maintenant aux rails du tram 43, j’arrive à westbanhof, je sais qu’il est trop tôt pour le premier u-banh, je continue tout droit, je marche vers le centre, je descends les rues vers le centre, je croise quelques passants, je regarde le sol, je ne regarde rien, je marche pour m’empêcher de penser, je sens les pensées qui me rattrapent, je sens les pensées en embuscade, je marche plus vite, je marche jusqu’au ring

Ulf Karl Olov Nilsson Six poèmes
traduction U.K.O Nilsson, relecture N.Quintane
je grandis
Au début je grandis très vite, à ma naissance je mesure 51 centimètres, mais très vite je ferai 52, 53, 54, 55 et 56 centimètres. Un an après le jour de ma naissance j’en fais 63, quand j’ai 2 ans j’atteins 79 et quand j’ai 3 ans et 244 jours je dépasse le mètre. Entre 4 et 5 ans je grandis de 7 centimètres et les années suivantes de 6, 6, 5, 4, 6, 5, 3 et 4. À 13 ans je fais 159 centimètres, l’année d’après j’accélère radicalement et j’en fais soudain 167. L’année suivante je grandis plus encore et j’atteins 179. L’année d’après je grandis de 3 centimètres, l’année suivante de 2, et puis encore de 2. Puis je me calme et je ne grandis plus que d’un demi-centimètre. Entre 25 et 35 je demeure, d’après mes mensurations, tout à fait immobile. Entre 35 et 38, très étonnant, je grandis de 8 millimètres en tout. Ma trente-neuvième année je rétrécis de 3 millimètres. À la quaran­tième je rétrécis de 2 millimètres. Les années suivantes je rétrécis de 2, 2, 1 et 1 millimètres respectivement. À 45 ans j’entre dans une nouvelle phase et je rétrécis (probablement la conséquence d’une maladie grave et longue) de 6 millimètres et l’année suivante j’ai encore rétréci et je mesure 183 centimètres sans chaussures. Entre 47 et 55 je commence à grandir à nouveau, en moyenne d’un demi-millimètre par an. À 55 je fais un grand pas vers le ciel et je grandis de 14 centimètres, à ma cinquante-sixième année sur la terre se produit une augmentation presque égale et à 57 ans je mesure 219 centimètres de la tête aux pieds.

link    |  07-29-07

Sarah Ehlers review of Al Filreis's
Counter-Revolution of the Word:
The Conservative Attack on Modern Poetry, 1945–1960


my review from Boston Review

link    |  07-27-07-xx

Merce Cunningham
(1919- 2009)

Cunningham (and Cage)

In tribute Douglas Messerli has posted
an appreciation of Carolyn Brown's Cage/Cunningham memoir

Washington Post obit

link    |  07-27-07-x

Fall Preview
from the summer
Brooklyn Rail

Paul Auster
(Henry Holt & Co., 2009)

Paul Auster’s Travels in the Scriptorium (Holt, 2007) was something of a companion to his delightful and ingenious movie, The Inner Life of Martin Frost, which, more than any other film I can think of, centered on the acts of writing the movie unfolding before us—with a sharp dose of Orpheus and Euridice and lots of delightfully classic Auster moments. With Travels in the Scriptorium, the magic of imaginative making (poesis) occurs right before our eyes. Auster’s new novel, Invisible, is something else again. What begins in 1967, with the memoir of a budding poet at Columbia University getting an opportunity to start a literary magazine melts into a thriller revolving around an apparent murder, replete with sexual passages as explicit as Henry Miller’s. Two interconnected traumas puncture the narrative: the accidental death by drowning of the would-be poet’s very young brother, and his subsequent, and apparently joyous, incest with his sister. Formally, Invisible is made up of a series of stories within stories, written in the third, second, and three first-person perspectives, which bring into active play the illusory borders between the imaginary and the real. These borders are the invisible protagonists of the novel; or you might say the invisible is the protagonist. Invisible provides a staging area for experiencing unconscious processes, which, in the psychoanalytic sense, can be approached only through memory and recollection. The undecidability of what actually happened (the textbook case: did the incest actually occur?) is, here, just another part of the story. Invisible unveils through its rhythmical serial veiling.

link    |  07-27-09

Jed Rasula
Modernism and Poetic Inspiration: The Shadow Mouth

Palgrave, 2009
Everything Jed Rasula writes is endlessly fascinating and marvelously illuminating. The proof of his work is in its extraordinary details, but the significance is in the stunning constellation he creates with these details. Modernism & Poetic Inspiration is an immensely original, playfully digressive, and sumptuously engaging work.

Ann Lauterbach
Or to Begin Again
Penguin, 2009
Or to Begin Again is a culmination of Lauterbach's worldward journey.
Worldward: how a person grounds herself or himself in the world over time,
like gravity in Simone Weil's sense.
These tunes leak into the air like ink mourning grace.

Rachel Levitsky
Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009
Nearly touching are the ethical realm of our obligation to others and the aesthetic world of our freedom from such obligations. Levitsky's Neighbor confronts this imaginary dividing line—in the process, creating a poetry that both provokes community and critiques our social habituations. This is my neighborhood.



John Ashbery conference in Paris
March 2010
call for papers

new French magazine

link    |  07-26-09


The University of Alabama Press is proud to offer a


on many of the titles found in its Modern and Contemporary Poetics Series.

Purchase any of the following books at  50% off  the regular retail price.
(See below for pricing in USD and ISBNs required for ordering.)

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Led by Language by Rachel Back                          Simulcast by Benjamin Friedlander
(paper, ISBN 0-8173-1132-7): $27.50 $13.75               (paper, ISBN 0-8173-5028-4): $29.95 $14.98  

Another South by Bill Lavender                             The Point Is To Change It by Jerome McGann
(paper, ISBN 0-8173-1241-2): $28.95 $14.48               (paper, ISBN 0-8173-5408-5): $32.95 $16.48  
Syncopations by Jed Rasula                                   Hart Crane by Brian M. Reed
(paper, ISBN 0-8173-5030-6): $29.95 $14.98               (paper, ISBN 0-8173- 5270-8): $35.00 $17.50

A Poetics of Impasse by Susan M. Schultz           Louis Zukofsky by Mark Scroggins
(paper, ISBN 0-8173-5198-1): $36.00 $18.00            (paper, ISBN 0-8173- 0957-8): $27.50 $13.75

What Is a Poet? by Hank Lazer
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Domestic shipping: $5.00 for the first book and $1.00 for each additional book
Offer expires August 30, 2009                                                                                         Sales Code: MCPRS01

link    |  07-22-09

Trailer for Girldrive by Emma Bee Bernstein and Nona Willis Aronowitz


link    |  07-19-09

August 14, 2009

Bernice Lever
Maria Hindmarch
George Bowering
Daphne Marlatt
Robert Hogg
Michael Palmer
Jamie Reid
Judith Copithorne
Fred Wah
Clark Coolidge
Pauline Butling
Lionel Kearns
Harbour Centre SFU

sponsored by Simon Fraser University ENGLISH and THE KOOTENAY SCHOOL OF WRITING

The Line Has Shattered: Revisiting Vancouver’s Landmark 1963 Poetry Conference

The 1963 Vancouver Poetry Conference was actually a three-week credit summer course offered by the University of British Columbia and organized by UBC English professor Warren Tallman and poet Robert Creeley. It featured lectures, readings, panel discussions and writing workshops by Charles Olson, Creeley, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, Denise Levertov and Margaret Avison—in Roy Miki’s words, some of “the most influential voices of the generation described as the ‘new American poets.’” The Conference marks the beginnings of a truly transnational “North American” poetic avant-garde: many of the “student” participants have gone on to have far-reaching impact on Canadian and American poetry, as they include figures such as George Bowering, Daphne Marlatt, Fred Wah, Michael Palmer, Clark Coolidge, and Phyllis Webb. Consistently referred to as “landmark,” “monumental,” and a “defining moment in the history of North American poetry,” The Line Has Shattered brings together 12 original participants 46 years later for a day of discussion and readings.

Moderated and Hosted by Stephen Collis

link    |  07-18-09

What Is A Poet?
October 18-20, 1984
organized by . Hank Lazer
PEPC Digital Edition, 2009

Introduction by Hank Lazer

Final Panel (pdf)


Bernstein, Vendler, Jay, Perloff, Altieri, Stern, Ignatow, Simpson, Lazer, Levertov, Burke  


link    |  07-16-09

(my photo of Tan from 2007)

Tan Lin
from an email interview with
Chris Alexander, Kristen Gallagher, and Gordon Tapper
in Galatea Resurrects

I think the idea of what is "neutral" in a reading experience, and how to make what is "neutral" in a reading visible is important to Heath, which in some ways outsources (i.e. mirrors) the "labor/work" of the reader to other parties, who appear to be "looking on," maybe commenting, maybe reading, maybe writing, maybe somehow just "taking part" in the text, whatever those two words mean. On some levels it's not supposed to feel like reading at all, maybe more like participatory skimming/recording or as you suggest looking at someone else reading, and this mirrored labor practice is not so much neutral or dematerialized as something specific to web-based reading practices. It's not clear if someone is reading this text or if the reading activity is just a kind of quotation within the text. But maybe that is all reading is in the end. Where are one's experiences actually in this text? In other words, maybe it's not neutral at all. They, the feelings as well as the other players, seem to be inside some sort of social network. One has experiences as one reads but what is the nature of those experiences? I was trying to explore some of these issues.

Reading isn't connected to a specific person but to a gamut of players here, a kind of social network that makes reading (i.e. the social activity of reading), what I call the reading environment, possible/visible: Heath, Helena, Michael Haneke, etc etc. Or perhaps reading itself is an actor. Here it is perhaps useful to think about the systems theory of Niklas Luhmann or the work of Bruno Latour and actor network theory. What is the precise relation between reading, regarded as a social activity that takes place in a network, and writing, which also takes place in a social network? From which of these two perspectives is the text framed? Can it somehow be both a read and written text simultaneously? What would that mean? Clearly, the reception of the work is foregrounded as much as the production and dissemination. And furthermore, reading, in a web-based environment, crosses into writing, publication, distribution, and marketing. Is a Twitter feed a form of publication? or is it writing? or is it distribution that is “pulled” by readers who “subscribe”? It would seem to be a combination and the lines between these practices is less rigid than with a book where writing and publication are distinct temporally and as entities. Even tags used by Twitterers don’t necessarily identify the author by name.


I think the subject and in particular an Asian American subject, is diversely compounded and specific, even stratified, in terms of markers/functionality---the various index cards, but also the preciseness and calculation of its stereotypes, Jackie Chan vs. Heath Ledger, each with their associational referents, each of which, in turn, is subject to economic calculations, tabulations, and distribution patterns. In this scenario, I wonder how useful it is to think of a self. Is Jackie Chan a self? His XTRA Green Tea mix is produced by Tea Tech, a US company and Jackie Chan is, besides being a martial arts movie star, employed as a natural health promoter! But for me, he's a kind of pop up hallucination of Heath i.e a hallucination of a hallucination i.e. Heath regarded as a mode of subjective inwardness (vs. a kind of Asian American clown (who I like)). So there's a kind of post-Romantic element to the book, in spite of (or because of) its textual apparatus. And in the context of the book (because of the book) I "see" him in Theatre 2, at MoMA. Jackie Chan lacks Ledger's introspection and he's selling Green Tea with a martial arts gesture. When we want more (reified) inwardness, we go to MoMA and look at paintings or we see ourselves as a pop up, or as a J. Crew sweater. So I think that the idea of a self is something I wanted to throw into relief, not because it's fluid or because its rigidly stratified (I think it's probably both) but because "self" or identity don't seem a very productive category for thinking-- it's a kind of ideological coating on a commodity, i.e. part of a particularly anthropomorphic mode of subjectivity grounded in a critique of capitalist modes of production.

And that is why I was interested in Latour and Luhmann. Heath concerns a specific kind of self/environment, one that appears to be modestly self-determining, i.e. one who authors or writes or produces text (one with a marginalized "author function"), and it was principally this kind of self that I was interested in, the self that labors to produce text in a particular environment of which it is a part as well as an observer of. In a particular historical moment when attention has been commodified and replaces the steel hoops or knitted products that were the former products of our labor, today a large number of people are producing text or engaged in some process of self-description. As the biologists Maturana and Varela note, the nervous system of an observer is operationally closed, there is no input coming into the system from outside.

The present feels like a language-saturated moment, and I think this is different from fifteen years ago which was more of a visual/image based and anti-language culture, and where even recent visual artists as diverse as Dexter Sinister, Seth Price, Fia Backstrom, Frances Stark, Julien Bismuth etc, have called products "poems." Today, with SMS and various syndication feeds, and smart phones, everyone is texting/writing, and most of the things we look at and see on the web is language, i.e. the material bases of what we see lie in program codes, core codes, or scripting languages. I was interested generally in that moment when visual culture seems somehow to turn over the reins to language-based practices as somehow being more absorptive or ambient or non-causal, real-time, evolutionary, whatever. So here, I was not particularly thinking of the self as overrun by advertising (Made in Taiwan) or even a fluid or socially constructed entity. I was interested in how I could NOT think about the self except as a kind of evolutionary writing/text production (i.e. a subjectless process) linked to specific technological affordances and constraints, i.e. the self as, rather simply, part of an environment that is pull not push, to cite the Toyota Production System. Various physical/technological environments "compose" or induce the human but not in any rigorous or particularly rigid way. Here I am thinking of T.J. Clark's remark, "Why after all should matter be resistant? It is a modernist piety with a fairly dim ontology appended." And Jameson's notion that the unconscious, like nature before it, is subject to "a new and historically original penetration and colonization." (PM, 49) Or maybe another way of saying this is that the selves are not organized in any strong sense of the word around an identity that sees some sort of "external reality," but that the selves are experienced in a kind of textual indifference and SMS boredom present in Heath. But of course you may ask what is Heath . Here it might seem to be a kind of subjectless or subject-vacant thinking, as you earlier alluded to in your remarks. The system is engaged in thinking about itself, observing itself and (thus) producing tautological information about itself. There is a break between communication and consciousness, which as Dietrich Schwanitz points out, is radicalized as "two distinct systems." (493) Or another way to think about this is: Heath is a system (of blind self-observation) seeking re-enchantment. And thus there are minor or negligible allusions to love, and this comprises the only thing that might be termed a "story" in Heath, although the emotions, such as they are, feel both social and solitary. Basically love is unnecessary as a concept because feelings of the social and the solitary are fused. Or Heath is a social scene in the midst of assembly. But despite the functional differentiation (the term is Luhmann’s), the edges are soft and interactive. There is not meant to be the disjunctive shock of montage (here the book is like BlipSoak01). All the varying kinds of information processed in Heath are somehow related to the system observing and perpetuating itself and yet we, the reader, are somehow not exactly part of the system, for we seem to be observing the system operate from outside, part of the external environment beyond the system. But of course, this is, logically speaking, impossible, for we are the system itself, participating in it as social actors/readers/transcribers, lodged in a closed system. And here are various types of differentiated communications: art review, MP3 protest song (downloaded), footnotes, index cards, biography, blog, SMS transmission between two parties, RSS feed from single source to multiple parties, each of which is subject to different reading practices because issuing from distinct social formations. And of course love codes itself differently than legal disclaimers do.


link    |  07-08-09

Becca Claver on Emma's Belladonna book

Kevin Killian on Susan's and my vist to Oakland
(or was it Berkeley?)
at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art blog

Omnidawn on War & Peace reading


Last night, when we were young ....

Two watercolors by Mimi Gross
from Provincetown last August

Felix & Emma

Emma, Felix, Susan and me

link    |  07-07-09

In the mid-70s, I made a number of audiotape works, some of which were collected and published as Class. Working with Danny Snelson, and in collaboration with Ubu, I have now made a PennSound page of these works. The PennSound page also includes the restored stereo cuts from Class, which I haven't listed here. All of the works listed here are being released for the first time.

Early Recorded Works
Homemade Tapes, 1975-1976

Accused (45:06): MP3
In 1974, City College’s History Department erupted into a bitter political dispute in which older faculty members Stanley Page, Edward Rosen and others accused their younger colleagues of disruptive leftist agitation. In this work, I perform the 1975 CUNY faculty senate report on the matter.

Afternoon Tape (28:34): MP3
          Greg interrupts Phyllis; it's caught on tape.
          Greg and Charles reflect on the problem.

#4: a portrait of one being in family living (1975)
(22:11): MP3

  • narrative
  • Casablanca (collage)
  • father: speech
  • David Cooper (the family)
  • narriative (“why can’t it")
  • Casablanca (“one woman …”)
  • narrative (on O! Pioneers)
  • parents (“my jewells”
  • narrative (“valued you too much”)
  • David Cooper (paranoia)
  • Billie Holliday (tyring)
  • Casablanca (insistence)
  • Billie Holiday (beaten)
  • narrative (alone, my fear)
  • Billie Holliday (what?)
  • Poe (from Pym)
  • Fats Waller
  • Poe (in the light ahead)

    "#4" will be featured, alongside an essay and a series of edits, remixes and transcripts in the forthcoming volume "Counting Each Step of the Sun" released with independent label/publishing house Edition in late 2009.

Early Poems (4:15): MP3

to be an married (0:40): MP3

Asylum (from Asylums) (11:35): MP3

Lo Disfruto (from Poetic Justice) (8:04): MP3

My/My/My (from Asylums) (11:13): MP3 [single track feed for Class version]

Three-voice Performance of "Sentences" from Parsing (1975) (Bernstein, Susan Bee, Greg Ball) (6:56): MP3

Asylums/Parsing medley (with Bernstein, Susan Bee and Greg Ball) (1975) (11:51): MP3

Coco-Rimbay (1975) (Bernstein & Edmund Chibeau) (13:40): MP3

Sen-Sen (1975) (Bernstein, Chibeau, Bee) (4:34): MP3


link    |  07-05-09

Coming in January ...
this book grows our of the program I organize with Stephen Paul Miller
at the Center for Jewish Culture
video here

here is
the University of Alabama Press catalog announcement.

Radical Poetics and Secular Jewish Culture
ed. by Stephen P. Miller, Daniel Morris

"What have I in common with Jews? I hardly have anything in common with myself!" --Franz Kafka

Kafka's quip--paradoxical, self-questioning, ironic--highlights vividly some of the key issues of identity and self-representation for Jewish writers in the 20th century. No group of writers better represents the problems of Jewish identity than Jewish poets writing in the American modernist tradition--specifically secular Jews: those disdainful or suspicious of organized religion, yet forever shaped by those traditions.

This collection of essays is the first to address this often obscured dimension of modern and contemporary poetry: the secular Jewish dimension. Editors Daniel Morris and Stephen Paul Miller asked their contributors to address what constitutes radical poetry written by Jews defined as "secular," and whether or not there is a Jewish component or dimension to radical and modernist poetic practice in general. These poets and critics address these questions by exploring the legacy of those poets who preceded and influenced them--Stein, Zukofsky, Reznikoff, Oppen, and Ginsberg, among others.

While there is no easy answer for these writers about what it means to be a Jew, in their responses there is a rich sense of how being Jewish reflects on their aesthetics and practices as poets, and how the tradition of the avant-garde informs their identities as Jews. Fragmented identities, irony, skepticism, a sense of self as "other" or "outsider," distrust of the literal, and belief in a tradition that questions rather than answers--these are some of the qualities these poets see as common to themselves, the poetry they make, and the tradition they work within.

Paul Auster / Merle L. Bachman / Charles Bernstein / Charlie Bertsch / Maria Damon / Rachel Blau DuPlessis / Amy Feinstein / Thomas Fink / Norman Finkelstein / Norman Fischer / Benjamin Friedlander / Michael Heller / Kathryn Hellerstein / Bob Holman / Adeena Karasick / Hank Lazer / Stephen Paul Miller / Daniel Morris / Ranen Omer / Sherman / Alicia Ostriker / Marjorie Perloff / Bob Perelman / Jerome Rothenberg / Meg Schoerke / Joshua Schuster / Eric Murphy Selinger

link    |  07-03-09

is a delightfully inventive work of multilectical poetry: Bengali warping into English, English hopscotching into Bengali. An elegant realization of cross-cultural dialog at the level of the tongue, chaturangik/SQUARES resists linguistic stasis in the name of poetic possibility.

A chessbook of collaborative poetry
Pat Clifford & Aryanil Mukherjee

pdf here

more information here

link    |  06-29-09

   The Hispanic Society of America-Dia Art Foundation          
     Tuesdays on the Terrace — Summer Program 2009
             Audubon Terrace
             Broadway between 155th and 156th Streets, New York City

The Collection of Silence
A project by Eileen Myles

(from Press Release)
Eileen Myles will create a baroque site-specific work around the possibilities of silence as central to the syntax and punctuation of everyday life. A diverse group of poets will present short pieces at various locations on the outdoor plaza of Audubon Terrace, where they will be joined by a group of students from PS4. Also accompanied by dancers, Buddhists, an opera singer, and a life drawing class, this mute and active gathering will demonstrate and celebrate the collective power of silence and the capacity of an unvoiced poem to serve the communal purposes of public life. Participants include poets Charles Bernstein, Stephanie Gray, Tim Liu, Monica De la Torre, and Rachel Zolf, dancer-choreographer Christine Elmo, The Village Zendo, and soprano Juliana Snapper.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009, 7:00 pm
Free Admission             
For reservations call 212 293 5582        
 or email

Eileen Myles on
Close Listening, March 24, 2009
Art International Radio

photo:© Emma Bee Bernstein

link    |  06-28-09

link    |  06-27-09

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies
Vol. 27, NO. 3 (Spring 2009)

Special Issue: Jewish Poetry, ed. Daniel Morris

soon also avail. via Project Muse and Ebsco

Partisan Experiments: Communism, Poetry, and the Liberal Imagination,1934-1940
Ethan Goffman
"Time to Translate Modernism into a Contemporary Idiom": Pedagogy, Poetics, and Bob Perelman's Pound
Alan Golding
Tracking the Word: Judaism's Exile and the Writerly Poetics of George Oppen, Armand Schwerner, Michael Heller, and Norman Finkelstein
Burt Kimmelman
Jewish Counterfactualism in Recent American Poetry [DuPlessis, Bernstein, Friedlander]
Joshua Schuster
Is There a Distinctive Jewish Poetics? Several? Many? Is There Any Question?

A Portfolio of Poems
Mandelstam tr. Charles Bernstein and Kevin M. F. Platt, David Epstein, Thomas Fink, Norman Finkelstein, Benjamin Friedlander, Arielle  Greenberg, Jamey Hecht, Michael Heller, Alan Holder, Burt Kimmelman, Joseph Lease, Deena Linett, Bonnie Lyons, Stephen Paul Miller, Daniel  Morris, Alicia Ostriker, Warren Rosenberg, Steven P. Schneider, Daniel R. Schwarz, Nikki Stiller, William Wallis, and Henry Weinfield

Review Essays
American Jewish Poetry, Familiar and Strange Alicia Ostriker
Passing Through Henry Weinfield

link    |  06-26-09-xx

Reconfiguring Romanticism (30):

Victor Hugo Translated by Charles Bernstein

from Victor Hugo, Les Contemplations (1856)
at Jerome Rothenberg's Poems and Poetics blog
with commentary by Rothenberg


link    |  06-26-09-x

from Emma's Belladonna book


Lost in Space

Susan Bee

In June 2007, Emma graduated from the University of Chicago with honors in Art and Art History. Our whole family went to Chicago to attend her graduation.  In October 2007, her beloved grandfather and my father, Sigmund Laufer died and Emma spoke eloquently at his funeral. The day after his funeral she and Nona left on the their road trip for GIRLdrive. In November and December of 2007, she and Nona interviewed me for their project. An edited version of that interview is published here.

One year ago, on March 30, 2008, Emma and I appeared on a panel together: “Beyond the Waves: Feminist Artists Talk Across the Generations” at the Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum. What a difference one year can make. Now I am trying to come to terms with the legacy of her too-short artistic life.

Emma was a person of large ambitions and big desires. Even as a baby she seemed like a huge personality—willful, demanding, charming, stubborn, outgoing,  energetic, and vibrantly charismatic. She was a lively baby, so interested in the larger world, that when breastfeeding as an infant, she would attempt to turn her head away to look around. At that young age, she wasn’t even supposed to be able to turn her head by herself.

As a baby and toddler, she was noticeably sociable and loved parties. From age two weeks on, she would come with us to parties often in a little carrier and enjoy hanging out and listening to the adults’ conversation before she could even talk. On the first day of nursery school at age two and a quarter, she walked in the door and introduced herself to the teachers and students. She did not cry as the other children did and she never glanced back at me as I stood in the doorway to say good-bye.

In the playground, I would sit on a bench and, before I knew it, she would be out the door of the playground—on her way to the street or the park—without looking back. Emma was a risk taker and she scared me.

Emma had strong ambitions for her art—she was a talented painter before she seriously pursued photography in Friends Seminary high school and at the University of Chicago, where she had wonderful and dedicated teachers. She was full of restless energy and theoretical zeal. She also wrote poems and many essays and though she always worked hard, she had many natural gifts and a fierce precociousness that was obvious early on.
Emma had relationships with the poets and artists that surrounded Charles and me. At age three, she was in the south of France at a poetry festival. There she was photographed by Charles sitting in Ron Silliman’s lap and surrounded by Susan Howe, Bruce Andrews, Lyn Hejinian, and me. She thrived on poetry readings, and she startled us once when she said at about age five, “I think I understand Alan Davies.”

She made friends easily and enjoyed talking with adults. That ability shows in Henry Hills’ interview film—Emma’s Dilemma—in which she starred. At her first filmed interview—at age twelve—she asked Jackson Mac Low, a confirmed vegetarian, why he didn’t eat at MacDonald’s. She was fearless and curious and her subjects reacted with goodwill and generosity in their answers. She tackled Richard Foreman, Ken Jacobs, Carolee Schneemann, Kenneth Goldsmith, Tony Oursler, Julie Patton, and many others, including her parents and brother.

Emma took her own life in Venice, Italy, on December 20, 2008, at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in a tragic moment of unfathomable despair and overwhelming depression. This happened despite her being surrounded by the art that she loved, and a lovely staff, and while she was working in one of the many museum jobs that she had always previously enjoyed so very much. Emma had been in a serious car accident in late July and had suffered a concussion, which seemed to affect her whole way of thinking. Her judgment became impaired, along with ability to cope with stress, and she feared these impairments would be permanent.

Since that day, we have been inundated and flooded by incredible, beautiful, detailed letters, e-mails, blog entries, phone calls, visits, gifts of food and flowers, and tributes to Emma. We are so grateful for the outpouring of support from friends, boyfriends, neighbors, family, our students and colleagues, and even people who never met Emma, but were moved to contact us.

The subject of feminist generations and elders, that I addressed artistically in the collages included here, created in November 2008, looks very different to me now than it looked a year ago or even a few months ago, when I was hopeful about Emma and the future.

Rather than having Emma to carry on my legacy and to help me care for my parents’ artworks—as I expected—I am now responsible for her artistic legacy. This huge responsibility is part of the sad legacy that she has behind. As a consequence, my perspective on being an elder has shifted dramatically. I now feel I carry the history of her being in my person—literally, since I bear the scar of her Caesarean birth on my body and figuratively as I deal with her death and her absence in my own family life. In addition, we are have the painful task of going through her diaries, possessions and belongings left behind her room in Chicago. We also in the process of preserving her images, writings, and the files that she left behind on her computer.

We are going to attempt to do her life’s work justice, by presenting a show of her photographic work in Chicago (February 2010 at the Dova Space at the University of Chicago), where she lived for the past five years, and hopefully also in New York.GIRLdrive will continue, Emma completed almost all the photos and some of the writing for that project and we intend to help Nona complete the book, due for publication by Seal Press in October 2009.

We have also been trying to come to grips with the burdens and disturbances of Emma’s last days in Venice. I am not alone in my quest for understanding, but am fortunate to have the support of my community of artists, poets, curators, family, and most importantly, Charles and Felix, and all the people who loved Emma.

Emma’s life will never be complete. Before she left New York, we made many plans to do things together. This Belladonna elders project was one such plan. In one of her last e-mails to me, she sent along her essay for this book for my feedback. I added the Masquerade section to it posthumously. The title of this piece “Lost in Space” refers to the cover painting of this book; it was a work that Emma loved.

Emma talked of having children and applying to graduate schools in photography and art history. We made plans to go together to plays and museum and gallery shows. She wanted to move back to New York and to be closer to her family and to work in a gallery here. She was bursting with ideas for the future. Now all that is gone, I will be always be alone and without her companionship. Over time, the pain of that situation may lessen—but the future will never seem so bright to me without Emma by my side.

January 2009


Emma Bee Bernstein


link    |  06-26-09

link    |  06-25-09


Judith Goldman and Leslie Scalapino, Eds.

Devoted to collaborations between visual works and poetry, includes collaborative works of Charles Bernstein with Susan Bee, Amy Evans McClure with Michael McClure, Kiki Smith with Leslie Scalapino, Denise Newman with Gigi Janchang, a film on paper by Lyn Hejinian, Alan Halsey's visual texts, Simone Fattal, and Petah Coyne. Judith Goldman interviews Marjorie Welish, Lauren Shufran interviews Jean Boully, Leslie Scalapino interviews Mei-mei Berssenbrugge. Also included are E. Tracy Grinnell's homophonic translations of Claude Cahun's "Helene la rebelle" and poems by Fanny Howe, Thom Donovan, and others.
Cover by Susan Bee.

order from SPD


link    |  06-24-09-xx


photo © 2008 Charles Bernstein/PennSound

Filmmaker in person.
Reception to follow.

at Anthology Film Achive
New York
Sunday, June 28 at 7:30.

Order DVD from Tzadik

Moving to New York in 1978, filmmaker Henry Hills formed a strong alliance with the Downtown music improvisers and the "Language" poets, guiding his film work toward a rhythmic, multilayered world filled with unpredictable changes and a striking improvisational edge. At long last, his uncompromising shorts are being released on DVD, courtesy of John Zorn's equally radical TZADIK label. This show includes the very best of Hills's wonderfully intense films - from the downtown all-star-filled MONEY to structural dance films like LITTLE LIEUTENANT and BALI MÉCANIQUE. A major force in new cinema, these films are brilliantly visual, crammed with image and double meaning.

(1977, 7 minutes, 16mm, color, silent)
KINO DA! (1980, 2 minutes, 16mm, b&w, sound)
MONEY (1984, 14 minutes, 16mm, color, sound)
SSS (1988, 6 minutes, 16mm, color, sound)
GOTHAM (1990, 3 minutes, video, b&w, sound)
GOA LAWAH (1992, 5 minutes, 16mm, color, sound)
BALI MÉCANIQUE (1992, 11 minutes, 16mm, color, sound)
(1994, 6 minutes, 16mm, color, sound)
(1999, 15 minutes, 16mm, color, sound)
ELECTRICITY (2007, 7 minutes, video, color, sound)
FAILED STATES (2008, 10 minutes, video, color, sound)
Total running time: ca. 90 minutes.

Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue (@2nd Street) NYC
Tel: 212-505-5181

Hills on PennSound

link    |  06-24-09-x

While in the Bay Area this past week ...
my reading at

New Reading Series
21 Grand, Oakland
June 21, 2009 (46:16)

(recorded by Andrew Kenower)

I read with Judith Goldman, but don't yet have a recording of her reading.

& "No Hiding Place"
my statement for the program
at the series site


link    |  06-24-09

Dominique Fourcade
Citizen Do
Paris: P.O.L, 2008
In his new book, published in November, Do[minique] Fourcade is both fiercely aesthetic and irreconcilably political, moving from discursive engagements with the War on Iraq (which extends En Laisse [P.O.L., 2005] and its encounter with Abu Ghraib) to the poetics of Poussin. Citizen Do of course echoes Citizen Kane and also the French Revolution, but “do” is acutely pragmatic for a poet who imagines art as "cruel and immoral." The book opens with a postscript, a poetics. The next section is an essay on René Char, who is for Fourcade the poet of beauty and resistance; his friend (in his youth) who exemplifies an insistence on aestheticism in extreme alienation (détachement) but also in extreme engagement (attachement). Char, Foucualt writes, is both a hero (the great hero of the French Resistance) and a poet, two qualities that, Fourcade notes ruefully, typically cannot coexist. The Char essay originally appeared in an extraordinary exhibition catalog, published in 2007 by the Bibliotéque nationale de France and Gallimard for a  bibliographically rich exhibition of manuscripts, books, and art related to Char.

link    |  06-15-09

from Jared McDonald
(Penn student from English 111)

thought you might find this interesting: a current trending topic on twitter is #iremember (see: ?q=%23iremember), after which people are putting memories.. for example, someone posted "#iremember owning an 80386 computer with a 20mb hard drive," while another person posted "#iremember When It Was Cool To Be Yourself....", etc. Seems like a big, collective version of Joe Brainard’s “I Remember” --sort of like our collaborative twitter poems but open to any participant who types "#iremember" into their twitter box...

link    |  06-14-09

my reading from Girly Man & Shadowtime
at the CUE Art Foundation, New York
January 16, 2007

click to launch Quicktime plugin
or copy link and open stream in media player
or download from link

Introduction by William Corbett:(1:47): .mov
Reading (42:31): .mov

Introduction by William Corbett:(1:47): mp3
Reading (42:31): . mp3

1. Introduction by Charles Bernstein (2:25) : mp3
2. Sign Under Test (12:32): mp3
3. Don't Get me Wrong (1:28): mp3
4. Jacob's Ladder (0:43): mp3
5. Castor Oil (1:15): mp3
6. Dialogue with Hölderlin and Benjamin (from Shadowtime) (2:14): mp3
7. Laurel's Eyes (from Shadowtime) (2:12): mp3
8. Hashish in Marseilles (from Shadowtime) (1:49): mp3
9. Der Tod, Das Ist Die Kühle Nacht (from Shadowtime) (4:09): mp3
10. There's Beauty in the Sound ... (2:07): mp3
11. Wherever Angels Go (1:39): mp3
12. Introduction to Let's Just Say (1:04): mp3
13. Let's Just Say (3:33): mp3
14. "every lake . . ." (0:55): mp3
15. The Ballad of the Girly Man (4:15): mp3

2-5, 10-15 from Girly Man
now in paperback
reviews / notes on poems / more audio


link    |  06-13-09

The Lenny Paschen Show
reading: Bernstein
Silvie Jensen, mezzo-soprano
Yarmolinsky, vocal and guitar

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Blind Witness: Three American Operas
published by Factory School, 2008

order book here

PennSound page

link    |  06-12-09-x

Jane Sprague, Diane Ward, Tina Darragh
at Dixon Place (NYC)
for the Elders Series Belladonna book launch
Tuesday, June 9, 2009

link    |  06-12-09

Susan  Bee review
by Meredith Mendelsohn
in Art News
(June 2009)

link    |  06-07-09

The Kind of Criticism I Want ...

Ming-Qian Ma
Poetry as Re-Reading: American Avant-Garde Poetry and the Poetics of Counter Method
Northwestern University Press, 2008
Structural, philosophical, and phenomenological readings of Zukofsky ("Poem Beginning 'The'"), Oppen, Rakosi, Cage, Susan Howe, Hejinian, Andrews, as well as my work. Bracingly rigorous in its formalist analysis, Ma's first book puts him in the company of Gerald Bruns, Herman  Rappaport, and Charles Altieri.

Timothy Yu
Race and the Avant-Garde: Experimental and Asian American Poetry since 1975  
Palo Alto: Stanford University  Press, 2009
In Race and the Avant-Garde: Experimental and Asian American Poetry since 1975, Timothy Yu explores how conflicts, anxieties, and confusions fuse with aesthetics, ideologies, and social formations in the unsettling project of a syncretic Asian American poetics. In order to fully engage such poetics, Yu looks at roots but also rootlessness, lineages as well as misalignments. Yu takes risks; the welcome result is a provocatively informative excursion into the productive synergy of race and aesthetic innovation.

Carla Billitteri
Language and the Renewal of Society in Walt Whitman, Laura (Riding) Jackson, and Charles Olson: The American Cratylus
New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 200
Billitteri presents a fundamental rethinking of the nature of realism in American poetry. Using Plato’s Cratylus as a frame of reference, she interrogates three distinct phases within twentieth century American poetry – second-wave modernism in Laura (Riding) Jackson, mid-century “New American poetry” with Charles Olson, and Whitman as a precursor. While Billitteri has much to say about individual poems and poets, the significance of her study goes well beyond her critical and historical scholarship. Billitteri is providing a basis for the epistemological grounding for modernist and contemporary American poetry. She has focusssed on American poets who proclaim the “reality” of their projects – from (Riding) Jackson’s insistence on the natural fit between words and things (the closest to “primary Cratylism” in Billitteri’s scheme), to Olson’s object-focus on stones as emblematic of the real, to the insistence in “language writing” on the “object status” of the entity of language itself. While Billitteri is skeptical about all these manifestations of a desire for the “real” in the poetry she considers, her point is not to discredit the work as “bad” (insufficiently dialectical) philosophy but rather to better confront its terms and so better appreciate its contributions to both philosophy and literature. She elucidates the values of the poetry she studies; as such her work is not a “theory” of literature or meaning but an extrapolation of the philosophical orientations of specific literary works.

Henry Weinfeld
The Music of Thought in the Poetry of George Oppen and William Bronk
University of Iowa Press, 2009

Weinfeld makes an unequivocally partisan case for the primary importance of Bronk and Oppen for 20th American century poetry.

Josephine Park
Apparitions of Asia: Modernism, the Orient, and Asian American Poetry
New York Oxford University Press, 2008
Park examines the legacy of high modernist concerns in Asian-American writers, recasting key modernist and postwar works in a trans-Pacific context, while providing a stinging critique of the uses and appropriations of Asian forms and themes by non-Asian U.S. poets, particularly Ezra Pound and Gary Snyder. At the same time, Park argues that some of the Asian-American poets she discusses offer a way to critique and transform these deformations. In her detailed discussion of Pound, Park gives careful attention to the  importance of his poetics for subsequent American poetry, including Asian-American poetry.  She goes on to consider Snyder’s engagement with Zen Buddhism and charts its metamorphosis from a cultural specific East Asian practice to “American Zen.” While Park finds this problematic, her account got me more interested than ever in his cultural project, given the important role of Zen in a wide range of  postwar American innovative/alternative poetry. Park goes on to  review the role of, and conflict between, Frank Chin and Maxine Hong Kingston in the formation of the contemporary canon of Asian-American literature.  This sets the stage for her study of four postwar Asian-American poets: David Hsin-Fu W, a.k.a David Rafael Wang, a one-time far-right follower of Pound who transformed himself into a follower of Snyder, and then Asian-Americanist; Lawson Fusao Inada, the (third-generation) Japanese-American poet from Fresno, California, who has written about his childhood internment in U.S. camps; Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, the Korean and American multilingual poet and visual artist, an internationally renowned film maker and poet and one of the key figures of the poetry/poetics of the 70s; and a thorough and needed account of the work of  a poet I admire enormously, Myung Mi Kim.

Peter Nicholls
Modernisms: A Litarary Guide
2d edition
(Palgrave/Macmillan, 2009
With the precision of a global positioning system, Peter Nicholls scans the width and breadth of literary modernism. This new edition of his classic study provides a lucid and useful typology for a spectrum of often antithetical tendencies that revolutionized the poetry of Europe and America in the first decades of the 20th century. Nicholls reads literary works not only as social acts but also as social critiques; he is especially sensitive to the ways in which gender and race have played decisive roles in modernist poetics. New maps sweep clean: Modernisms sets the record straight by looking aslant, restoring "tangents" to the main stage of a play that continues to inform most of our present-day literary imaginings.
N.B. Nicholls will be coming to NYU (from Sussex) this Fall.

Yunte Huang
Transpacific Imaginations: History, Literature, Counterpoetics
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008)

"Poetic imagination is the ghost of the machine of History, an apparition that haunts ... the house of Historical Being" (p. 144). In Transpacific Imaginations, Huang routes of travel include port stops at the expansionist (imperialist) poetic unconscious (poetics) of Mark Twain and Henry Adams, which sets the stage for his later critique of the cultural imperialism that he finds at the heart of the Yasusada Hoax. In contrast, Melville’s counterpoetics resists the derealizations of the imaginary with the specters of  historical conquests and exploitable space. Melville is the antinomian hero of this book (Huang acknowledges Charles Olson and Susan Howe). Moby Dick's transpacific travels is propelled not by expanding Pacific markets but by Ahab’s monomaniacal/destructive collecting. “… [T]he story Ishmael comes back to tell is not one of the romance but the disaster of imperial conquest: ‘Then all collapsed, and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago.’  … If the Emerson brand of imperial imagination features a poet who is seer, a namer and a self-reliant character overcoming the tyranny of fate, Melville’s addiction to fancy and fate dooms him to a giant stutter that ends Moby Dick” (pp. 96-97). For Huang, exemplary works of counterpoetics include Theresa Cha's Dictee; Lawson Fusao Inada's anti-monumental poetry collection, Legends of the Camp (on the U.S. internment camps for Japanese-Americans during World War 2); and the Angel Island poems, which were scratched into the walls by Chinese immigrants at a San Francisco detention facility. Huang offers a powerfully illuminating account of the Angel Island poems the social inscription of these works as uncontainable – and, specifically, unanthologizable – within narrative of “American poetry.” Huang's counterpoetic voyage discovers that even while poetic imagination buoys historical understanding, it is constantly threatening to sink it. Poetics, used to legitimate historical denial and economic and cultural exploitation, brings to mind a saying of Charlie Chan (the subject of Huang’s next book): whale on beach like wolf at wedding, bark is bigger than bite but insulates tree.

link    |  06-06-09

Last week I had the pleasure to go on a "hardhat" tour of the  new
Poets House
in Battery Park City (New York), which is opening this Fall:

It's a magnificent space, with spectacular views of the Hudson, majestic library / reading room,
seminar room, children's book library / meeting space.
and a delightful multiform performance space, which opens onto a large garden space.
Poets House will be on the ground and second floors at Ten River Terrace
(a short walk west from the Chambers Street subway stops).
This new space promises to transform poetry life in the city.
Lee Briccetti has done a heroic job putting together this monumental move.
Thanks also to Carlin Wragg (community relations manager) for the tour.

link    |  06-05-09-x

Poesia Ultima / Italian Poetry Now
Istituto Italiano di Cultura, May 26, 2009, New York
photos by Mongibeddu

Marco Giovenale, Giovanna Frene, Carla Billitteri, Milli Graffi,

the organizers: Carla Billitteri and Jennifer Scappettone

here I am with Millli Graffi

Stephen Motika of Poets House


link    |  06-05-09

Ken Edwards on Bromige
Reality Street will be publishing a collected Bromige

Mike Hennessey on Bromige
from PennSound Daily

Family’s author page
(including memorial tributes)

Desire: Selected Poems 1963-1987
Santa Rosa, CA: Black Sparrow Press, 1988.

Desire is a guide for the lovelorn and love‑drenched, a devilish excursion into a psychorealism for which laughter is the exact analogue to human breath and paranoia an antidote (anecdote) for keeping your mind in view.  In Desire, the bottom of everyday life drops through, as land mines are triggered by the reader's darting glances.  Desire is a "blow struck for meaning"‑‑&, boy, do these poems blow.  David Bromige's hour has come‑‑and it begins here.


The Difference is Scale: A Short Note on D.B. 

[ All quotes from the works of David Bromige. Written for the D.B. issue  of  The Difficulties (1990)]

“Cognition requires exaggeration,” writes David Bromige in “Indictable Sobourners”—and the converse would apply equally to explain his method: exaggeration requires cognition. In extremus luminatus ludicrus.

However, it is an ungracious task, as the oxymoron says, to try to explain a joke. You get it or better yet a) it gets you b) you don’t get it. That is, in these works it’s not “subject matter” (shopworn hangnail) but form (allopathic progenitor) that’s made intrinsically funny. “It is easier to see through my little tales than it is to see through the pernicious society we are trapped within. But the difference is merely scale.” And this may begin to account for why each poem is approached (and so apprehended) in a determinately different way. “When you start to doubt your own skepticism, look out!” Bromige has never “fixed” on any one style or mode (there are characteristic reverberations of course) but tackles (targets) new turf (segmentation sections) with each tussle (six of one, couple of half-dozen of other). “It was very dark inside the fish.” “This is among the most poignant: thoughts I know.” This is a good deal different and more humanly refreshing- in the sense that a breath is more refreshing than a cough.—than the idea of form as plastique. For Bromige, the question becomes what color plastic and why not rubber.

As to subject (subsequent) matters, Bromige makes mincemeat of the fashions of the “contemporary” “mind” (“The era had a milky density, tepid and torpid, mildly disgusting like a one-acre homesite; this disgust had spoken of the rebuttal to its final vestige of candid spontaneity, except that the toothache of the times looped a, scarf over everybody's ears,”) and builds from there. An Englishman who came to the U.S. of A. by way of British Columbia (a.k.a. Canada’s grey sunbelt) he has made cultural distance into a prosodic measure that leans on device without being devisive. “There is an intense pleasure of experience in the juxtaposing of the two polysyllabic words with the staccato monosyllables--greift and Spuk particularly spook me. [In this passage from Threads Bromige is referring to a quote from Heidegger; for the present context, hot tub / retotalization would do as well, as in there'll be a hot tub at the totalization tonight (requiring a further introjection into our unconscious episiotomies).]  Doesn't all innovation in knowing happen much as a pun: the thread of likeness enables one to articulate what is in one sense the utterly dissimilar, since new. Or what had been forgotten.” Eternity and paternity become avenues of access; the reader is left to draw the moral after Bromige has provided the tone and tonic.

“And still we hold there are times when we can bear witness to the present condition of absolute things.”

“For language
can take us there—wherever it is.”

—Charles Bernstein


link    |  06-04-08


David Bromige
Bromige died this moring.
He was with his wife Cecelia and his children Margaret & Chris

My Poetry (5:25)
(NOTE: cut is missing about 10 seconds of the poem)
Dear Charles (1:06)

Bromige Sound Recordings at PennSound
Bromige EPC author page
Family's page

from boundary 2: 43 Poets (1984), ed. Bernstein
Vol. 14, No. 1/2 (Autumn, 1985 - Winter, 1986)


link    |  06-03-08


Adam Pendleton performs
"Hannah Weiner – An Argument for Black Dada"
a new work commissioned for the opening night of Talk Show
at London's ICA, May 5, 2009
video here

In this work Pendleton gives a thoughtful introduction to Hannah Weiner's work, two actors perform part of the Clairvoyant Journal, Pendleton plays excerpts of the LINEbreak interview (reading the questions himself but playing the tape for Hannah's answers), and ends with a reading of Hannah's 1989 letter to me, which is collected in Hannah Weiner's Open House, edited with an introduction by Patrick Durgin, from Kenning Editions, 2007.


Many of my recommended reading lists on this site have included books from Salt.
Here's the perfect opportunity to get some of these books
[including my own The Sophist ]
and support a press that has become part of the infracture of
"the kind of poetry I want"
(to use MacDiarmid's title once again).


As a thank you for your support of us this first week of our
Simply use the coupon code G3SRT453 when in the checkout to benefit..
We have now raised £24,000 or our £55,000 target. Do please continue to spread the word about the campaign and this offer. Thank you for everything you're doing to help us save our business and continue publishing.
Best from everyone at Salt

link    |  06-02-09

Henry Hills :  Selected Films 1977-2008
Cat. # 3009
Released June 2, 2009
US Price $31.00
Henry Hills writes:

I am pleased to announce the release of 11 of my 16mm films as a TZADIK DVD. SELECTED FILMS (1977-2008) is available from and Tzadik..

In celebration of this release, I will present these films in their original formats on June 28 at 7:30 at Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue, New York.
Moving to New York in 1978, filmmaker Henry Hills formed a strong alliance with the Downtown improvisers and the “Language” poets, guiding his film work toward a rhythmic, multilayered world filled with unpredictable changes and a striking improvisational edge. The very best of his short, intense films are presented here—from the downtown all-star Money to structural dance films like The Little Lieutenant and Bali Méchanique. A major force in new cinema, these films are brilliantly visual, crammed with image and double meaning. Also included is his 1990 music video for the band Naked Cty, Gotham.


link    |  06-01-09

Bay Area trip

On Sunday, June 21, at 6:30pm
I will be reading with Judith Goldman at the
New Reading Series at 21 Grand Gallery
415 25th St @ Broadway, Oakland
&, briefly, on Monday, June 22 at 7:30pm
with Scalapino, McClure, Berssenbrugge, Newman, Goldman, & Adnan
at the launch for Scalapino/Goldman War & Peace
at Moe's Books in Berkeley.

link    |  05-31-09

Photi Giovanis
has opened a new gallery
Callicoon Fine Arts
in the Catskills (upstate New York)

All Suffering Soon to End! is gallery's first exhibition (closes August 15), with artworks by:
Susan Bee, Paul Brainard, Glen Fogel, Elise Freda, Alicia Gibson, Daniel Gordon, Anitra Haendel, Andrew Hershey, Arnold Kemp, Caroline Koebel, Elissa Levy, Jeff Marlin, Paul McMahon, Forrest Myers, Hunter Reynolds, David Scher, Carolee Schneemann, Joshua Thorson and Dimitris Yeros
{images for each artist on web site}

link    |  05-30-09

Class Remasters Now Complete

Mike Hennessey on PennSound Daily

In February, we announced that three tracks from Charles Bernstein's 1982 Widemouth Tapes release, Class had been made available in newly remastered stereo versions, as overseen by PennSound Contributing Editor, Danny Snelson — you can refer to our earlier PennSound Daily entry for a full discussion of the tracks "My/My/My," "Goodnight" and "Class." Today, we're very excited to release the final two tracks from Class: a full stereo realization of "Piffle (Breathing)," and a remastered version of "1-100" taken directly from the original reel-to-reel tape.

As the lead track on Class, "Piffle (Breathing)" serves as an overture of sorts, preparing listeners for many of the techniques that will be taken up throughout the album: a three-track stereo collage (with separate discursive elements panned hard left, hard right and center) exploring the potential of the human voice, and more specifically the textures produced when they overlap with one another. In his liner notes on our Class page, Bernstein describes "Piffle" as "the most formally self-reflective, trying to bring the process of making the piece to the fore: it's me breathing and making the commentary." The piece unfolds slowly, beginning with thirty seconds of the poet's slow and mindful breathing in the center channel before Bernstein and Greg Ball's running meta-discussion on the tapepoem's composition begins on the right channel, replete with technical details (i.e. stereo vs. mono recording preferences and how many feet of tape are left before the necessary recording time has been met) and expressing aesthetic concerns which take an ironic posture, yet seem to reveal real vulnerabilities. A statement like, "We should sense ourselves as if talking for posterity, and try to focus on what would be the most deep, most profound, most resonant statements or conversations or thoughts that we have, that we would want to see preserved for time immemorial," appearing in a contemporary Bernstein poem would strike us as the poet's characteristic exploration of the myriad rhetorics bombard us in our day-to-day experience of language, however when uttered by a 26 year old author of two self-released chapbooks, still one year away from the launch of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, and not yet the iconic figure we know today, it takes on a different tenor.

Fifteen seconds after Bernstein and Ball's discussion begins, the left channel track, featuring Bernstein's interrogation of Susan Bee (Laufer) cuts in. Setting up a competing dialogue, it also serves as a commentary upon the initial track (she finds it "too personal" and "tedious"), before devolving into spontaneous singing and scanning the radio dial for weather bulletins and top 40 hits (which are deemed more interesting than recordings of breathing). As with Robert and Bobbie Creeley's performance of the 1972 radio play, Listen, we can't help but let our foreknowledge of the couple's relationship shade our interpretation of their interaction, and so even the more aggressive questioning seems charming.

Undoubtedly, "Piffle (Breathing)" is a challenging listening experience as one tries to engage with and sort through the two competing dialogues simultaneously, aided and hindered by Bernstein's basso continuo (which threads them together, encouraging elision even as it keeps each conversation distinct), and by the poet's close mic-ed breathing (which seems to obscure key words and draw our attention back towards the middle). As in "Goodnight," Susan Bee's voice emerges as the secret weapon here, cutting mellifluously through the accumulation of male timbres and providing listeners with a clear focal point. Moreover, when Bee and Ball make brief cameos in one another's track, this already vividly three-dimensional piece takes on added depth.

Finally, we're very happy to be able to present a (p)remastered version of "1-100," the iconic 1969 performance piece which is the earliest known recording of the poet (composed during his sophomore year at Harvard). Stripping away years of static and tape hiss, which appear to have sanded down its rougher edges, Bernstein's visceral emergency language becomes even more harrowing here, taking on a buzzsaw intensity as the more whimsical tones earlier in the piece give way to distressing yelps. Surprises emerge in this cleaned-up version as well: not only the diegetic soundtrack of background music and conversation that are now audible, but also notable differences between this take and the digitization previously made available in 2003. Aside from running longer than that original version (and also, perhaps, slightly slower), we can make distinctions between effects on the overall fidelity of the piece due to multiple-generation transfers and the limitations of the recording equipment itself — most notably, the metallic modulation and reverb effects on Bernstein's voice are present in the master track, and the clipping distortion created as he overloads the microphone has an even more elemental effect upon listeners here.

Our now-complete remastering of Class serves as a preview for an extensive collection of Bernstein's early recorded works which we'll be unveiling later this summer, so be sure to stay tuned to PennSound Daily for news on this project, and for now, click on the title above to start listening.


link    |  05-29-09

War Stories

read with Emma Bee Bernstein

Dec, 20, 2004 at the Charles Morrow Studios

from Girly Man

War is the extension of prose by other means.

War is never having to say you're sorry.

War is the logical outcome of moral certainty.

War is conflict resolution for the aesthetically challenged.

War is a slow boat to heaven and an express train to hell.

War is either a failure to communicate or the most direct expression possible.

War is the first resort of scoundrels.

War is the legitimate right of the powerless to resist the violence of the powerful.

War is delusion just as peace is imaginary.

"War is beautiful because it combines the gunfire, the cannonades, the cease-fire, the scents, and the stench of putrefaction into a symphony."

"War is a thing that decides how it is to be done when it is to be done."

War is not a justification for the self-righteousness of the people who oppose it.

War is other people.

War is a five-mile hike in a one-mile cemetery.

War is nature's way of saying I told you so.

War is a fashioning of opportunity.

War is "a nipponized bit of the old sixth avenue el."

War is the reluctant foundation of justice and the unconscious guarantor of liberty.

War is the broken dream of the patriot.

War is the slow death of idealism.

War is realpolitik for the old and unmitigated realism for the young.

War is pragmatism with an inhuman face.

War is for the state what despair is for the person.

War is the end of the road for those who've lost their bearings.

War is a poem that is afraid of its shadow but furious in its course.

War is men turned into steel and women turned into ash.

War is never a reason for war but seldom a reason for anything else.

War is a casualty of truth just as truth is a casualty of war.

War is the redress of the naked.

War is the opiate of the politicians.

War is to compromise what morbidity is to mortality.

War is poetry without song.

War is the world's betrayal of the earth's plenitude.

War is like a gorilla at a teletype machine: not always the best choice but sometimes the only one you've got.

War is a fever that feeds on blood.

War is never more than an extension of thanatos.

War is the older generation's way of making up for the mistakes of its youth.

War is moral, peace is ethical.

War is the ultimate entertainment.

War is resistance in the flesh.

War is capitalism's way of testing its limits.

War is an inevitable product of class struggle.

War is technology's uncle.

War is an excuse for lots of bad antiwar poetry.

War is the right of a people who are oppressed.

War is news that stays news.

War is the principal weapon of a revolution that can never be achieved.

War pays for those who have nothing to lose.

War is Surrealism without art.

War is not won but survived.

War is two wrongs obliterating right.

War is the abandonment of reason in the name of principle.

War is sacrifice for an ideal.

War is the desecration of the real.

War is unjust even when it is just.

War is the revenge of the dead on the living.

War is revenge on the wrong person.

War is the cry of the child in black, the woman in red, and the man in blue.

War is powerlessness.

War is raw.

War is the declared struggle of one state against another but it is also the undeclared violence of the state against its own people.

War is no vice in the defense of liberty; appeasement is no virtue in the pursuit of self-protection.

War is tyranny's greatest foe.

War is tyranny's greatest friend.

War is the solution; but what is the problem?

War is a horse that bridles its rider.

War is the inadequate symbol of human society.

War is the best way to stoke the dying embers of ancient enmities.

War is a battle for the hearts and minds of the heartless and mindless.

War is history as told by the victors.

War is the death of civilization in the pursuit of civilization.

War is the end justifying the meanness.

War is an SUV for every soccer Pop and social Mom.

War is made by the rich and paid by the poor.

War is the quality TV alternative to You Still Don't Know Jacko: Cookin' with Michael and Fear Factor: How to Marry a Bachelorette.

War is not a metaphor.

War is not ironic.

War is sincerity in serial motion.

War is a game of chess etched in flesh.

War is tactical violence for strategic dominance.

War is international engagement to cover domestic indifference.

War is the devil in overdrive.

War is our only hope.

War is our inheritance.

War is our patrimony.

War is our right.

War is our obligation.

War is justified only when it stops war.

War isn't over even when it's over.

War is "over here."

War is the answer.

War is here.

War is this.

War is now.

War is us.

link    | Memorial Day 05-25-09

New Blog from Douglas Messerli
Introductory Statement

Exploratory fiction, at least in the United States, is arguably near death. Determinedly mediocre American publishing aligned with tepidly written and rapidly disappearing critical commentary has left us instead with a seemingly endless series of dispirited personal narratives, flat-footed fantasies, and sentimentalized social statements.

By exploratory writing I do not merely mean "experimental writing," but works that in their language and structures challenge our thinking, surprising and sometimes even mystifying readers, who are left not with simple comprehension but with wonderment. When I first began publishing in the mid-1970s there were a substantial number of writers of such fictions (Walter Abish, Tom Ahern, David Antin, Paul Auster, Russell Banks, Robert Coover, Guy Davenport, Lydia Davis, Jaimy Gordon, Marianne Hauser, John Hawkes, Spencer Holst, Fanny Howe, Steve Katz, Tom La Farge, Nathaniel Mackey, Clarence Major, Harry Matthews, Mark Mirsky, Toby Olson, James Purdy, Gilbert Sorrentino, Johnny Stanton, Robert Steiner, Ronald Sukenick, Rosmarie Waldrop, Wendy Walker, Curtis White, and Dallas Wiebe, to name just a few) to chose from. Indeed, my Sun & Moon Press first published several of these figures. But since that time, many of these writers have died or ceased writing, and only a handful of younger writers have joined them. Accordingly, the great tradition of US writing, from Gertrude Stein to William Faulkner, from Flannery O'Connor to Vladimir Nabokov is in danger of disappearing. What to do?

One person or perhaps even a small group cannot resolve the situation. But I can, as I have attempted to do in my activities as a publisher, present and reveal such writing. exploringfictions, my new on-line magazine devoted to narrative writing, is another such attempt. Perhaps by simply standing in the path of the dart (see above) I can deflect those whose attention is centered only on the a single point in time and space and help to refocus their vision upon the wide world about them.

Clearly such a publication will be strongly dependent upon my own contributions, but I hope the entire literary community interested in fiction will join me in presenting (living and dead, US and international) writers, reviews, short essays on (new and older) fictions (in English and translation), interviews, news and other related commentaries.

I must emphasize that the title of this publication is purposely plural, and will be edited with the recognition that fiction is not merely a Gemini (the novel or short story), but is a many-headed beast made up numerous forms including epistolary writing, picaresques, anatomies, fables, pastorals, encyclopedias and other such structures.

exploringfictions will be published daily or weekly, depending upon when I write or receive appropriate new works. Perhaps, if it functions as I hope, Green Integer may collect each year into a single paperbound volume.

—Douglas Messerli, Publisher

I invite new works sent either by e-mail (to douglasmesserli -- at -- or by regular mail (to Green Integer, 6022 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 202C, Los Angeles, CA 90036 USA)


link    |  05-25-09

Emma Bee Bernstein Emerging Artists Fellowship

link    |  05-24-09

The Fire
Collected Essays
Robin Blaser

Edited with an Introduction by Miriam Nichols

Univeristy of California Press, 2006

The Violets: Charles Olson and Alfred North Whitehead


“a cosmological reading of a cosmology”<1>

The American poet who has made the most profound use of Whitehead’s thought is Charles Olson.  On this occasion, when I am to mull over the interchange between them, I am reminded of John Russell’s remark as he begins his book on the meanings of modern art:  “. . . in art, as in the sciences, ours is one of the big centuries”(9).<2>  Out of the gloom, so to speak.  Olson and Whitehead are not, of course, alone, but they stand there among the most important figures.  And I like to note that Olson many times expressed his view that the finest compliment one can pay to another mind and work is in the use made of them.  When he died in 1970, just turned sixty and by his own reckoning ten years short of the time he needed to complete his work (Boer 137), he was well into the third volume of a major verse epic, The Maximus Poems, which stands alongside Pound’s Cantos and Williams’ Paterson as a major poetic world.  Besides The Maximus Poems and the poems that did not find a place in that epic structure, there are the essays and letters which propose the necessary poetic and record the struggle to find it.  Olson’s poetics are argumentative about the way we stand in the world and how we belong to it (stance and ethos).  I wish to emphasize the word “world” for reasons that I hope will become clear.

            For Olson, as for any poet, the poetry is primary, but this poetic places before us the argued ground both of practice and of world-view.  Poets have repeatedly in this century turned philosophers, so to speak, in order to argue the value of poetry and its practice within the disturbed meanings of our time.  These arguments are fascinating because they have everything to do with the poet’s sense of reality in which imagery is entangled with thought.  Often, they reflect Pound’s sense of “make it new” or the modernist notion that this century and its art are simultaneously the end of something and the beginning of something else, a new consciousness, and so forth.  It is not one argument or another for or against tradition, nor is it the complex renewal of the imaginary which our arts witness, for, as I take it, the enlightened mind does not undervalue the imaginary, which is the most striking matter of these poetics; what is laid out before us finally is the fundamental struggle for the nature of the real.  And this, in my view, is a spiritual struggle, both philosophical and poetic.  Old spiritual forms, along with positivisms and materialisms, which “held” the real together have come loose.  This is a cliché of our recognitions and condition.  But we need only look at the energy of the struggle in philosophy and poetry to make it alive and central to our private and public lives.  We need not, I think, at this point be trapped by that view of which Geoffrey Hartman writes:

Artistic form and aesthetic illusion are today treated as ideologies to be exposed and demystified--this has long been true on the Continent, where Marxism is part of the intellectual milieu, but it is becoming true also of America. (Beyond 358)

            The reality of Marxism remains, as it began, the other face of Hegel.  To put it unphilosophically, the practice of either of these nineteenth-century prophecies in the twentieth century maintains one side of a dualism, on both sides of which the profound place of the aesthetic, understood as the reach of our “perceptual faith" (Merleau-Ponty's phrase) in human life is short-circuited.  Marxism is an instrument, and an excellent one, for social analysis and the understanding of the problems of necessity for large social bodies, and, perhaps, when the wreckage of its twentieth-century practice has been cleared away, it may become an instrument for the founding of social justice.  In the meantime, the problem of reality--what do we mean by the real?  Part of what is meant is a valuation that includes the world of earth and sky.  In the greatest poetry, ancient or modern, the sense of the real is certainly not limited to that other terrifying face of humanism, necessity, an abstract word for the very real limit and terror of poverty and deprivation.<3> The pleasures of art, of philosophy, and of science are joined to us insofar as we are freed from necessity.  In Europe and North America, where necessity, as yet, does not widely rule, we have the curiosity that mercantilism controls form, and art, philosophy and science do not belong to the daily round.<4> Yet they are, indeed, the elements of a reality, if we try to put one together.  (I have in mind Hannah Arendt’s moving sense of the possible “recovery of the public world.”)  I think the fundamental problem here is a “scientism” of the real, from which, in my reading, the gift of Whitehead’s searching thought, as corrective, was to allow us to escape: that is, to see and work whatever real we can manage differently.  It is this broad, general, rumoured sense of Whitehead, summed up in his word “process,” that I believe brings him so forcefully into American poetics.  Of that “demystification,” which I am here identifying with a scientism of another order, we need to take mind. René Girard writes:

The cultural heritage of humanity is regarded with suspicion.  Its only interest lies in its “demystification”. [. . .]

Humanity, we are told, has fallen victim to a vast mystification unrecognized until now.  This is cultural nihilism, and it is often associated with a fetishistic cult of science.  Because we have discovered the “original sin” of human thought, we think ourselves free of it.  What is now needed is a radically different mode of thought, a new science that will allow us to appreciate the absurdity of all previous thinking.  And because this lie was until recently immune from detection, the new scientific approach must be altogether unconnected with the past.  Inevitably, it will take the shape of a unique discovery by some inspired being who has little in common with ordinary mortals, or even with his own past.  In severing the cord that attached us to the matrix of all mythic thought, this liberator of humanity will have delivered us from dark ancestral falsehood and led us into the luminous world of truth.  Our hard and pure science is to be the result of a coupure épistémologique, an epistemological revolution that is totally unexpected and for which we are entirely unprepared. (Violence 233)

This he names “scientific angelism” (233).  It is an apocalypse of the objective or of a generalized humanity which can be seen as an objectivity.  It is also a disguised superstition.

            What I have noticed in the poetry and poetics of the most important poets is that they are arguing, weaving, and composing a cosmology and an epistemology.  Over and over again.  There is no epistemological cut-off or gash in our deepest natures, nor in our engagement with life.  Nor is the ambition of what is known short on its desire for cosmos.  It is this structuring, large and deep in the nature of things, that still thrills us in Hesiod’s struggle for the sense of it.  Such concern, because it does tie to experience, is central to the historical role of poet and poetry.  I am not denigrating the song of poetry, for the sense of self is always a part of poetry and reality, and so one sings.  But repeatedly in the history of poetry, we find ourselves returning to epic structures and the bases of epic in the shape, size and feel of the world,b cosmos, I suggest that great poetry is always after the world--it is a spiritual chase--and that it has never been, in the old, out worn sense, simply subjective or personal.  Of course, Whitehead’s subjective principle, his theory of prehensions, and his notion of the ingression to the real do not leave the subjective to itself alone.  It is this aspect of poetic experience, its yen for largeness and fullness, that has brought poetry throughout its history into close proximity with the modes of theogony and theology, with science in its deepest concerns, and with philosophies which propose a world.  The density of meaning in the texts has increased for us, as the gods, that wondrous vocabulary of the world, fall, but not without a trace, and the autonomous mind has had to re-pose itself.  We may, then, sit in this corner of things to understand the way in which Whitehead enters so commandingly into Olson’s poetic world.

            I have arranged my essay to include copious quotation.  My reason is that I have found in talking about Olson and teaching his poetry, singular assertion is not enough.  And certainly, where his relation to Whitehead is concerned, there will be disparate views.  The world of twentieth-century thought involves a huge companionship.  I have tried to put together some pieces of that companionship here.

read the rest of the essay here

PEPC Digiital Edition
of the "The Violets," pp. 196-228 from
Robin Blaser, The Fire: Collected Essays of Robin Blaser,
edited by Miriam Nichols
appears with the  permission of the University of California Press..
(C) 2006 by the Regents of the University of California.
Published by the University of California Press.
All rights reserved.

PEPC Library


link    |  05-22-09

My reading at
March 14, 2009

full reading (42:35):MP3

1. Manifest Aversions, Conceptual Conundrums, & Implausibly Deniable Links (8:58): MP3
2. Pompeii (1:08): MP3
3. Fold (3:44): MP3
4. The Sixties, with  Apologies (2:01): MP3
5. Stupid Men, Smart Choices (1:25): MP3
6. The Moment Is You (4:59): MP3
7. Won’t You Give Up This Poem to Someone Who Needs It? (1:17): MP3
8. The Honor of Virtue (0:30): MP3
9. Death on a Pale Horse (1:02): MP3
10. On Election Day (4:30): MP3
11. Morality (2:03): MP3
12. If You Say Something, See Something (0:52): MP3
13. Today Is the Last Day of Your Life Until Now (0:54): MP3
14. Time Served (1:42): MP3
15. And Aenigma Was His Name, O! (0:22): MP3
16. Be Drunken (1:57): MP3

link    |  05-21-09

photo: ©2008 Charles Bernstein/PennSound

f rom American Poet (vol. 35, Fall 2008)

Tonya’s Place

Charles Bernstein

In Harlem, one can
never get a room dark enough
to lose sight of things.

In Harlem, one can
or can seem to make peace with
a tour bus of eyes.

I first heard Tonya Foster read at St. Mark's of the Vieux Carré church in New Orleans on December 29, 2001. It was one of our annual “off-site” readings during the Modern Language Association convention, this one sponsored by Lit City and coordinated by Camille Martin. About 15 poets read and Foster was the only one entirely new to me. When she read the place lit up, and I lit up with it; the echoing cadences of her voice filled the church space. Her poetry was rooted in New Orleans, where she grew up, but it wasn’t a New Orleans legible from the outside. As she’s shown over the years since, to be a poet of New Orleans is to be a poet of an actual place but also of a place of the imagination. Her work is site-specific but also re-citing, re-splicing, and re-sounding.

The disaster has no single origin, no single moment of birth. Like the wave bruising the shore, it is an unapologetic accretion of uninterrupted motion.

            Foster now lives in New York (where she is a graduate student at CUNY) but some of her recent work revisits New Orleans post-Katrina, in particular a long mixed-genre work called “A Mathematics of Chaos: Pay Attention to Where You At/From,” which, when she presented it at a recent reading (you can hear the audio on PennSound), was accompanied by photographs and a short video. The work comes off as part elegy and part reconnaissance. Reconnaissance turns out to be crucial for Foster: second site, knowing again, diving into a wreck that is not only all-too-real but all-too-imaginary.


            Foster’s engagement with repetition and lists in her work is a mark of her continual return not to the same but to the site as reciting. She is a poet of a place that is displaced: the place of her place is its displacement, her emplacement and replacement of it, as she returns and turns away, as she turns. Here / not here, the fundamental rhythm presence and absence, take center stage in Foster’s emerging poetics of emplacement.

My sisters and I could drive each other crazy by mimicking each other, repeating every word and gesture again and again. We took pleasure in making language we all knew strange, pleasure in accentuating the strangeness of words and in holding up that strangeness.

            This is a series devoted to emerging poets and I don’t want simply to be coy in locating Foster’s poetics as emerging; but I take that as a tenet of her approach, as we used to talk about process. There are a number of ways that Foster’s work can be located within a contemporary moment of site-specific poetry, which often focuses on the environmental context of a work, how it situates in terms of its surround. Indeed, Foster’s work is at the intersection of site-specific writing, ecopoetics (poetics read or written as an ecological system), and the poetics of identity. But what distinguishes it from these approaches is its insistence of emergence, which means that site and identity have not yet been actualized and the system not yet realized. Emergence here is a sign of crisis, of emergency, in which the provisional is valued for its register of immediacy. Repetition and lists in Foster’s work is not a legacy of modernist composition so much as a mapping device.

Blackity-black girl
sitting in a dark lit by
t.v and streetlight.

Blackity-black girl,
at play on the court of your skin—
imminent domain.

            The work often leads by ear, by sound, but not primarily because of an aesthetic engagement with the sonic for itself or as an ethnographic grounding in documentary, but rather because sound is a primary locating device, as in a sonogram. The echo is not toward the autonomy of the poem or the reality of the language outside it. The echo is a probe.

Black is black taint
that marks the linoleum tile
she Mop and Glo’s clean

“Black is black”—t’aint
that the color line—
“just cause” as refracted light? 
            My comments on Foster are abstract and technical. But Foster’s work doesn’t feel abstruse or conceptual (two qualities I often like in poems). What I am suggesting, in this brief introduction, is that Foster’s work is constructed as a system or environment, and that it explores the emergence and disappearance of identity and place. It’s not a poetry of, or about, fixed points of reference that are described. The sites emerge and submerge in the flickering probes of Foster’s accumulation of voices, her collection of verbal markers and shifting signs. Ain’t taint. In “A Mathematics of Chaos” she writes, “Geography can be transformative—the way a bullet to the body can be transformed.” Words wash over her work like the rain pours down, flooding a city (“water like language”). Speech is collected as tangible evidence of an imaginary home.

a girl who looks like her father is born for luck, alcohol, Algiers, alligator, Amazing Grace, Amelia, Angola, Atchafalaya, Aunt Noni, Aunt Sister, Azerine, back a town, bayou, because her daddy died or left, because the first-born baby died, beignets, bitch, Butsie, café au lait, … Father John’s, file, first-born, first-born done died, fleur de lys, flood, “for true?” front porch, Galvez, Gerttown, “gimme some,” “girl, gimme got shot,” “git up in here,” “God don’t like ugly,” good hair, gran’ma …

The poetics of emplacement must be imagined before it can be real, so that it can be real. We listen and we see what we hear. Or, we hear, and dive into ourselves to avert the brute reality of what we have heard.
That is what we mean by going home.
         This is the secret place of poetry.
        This is the way Tonya Foster matters.


Extracts from Tonya Foster. The italic extracts are from “A Mathematics of Chaos: Pay Attention to Where You At/From.” The verse extracts from her ms, “A Swarm of Bees in High Court.”


Tonya Foster on PennSound

link    |  05-20-09

Tan Lin suggested I use Twitter in my English 111 "Experimental Writing" seminar.
All 13 participants signed up to 111-only Twitter feeds
and used the lines generated to create a variety of collaborative poems.
The Twitter poems are here.
The 111 site is here.


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Basil Bunting reading from Briggflatts

This video features four short extracts of Basil Bunting reading from his long poem BRIGGFLATTS, from Peter Bell's 1982 film portrait of Bunting, included on a DVD issued with the new Bloodaxe edition of the book.

link    |  05-18-09-x

MoMA (New York)
Mira Schendel (Brazil, b. Switzerland, 1919–1988)
León Ferrari (Argentina, b. 1920
(closes June 15)
is one of the most significant shows of alphabetic/lettrist art
to appear in a major New York museum.
The show focusses too much on the side-by-side comparison
of the two artists, diminishing both in the process, but
it is nonetheless a spectacular presention of both artists' work.

Ferrari, Manos (1964) -- detail

Ferrari, Cuadro Escrita (detail) (1964)

Schendel, Objectos graphicos" (detail) (1967)

Schendel, Objectos graphicos" (detail) (1972)

see also
Poemas de 33 Poemas
Illustrated poems of 
Regis Bonvicino

link    |  05-17-09x

Richard Baker
book covers
Tibor de Nagy
(New York)
closes May 22

link    |  05-17-09

Steve McCaffery
reading from Carnival, Panel 2,
@ Instal 09, Glasgow. 21.03.09
(excerpt: full reading 40 min.)

link    |  05-12-09

from Parkett 84 (2009)

Is Art Criticism Fifty Years Behind Poetry?

In Frank O’Hara: The Poetics of Coterie1, Lytle Shaw’s ostensive subject is how “coterie” works in the poetry and poetics of Frank O’Hara. The opening chapters provide a cogent discussion of the role of proper names in O’Hara’s poetry within the context of a linguistics-inflected examination of naming and reference. Shaw notes the different levels of proper naming in O’Hara’s work – figures of popular culture, political and social figures, as well as different levels of his personal circle (from identifiable artists and poets to obscure names).

For Shaw, coterie is not a closed world of intimates but an interlocking, open-ended set of associations and affiliations. He links coterie to the socio-historically self-conscious poetics of the local, community, and other collective formations. The poetics of coterie is presented by Shaw as an alternative to universalizing conceptions of poetry. O’Hara’s location of himself not in an homogenous elite but rather in intersecting constellations of persons (real and imagined affiliations), together with his famous time-stamping of his poems (it’s 12:18 in New York as I rewrite this sentence) both work against the Romantic Ideology of timeless poems by great individuals.

Still, no discussion of coterie can completely free itself from the negative connotations of clique and scene. For best effect, the first chapters of Shaw’s book should be read beside Andrew Epstein’s  Beautiful Enemies: Friendship and Postwar American Poetry2. Epstein offers exemplary Emersonian readings of the intricate web connecting individual talent and collective investment in the poetry and poetics of John Ashbery, Amiri Baraka, and O’Hara. Averting the Cold War myth of the individual voice in the wilderness of conformity, Epstein gives us voices in conversation and conflict, suggesting that resistance to agreement is at the heart of a pragmatist understanding of literary community. 

 The role of proper names and the nature of O’Hara’s personal circle are not the only concerns of Frank O’Hara: The Poetics of Coterie. In the book’s final chapters, another theme emerges with equal force: O’Hara’s approach to the visual arts in his poems and criticism. Shaw sees O’Hara’s art writing as a powerful and necessary counter to the monological and hyperprofessional rigidity that descends from Clement Greenberg (who dismissed O’Hara’s art writing) to Michael Fried and, I’d add, extends to the October brand, the epitome of, let’s just say, High Orthodoxical art criticism. For if the luminous rigor and prodigious insights of Greenberg and Fried end in the tragedy of misrecognition, the self-serious vanguardism of the High Orthodoxical ends in the farce of academic gate-keeping and market validation. In other words, Greenberg’s and Fried’s insistence on conviction and agonism morphed into a practice of regulation by exclusion.

For Shaw, the aversion of poetry in both formalist and High Orthodoxical art criticism is a sign of its own aesthetic failure. In contrast to Greenberg’s and Fried’s rebuke of “poetic” art criticism, he suggests that O’Hara was doing an “art-critical” poetry that, for example, has resonances with Robert Smithson’s writing.3 “O’Hara moves toward modes of hybridization and proliferation that are diametrically opposed to the narrowing lexical range Greenberg and Fried imagined as the cure to a threatened art criticism of the 1950s and the 1960s” (p. 171).  Shaw illustrates his point with a  a section  of O’Hara’s poem “Second Avenue” that explicitly addresses DeKooning:

The silence that lasted for a quarter century. All
the babies were born blue. They called him “Al” and “Horseballs”
in kindergarten, he had an autocratic straw face like a dark
in a DeKooing where the torrent has subsided at the very center
classism, it can be many whirlpools in a gun battle
or each individual pang in the “last mile” of electrodes, so
totally unlike xmas tree ornaments that you wonder, uhmmm?
            what the bourgeoisie is thinking of. Trench coat. Broken strap.

O’Hara practiced a complicit4 and promiscuous criticism that stands in stark contrast to the ideologies of formalist criticism of his time and the October-tinged orthodoxicalities of the 1970s and 1980s.  As Shaw puts it, “O’Hara’s painting poems present … a special kind of interdisciplinarity, or what Michael Fried would call ‘theatricality’ … They … initiate almost infinite substitutions among discourses in their rapid, line-to-line attempt to imagine contexts for painting. It is for that reason that they seem, and are, antiprofessional” (p. 179; italics added).

Both formalist and the later October-branded criticism and its many knock-offs preached views of meaning that, while at odds with one another, were sufficiently proscriptive as to void the full range of aesthetic approaches in the art championed and to simply dismiss (as “pernicious,” as Fried called “Dada”5) work that contested the limits of received ideas of meaning-making. This criticism operated not by “negating” or deconstructing meaning (the empty encomium of the High Orthodoxical Art) but by articulating newly emerging constructions of meaning-as-constellations (a poetics of affiliation, association, combine, conglomeration, collage, and coterie). In effect, both formalist and High Orthodoxical criticism see theatrical or allegorical methods, respectively, as emptying meaning. But while the former decries the putative demise of opticality and the latter valorizes it, neither has a sufficiently pliable approach to engage with the new semantic embodiments of the “frail / instant,” as O’Hara’s puts it in his poem “For Bob Rauschenberg.”6 O’Hara’s “frail / instant” could be called the weak absorption of coterie, which, like the “unevenness” of everyday life is both discontinuous and fluid, self-aware and constructive, “semantically various and unstable,” atomized and chaining.7  O’Hara – in his reviled poeticizing – was able to articulate a poetics of adjacency, of queer juxtapositions, to which his critical others remained blind.

Thomas McEvilley makes the point very succinctly in his 1982 essay “Head It’s Form, Tales It’s Not Content,” prefacing his remarks with a quote from O’Hara’s “Having a Coke with You” –
and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them …

Here’s McEvilley:
In the attempt to free art from the plane of content, the formalist tradition denied that elements of the artwork may refer outside the work toward the embracing world. Rather, the elements are to be understood as referring to one another inside the work, in an interior and self-subsistent esthetic code. The claim is imprecisely and incompletely made, however, because the formalists take much too narrow a view of what can constitute “content.” Greenberg, for example, often uses the term “non-representational” to describe “pure” artworks – those purified of the world. But as he uses it, the term seems to rule out only clear representations of physical objects such as chairs, bowls of fruit, or naked figures lying on couches. Similarly, Fried, assumed that only “recognizable objects, persons and places” can provide the content of a painting. But art that is non-representational in this sense may still be representational in others. It may be bound to the surrounding world by its reflection of structures of thought, political tensions, psychological attitudes, and so forth. 8

As Shaw acidly notes, to cast “the poetic” as the last bastion of private insights, or indeed “as a kind of metaphysics of content, of pure meaning,” requires a concerted effort to ignore the formally radical poetries outside the domain of Official Verse Culture and especially those poetries that explore collage, collision, disjunction, overlay, and contradiction.  Mispresented “as such it is no wonder that the poetic has had a long list of detractors – stretching from Greenberg and Fried to Benjamin Buchloh and James Meyer” (p. 220). Indeed, “they”–  both the prophets of a sublime late modernism and the apostates who argued for dystopian postmodernism –  “were all cheated of some marvelous experience / which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it,” as O’Hara wryly puts it in the final lines of “Having a Coke with You.”9 O’Hara is not, not nearly, the better critic, and Shaw shows his allegiances as being more to the in between than to any one of his shifting positions – curator, poet, critic, lover, social magnet, arts administrator. But more than “they” he recognized that “form is never more than an extension of content.”10  

This is certainly not to say that the normative, descriptive, fashion- and market-driven modes of art criticism are to be preferred, whether written by poets or not. The problem is not that art criticism is too conceptually complex but, on the contrary, that – – even at its putatively most theoretical – its poetics and aesthetics are too often willfully stunted, marked by a valorized incapacity to respond to how meaning is realized through multiple, incommensurable, or overlaid discourses – kinship, in Shaw’s terms – within a single work. Meaning is not an end but a between.11  

The significance of O’Hara (or McEvilley or Shaw) is not that they are poets who do criticism, which is also true of Fried, but their polymorphous dexterity of their writing; their aversion of simple description (of visual appearance or of ideas) in pursuit of phenomenological unevenness (in Shaw’s terms) or complexity found in the visual art work they address. This is the legacy of Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Apollinaire, and Stein, not the “belle lettristic” approach that is often, and banally, contrasted with orthodoxical criticism.

Shaw’s approach provides a useful historical context for such projects as M/E/A/N/I/N/G.12 In doing so, it helps to explain not only the aversion of radical poetics and poetry in formalist and October-flavored criticism of the 60s to 80s, but also the fear of the taint of poetry by even such apparently poetry-related artists as Lawrence Weiner (who declines to have his work exhibited in poetry-related contexts). Consider, for example, that Meyer, in his introduction to a recent collection of the poetry of Carl Andre, never mentions the word “poetry.”13 The lesson is that linguistic works of Weiner or Andre (Vito Acconci or Jenny Holzer) can only be deemed significant as art if they are purged of any connection to (radically impure, content-concatenating) poetry and poetics.
As Dominique Fourcade noted at the Poetry Plastique symposium, poetry literarily devalues visual art (we were talking about how Philip Guston’s collaborations with Clark Coolidge had a lower economic value than comparable works without words).14 But perhaps this devaluation provides a necessary route for removing visual art from any Aesthetic System that mocks both aesthesis and social aspiration.

Reading Shaw’s study of the 50s and 60s, underscores, once again, how, indeed, pernicious is the cliché that poetry is fifty years behind visual art. On the contrary, art criticism, insofar as it succumbs to a paranoiac fear of theatricality that induces frame-lock, lags behind poetry at its peril. Meanwhile, the visual and verbal arts remain complicit with one another 50 years ago and today.


1. Iowa City: The University of Iowa Press,  2006 [back]

2. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006[back]

3. See Roberth Smithson, The Collected Writings¸ed. Jack Flam, Berkeley (University of California Press, 1996). One of Smithson’s signature work for poetics, and by extension criticism, is his 1967 “LANGUAGE TO BE LOOKED AT AND/OR THINGS TO READ”: “Simple statements are often based on language fears, and sometimes result in dogma and non-sense. … The mania for literalness relates to the breakdown in the rational belief in reality. Books entomb words in a synthetic rigor mortis, perhaps that is why ‘print’ is thought to have entered obsolescence. The mind of this death, however, is unrelentingly awake. … My sense of language is that  is is matter and not ideas—i.e., printed matter” (p. 61).[back]

4. See Johanna Drucker, Sweet Dreams: Contemporary Art and Complicity (Chicago: University  of Chicago Press, 2005).[back]

5. Shaw, p. 204, quoting Fried’s 1965 “Three American Painters,” from Art and Objecthood (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998) (p. 259).  Fried’s object of scorn is the neo-Dada of Rauschenberg and Cage. [back]

6. Quoted by Shaw on p. 200, from O’Hara’s Collected Poems, p. 322.[back]

7. “Unevenness” is Shaw’s word to describe the mixed textures (both surfaces and fields of reference) in O’Hara’s poem (p. 202). “Semantically various and unstable” is Shaw’s term for a work by Robert Rauchenberg (p. 207).[back]

8. McEvilley’s essay was originally published in Artforum, November, 1982. It was collected in his Art & Discontent: Theory at the Millennium (Kingston, NY: Documentext/McPherson & Co., 1991); the passage is from p. 29 and the Fried citation is from “Three American Painters” (see note 2).  [back]

9. “Having a Coke with You,” in The Collected Poems of Frank O’Hara (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), p. 360.[back]

10. Robert Creeley quoted by Charles Olson in his 1950 essay “Projective Verse,” in his Collected Prose, ed. Ben Friedlander (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1997), p. 240. [back]

11. “The poem is at last between two persons instead of two pages,” as O’Hara puts it in his 1959 essay “Personism: A Manifesto” in Collected Poems, p. 498. [back]

12. M/E/A/N/I/N/G focused on artists’ writing about the visual arts, with an emaphsis on considerations of both feminism and painting, and included many essays by poets.Edited by Susan Bee and Mira Schor, it published twenty issues from 1986 to 1996 and continues to publish, intermittently, on-line. See  This essay continues my reflections in “For M/E/A/N/I/N/G,” also included in this collection, which was published in the first issue of the magazine, December, 1986.[back]

13. Carl Andre, Cuts: Texts 1959-2004, edited by James Meyer (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2005).[back]

14. Several collaborations by Coolidge and Guston were shown at the Poetry Plastique show, which I curated with Jay Sanders, at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in 2001. See[back]

15. Johanna Drucker addresses some of these issues in “Art Theory Now: from Aesthetics to Aesthesis,” a lecture given at the School of Visual Arts, New York, on  December 11, 2007. [back]

link    |  05-11-09

Cambridge University
Tom Raworth photos
slide show


May 7/8 2009.
Maggie O'Sullivan, Peter Middleton, Alan Fisher, Redell Olsen, Romana Huk, Emily Critchley, Drew Milne (intro to my reading), & finally Tom by Sam Ladkin.
In stream:
David Nowell-Smith, Ian Patterson, David Ayers, Keith Jebb, Sam Ladkin, Rod Mengham, Kevin Doran, Simon Curtis, Robin Kirkpatrick, some shots of me too, &&

link    |  05-10-09

Robin Blaser
May 18, 1925 – May 7, 2009

Robin died this morning.

Blaser on PennSound
Blaser on EPC



I dwell in Possibility—
A fairer House than Prose—
— Dickinson

Robin Blaser’s poems are companions on a journey of life, a journey whose goal is not getting someplace else, but, rather, being where you are and who you are –  where you is always in the plural.

In the plural might be a good motto for Blaser’s courageous and anti-declamatory poetics, his profound continuation, deep into the darkening heart of contemporary North American poetry, of Emily Dickinson’s core value: “I’m nobody … Are you nobody too?” For Blaser, it is not only nobody but also no mind, or “no” mind, for this is a poetics of negation that dwells in pleats and upon folds. Pleating and folding being Blaser’s latter day, Deleuzian, manner of extending his lifelong project of seriality.

One poem must follow instanter on the next, a next always out of reach until in hand, in mouth, in ear.

Blaser celebrated his 80 birthday on May 14, 2005, just as this book was going into final production.

The present edition, an expanded version of the 1993 coach house press publication of the same name – Blaser's first collected poems – features a number of poems from the last decade and also includes several significant works not included in the Coach House publication. Most significantly, Blaser has added a recent long poem for Dante to his Great Companion series. This astounding work provides a bridge between Blaser’s poems and critical writings, marking a direct point of contact to the University of California’s companion volume of Blaser’s collected essays.

Blaser’s work constitutes a fundamental part of the fabric of the North American poetry and poetics of “interrogation,” to use his term. Compared to his most immediate contemporaries, Blaser has pursued a different, distinctly refractory, willfully diffuse, course that has led him to be circumspect about publication.  As a result, it was almost 40 years from his first poems to the time when The Holy Forest began to emerge as one of the key poetic works of the present. Indeed, Blaser’s lyric collage (what he calls “the art of combinations” in a poem of that title, alluding to Leibnitz) seems today to be remarkably fresh, even while his engagement with (I don’t say commitment to) turbulence and turbulent thought seems ever more pressingly exemplary. Blaser’s work seems to me more a part of the future of poetry than the past.

Blaser’s poems and essays insist on the necessity of thinking through analogy and resemblance – that is, thinking serially so as to move beyond the epistemological limits of positivism and self-expression. At the same time, Blaser has committed his work to everywhere affirming the value of human diversity, understood not only as sexual or ethnic difference, but also as the possibility of thinking outside received categories. There are some remarkably powerful and explicit political poems in the volume, notably “Even on Sunday.”  But the most radical politics of this work goes beyond any one poem: it is inscribed in the work’s compositional practice. Even as Blaser questions the stable, lyric, expressive “I,” he never abandons the possibility of poetic agency, through his generative recognition of language as social, as the “outside.”

Blaser’s “Great Companions” have now gone into the world of an ever-present no-longer-of-this-life: Jack Spicer, Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley, Charles Olson, of his immediate company; Dante, Nerval, Merleau-Ponty, Deleuze of his Imaginary. The poems of the Holy Forest are points on a map of a cosmos that does not exist in historical terms, that cannot exist, yet that must exist, if we are to make it to a Century 22 that is more than the name of a clothing store. The points form a constellation that we are not quite ready to apprehend but through which we are already formed. We grope and we stumble, but then, out of the blue or black or ultra suede, something unexpected happens: we are ensnared by the encounter.

Form finds us. Form founds us.

Blaser’s Holy Forestis a blaze of allusion without symbols, quotation without appointment. In the forest of language, every tree is a poem, every leaf a word. The poet sings the songs of night, jumping, from branch to branch, to a syncopated beat; never, ever, finding home. “To wit – to woo – to wound – ,” Blaser writes in “Oh!,”  one of his late, short, I want to call them anti-lyrics.

Citation, citation everywhere: the utter prism of his care.

No other moment exists but this one.

This one.

This one.

The Holy Forest is wholly secular, for only the secular allows the promise of an end to what Blake knew as the Totalizing Oppression of Morality. (“We have paid far too much in terror,” Blaser writes in a note to his Dante poem, “for our totalities.”) Each line of The Holy Forest is a glimpse into the unknown, each poem a new way of entering the holiness of the everyday. The frames are restless: no conclusion nor solution, the only resolution the necessity to go on. “We enter a territory without totalities where poetic practice is our stake and necessity.”

“This World is not conclusion / A sequel stands beyond,” writes Dickinson.

Neither is the poem the end of the poem, nor is the idea of the poem its origin.

The poem is the possibility of possibility.

In his exquisite articulations of the flowers of associational thinking, Blaser has turned knowledge into nowledge, the “wild logos” of the cosmic companionship of the real.

In Res Robin, Nibor Resalb
Inscripsit Mentastrum (XXC)

Matter over mind or anyway
mattering, muttering, sponge
warp, cup, meld, then again
clutched, shred, shrift. Blister
origins (orangutans) in souped-
up monkey-wrench. Prattling
till the itch in pines becomes
gash (sash) in the pluriverses
of weft & muck (wept). Pleat
as you may, fellow traversers
on the rippled road to hear &
however, ne’er so near.

 Charles Bernstein
New  York
October 2, 2005

afterword to

The Holy Forest: Collected Poems of Robin Blaser
Revised and Expanded Edition
Edited by Miriam Nichols
University of California Press 2006


photo ©2006 Mark Goldstein

link    |  05-07-09


photo ©2004 Emma Bee Bernstein

Ellen Kennedy Michel
 Belladonna Elders Series #4
 Tribute to Emma Bee Bernstein
  also featuring
 Susan Bee, Marjorie Perloff,
 and Nona Willis Aronowitz
 Belladonna Books ($15)

In the new issue of Rain Taxi on-line

Belladonna Books information.

link    |  05-05-09

New at PEPC Library

Antlers in the Treetops
full text, 132 pppdf (11mb)
lower res pdf files, about 1mb each:
part one, part two, part three

Ron Padgett and Tom Veitch

Coach House Press, 1970 (rpt. 1973)
PEPC Edition 2009

cover: George Schneeman

PEPC Digitial Edition ©2009 Ron Padgett and Tom Veitch

A Note on Antlers in the Treetops

Tom Veitch and I wrote Antlers in the Treetops in the late 1960s. We had already written short stories and a science fiction novel together, taking turns at the same typewriter, but Antlers was something of a departure.

As far back as 1963 Tom and I had been experimenting with artistic appropriation (as it’s now called), inspired by our discovery of Duchamps’ found objects, Schwitters’ collages, Tzara’s cut-ups of newspaper articles, Burroughs’ more developed cut-ups, and the cento. We did not think of our plagiarism as nefarious, though it did seem a bit subversive; in one case I took a poem by Stephen Crane and changed a single word in it.

In writing Antlers we followed a procedure: each of us collected paragraphs that we happened to find in our ordinary reading, snippets from fiction, nonfiction, journalism, letters, whatever. Choosing whatever struck our fancies, we made no distinctions between high and low literature. After one of us had “enough” of these, he mailed them to the other, whose job it was to select and arrange them in a sequence that seemed to make sense and to lightly revise them for continuity. Then this second person would mail that section to the first person, along with a batch of new found material for the first peson to work with to the continue what I will call the narrative (a forward motion not unlike that of de Chirico’s Hebdomeros). We went back and forth like this until we decided that the first draft was finished, then we both lightly revised the entire text.

The main thing I recall about writing Antlers is that it was a lot of fun to get manila envelopes full of paragraphs from Tom (who was in San Francisco) and that my head got amusingly bent out of shape every time I worked on it. Also, throughout the process (and to some degree subsequently) everything I read became heightened, a potential source of grist for our mill. (In fact we called our snippets “grist.”)

Then all we needed was a title—a found title, moreover. I think it was I who, remembering the childish jokes based on imaginary book titles (The Little Golden Stream by I. P. Freely, Under the Grandstand by Seymour Butts, the Tiger’s Revenge by Claude Balls, etc.), chose one of the lesser-known and certainly less clever ones, Antlers in the Treetops (by Who Goosed the Moose).

Not long afterward, Victor Coleman at Coach House Press generously offered to publish the novel. The first edition (1970) bore a black-and-white cover drawing by George Schneeman, taken from an illustration for a pulp fiction crime story. When this printing of 1,000 copies sold out, someone else at Coach House decided to reprint the book (with a different cover), but neglected to alert Tom and me, so the typographical errors of the first printing were perpetuated in the second. The new editor also failed to change the cover design credit on the copyright page, wrongly attributing the new art to Schneeman.

—Ron Padgett


link    |  04-30-09

Faculty of English
University of Cambridge

You are invited to The Judith E Wilson Poetry Lecture
by Charles Bernstein

a poetry reading / performance / talk, entitled
On Election Day (for Emma)
7 May 2009, 5.00 pm
Little Hall, Sigdwick Site, Sidgwick Avenue [UK]
Free entry. All welcome.


In conjunction with the lecture the following events will be taking
place in the Judith E Wilson Drama Studio, Faculty of English.
Free entry. All welcome.

Thursday 7 May 2009, 2 -4.00 pm.
The poetry of Charles Bernstein: talks and discussion
Allen Fisher, 'Readdressing Constructivism and Conceptual Art: aspects
of work factured by Charles Bernstein'.
David Nowell-Smith, 'Slurring the / unslurrable ; Satire and Subject in
"The Lives Of The Toll Takers"'.
Redell Olsen, 'Absorbing Dysraphism; strings attached: a reading of
Charles Bernstein'.

Friday 8 May, 2009
The Politics of Poetic Form: a symposium
Judith E Wilson Drama Studio, Faculty of English - 12.00 noon:
Drew Milne, 'The persistence of poetic forms: from  lyric to text'
Ian Patterson, 'Containers, pulses, lentil: Tel Quel, and Veronica  Forrest-Thomson'
Poetry readings / performances by Allen Fisher & Redell Olsen
2.00-4.00 pm:
Peter Middleton, 'Dynamical Analogies: Charles Olson's
poetics of energy'
David Ayers, 'Literature and Revolution: The Politics of the Politics of
Poetic Form.'
Charles Bernstein: Response: The Attack of the Difficult Poems
Poetry readings / performances by Maggie O'Sullivan & Tom Raworth

All events funded by the Judith E Wilson Fund:
Enquries to: Drew Milne <agm3 -- at -->


Also in the UK

Geof Huth
Friday May 1
Ron Silliman
Saturday, May 2, 7:30 PM
The Text Festival
The Met Arts Centre
Market St, Bury
Tuesday, May 5, 7:00 PM
Ron Silliman
Universty of London, Birkbeck, Room 101
30 Russell Square, London WC1
(reading & conversation)


Marjorie Perloff
at Oxford University
Weidenfeld Visiting Professor of European Comparative Literature

Unoriginal genius: constraint, concretism, citation

The lectures will be given in the Tsuzuki Lecture Theatre, except the first lecture (5 May), which will be given in the Mary Ogilvie Lecture Theatre.

Lecture 1 -- Tue. 5 May: 'Unoriginal genius and déjà dit: an introduction.'
Lecture 2 -- Thur. 7 May: 'Phantasmagorias of the marketplace: citational poetics in Benjamin's Arcades Project.'
Lecture 3 --Tue. 12 May: 'From avant-garde to digital: the legacy of Brazilian concrete poetry.'
Lecture 4 -- Thur. 14 May: 'Oulipian ideogrammatics: Charles Bernstein's Poem Including History.'
Lecture 5 --Tue. 19 May: ' "The rattle of statistical traffic": citation and found text in Susan Howe's The Midnight.'
Lecture 6 --Thur. 21 May: Language in Migration: The Translational Poetics of Caroline Bergvall and Yoko Tawada
Lecture 7 -- (time not yet schedule):  The Return of the Repressed:  Appropriation and the Individual Talent
    (Goldsmith, Dworkin, Baetens)

link    |  04-28-09

photo ©2007 by Emma Bee Bernstein

Eileen Myles on
Close Listening, March 24, 2009

Art International Radio

Program One: Reading: MP3
Program Two: Our conversation: MP3


link    |  04-24-09

Close Listening
my conversation with
Jean-Michel Rabaté

Rabaté explains what literary theory is, how he came to teach  it, and how he thinks of it as a kind of conceptual or performance art. He also discusses Duchamp and  Pound, the differences between U.S. and Frecnh intellectual culture, and how lies are not necessarily bullshit..

Rabaté has written about Samuel Beckett, Thomas Bernhard, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and Jacques Lacan. His recent books include The Cambridge Companion to Jacques Lacan. (2002) and The Future of Theory (Blackwell, 2002), William Anastasi’s Pataphysical SocietyHelene Cixous--On Cities, The cradle of modernism and The Ethic of the Lie.  He is a professor English and Comparative Literature at  the University  of Pennsylvania.


link    |  04-23-09

Ron Silliman Wins Pulizer Prize

by Mike Freakman

New York, April 21 (AHP2 News) – Ron Silliman’s The Alphabet is the winner of the 2009 Pulizer Prize for Poetry.

            The Pulizer jury wrote, “Regardless of one’s position on the various strains of American poetry, no one can doubt that this work is one of the most ambitious books of poetry published in our time. But not only that, the work affords great pleasure to the new reader of poetry as much as to the old hand.”

            This is Silliman’s second Pulizer. Tjanting won the Pulizer Prize for poetry in 1981.

            Darien Credenza, Executive Muckamuck of the Amalgamated Writing Programs, told AHP2 news, “This should establish once and for all that the prize system is working and there has not now, nor has there ever been, discrimination against any approach to poetry. We are all together in one big tent.” Credenza went on to blast “those who make divisions where there is unity,” adding that “Silliman’s work is of the highest quality: that’s all that counts.” He noted that Silliman would be a featured reader at the next Amalgamated annual convention.

            Web comments section were buzzing in reaction. “This just shows Silliman’s hypocrisy,” said Spent Ronson, on Nowhere.Com. “If his work had any integrity it would not have won this prize.”

link    |  04-21-09-xx

Miriam Atkin
reviews Susan Bee's A.I.R. show
Sputtering Regularity

Drowsy, uncertain memories form the substrate of Susan Bee’s luminous dream-dramas, where hellfire nightmares interrupt the amorous gestures of courtly paramours, and prim little girls shoot guns at fairies. She evokes the half-waking state when the body grasps for situation in the real world in order to leave behind the strange figures of night-time reverie.

An image from the title sequence of Hitchcock’s Vertigo haunts Bee’s work. In the film, a dark eye and a spiraling light initiate a web of ocular desire focused on the numinous beauty of the heroine. Eye of the Storm directs that watchful eye on the wispy Hollywood bombshell and the coy and corseted Victorian damsel, imagining the feminine in idealized forms clipped from dime-store paperbacks and antique postcard illustrations, all caught in a gaze that radiates insatiable fantasy.

In The Flood (2006), demure lovers clad in starched linen and crinoline stand perched on a tree amid turbulent waters, the calamity below bearing little effect on what looks like an otherwise placid Sunday picnic. A bikini-clad sex kitten is suspended in an action movie pose, lusty and unfazed while painted figures rendered in simple, flat, folk-art colors clamber up trees or flail in the rising waters. The appropriated images, as familiar cultural signifiers, embody in various forms the conceptual language of the status quo; the pervasive visual vocabulary to which we agree by acceptance or recognition. As clichés they have little to do with either the palpable and singular effect of the painted artwork—where the mottled and vigorous waves of color are no more and no less than the choppy deluge that they indicate—or the very real tragedy of human suffering which Bee invokes in referencing the September 11 attacks, the Asian Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. She renders the bleeding wounds of a broken nation as the turbid and undifferentiated stuff of lived experience, dotted with the images that give form to memory—lifeboats bobbing in the waves—or the historical signifiers that govern and organize the inner life.

The Eye of the Storm trains our gaze onto the very phenomenon of looking. And it is the blindness of unmediated experience that gropes in the rising waters for the images visible at the horizon promising salvation. What we see in her work is the impossibility of reconciliation, which we as viewers and distinctly constituted selves stand to reckon with.

Posted by Miriam Atkin
April 20, 2009
at Sputtering Regularity

link    |  04-21-09-X

Futurism and the New Manifesto program
Museum of Modern Art / New York
February 20, 2009.

On the one hundredth anniversary of the publication of the Founding and Manifesto of Futurism, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Joshua Mehigan, Alicia Stallings, and I read historical works, as well as our own contemporary manifestos, in the public space of the MoMA's Garden Lobby.
This program is a collaboration with Poetry magazine.

full audio program

program handout (pdf)

& here are my three performances:

F. T. Marinetti, "The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism" (1909)

Mina Loy, "Aphorisms on Futurism" (1914)

(& my own)
"Manifest Aversions, Conceptual Conundrums & Implausibly Deniable Links" (2008)


link    |  04-21-09

Thursday, April 23

David Antin
Charles Bernstein
Lynne Tillman

Writing in the Dark Series
curated by Jon Cotner & Andy Fitch
Amie and Tony James Gallery
CUNY Graduate Center
(365 Fifth Avenue, between 34th and 35th Streets)

link    |  04-19-09

Adeena Karasick's new video
"I Got a Crush on Osama"

is a parody of
"I Got a Crush on Obama"

from the Press Release --

Satire of Obama Girl Video Released on YouTube to Promote New book Amuse Bouche
“Today’s politics have reached such a completely absurd level, I felt compelled to comment,” said Adeena Karasick of her new video I Got a Crush on Osamareleased today on YouTube to help promote her new book from Talonbooks, Amuse Bouche: Tasty Treats for the Mouth. ... “When being tortured, it has always been recommended that the victim think of the torturer with their clothes off or in some humorous posture in order to get through the ordeal, and I think that is true of being alive today. We need some humour to get us through life amidst economic meltdowns, terrorist threat levels, multi-billion dollar frauds and the pervasive politics of fear. Why shouldn’t poking some gentle fun at Osama bin Laden be a part of that therapy?”

link    |  04-18-09

Close Listening
Wystan Curnow
Dominique Fourcade

Dominique Fourcade
Close Listening
Reading and Conversation, March 24, 2009
Art International Radio, operating at

Program 1
Fourcade reads from the first part of Tout Arrive, translated into English by Stacy Doris as Everything Happens (Post-Apollo Press); Bernstein reads from the translation in the second half of the show.

Program 2
Conversation with Charles Bernstein


also new on  PennSound
reading at SUNY Buffalo, November 15, 2000
complete reading (1:04:18):


Photo © 2006 Charles Bernstein/PennSound

Wystan Curnow

Close Listening Reading and Conversation with Charles Bernstein
April 7, 2009

Program One Reading (27:42)
Complete Show: MP3
1. On Volcanoes (8:05): MP3  text here
2. The Western (9:05):  MP3    text here
3. from "The Astronauts: An Autobiography" (8:14): MP3   text here

Program Two
Conversation with Charles Bernstein (28:30)


Thomas McEvilley
reads Sappho
fragments 1, 2, 16, 31, 94 and 96 (in English and Greek)
March 25, 2009
(note: texts of translation from this book will be posted shortly)
complete reading (13:20)

link    |  -4-17-09

This central work in the Guggenheim Museum’s “The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860–1989 (January 30–April 19, 2009) is hidden from the view of many museum goers on the staircase at the second floor. The unmarked and anonymous piece epitomizes the Eastern influences on postwar American art. The curators have placed the work out of the main current of museum traffic as a sly way of suggesting how Oriental art emphasizes indirectness, hiddenness, and avoids the direct confrontation of spectacle typically found in Western art. Deeply imbued with an Emersonian aestheticism, the work suggests a transcendence of the figure and ground relation through its subtle, sometimes translucent composition as well as its palette of grey and white. Perhaps the door on the lower left suggests an Eastern opening of the perceptual field. The whole work exudes a spirit of meditative openness to the space outside it. The influence of Chinese calligraphy is apparent – both in the vertical columns (the heavier white lines creating the impression of two scrolls) and the fluidity of the brush strokes. At the same time, the work – an unfinished wall with plaster – marks the breakdown of art and everyday life as written about by John Cage, who was influenced by the lectures  of D.T. Suzuki in the early 1950s. The artist’s anonymity marks a Zen-like remove from the ego of the Western artist. We can only assume that this anonymous artist experienced a direct exposure to the Orient, perhaps by visiting, at an early age, a restaurant (perhaps undergoing renovation) in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

link    |  04-09-09

Portraits Series 5
(corrected link)

Bob's Theory of the (Aging) Avant-Garde

Go to blog to see this player.

Bob Perelman
It was the first week of classes at Penn and Bob stopped by my office for a drink. I asked how his liked his new neighborhood in Manhattan, where he and Francie have a apartment.
September 6, 2007
(mp4, 44 seconds, 32.8 mb)

Portraits Series 5
Myung Mi Kim
Charles Alexander
P. Inman
Alan Davies
Phong Bui
Bob Perelamn

link    |  04-07-09

Poets & Writers
Interview with  Nick Piombino

I knew Alexi Parshchikov was involved with translating "Artifice of Absoprtion" into Russian
but I only now learned that it was pubished —
"Artifice of Absorption"
tr. into Russian by Patrick Henry, Alexei Parshchikov and Mark Shatunovsky,
in Contemporary Poetry (Sovremennaia Poeziia);
issue 2 (1 June 2007) and issue 3 (1 September 2007)::
intro, part one, part two

Mike Hennessey
features my Friday radio show appearance with Joe Milford
on today's PennSound Daily
(linked now to my radio page at PennSoiund)

link    |  04-05-09-x

Jacques Roubaud at the French Consulate yesterday
just before the final event of the OuLiPo festival in NY
organized with great verve by Jean-Jacques Poucell

Roubaud gave a reading on Thursday, at Idlewild books in Manhattan, from Jeff Fort's new translation,
The Loop (from Dalkey Acrhive). Roubaud read entirely in English and answered many questions after the reading with his characteristic mix of charm, eccentricity, brilliance, and maximum connection to poesis. He noted, wryly, that people have often written to him to correct facts in the prose series (of which The Loop is the second published in English, after The Great Fire of London). But, Roubaud noted, these works were about memory not facts and that he never used external sources as a check against his memory. (I'd say Idlewild book was on 19th street just West of Fifth, give or take a block or two.) (I may use this approach to explain my frequent spelling errors, but then again I have.) Later, Roubaud insisted he had no theory of history, or of memory (maybe he said memory too at least that's what I recall), but on questioning from a very distinguished voice in the crowd (I was sitting all the way back, the reading was packed by t he time I arrived just minutes past the appointed hour), Roubaud noted that of course, as younger man, he already accepted that the absence of a theory is also a theory. But then he added that this was not of interest to him now — and that indeed he had no theory of history (or maybe memory either), only a writing practice (well he said something along those lines). Roubaud's English reading was fine, but he complained that he was no longer was able to read with an adequate English intonation. I suspect that's because he was reading Fort's translation; as he continued to speak during the question period, his intonation seemed pretty good to me. I wouldn't mind having an English intonation as good as Jacques Roubaud.

photo: ©Charles Bersntein 2009
link    |  04-05-09

Alyosha (Alexi) Parshchikov
March 25, 1954 - April 3, 2009

Word just in from Eugene Ostashevsky,  who also sent this photo, from Eugene's wedding last year.

Probably best know in the U.S. for
Blue Vitriol

tr. Michael Palmer, Michael Molnar, and John High
introduction by Marjorie Perloff
Avec Books, 1994.

link    |  04-04-09


Akilah Oliver
A Toast in the House of Friends
Minneapolis: Coffee House, 2009
The ceremony of sorrow is performed with a measured, defiant acknowledgement that makes words charms, talismans of the fallen world. This poetry is a holding space, a folded grace, in which objects held most dear disappear to be reborn as radiant moments of memory’s forgiving home.

Robert Fitterman
Rob the Plagiarist
Roof, 2009
I had a suspicion about this work. I mistrust all frank and simple poetry. This book makes me feel like my trust was wasted. I finally had somebody verify the story. I thought it was accidental. I lost the disgusted feeling and was happy. This book makes me feel like I end up with nothing, but somehow it makes me feel better. I rather liked it. The soft, brushed covering is removable and easy to clean. Adjustable strap holds poems in desired position. New bolder and larger print is easier to see and read. Casing made of 50% post-consumer content. PMA certified nontoxic.. Featuring an outstanding one-of-a-kind circle design, this eye-catching creation is certain to become a topic of conversation.

Alicia Cohen
Debts and Obligations
O Books, 2009

The promise of ecopoetics echoes here, strewn with hope, at the edge of a wild continent. The poet sings to stave off regret. Alicia Cohen’s Debts and Obligations is a linguistically sentient excursion into the woven core of animalady.

link    |  04-02-09

Ronald Feldman Gallery (NYC)

stretching the alphabet beyond recognition
or into new recognitions
*a beautiful show*

link    |  03-30-09

Sally Silvers
Yessified! (March 29 is last night)
text and a sound design by Bruce Andrews
original music by Michael Schumacher.

New York Times review
Times feature article
link    |  03-29-09-x


Art Walk
art that walks the walk, talks the talk

Mira Schor
Momenta Art (Brooklyn)
(closes April 20)
(view image for wider view)
(review at NewsGrist includes comment on this work)

Night Driver



Simon Evans
at James Cohan (NY)
through April 4


Martin Kippenberger
closes May 11, 2009
With the exception of the two "Martin, ab in die Ecke und schäm dich" figures, the installations, conceptual works, and sculptures are a distraction from
the astounding paintings.

Self Portrait, oil on canvas, 200 x 240 cm, 1988


Richard Tuttle
PaceWildenstein (NY) (closes April 25)
my slant view of one of Tuttle's new works


link    |  03-29-09

Reading Pierre Joris's Nomadics blog this morning
was reminded to post this announcemnent:

Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery New York
(Between Houston and Bleecker)
A launch and reading for
Poems for the Millennium, volume 3
The University of California Book of Romantic and Postromantic Poetry,
edited by Jerome Rothenberg and Jeffrey C. Robinson<

"Like its two twentieth-century predecessors, Poems for the Millennium, volumes 1 and 2, this gathering sets forth a globally decentered approach to the poetry of the preceding century from an experimental and visionary perspective."

Joining Rothenberg and Robinson in the reading and performance are
Charles Bernstein, Bob Holman, Pierre Joris, Cecilia Vicuna, and Anne Waldman.

Here's what I plan to read :
Old Man of Whitehave / Edward Lear
Be Drunken / Charles Baudelaire  (my new translation)
from Respondez / Walt Whitman
& three for Emma:
Der Tod, das ist die kühle Nacht / Heine (my translation from Shadowtme)
The Ballad of Burdens / Swinburne (last two stanzas and envoi)
The Sick Rose / Blake

link    |  03-28-09

Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry


Gylphi Limited is an academic publisher aiming to establish itself as a specialist in the arts and humanities of the twentieth century and beyond

The journal will centre on the poetic writings that have appeared in Britain and Ireland since the late 1950s under various categorizations: for example avant-garde, underground, linguistically innovative, second-wave Modernist, non-mainstream, the British Poetry Revival, the parallel tradition, formally innovative, neo-modernist and experimental, while also including the Cambridge School, the London School, concrete poetry, and performance writing. All of these terms have been variously adopted and contested by anthologies such as Children of Albion (1969), A Various Art (1987), The New British Poetry (1988), Floating Capital (1991), Conductors of Chaos (1996), Out of Everywhere (1996), Foil (2000), Anthology of British and Irish Poetry (2001) and Vanishing Points (2004).

In recent years there have been a number of academic conferences dedicated to 'innovative poetry' and its variants, including the Birkbeck conferences on poetics over the last 10 years, and several at the University of Plymouth including the successful Poetry and Public Language, which resulted in a volume of the same title (2007). The equivalent North American work is well-represented in academic work, but researchers on British and Irish poetry have no dedicated refereed journal, although a number of important books have been published lately, including Anthony Mellors's Late Modernist Poetry (2005), Robert Sheppard's The Poetry of Saying (2005), Ian Davidson's Ideas of Space in Contemporary Poetry (2006), Tony Lopez's Meaning Performance (2007) and John Wilkinson's The Lyric Touch (2007), as well as the expanding Salt Companion series, for which the two editors have edited a volume each. And, because one of the growing academic contexts for the development of debate about this contemporary writing is within creative writing teaching, learning and research, the journal is proposing to carry critical writing that derives from practice-led research and poetics. It is also proposing to occasionally consider questions of the pedagogy of teaching both the reading and writing of innovative poetry.

Editorial Board
Professor Peter Barry (University of Wales at Aberystwyth)
Dr Caroline Bergvall (University of Southampton)
Professor Charles Bernstein (University of Pennsylvania)
Dr Andrea Brady (Queen Mary College, University of London)
Dr Ian Davidson (University of Wales at Bangor)
Professor Alex Davis (University College Cork)
Professor Allen Fisher (Manchester Metropolitan University)
John Hall (formerly of Dartington College of the Arts)
Professor Robert Hampson (Royal Bedford and Holloway College, University of London)
Professor Romana Huk (University of Notre Dame)
Elizabeth James (Victoria and Albert Museum)
Professor Tony Lopez (University of Plymouth)
Dr Anthony Mellors (Birmingham City University)
Professor Peter Middleton (University of Southampton)
Dr Ian Patterson (Queens' College, University of Cambridge)
Professor Emerita Marjorie Perloff (Stanford University)
Professor William Rowe (Birkbeck College, University of London)
Professor Keith Tuma (Miami University, Ohio)
Professor Tim Woods (University of Wales at Aberystwyth)

Book Review Editor
Piers Hugill (University of Southampton)

link    |  03-27-09

Ron Silliman on
Emma's Belladonna book

Ron writes about this photo by Emma of Marjorie Perloff
from the book

© Emma Bee Bernstein, October 2007

& he posts this picture:

Emma with Lyn Hejinian, Ron, Susan Bee, Bruce Andrews, & Susan Howe.
I took this in 1988 when we were all together in Tarascon,  France
for a poetry festival.

also from the Belladonna book
a picture I took of Emma and Susan
in June 2007 at her senior Thesis show at the University of Chicago

more on the Belladonna book


link    |  03-23-09

Hank Lazer on Close Listening

Close Listening
March 18, 2009
with Charles Bernstein on Art International  Radio (
taped at the Kelly Writers House, University of Pennsylvania

Program One:
Full Reading: MP3 (27:38)
1. From Lyric & Spirit, p. 324 – on poetry and entering a space …
From Portions
2. Portal
3. Fluorescence
4. Surge
5. Robert Duncan
6. Container
7. Horizon
8. Sense
9. Location
10. Figure (for Louis Zukofsky)
11. Thud
12. Shem
13. Adjust
14. Breath (for Norman Fischer)
15. Way
16. From Lyric & Spirit, p. 302-303 – on Jabès, Derrida, a-theism, and a relation to the divine
17. From The New Spirit: Leaning Toward (the final poem)
18. Brief intro to The Notebooks (of Being & Time:
19. The funnel poem  (“you/ mean like/ this …”  2/3/07 – Notebook II, p. 29) – 2 voice piece, with Charles Bernstein
20. “we pray to pray/ to be able to” (1/7/07 – Notebook II, p. 21)
21. “hacking kaballah” (6/13/07-6/14/07 – Notebook IV, pages 21-24)

Program two
Conversation with Charles Bernstein: MP3 (27:20)

Lazer talks about the confluences of his identities; about Southen poetry; about the poetics of jazz and transition; about the forms of his work; about the purported conflict between creativity and critical thinking; and about his poem “Figure.”

Photo ©2008 Bernstein/PennSound
link    |  03-20-09

Doug Lang
posted this on Facebook

from right: Doug Lang, Douglas Messerli, Charles Bernstein, Howard Fox, unknown
after Folio Books reading, DC in 1977

link    |  03-19-09

Will Alexander

Rae Armantrout Introduction
The 92nd Street Y  / March 12, 2009

I first met Rae Armantrout in 1977 in San Francisco, or maybe 1975, or  maybe it was San Diego or New York. It must have been somewhere. I really can’t be sure. I know I know her and met her. But my recollection is no match for my desire to extemporize and I’ve learned not to trust anyone who does that.

            Well, I do remember that in 1977, Bruce Andrews and I wanted to have an essay on gender issues in the first issue of the magazine we were planning. Thinking of Rae as a primary practitioner of the work that was our magazine’s subject, I asked Rae, I thought ironically, “Why Don’t Women Do Language-Centered Writing?,” which became the title of her influential essay. Thirty years later I think it would have been better to ask the less ironic question, “Why Don’t Men Do Language-Centered Writing?”  This has been one of the main issues I have tried to tackle in my work and is central to the collection of essays I am working on now, to be called The Attack of the Difficult Poems.

            Which reminds me … As we speak now, the audience for Richard Foreman’s Astronome at the Ontolgical Hysteric Theater at St. Mark’s Church is being given ear plugs in case John Zorn’s music is too loud. I want to suggest to you at the outset that for those who find severe dislocation disturbing, please put on your blindfolds immediately following this introduction. For those comfortable with the dissonance of contemporary poetry, the blindfolds won’t be necessary. But if you are unsure, I suggest you use the blindfolds as a prophylactic.

            Well perhaps I have jumped too fast to Armantout’s work. I first want to say something about Rae herself.

            Rae is frank, straightforward, even blunt in her honesty and directness. She always gives you a straight answer. Yet her work is wry, sly, and spry; indirect; slant, in an Emily Dickinson kind of way. You read a poem and you sort of get it, but then realize you didn’t, then re-read and are sure you didn’t. That’s when you got it, or it got you.

            Armantrout’s work is not surrealism, not realism, but para- or peri-realism: it is constructed of precisely articulated observations that seem to logically follow one another but that, like everyday life, don’t or better to say, don’t quite. Her rhythms are of dislocation and relocation. Armantrout’s signature is serial displacement: incommensurability torques from one iteration to another, like Marcel Marceau miming a mime miming. Such an approach can be used for many ends. Armantrout’s engagement is often social and cultural dysfunction, giving her work its dark undertones and muted overtones. In this way, she depicts the socio-cultural logic of late Capitalism; dark matter, indeed. So yeah, sure, please be sure to note: her work enacts, through its multifoliate insights, an ideological critique, as when you lose your balance but don’t fall; you realize something must be wrong but don’t know what. Preston Sturges said it best: if you can’t sleep at night, it’s not the coffee it’s the bunk.

            So, yes, Armantrout is one of the grand masters of our belovéd radical disjunction of the 1970s and 80s. If one were to chart the vectors of each of her lines, you would get a field of skewed angles. Her motto might be: One perception must lead tangentially to the next. But tangential is not arbitrary or disconnected. Tangential is the mark of contingency but also motivated relation. To follow associative and peripheral connections – non-rationalizable, nonexpository, non-narrative – offers a constantly reiterated possibility of new perceptions.

            Next to us is not the world we know so well, which we use to do our bidding, but the world that could be, the world we might make. I jump the line because I am so tired of waiting in it. I am not me if my little pigeon ignores me. And in not being me I become I, the maker of my perceptions, as the morning follows the night only once in a while, and even that is imaginary.

            A couple of years ago death came calling for Rae. She wouldn’t listen and just went about her business. That business is what we call poetry and you are about to see her do her business tonight. The state of the art is in for a thorough interrogation. Who’s minding the store? Where are the stairs? If I say it do I have to buy it? Are those words she is reading or are you just the kind of people that admire her sensibility?

            Join me in welcoming Rae Armantrout to the stage of this old house, this old city, this old art …


Armantrout on Close Listening
reading and in conversation

Photo: Bernstein/PennSound ©2007

link    |  03-17-09

Alan Loney

photo ©2009 Charles Bernstein/PennSound

Close Listening

Alan Loney is a poet and printer from New Zealand who currently lives in Australia. Loney had his first book of poems published in 1971 and began work as a printer in 1974. He was co-winner of the poetry prize in the New Zealand Book Awards in 1977, Literary Fellow at the University of Auckland in 1992, and Honorary Fellow of the Australian Centre at the University of Melbourne 2002-2006. Loney has published 11 books of poetry, and 8 books of prose. Some of his recent work has focused on the nature of the book. Fine editions of his work have been issued by Granary Books, The Janus Press, Barbarian Press, Red Dragonfly Press, Pear Tree Press and The Holloway Press.

Program One
Alan Loney Reading. Loney reads Rise and Day's Eye.

Program Two
Alan Loney in conversation with Charles Bernstein.
Loney talks about his journey from a bookless childhood to a life as a book maker and printer, about the influence of American poetry on his work, and about his place in New Zealand postwar poetry.

link    |  03-16-09-x

Magnificent installation of Paul Sharits's
four-projector "locational" film installation
Shutter Interface (1975)
plus drawings for the installation and a wide assortment of Sharits's works on paper>
through March 21
Greene Naftali Gallery (New York)
(lots of images in flash presentation)


Richard Foreman props, including this eyeball, now on sale
to benefit the Ontological Hysteric Theater.

link    |  03-16-09

PennSound stats:
PennSound users downloaded 4 million mp3 sound recordings and related media files in the past month.
At this point, we are projecting 50 million downloads for 2009.

link    |  03-15-09-x

Here is a video version of "War Stories" from the Brazillian collection of my poems translated by Régis Bonvicino (link is to bilingual version). The video is by "ciscozappa":

link    |  03-15-09

Felix Bernstein, 2008

Mildred Pierce

full set of Felix's films on Blip.TV


link    |  03-13-09

Richard Foreman’s and John Zorn’s Astronome: A Night at the Opera (an initiation)

is an exuberant romp through the noise of time, a carnivalesque phantasmagoria of Foreman’s repertoire of ghoulish masks and veils, alluring Hebrew inscriptions, dangling swords, and ideolectical repetitive motions. The allusion, in the subtitle, to the Marx Brothers’s masterpiece is not incidental; both use the frame of opera as a staging area for the madcap. Zorn’s music – played on recording – is Dada rock, in which every rock gesture, vocal and rhythmic, is overblown and warped in a delightfully reflective blend of dynamic range and dynamic derangement. Music and image don’t so much combine in a Wagnerian totality but rather spar, tango, and riff. Foreman has created a Gothic fun house (mind theater) that enacts an hallucinogenic imaginary hidden in the Kabbalistic folds of Zorn’s music. Foreman’s work has often suggested a supercharged, perpetually ritualizing and de-ritualizing dance theater – where the performers don’t so much dance as move in tightly choreographed expressionist patterns. The introduction of a musical score, overlaid with Foreman’s signature tape-voice placards, intensifies this sensation. The performers do not sing and hardly speak, so that the vocalizations are primarily overlaid in the Zorn music and in the tape-voice segments. The vocalization in Zorn’s music are slurred and exaggerated; words are not audible. Thus, Foreman’s aphoristic intrusions and lettristic décor are Astonome’s primary text. This is Foreman at his classic best. Henry Hills will be filming Astronome all week, for what promises to be the best documentation so far of Foreman’s work.

Atronome continues at the Ontological Hysteric Theater through April 5.
Foreman EPC page
Foreman PennSound page

& now out

Richard Foreman DVD from Tzadik: 
Sophia:The Cliffs/35+ Year Retrospective Compilation

link    |  03-12-09

Michael Davidson

photo: ©2009 Charles Bernstein/PennSound

Close Listening
Art International Radio, operating at
March 6, 2009

Program 1: Reading by Michael Davidson of selected poems: (26:31): MP3
from Prose of Fact:  Title, Summer Letters, Untitled
from The Landing of Rochambeau: The Dream Dream, The Landing of Rochambeau, Cloud
from Post Hoc: The Second City, Troth, Century of Hands, The Terror
from The Arcades: 2-12-91, 2-15-91, 2-28-91, Zombies, Translation
new & uncollected: Aninversary, Rebarbative, Bad Modernism: Intertices, Bad Modernism: The White City

Program 2: Michael Davidson in Conversation with Charles Bernstein (29:53): MP3
Davidson talks about his first textual experience, his engagement with the New American Poets (and especially Robert Duncan, Jack Spicer, and Robin Blaser), the poetics of disability, and his work in prose versus poetry.

link    |  03-11-09x

OULIPO New York April 2009

link    |  03-11-09

Onedit #12
includes my poem "Morality"
and lots of other good things ...
link    |  03-10-09-x

Rodrigo Toscano
MoMA Futurist Manifesto
at the Poetry Foundation


Art in America on the event


I will be reading with Adeena Karasick
on Saturday, March 14, at 4pm
Segue Series at the Bowery Poetry Club, New York
308 Bowery just north of Houston

link    |  03-10-09

Some images from this past weekend's Armory Show
at the west side piers in New York

Alice Neel's portrait of Adrienne Rich

Carolee Schneemann's "Parallel Axis" from 1973
A remarkable refusal to write the body out of geometric abstraction.
Also on view at the Schneemann show of 70's performance photos
at Carolina Nitsch Project Room in New York (closes March 28)


Rona Pondick — a stainless head among the steely branches

Running Tube -- an anonymous artist's large-scale tubing ran above the entire pier. Stunning.

Amy Sillman (detail)

Joe Brainard (detail)

Jess (detail) —I am certain  I shall never ...

Leon Ferrari (detail)

Bob Thompson

Felipe Jesus Consalvos

link    |  03-08-09

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Susan Bee's A.I.R. show
is reviewed by Craig Olson
in the March, 2009
Brooklyn Rail

... Bee seems to suggest there is no position, materially or spiritually, that we can use to understand the totality of our fate. There are only fragments and ruptured moments, glimpses of the absurd beauty of things as they come crashing down around us. In the chance associations she allows through her collaged surfaces, we’re prevented from ever reaching a final conclusion about any of this. Meaning and metaphor warp and fuse as they open into new understandings of once familiar territories. What is important, however, is the absence of morbidity or sensationalism in her treatment of these moods. Instead, she suggests that they are a part of life, perhaps more than we’d like to admit, or are even able to comprehend.

read the whole review here

link    |  03-07-09

The Rent Collectors
Ye Yushan and Sichuan Academy of Arts
Rent Collection Courtyard

link    |  03-05-09-xx

Mary Ann Caws
talks about the MoMA
Futurist Manifesto centennial
on the new Poetry Foundation podcast,
which includes some excerpts from my performances

link    |  03-05-09-x

link    |  03-05-09

(1975 audiotape work)
In 1974, City College’s History Department erupted into a bitter political dispute in which older faculty members Stanley Page, Edward Rosen and others accused their younger colleagues of disruptive leftist agitation. In this work, I perform the 1975 CUNY faculty senate report on the matter.
(This recording has not previsously been published. It is part of a collection of my audiotape works from the mid-70s that I am assembling for PennSound.)

link    |  03-03-09

Chris Funkhouser's pictures
from yesterday's tribute to Emma
(March 1, 2009)
and book launch for the new Belladonna collection
at A.I.R. Gallery.

Erica Kaufman and Rachel Levitsky
introducing the event

Lyn Hejinian with a Susan Bee painting. Lyn read a poem for Susan and Emma.

Felix sang "For All We Know"

Susan Bee
reading from her essay in the book.

link    |  03-02-09-x

From Dame Quickly
poetry & collage-works

Jennifer Scappettone

just out from Litmus Press (Brooklyn, 2009)

Quickly: it’s neither fish nor flesh, Falstaff nor Faust. "I became again, I learned to taste." Translation, collage, prose poem, lyric invention, periodic convolute, imploded syntax & discursive veers: Scappettone’s richly textured, multifoliate poetry is an intellectual and aesthetic extravaganza that defies genre in its commitment to structural process and social materiality.


PennSound on Twitter:


link    |  03-02-09

Photos: Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

I'll be going to the show next week, but meawhile my son Felix sent me his response.

Felix Bernstein on Richard Foreman / John Zorn
(now playing at the Ontological Hysteric Theater in New York)

Foreman shows the way we communicate with the world of symbols and theatricality through props and motions, the corny way we play with it, like magic, the way that we are a part of it, and it a part of us, the audience a part of the show, and the show a part of the audience. It breaks down the crucial implied dualisms of the theatre, and when the glimmers of reality creak through the stained glass, the glass does not shatter, it cracks, and the cracked glass, cracked by the morning sunlight, is only a further part of the experience. The consciousness that there is an audience, the phone is ringing, there is an awkward silence, is a piece of the surreal cake. It doesn’t ruin the experience to know that there are actors.  It was revelatory for me, it showed that the world around me was constantly an extension of this show, that in art one can easily communicate with these symbols, and that these symbols are magical, and they are so bogged down and recycled and filtered by our culture, but in their pure form they are so miraculous, so curative, so godly, so wonderful. It is charitable to share this, because it helps us all break free from the materiality of our existence; it helps us break free from certain bonds of reality that bore us to tears; that fill us with fears. The roles we inhabit are all make believe and real, there are cracks in the stained glass, that is what has bothered me recently, the oh-shit-it’s sobering, oh-shit it’s morning, oh-shit it’s anxiety, yet those cracks add to the whole, and are a part of the whole, they are not separate, they are not downtime and uptime, weekends and weekdays, one mustn’t make Sunday holier then the others days, we are in a constant orbit of days, and weeks, and months, and moments, and none is any better then the other, no experience any richer or any poorer. High art and low art are pals. I guess I’ve always found that in art but now, this has helped me to find it in my reality, that the world full of TV and come-downs and stresses and tests, is all part of the beauty. It mustn’t be chained away some place, it mustn’t be victimized, it mustn’t be labeled as diseased, it mustn’t be cured with a pill. It must be first embraced, as much as it embraces us. My friend asks why the show doesn’t please, doesn’t touch, give in or connect. Foreman’s is not a show for ‘crowd pleasing,’ there aren’t punch lines, [alas,] hanging strings later neatly tied, finales, climaxes, or endings. Foreman’s is not a show to create these fabricated resolves that appease what we so desperately crave. And why should he; why is this expected; why do we demand fabricated untruths, even in our surreal works, which eliminate the uncertainties and awkwardness. What if the climax went on so long that it was boring, and the big finale came first, and the beginning never came? Then we would have truth. My friend expects that the theater be a place of escape. From where to where? He is unsure. Illusions create the idea of an audience sitting in reality watching a show in the world of fantasy. But he doesn’t want his theater to be aware of the illusion, it makes him uncomfortable. He doesn’t wish to embrace what is artificial about the theater. Make-believe is fine if constrained to the box of the TV, where the awareness of the artifice is as slighted as possible, where the people don’t know they are inside the box, because if they realized where they were, inside that box, the audience member might have to face his own box, the one in which he too plays roles that are artificially constructed. The watcher might then have to accept that he is a part of the theater and a part of the TV; that there is no separate land from which imagery is born. TV Land does its best to imitate our supposed reality: the one where there is no artifice or acting. Surrealism is given a moment between commercials to come forth from this constructed vision of normal-waking life. However on Foreman’s stage surrealism is not born from realism. It starts with the surreal, the strange, the dreamy, and then reality creeps in. What my friend expects is for reality to be taken for granted, and for surrealism to be a reward and an escape. What Foreman gives is a world where surrealism is the foundation, and reality may show itself for what truly is: a harder pill to swallow. My friend complains: ‘It starts in the middle; it should have paved the way for the strange, made clearer its entrances, its beginnings and ends. This work would be perfectly fine if relegated to a 2-minute dream sequence in a Hitchcock film.’ But what if we embrace that all film, life and art is a dream sequence, and that anything else is an untruth. This is what Foreman does for me, and mid-dream I am awoken.

Felix Bernstein is a junior at Bard High School Early College.

New York Times review (Ben Brantley)



link    |  03-01-09

link    |  02-28-09-x

Alussa oli kääntäminen

Alussa oli kääntäminen
(In the Beginning Was Translation
, 258 pages, Savukeidas 2008)
is a collection of eighteen essays and other wrtitings by Leevi Lehto
from 2001-2007.
Nine of the texts were originally written in English,
and all but one of these appear now for the first time in Finnish.
Most of the essays are available online here in one or another language.
(For contents, see below.

Presentation at
Buy the book at (eur 14 + mailing costs)
Preface “Lukijalle”
Preface in English

Reviews of the book
Pertti Lassila:”Globaalin runouden puolesta” (Helsingin Sanomat)
Taneli Viljanen: “Eräs luomiskertomus ja muita väärinkäsityksiä” (Kiiltomato)
Jukka Laajarinne: “Avantgardistin keskeislyriikkaa” (blog entry)

Contents (with links to online versions):
Lukijalle (For the Reader)

I Tuonnin ja viennin kysymyksiä (Questions On Export and Import)
1. Varjot korvissamme – näkökohtia runouden suomentamisesta (on translating poetry, originally published in Kristiina Rikman (ed.): Suom.huom. WSOY 2005
2. Language-runous (on Language Poetry; orig. publication in Sakari Katajamäki and Harri Veivo (eds.): Kirjallisuuden avantgarde ja kokeellisuus. Gaudeamus 2007)
3. Yhä uudestaan ikävyyden ympär’
orig. written as Plurifying the Languages of the Trite, an essay for the seminar on “Poetry in Time of War and Banality”, Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil, April-June 2006. Available also:
- at the Sibila English website
- in Portuguese as “Plurificar as linguagens do trivial” in Sibila #10 and here
- in Norwegian as “For å mangfoldiggjøre traurighetens språk ” (trans. Paal Bjelke Andersen,
- in Dutch as “De taal van het banale herhalen” (trans. Ton van ‘t Hof, de Contrabaas)
- in Russian as “Множа Языки Заурядного” (trans. by Alexandr Skidan)

II ”Runoilijalla ei ole identiteettiä” (”The Poet Does Not Have an Identity”)
4. ”Runoilijalla ei ole identiteettiä” – John Keats ja taiteen katoavuus / pysyvyys (orig. in Tuula Hökkä (ed.) Romanttinen Moderni. SKS 2001
5. ”I Love Me. Volume I”  Palindromin tulo Suomen runouteen ja sen merkitys (orig. in Tuli&Savu 3/2002)
6. It’s Nothing! Ajatuksia Kenneth Goldsmithin tuotannosta,  painopisteenä The Weather (2005) (orig. as It’s Nothing! Reflexions on the work of Kenneth Goldsmith, with an emphasis on The Weather (2005))
7. “Ja kun me nyt ajattelemme eikä yksikään ajatus mene päähän asti” (Jyrki Pellisen Kuuskajaskarista) (orig. in English as Afterword to my English translation of Kuuskajaskari by Pellinen, ntamo 2007: “And as we now think and not a single thought goes as far up as the head”)
8. Kömpelöitä ajatuksia sulokkaasta kirjasta: Cia Rinteen zaroum (orig. as Awkward Thoughts On A Gracious Book. On Cia Rinne’s zaroum. Available in Paal Bjelke Andersen’s translation into Norwegian here)
9. Eeva-Liisa Manner ja kansainvälinen modernismi (orig. in Tuula Hökkä ja Jarkko Tontti: “Mistä meille metsä, niitty, lähde”. Kirjoituksia Eeva-Liisa Mannerista. ntamo 2008)
10. Charles Bernstein: Paitsi että (orig. Preface to Charles Bernstein: Runouden puolustus. Runoja ja esseitä kahdelta vuosituhannelta. Ed. Leevi Lehto, poEsia 2006; publ. in English in Foreign Literary Studies, a bimonthly edited and published by Central China Normal University, Wuhan, China, Vol. 29, No. 2 April 2007, as Against the Idea of Poetry)

III Puheita ja avauksia (Speeches And Initiatives)
11. Usein esitettyjä kysymyksiä (Päivä) (FAQ for my conceptual prose work, Päivä)
12. Runouden antologia? (Foreword to “En antologi av (mestadels) översättningar från (mestadels) finska till (mestadels) svenska”, in a special Finnish issue (suOmEI) of the Swedish poety magazine, OEI where it is available published both in orig. English and in Swedish translation by Jonas (J) Magnusson and Jesper Olson)
13. Vaikutteiden paradoksit:  provinsialismi versus maailmanrunouden mahdollisuus (The Paradoxes of Influence: Provincialism versus the Possibility of World Poetry. The Helsinki Poetics Conference, August 22, 2006. Blueprints for Comments in the introductory section of the Symposium on the book of essays, Runosta runoon)
14. Kirjailijoiden tekijänoikeuksista (A “Writer’s Comment” in the Literary Council of Finland’s Seminar, Helsinki, Oct. 30, 2006, English here)
15. Alussa oli kääntäminen (orig. In the Beginning Was Translation. Presented in the “Presidential Forum” of the Annual Congress of the Modern Language Association (MLA) in Philadelphia, USA, December 2006. To  be published, along with other contributions to the Forum, in Creg Dworkin and Marjorie Perloff: The Sound of Poetry / The Poetry of Sound, Chicago University Press (Chicago University Press, forthcoming).
16. Suomi pakkoruotsin ja barbaaritanskan välissä (orig. Finland mellan tvångssvenska och barbardanska, interview by Annelie Axén in the Nordic Magazine for literary criticism, Kritiker 5/2007, English: Finland Between Coersive Swedish and Barbaric Danish)
17. ”Mikään mikä alkuaan kiinnostaa yli seitsemää ihmistä ei voi koskaan muuttaa joukkojen tietoisuutta” (”Nothing That Is Initially Interesting To More Than Seven People Can Ever Change The Counciousness Of the Masses” (on publishing poetry, ntamo etc., 2007, also published in Susanne Christensen’s Danish in OEI 33/34 2007)
18. Epä-amerikkalaisessa puussa: L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E-runoudet ja niiden jälkivaikutus, esimerkkinä käännetty Charles Bernstein (orig. In the Un-American Tree; The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Poetries and Their Aftermath, with a Special Reference to Charles Bernstein Translated, keynote address in Conference on 20th Century American Poetry, Wuhan, China, July 2007)

link    |  02-29-09

Belladonna Celebrates

the Elders
with readings and events guest-hosted by some of our favorite writers who've invited writers who influence and inspire them

Jennifer Scappettone
Lyn Hejinian

Tuesday, March 3
(doors at 7PM)
@ Dixon Place
(161 Chrystie Street, New York)
Admission is $6 at the Door.


link    |  02-27-09

Charles North
Complete Lineups; art by Paula North
(Brooklyn: Hanging Loose Press, 2009).

as in baseball lineups, eg ....

Wittgenstein lf
Heidegger 2b
Aristotle 1b
Kant rf
Hegel cf
Hume ss
Sartre 3b
Plotinus c
Plato p

link    |  02-26-09xxx

Michael Davidson
Concerto for the Left Hand: Disability and the Defamiliar Body
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008)
Davison has written a foundational text for the poetics of disability. The collection includes essays on Eigner, ASL and “deaf performance,” as well as readings of film noirs in terms of the figures of disabled people in the works. Influenced by queer studies, and “freak”  studies (if I can use this term to discuss considerations of the monstrous in Todd Browning, Leslie Fiedler, Susan Stewart and  many others), Davidson opens many doors here. “Defamiliar” (with its reference to defamiliarization) suggests an affinity with a poetics of deformation, of the bent, irregular, & misshapen; and while this book is addressed (more than his others) to readers who are not primarily engaged with poetry, the implications for poetics are multifold. (And taken up in a very powerful way by Patrick Durgin, among others.) One of the best essays in the collection is the first and oldest – an exploration of Davidson’s own hemophilia in the context of AIDS, in which he reopens questions of genre (bloodline) and identity formation in the wake of the radical reconfigurations brought about by “blood culture.”

link    |  02-26-09xx

photo: © 2007 Bernstein/PennSound

Norman Fischer
Charlotte’s Way
(Tinfish, 2008)

Here’s the first stanza of this long poem:

Charlotte’s way: window, ocean, sky,
Hills with birds splayed across them scooping irregular in cluttered clots
Black against clouds, how I go by sideways limping, crashing into
Several people along my lurching wayward path -
I’d like to write like Lyn buttery sentences full of spice
But my life in the nineties ties me up, hurls me down, floats, conflates me with stars,
Stops up ears, soul, nose so words come only – merely, meekly –
Out this stuttering sputtering air clearing sneezery
So no one notices I’m here soaring invisible at the end of the line
I insisting it seems on repeating some show of definite self long ago administered
Small as dust motes flung up toward sauntering wind
Like medicine when I’m ill to revive my sense of consecutive parsimonious time
All I know about the world of things
I could muster in a moment in a teacup
See the steam rise up all the way to Japan
And beyond my limbs, length of my days
In the north the light also lengthens
These universal dorsal days : oh what an explosive breath it was
And then gone at last, pain so sure it crossed over
Into pleasure as cold in the extreme feels hot,
Life fades into death and vice versa at the scalloped edge of time -
I seem to share my life with others, to be in prose
A play about to begin though as yet only the sets are lit (no actors)
In discrete pools of flooding light the moments procure
It’s game time so put on your game face, be game or gamey
A human touch, so abstract, still there’s bills to pay, counters to scrub
A transfer of funds in the fun, people, you
Play people, symbol people, simple people
To roll this thought and experience into a ball flung high and wide
For others and elsewhere.  Who’s talking here?


Norman Fischer
Close Listening
WPS1 Reading and Conversation. January 5, 2006

Program One:
Interview with Charles Bernstein (27:40)
Program Two (Selected Poems)
Complete Program (26:30)

link    |  02-26-09

CFP: "ASAP 1: Arts of the present (10/22-25/2009)

A.S.A.P. Launch Conference: "ASAP 1: Arts of the Present"
Paper proposals will be accepted starting February 1, 2009.
October 22-25, 2009 / Knoxville, TN
NOTE: All Proposals should be should be submitted at the conference site. Click here to open this site in a new window.

A.S.A.P.'s launch conference "ASAP 1: Arts of the Present" will be held October 22-25, 2009 and hosted by the Department of English at the University of Tennessee. The conference will be held in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, at the cozy, award-winning Crowne Plaza Hotel, and will feature an opening night reception and plenary talk by Anton Vidokle at the Knoxville Museum of Art. Vidokle is an installation artist whose work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, Lyon Biennial, Dakar Biennale, Lodz Biennale, and the Tate Modern, London. Our second plenary speaker will be Sianne Ngai, Associate Professor of English at UCLA and the author of Ugly Feelings (Harvard University Press, 2005), which has generated energetic discussion in literary critical circles. Our keynote speaker is Ngugi wa Thiong'o. An internationally recognized writer from Kenya, Ngugi is the author of Weep Not, Child (1964), the first novel in English to be published by an East African. He is the author of ten novels, eight major books of postcolonial theory, a collection of short stories, three plays, three children's books, and numerous interviews, and his most recent novel, Wizard of the Crow, was published in 2004 to international acclaim.

"ASAP 1: Arts of the Present" challenges participants to address the society's founding questions: What are new or current directions in the contemporary arts? What do the contemporary arts have to teach us? How we can help to give the arts direction and a voice? Papers exploring the following questions are welcomed:

How does literary, visual, and/or performce art today recuperate, revise, revolt against, or rehearse the aesthetic aims and social interventions of art past?

  • What are the new developments in literature (or painting/sculpture, architecture, performance) today, culturally and formally? What shifts? What debates?
  • What are the aesthetic, ethical, and political commonalities shared by the literary, visual, and performing arts? What divides them?
  • In what ways do formal, cultural, or political concerns shape specific techniques and/or production of literature, painting, sculpture, theater, media art, performance art, dance, and/or music?
  • How should we understand or redefine historical periodization in relation to contemporary literature? visual art? drama? What is the relation of the contemporary arts to such movements as Romanticism, Modernism, Postmodernism, Altermodernism?
  • How should we understand the contemporary arts' relation to theory and criticism? to such perspectives offered by marxisms, postcolonial theory, poststructuralism, formalisms? What new theoretical perspectives and vocabularies are provoked by today's arts?
  • What new approaches are needed to address new intermedial arts? relational arts? remediating arts?
  • What works and artists in contemporary literature--or painting and sculpture, or media art, or drama, or music, or film--are forging new paths and opening new formal possibilities?
  • How do today's arts define beauty, creative practice, and art's place in the social world?
  • For the arts of the present, what is new, what is old, and what stands outside of the language of paradigms and post-ness?

While papers concerning individual artists and art works will be considered, program organizers will give priority to papers that articulate relations between the arts, deal with numerous texts or an author's oeuvre, or posit new theoretical perspectives for research. We are particularly interested in panels, roundtables, and seminars that include scholars from multiple arts disciplines.

We are accepting proposals at our conference site for four types of presentations: individual papers; panels; roundtables; and seminars. Panels, roundtables, or seminars comprised entirely of participants from a single department or a single institution are not likely to be accepted. Advanced graduate students are welcomed, but sessions comprised entirely of graduate students are unlikely to be accepted, and we suggest that all proposed sessions include established scholars and practitioners.
Deadline for all proposal submissions: 5 pm EST on April 1, 2009.

NOTE: All Proposals should be should be submitted at the conference site. Click here to open this site in a new window.
Contact: with subject line: "ASAP Query"


link    |  02-25-09


photo: © 2008 Bernstein/PennSound

Ron Silliman
on PennSound
The Alphabet Reading
at the Kelly Writers House
February 17, 2009

1. Introduction by Jessica Lowenthal (3:09): MP3
2. Statement by Rachel Blau DuPlessis (10:44): MP3
3. Introduction by Charles Bernstein (5:18): MP3
4. Introduction by Bob Perelman (4:12): MP3
5. The Alphabet Reading (52:10): MP3

Complete Recording (1:08:10): MP3

Watch a video recording of this event via KWH-TV


Mike Hennessey writes up the new stereo remasters
from Class
on PennSound Daily


link    |  02-24-09


link    |  02-23-09

Double Change
has just published two sets of DVDs
of their Paris poetry readings series:

Double Change 1 — Archive filmée de poésie — 2004-2005 (9 DVDs)
Double Change 2 — Archive filmée de poésie — 2005-2006 (9 DVDs)

Double Change 1 — Archive filmée de poésie — 2004-2005
9 films
Camera by Meryem Delagarde
Edited by Abigail Lang & Dominique Pasqualini

Charles Bernstein | Juliette Valéry
Jean-François Bory | Rosmarie Waldrop
Rae Armantrout | Philippe Beck
Cécile Mainardi | Joe Ross | Yannick Liron
Jacques Roubaud | Keith Waldrop
Norma Cole | Emmanuel Hocquard
Cole Swensen
Valérie Mréjen | Bill Berkson
Walt Whitman Hom(m)age 2005 | 1855

Bilingual readings (French/English)
January 2009
ISBN : 978-2-84066-299-0
EAN : 9782840662990, 45 €.

Double Change 2 — Archive filmée de poésie — 2005-2006

9 films
Camera: Meryem Delagarde
Edited by Abigail Lang & Dominique Pasqualini

Joseph Mouton | Robert Grenier
Oscarine Bosquet | Kristin Prevallet
Yves Di Manno | Jerome Rothenberg
Jerome Rothenberg
Isabelle Garron | Tracy Grinnell
Tom Raworth | Pierre Alferi
Pierre Fourny | Thalia Field
Bernard Heidsieck | Karen Mac Cormack | Steve Mccaffery
Kathleen Fraser | Ryoko Sekiguchi

Bilingual readings (French/English)
January 2009
ISBN : 978-2-84066-300-3, EAN : 9782840663003, 45 €.


link    |  02-22-09


Originally issued on cassette as part of Class (Widemouth, 1982) and subsequently digitized by Ubu, "Class" (1976) is now available in a remasterd stereo version (thanks to Danny Snelson), part of a remastering of several audio works fo 1975 and 1976 that will be made available soon.

"Class" uses improvised repetitions by way of the rewind button on a mono cassette player; its primary sources being Marlon Brando in Elia Kazan's "On the Waterfront" (1954), screenplay by Budd Schulberg; and two songs by Lew Brown and Jay Gorney from "Stand Up and Cheer" (1934): "Baby Take a Bow", sung by James Dunn, and "I'm Laughing", sung by Tess Gardella.

link    |  02-16-09

Here's the schedule for Friday's MoMA Futurism event
in collaboration with Poetry magazine
on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the publishing of the Futurist Manifesto
Museum of Modern Art
Friday, February 20, 2009

11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Modern Poets
Concerts, Readings & Performances
Futurism and the New Manifesto
The Agnes Gund Garden Lobby, first floor

link    |  02-15-09

Dirt On Delight:
Impulses That Form Clay ICA at the University of Pennsylvania
January 16 - June 21, 2009

link    |  002-13-09

Tribute to Emma Bee Bernstein
and book release for Belladonna Elders Series 4

NEW DATE: Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 3:00 p.m.

A.I.R. Gallery: 111 Front St., #228, Dumbo, Brooklyn

This event will be a tribute to Emma Bee Bernstein and a book release for Belladonna Elders Series #4, which Emma edited and which features contributions by Johanna Drucker and Nona Willis Aronowitz, photographs and an essay by Emma Bee Bernstein, an interview with Marjorie Perloff, and artwork and an interview with Susan Bee. The book release will also mark the closing of Susan Bee's show "The Eye of the Storm" at A.I.R. Gallery.


link    |  02-12-09

Michael Davidson, Charles Bernstien, James Sherry, Peter Straub, Deborah Thomas, Susan Bee
in DUMBO (Brooklyn Bridge in background)
on Sunday.
Photo: Susan Straub
link    |  02-10-09

Phong's New York

Go to main blog page to see this video, or download from link.

Phong Bui
We went up to the roof of the Clocktower and I asked Phong —. the publisher of the Brooklyn Rail — that age old New York question about art and real estate.
June 4, 2007
(mp4, 1 min. 44 sec., 16.4 mb)
link    |  02-09-09


New York Readings

Segue Series
at the

Winter/Spring 2009

Download the schedule in Acrobat format.

$6 admission goes to support the readers
Funding is made possible by the continuing support of the Segue Foundation and the Literature Program of the New York State Council on the Arts.
Curators: February-March by Nada Gordon & Gary Sullivan
April-May by Kristen Gallagher & Tim Peterson















MAY 23

MAY 30



Writing in the Dark

organized by Jon Cotner & Andy Fitch

February 12th
Lee Ann Brown reads in the dark. Elaine Equi performs pieces from "Cinema Tarot." Richard Kostelanetz discusses a video-project. Dennis Tedlock presents 2000 Years of Mayan Literature. 

February 19th
 Bruce Andrews relives his confrontation with Bill O'Reilly. Wayne Koestenbaum reads a medley of works. Wendy Steiner introduces her opera The Loathly Lady. Reva Wolf explores Ted Berrigan's use of appropriation. 

April 23rd
David Antin talks on his feet. Charles Bernstein performs pieces from a forthcoming book of criticism. Lynne Tillman shares a story or two. 

Each event starts at 7:30, and will take place in the Amie and Tony James Gallery at the CUNY Graduate Center (365 Fifth Avenue, between 34th and 35th Streets).
link    |  02-06-09

Susan Bee's show opens today
Reception Thursday 6-8
at A.I.R. Gallery
note new location in Brooklyn!
(111 Front St., #228, Dumbo)

through March 1

Paradise Lost
12 x 16", oil and collage on linen

Fallen Angel
2008-2009, 12" round

link    |  02-04-09

Visual Poetry and Advertizing

a PEPC digital exhibition

Pond's Extract advertisement, Century magazine, 1887.

link    |  02-01-09

Web Log’s
2009 Purple Globe Awards for Poe

Tan Lin


(Tenerife: Zasterle, 2006)

nominated for 15 Purple Globe awards

Best 2009 book © 2006
Best original pageplay
Best type designography
Best performance by a supporting actor (Heath Ledger)
Best typomancy
Best pageplay adapted from another source
Best concept
Best execution
Best book party
Best book by New York poet teaching in  New Jersey
Best book — situation comedy
Best book — drama series
Best book — VVV
Best book — color/image
Best derivative effects
Special Jury Selection: Islas Canarias Badge ("The Canary")
Quadrupple Con ("The Drupple") for Foreignness in a Domestic Production

Purple Globe Awards®, "The Canary"® and "The Drupple"®
are Registered Trademarks of "Web Log"®
Full information on  the awards downloaded rules from htttpss://purpleglobeawardsforpoetry.gps
Heath is available for free download in braille for all paypal customers
from httpiou://plagiarismoutsourcenotestowardsthedefinitionofcultureuntitledheathledgerproject-ahistoryofthesearchenginediscoos1.purpleglobeawardsforpoetry.gps

Tan Lin: Updated PennSound Author Page
Two New Online Videos, 2003-09


link    |  01-31-09-xx

I have a piece in the "manifesto" section of the new Poetry

Manifest Aversions, Conceptual Conundrums, & Implausibly Deniable Links

the issues includes a potfolio of Tony Fitzpatrick's great work:


link    |  01-31-09-x

Fred Sandback

David Zwirner Gallery (Chelsea)
closes Feb. 14


link    |  01-31-09

New York Art Walk

Susanna Heller
"Grand Central"
On The Heel - Toe Express
January 8th - February 14th 2009

ManganProjects, Chelsea
this show is dedicated to Emma


Nick Cave
Jack Shainman, Chelsea
closes Feb. 7


Nancy Spero
Le Couple (Lovers XVI)
, 1961-63
Oil on canvas ( 44 x 81 in)
Un Coip de Dent
(early black paintings)
Galerie Lelong (Chelsea)
closes Feb. 21


Blue Tunnel 2, 2006-2008
Oil on astroturf (29 x 36 in)


Marlborough Chelsea
close Feb. 14


link    |  01-30-09

BELLADONNA* Elders 1-5 Covers

Invitation to subscribe for limited edition Belladonna Elders Series.

Dear Friends,

This year marks the tenth year of the Belladonna Series and to mark we are Celebrating Elders and publishing 8 perfect bound books--one a month! The Elders Series is guest curated. Each book, printed as one time limited editions, is beautifully designed and slightly square (6x7). Each contains the work of the two or three people who read the night the book is released. The books are conversations between writers who are in conversation. In December Bob Glück published two chapters from an upcoming novel in progress, About Ed, and Sarah Schulman published a new play called MERCY.In November, Leslie Scalapino published a new NOH play, A Pear: Actions are Erased, and E. Tracy Grinnell published work from her newest work Helen: A Fugue. And, just last week, Tisa Bryant published [The Curator] and Chris Kraus published Catt: Her Killer.

Our next book in this series will be #4: A Tribute to Emma Bee Bernstein: edited by Emma Bee Bernstein and featuring an introduction by Johanna Drucker, photographs and an essay by Emma Bee Bernstein, an interview with Marjorie Perloff, and artwork and an interview with Susan Bee

Future editions include #5: Lyn Hejinian, Etel Adnan, and Jen Scappettone; #6: Gail Scott, M. NorbeSe Philip and Kate Eichhorn; #7: Jayne Cortez, Anne Waldman and Cara Benson; and #8: Tina Darragh, Diane Ward and Jane Sprague. All of these editions contain some sort of conversation between the writers and artists, engagements on experimental form, gossip, and insights about the writer/artist/thinker in the world.

We're writing to ask you to subscribe to the series-- it costs $100.00.
For subscribers, we ship the books free of charge, as they come out.  We are only selling up to 150 subscriptions! And, the subscriptions are how we are paying for the series. Go to
for more information on ordering.
Yours truly,

Rachel, Erica, Emily, HR, Danielle,...

P.S. Like many arts organizations, we are losing some foundational funding. Please consider helping us out by passing this information along to folks you know who may like to subscribe or by contributing directly to Belladonna Series.


Schedule of Elders Events:
Unless otherwise noted, all events will be $6 and take place at
DIXON PLACE (161 Chrystie Street, New York, NY)
Doors open at 7:00 p.m.; The reading begins at 7:30 p.m.

FORTHCOMING (please see the reading series page for more information):

NEW DATE: March 1, 2009
This event will be at A.I.R. Gallery at 3:00 p.m.
(111 Front St., #228, Dumbo, Brooklyn)

March 3, 2009

April 14, 2009

April 28, 2009

June 9, 2009


November 11, 2008

December 16, 2008

January 13, 2009

Belladonna Books | 925 Bergen Street, Suite 405 | Brooklyn, NY 11238 |

link    |  01-27-09

Richard Foreman and John Zorn
February 5-April 5 ONLY
Purchase Tickets

DVD forthcoming in March

Sophia:The Cliffs
35+ Year Retrospective Compilation
edited by Jay Sanders
from Tzadik


Museum of Modern Art
Friday, February 20, 2009

11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Modern Poets
Concerts, Readings & Performances
Futurism and the New Manifesto
The Agnes Gund Garden Lobby, first floor
MoMA Announcement:
Revitalizing Frank O'Hara's legacy and MoMA's historical commitment to poetry, this series invites poets and performers to bring the literary tradition to the Museum's collection. They read historical works and their own work that reflects on modern and contemporary art.
The first Futurist Manifesto, written by the poet and writer F.T. Marinetti and published on the front page of Le Figaro on February 20, 1909, proclaimed a burning desire—fueled by industry, war, and the rise of the machine—to race into the future. Tired of resting on the laurels of their cultural heritage and disdainful of their uneventful present, the Futurists called for a new aesthetic language appropriate for the new modernity. On the one hundredth anniversary of the publication of the Founding and Manifesto of Futurism, poets Charles Bernstein, Joshua Mehigan, and Alicia Stallings recite historical works, as well as their own contemporary manifestos, in the public space of the Museum's Garden Lobby. Excerpts from Luca Buvoli's video Velocity Zero (2007), in which the slow reading of the tenets of the Futurist Manifesto by people with aphasia contrasts with the frenetic speed that characterized Futurism, will also be on view. This program is a collaboration with Poetry magazine, whose forthcoming portfolio of manifestos, with an afterword by Mary Ann Caws, will be released at MoMA on February 20.

I will be reading the Marinetti manifesto, Mina Loy's "Aphorisms on Futurisms" and "Manifest Aversions, Conceptual Conundrums, & Implausibly Deniable Links," a new work of mine.

Free with museum admission

link    |  01-26-09

Judith Hoffberg
(1934 - 2009)
Judy died on January 16. One of the great actitvist/archivists for artist's book and the visual text.
Editor of Umbrella

link    |  01-25-09

The Triptych web site
now has a digital version  of
"The Blue Divide"
from Controlling Interests
my 1980 collection
which has recently been reissued by  Roof Books.
I will be kicking off the new New York Triptych series
on Monday, Jan. 26 at 7pm
reading with Shanxing Wang and Christopher Stackhouse
at the
11th Street Bar
510 East 11th Street, between Avenues A&B


"Interdisciplinary Transcriptions" 
Edited by Jon Cotner and Andy Fitch
poets / critics / anthropologists / visual artists / nudists 
link    |  01-20-09

Boris Drucker

Your son just ran away with his secret love - the treasury.

Johanna Drucker's father, a cartoonist, died last week.

Philadelphia Inquirer Obituary

link    |  01-19-09

New on PennSound
My conversation with Frank Bidart
for the Fulcrum debate series
Massachusetts Poetry Festival, Lowell, Mass.
October 11, 2008:
conversation (ends abruptly) (57:18): MP3
glitch coda (12:52): MP3

Mike Hennessey provides an excellent introduction to the conversation
on  PennSound Daily
where you will also find information on a new set of
John Ashbery recordings

Also new on PennSound
my reading at
Folio Books, Washington, DC, 1978:
Introduction by Doug Lang
As If the Trees by Their Roots Had Hold of Us (from Senses of Responsibility) (time marker 2’36”)
Loose Shoes (from Senses of Responsibility) (6’17”)
“Likening Then” (9’43”) Shade?
St.McC (from Shade) (10’29”)
For – (from Shade) (12’00”)
from Faculty Politics (from Poetic Justice) (22’00”)
Roseland from Parsing (12’43”)
Soul Under (from Shade) (27’42)
Palukaville (from Poetic Justice) (30’25”)


Segue / Bowery Poetry Club
New York
Spring Schedule

another stellar set of readings


5th annual Single Malt Scotch Whiskey Poetry Slam.
This year's commemorate reading also marks the 250th Birthday of Robert Burns, born on January 25th!
Readers: Edward Hopely Sara Wintz Kenneth Goldsmith Frances Richard Charles Bernstein and a film by Brandon Downing
Co-hosts Rob Fitterman & Bob Holman
January 25th, Sunday, 6 PM - 7:30 PM
Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery--between Bleecker and Houston
$20 for event + 5 whiskey tastings / $8 for event but no whiskey


Michel Kelleher
is going through his bookshelf
book by book
and I'm up now.

... by the way, Mike, it was most definitely Segue's own grant-funded PA system.


The Centre for Modernist Studies at the University of Sussex presents the British premiere of Louis and Celia Zukofsky’s “A”-24, performed by Sean Bonney, Ken Edwards, Daniel Kane and Francesca Beasley with harpsichord by Kerry Yong.

link    |  01-18-08

Susan Bee

Eye of the Storm: New Paintings

A.I.R. Gallery
111 Front Street, #228
Brooklyn, NY

February 4 to March 1, 2009
Reception: Thursday, February 5, 6-8 pm

Gallery hours: Wed. – Sun., 11am to 6pm. 

A.I.R. Gallery is located in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn.
For more info: or call: 212-255-6651.

Eye of the Storm is Bee’s fifth solo show at A.I.R. Gallery and her first solo show in three years. The exhibition features large paintings from 2006 to 2008, including The Flood, Après le déluge, Hovering Angels, and Eye of the Storm, which explore an expressionistic, apocalyptic vision in the form of imaginary seascapes, floods, and storms at sea populated by figures, animals, and boats. The themes of Bee’s new work are reflections upon the aftermath of ecological and manmade disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, September 11th, the Asian tsunami, as well as more personal losses. The paintings have recurring symbolic elements such as islands, clouds, Chinese angels, and sailboats. Collage and oil painting are integrated in new ways in these darker, turbulent works. While some of the figures are painted and others are collaged into the paintings the overall emphasis is on expressivity and the color potential of the paint. Other recent paintings such as Island Life, How Deep is the Ocean, and Wanderer in a Sea of Fog reflect a quieter, more meditative and romantic approach to similar themes. In addition, Bee will be showing a number of smaller, more eccentric, and humorous paintings including: The Joker, Vertigo, and Escape.

More information on Susan Bee here.


On  Sunday, March 1, 2009
at A.I.R. Gallery
from 3-5 PM
there will be a tribute to Emma Bee Bernstein

and a book release for Belladonna Elders Series #4,
which Emma edited and which features an introduction by Johanna Drucker,
photographs and an essay by Emma,
an interview with Marjorie Perloff,
and artwork and an interview with Susan Bee.
The book release will also mark the closing of Susan Bee's show. 
More information:

link    |  01-17-09

The A.I.R. History Show has been extended.
Scandalously little attention has been paid
to this highly significant and fascinating
archival show focusing on the history of the A.I.R,
and by extension the history of women in American art
over the past thirty five years.
A.I.R. Gallery:
The History Show -
Archival materials from 1972 to the present

Curated by Kat Griefen & Dena Muller
Now on view through April 24th, 2009
at NYU's Tracey/Barry Gallery, Fales Library
70 Washington Square South, 3rd Floor
Click for Press Release

The Tracey/Barry Gallery is located at the Fales Library and Special Collections on the 3rd floor of
NYU's Bobst Library at 70 Washington Square South.  
The Tracey/Barry Gallery is open from 9:45am - 5:45pm Monday - Thursday & 9am - 4:45 pm on Friday.


Twenty-five years ago, I presented
"The Academy in Peril: William Carlos Williams Meets the MLA:"
The text of this essay, collected in Content's Dream,
is now available as PEPC pdf reprint.


Hélène Aji and Antoine Cazé
Marjorie Perloff
in Sources


Sous Rature #2
includes a section from The Subject
one of the three libretti in
Blind Witness News


Jerome Rothenberg interview
part one
part two
Originally published in The Cream City Review, volume 25, numbers 1 & 2, Milwaukee, Summer 2001.
Other installments turn up elsewhere in Poems & Poetics.


Al Filreis
on Yvor Winters
and offical verse culture


Untitled New York: Speculations on the Expanded Field of Writing

Date: Saturday, January 31
Time: 1:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Place: Cabinet, 300 Nevins Street, Brooklyn
FREE. No RSVP necessary.
Organized by Matias Viegener and Christine Wertheim
"Untitled New York" is a day-long conversation about writing which in some manner exceeds the printed page. It assembles a notable group of experimental writers to discuss the currently expanded and still-expanding field of writing that challenges assumptions about the nature of writing and the potentials of text. While we are familiar with visual artworks constituted as a set of instructions, secrets written by visitors in a book, or one artist erasing of another artist's work, what would be their equivalents in the literary world? "Untitled New York" is composed of 2 day-time panels and an evening reading where participants perform their work. The program is as follows:

1:30 pm: The panel "Appropriation and Citation” will look at the many practices of appropriation so popular in the literary world in the last several years, asking questions about whose work and what material gets appropriated, cited or resurrected, who owns texts, and if there is a difference between appropriation and citation. Participants include Vanessa Place, Steven McCaffrey, Kenneth Goldsmith, and Julie Patton.

4:00 pm: The panel “Litterality,” examines how writers use what we normally consider non-linguistic elements, such as symbols, diagrams, maps, or scores placed in the context of writing. We will also look at invented writing systems, and what it might mean to think about the book as an object rather than as a collection of words or sentences. Its participants include Christine Wertheim, Latasha Diggs, and Shanxing Wang.

8:30 pm: Reading of the participants’ own work.

“Untitled New York” is a reprise of “Untitled: Speculations on the Expanded Field of Writing,” held in October 2008 at REDCAT in Los Angeles, organized by Matias Viegener and Christine Wertheim of the Writing Program at CalArts, and funded by the Annenberg Foundation.


 Call for Papers

The Philosophical Society of Nepal, and its reviewed Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry, seeks articles in a wide range of philosophical topics and from a wide range of perspectives, methodologies, and traditions within philosophy, and the broader humanities, particularly literary theory, cultural theory, aesthetic theory,  disciplines dealing with religion (e.g. religious studies, history of religions), and semiotics.
Especially welcome are: submissions discussing historical figures in philosophy, aesthetics and literature, discussing themes of contemporary or perennial importance in their thought; submissions written from post-structuralist, critical theory, deconstructionist, post-colonial and/or non-western philosophical perspectives; and submissions bringing western and non-western philosophical and humanities currents into dialogue with each other.
The theme of the submissions is open within the broader humanistic studies. The submissions will be sent for peer-review. The published essays can be reproduced either in print or electronic form. All submissions should be sent to the editor, Yubraj Aryal, at the e-mail address:
Recent articles have included:
“Between the Sublime and the Beautiful: Play of Desire in Nietzsche” by Ajay Bhadra Khanal
“Enacted Time: Promising, Forgiving, and Forgetting in the World of Appearances” by Tyrus Miller
“Speculative Aesthetics and Digital Media”by Johanna Drucker              
 “Virginia Woolf's The Waves: A Case Study in Modernist Literature” by Shilpa Venkatachalam 
“Interview with Charles Bernstein on Language Poetry”  by Yubraj Aryal
For Subscription: Price: $ 20  / Checks to Yubraj Aryal
Parker Apartments, LLC  / 615 North Street #13  / Lafayette, IN 47901, USA]

link    |  01-13-09

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