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Archive 2009

WEB LOG Archive 2010

Web Log 2010
Charles Bernstein

(EPC author page)


3rd edition 2010, 8.25" x 8.25 ", 90 pages.

View or Download pdf on Scribd


First edition published by Xexoxial Editions in 1990. Photos by Barbara Rosenthal, introduction by Charles Bernstein. At one point in her life, this clairvoyant author saw her books on her forehead. This book, however, is a hearing of the world as it happens, one writing per week. One quickly learns by reading that there is no logic to disaster or everyday life. Of special interest to mediaglots.

Weiner on the origin of Weeks:
"My friend, the writer Barbara Rosenthal, gave me a page-a-day diary last Christmas to encourage me to write. Not seeing words anymore, I looked for another source. I found it in the TV news, which accounts for the bulk of the material. I typed it up week by week, which accounts for the title."from HOW(ever) Vol.3 No.4, January 1987

Weiner reading Weeks @ PENNsound: (1/3) - (2/3) - (3/3)

Charles Bernstein on Weeks:
Weeks, in its extremity, represents the institutionalization of collage into a form of evenly hovering emptiness that actively resists analysis or puncturing. In Weeks, the virus of news is shown up as a pattern of reiteration and displacement, tale without teller . . . Weiner’s Weeks is a shocking cul de sac to a tradition of the found in American poetry – a tradition that includes, by any brief accounting, Charles Reznikoff’s Testimony, Sterling Brown’s ethnographic encounters with the black oral tradition, William Borroughs' cut-ups, Jack Spicer’s “received” poems, Jackson MacLow’s processing of source material, or Ronald Johnson’s erasure of Milton in radi os” (from his introduction to Weeks, "Weak Links" in My Way: Speeches & Poems)

link    |  XXX


All the Whiskey in 2011

All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems
Best Books of 2010
Marjorie Perloff

Charles Bernstein's name has been so closely linked to the Language Movement he helped to found in the late 1970s, that the poetry itself has too often been neglected in favour of his theoretical pronouncements, provocations and noted pedagogical experiments. Farrar Straus's generous and elegant Selected Poems, titled All the Whiskey in Heaven, is thus especially welcome. A master of satire and parody, Bernstein has, in recent years, also produced emotionally charged lyrical ballads like the title poem or "Doggy Bag". His is an uncanny eye and ear for our historic moment: surely "Report from Liberty Street" and "War Stories" are the most memorable - and subtle - poems produced in the wake of 9/11 and the Iraq war. In their exuberant wordplay and polylingualism, these poems recall another parodic anti-war poem, Ezra Pound's "Homage to Sextus Propertius", included for the first time in the enlarged New Selected Poems and Translations (New Directions). Richard Sieburth has produced by far the best such selection to date, one that includes a wide sampling of Cantos, carefully annotated, along with translations from Confucius to Rimbaud, a detailed publishing history, and an appendix containing both T. S. Eliot's introduction to the first Selected (1928), as well as John Berryman's (1949), which was solicited for New Directions by James Laughlin, only to be rejected by Pound. "A lot of damn argument mostly with 2ndrate critics", he complained, and surely "NOT whetting anyone's appetite for the text". Readers can now judge for themselves.

American Poet
All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems
Notable Poertry Books, 2010
(Fall 2010, issue 39)
Academy of American Poets
This selection of Charles Bernstein's poetry brings together work spanning the past thirty years, starting with the civilian voice of Asylums (1975) and ending with the unflagging determination of Girly Man (2006). Though the work is ordered chronologically, the table of contents is the only place in which the various book titles and publication years are listed; within the collection itself, the poems run together with no breaks between sections, as if all the work is part of one long series. Poems that range in tone from ruminative to ironic to urgent to hilarious to self-referential are bookended by the plights of different generations enduring different wars. This uninterrupted framework justifies itself; the work feels remarkably cohesive. As Paul Auster writes, "This long-needed selection of [Bernstein's] poetry gives us a new perspective on his work...shows us that the many forms he has worked in over the years are in fact a single form, the Bernstein form."

Forward Fives
(5 best poetry 2010)
All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poem

Co-founder of the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E magazine, Charles Bernstein has long been recognized as one of the
key avant-garde figures on the contemporary poetry scene. Until now, however, most of his work has been published by university or indie presses. This handsome sampling of his oeuvre presented by FSG is a reason for celebration, yet it is bittersweet, for doesn’t it imply a shift toward the mainstream? Or is it vice versa, and we have all become, in a sense, avant-garde? The Jewish angle in Bernstein’s work is complex, fraught with ambiguity and tension, though thankfully, also with humor. It is discussed in further detail in last year’s Radical Poetics and Secular Jewish Culture (University of Alabama Press) which, aside from Bernstein’s work, contains the poetics of many of his excellent colleagues.


link    |  12-28-10

The Introvert
Jill Moser
poems by Charles Bernstein
Collectif Géneration, 2010

four spreads from the book
(click for large format)

link    |  12-26-10

New @ PennSound:

Robert Ashley's Music with Roots in the Aether

Ashley's 1976 "Opera for Television" in full-screen video.
14 hours of videotaped interviews with seven composers:
David Behrman, Philip Glass, Alvin Lucier, Gordon Mumma, Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley, and Robert Ashley
plus hour-long live performances of their music.

Wuhan Poets at the Kelly Writers House, University of Pennsylvania
December 9, 2010

Bi-lingual Chinese/English reading: video at PennSound
In association with the Chinese/American Association for Poetry and Poetics (CAAP)



link    |  12-23-10



Interview with Kenneth Goldsmith


MCP New Year’s Special

 The University of Alabama Press is proud to announce its latest offering in the Modern and Contemporary Poetics Series: Radical Affections: Essays on the Poetics of Outside by Miriam Nichols.  Radical Affections presents essays on Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, Jack Spicer, Robin Blaser, and Susan Howe.

 Stephen Fredman: “A groundbreaking study. . . . This is the most important study of projectivist poetics ever written.  Anyone interested in poetics since World War II, in ecopoetics, and in the relationship of poetry to philosophy will have to read this book.”

Purchase Radical Affections at a 20-percent discount and you can receive, as a bonus, three of our bestsellers from the MCP series for only $5.00 each: Poetics & Polemics: 1980-2005 by Jerome Rothenberg, The Alphabet by Ron Silliman, and Differentials by Marjorie Perloff. (See below for pricing and ISBNs required for ordering.)

To purchase a copy of any of these titles at the discounted offer, good through January 31, 2011, just call our warehouse in Chicago toll-free at (800) 621-2736 or locally at (773) 702-7000 and mention sales code MCPNY11
. As always, we invite you to forward this e-mail 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@uapress.ua.edu or 205-348-1566.


Rebecca Todd Minder
Marketing Coordinator
The University of Alabama Press
Box 870380, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0380
rminder   AT   uapress.ua.edu
205.348.1566 * 205.348.9201 fax



Radical Affections: Essays on the Poetics of Outside

by Miriam Nichols

$34.95-list price * 27.96-discounted price (20%)

ISBN-13: 978-0-8173-5621-7 Paper


 The following are just $5.00 each if purchased with Radical Affections:

Poetics & Polemics: 1980-2005 by Jerome Rothenberg
ISBN-13: 978-0-8173-5507-4 paper * $29.95 list price *
$5.00 discounted price

The Alphabet by Ron Silliman
ISBN-13: 978-0-8173-5493-0 paper * $39.95 list price *
$5.00 discounted price

 Differentials by Marjorie Perloff
ISBN-13: 978-0-8173-5128-1 paper * $29.95 list price *
$5.00 discounted price

Domestic shipping: $5.00 for the first book and $1.00 for each additional book
Canada residents add 7% GST
International shipping: $9.50 per book and $5.00 for each additional book


Houston Culture Map review
of my artist's book with Jill Moser, The Introvert, with pictures. 

link    |  12-21-10

Kathryne Lindberg
(1951- ??)

The Detroit News
reports that Kathryne Lindberg is missing
& the presumption she is dead grows hourly.

Lindberg is author of
Reading Pound Reading: Modernism After Nietzsche
Oxford University Press, 1987
Bobweaving Detroit: The Selected Poems of Murray Jackson
ed by Lindberg with Postscript, Ted Pearson and Lindberg
Detroit : Wayne State University Press, 2003

in progress:
From Claude McKay to Huey Newton: Black Revolutionary Letters
Detroit Voices: The Black Laboring Left , collaboration with Todd Duncan and Beth Bates
Guerilla Theater: Using the Spectacle of Contemptuous Courts to Reform the Legal System collaborative project with Zanita Fenton

B.A., University of California Berkeley, 1976
Ph.D., University of California Los Angeles, 1983

Professor, Wayne State University

12/19: update from Detroit Free Press

link    |  12-18-10

Huffington Post
Anis Shivani
The Most Important Contemporary Poet: 22 Major American Poets Speak Out

Charles Bernstein:
Poetry's greatest asset may be its unimportance. Which means that what counts as important in poetry is, for much of the culture, unwanted, unwarranted, weirdness, what I call the pataque(e)rical. Even monkeys can do it, or so The London Review of Books, official organ of the Defenders of True Poetry against Barbarians (PAB) tells us in a pronouncement by UChicago supplicant, doctoral candidate Michael Robbins, who proclaims, from his uncontested pulpit (no letter protested) that what folks like me hold as the greatest importance for poetry is the work of nothing more than monkeys (Sept. 9, 2010). Us monkeys are on a roll: you hear it everywhere from LRB's England from Tom Raworth, Maggie O'Sullivan, Allen Fisher, and Caroline Bergvall to the New England of Susan Howe (whose forthcoming That This from New Directions is extraordinary) and Larry Eigner. Eigner, born "palsied from a hard birth," has a new Collected Poems, ed. Robert Grenier & Curtis Faville (Stanford) that is one of the most, well, important books of the decade. Eigner's work is miraculous, turning insurmountable odds into poetic gold while never losing the truths of insignificance. As he ends a 1953 poem, "I am, finally, an incompetent after all."


link    |  12-17-10


I defund

You defund

He/she/it defunds

we defund

you defund

they profit

link    |  12-15-10 Placard

Tom Leonard

for example
"Unrelated Incidents," recorded at home, 2004
(6:24) MP3

'Unrelated Incidents' - No.3
(follows the reading of 1 and 2!)

this is thi
six a clock
news thi
man said n
thi reason
a talk wia
BBC accent
iz coz yi
widny wahnt
mi ti talk
aboot thi
trooth wia
voice lik
wanna yoo
scruff. if
a toktaboot
thi trooth
lik wanna yoo
scruff yi
widny thingk
it wuz troo.
jist wanna yoo
scruff tokn.
thirza right
way ti spell
ana right way
to tok it. this
is me tokn yir
right way a
spellin. this
is ma trooth.
yooz doant no
thi trooth
yirsellz cawz
yi canny talk
right. this is
the six a clock
nyooz. belt up.

Note by TL for GCSE students: The poem's take on accents has nothing to do with the writer "being Scottish" as a BBC "GCSE bitesize" model answer on the poem suggests, it is instead about social class. The six o'clock news is as unlikely to be read by a working-class Liverpudlian, London, Birmingham, Swansea, Belfast, Portsmouth, Aberdeen etc etc voice as by a Glaswegian. This has nothing to do with any difficulty in understanding, as audiences have no difficulty understanding lower class accents in phone-ins, gameshows, "Eastenders" etc.

Why can't someone with for example a strong East London accent read the six o'clock news? The speaker of the poem suggests the answer lies in an attitude about who and what is considered to be "authoritative", and this attitude is the hidden "news" inside the six o'clock news itself. "Scruff" means "scum" or the muck gathered at the top of dirty water, and is used as a term of social disdain. "belt up" means "shut up!"

Short excerpts from some other relevant TL work and an audio recording of the poem itself can be found here:-


link    |  12-15-10 Tom Leonard

Lyn Hejinian & Carla Harryman
at the marvelous reading last night
from The Wide Road
just out from Belladonna
photo (c) Lawrence Schwartzwald

link    |  12-15-10

North of Invention: A Canadian Poetry Festival

a.rawlings • fred wah • roy miki • m. nourbese philip • stephen collis • nicole brossard • jeff derksen • jordan scott • adeena karasick • lisa robertson

Kelly Writers House, University of Pennsylvania
Thursday. January 20
10am panels & welcome
Lisa Robertson, M. NourbeSe Philip, Stephen Collis, Christian Bök, Nicole Brossard
7:30pm readings
Adeena Karasick, a.rawlings, Jeff Derksen, Lisa Robertson, Fred Wah
Friday, January 21
10:30am panels
Adeena Karasick, Jeff Derksen, Jordan Scott, a.rawlings, Fred Wah
7:30pm readings
Jordan Scott, Christian Bök,, Stephen Collis, M. NourbeSe Philip, Nicole Brossard

details at our web site

Poets House, New York
Saturday, January 22
2pm conversations:
M. NourbeSe Philip, Fred Wah, Christian Bök, Stephen Collis
5:30pm readings
Stephen Collis, Sarah Dowling, a. rawlings, M. NourbeSe Philip, and Fred Wah
Sunday, January 23
1pm conversations
Lisa Robertson, Jeff Derksen, a. rawlings, Jordan Scott
4:30pm readings
Jeff Derkson, Christian Bök,, Lisa Robertson, Jordan Scott

*program subject to check! check web sites!*

organized by Sarah Dowling & Charles Bernstein
for the Kelly Writers House at Penn
with thanks to Stephen Motika & Poets House

& to the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts

link    |  12-13-10-NoI


incentivize the rich to hoard capital

stimulus a fools' game
progressive tax pinko pain

Paid for by the Republican Party
Our America Not Yours

now that pejorocracy is here”

Dec. 13. 2010

full set of placards


link    |  12-13-10

Stop Sabbaticals Now!

Research & Knowledge
Engender Free Thinkers

Tea Party Republicans for Limited Intelligence

Our America: Up Yours!

O! Iowa
first the Supreme Court, now the University

link    |  12-10-10-placard

photo ©2009 Charles Bernstein/PennSound

Zhimin Li
at PennSound

Lecture on New Chinese Poetry:
The Origin and the Development from the Prespective of Cultural Exchanges Between China and the West
text of the lecture
published in International Literary Quarterly


link    |  12-10-10-Li

"Visiting Edwin Denby’s Mediterranean Cities" by Vincent Katz
Mediterranean Cities by Edwin Denby
(full sonnet sequence)


New from Sibila's editor
Régis Bonvicino

Até Agora
(Until Now)
poemas reunidos
(collected poems)
Régis Bonvicino
Imprensa Oficial PRESS
564 páginas / 564 pages

purchase Até Agora here.
Inquiries: fatima -- at -- imprensaoficial.com.br
Book launch tonight:
Friday, December 10th
Loja de Artes da Livraria Cultura (Cultural Bookstore)
Conjunto Nacional, in São Paulo

link    |  12-10-10

Eigner Tribute at UC-Berkeley

The Holloway Series in Poetry -- Honoring the Life and Work of Larry Eigner
November 19, 2010
Robert Grenier, Lyn Hejinian, Richard Eigner, Rebecca Gaydos, Kit Robinson, Michael Davidson, George Hart, Albert Gelpi, Hillary Gravendyk, Jack Foley, Adelle Foley, Norma Cole and Robert Hass

link    |  12-09-10

link    |  12-08-10

Defund Government
Zero Taxation for the Rich

They Give Us Enough in Tips

The Republican Party
Our America Not Yours

Republican Ideas, Democratic Votes


full set of placards

link    |  12-07-10

Arkadii Dragomoshchenko
Close Listening

photo: ©2010 Charles Bernstein/PennSound

November 3, 2010

Program One: Reading
Translations read by
Charles Bernstein.

  1. Ludwig Joseph Johann, translation by Thomas Epstein (4:17): MP3
  2. Ludwig Joseph Johann (2:49): MP3
  3. But as in Anyone's Body, translation by Genya Turovskaya (0:38): MP3
  4. But as in Anyone's Body (0:32): MP3
  5. You See the Mountains and Think Them Immobile, translation by Lyn Hejinian (3:23): MP3
  6. You See the Mountains and Think Them Immobile (3:15): MP3
  7. Possible Indications, translation by Genya Turovskaya (2:48): MP3
  8. Possible Indications (2:29): MP3
  9. It is Told in the Qur'an, translated by Kevin Platt (7:21): MP3
  10. To Trofim K. Dragomoshchenko, translation by Genya Turovskaya (3:57): MP3
  11. To Trofim K. Dragomoshchenko (2:59): MP3
  12. The Grandmother Story (introduction to Untitled Poem), translated by Kevin Platt (3:52): MP3
  13. Untitled Poem, translation by Jacob Edmund (1:27): MP3
  14. Untitled Poem (1:55): MP3
  15. introduction to To a Statesman, translated by Kevin Platt (3:34): MP3
  16. To a Statesman, translation by Genya Turovskaya (4:54): MP3
  17. To a Statesman (3:29): MP3
  18. There They Go, translation by Genya Turovskaya (2:38): MP3
  19. There They Go (2:15): MP3
  • complete reading (1:00:27): MP3 / MOV

Program Two: A Conversation with University of Pennsylvania students
June Elgudin, Valeria Tsygankova, James La Mare ,Lily Applebaum, and Jane Shin
  • complete conversation (29:38): MP3 / MOV

program one video:

Install the Flash plugin to watch this video.

program two video:

Install the Flash plugin to watch this video.

link    |  12-04-10

New Leslie Scalapino Web Site

photo: 1978 by Tom White

link    |  12-3-10_LS

12/15 @ 7:00pm - Light Industry at ISSUE Project Room: films by Warren Sonbert: The Cup and the Lip & Friendly Witness along with readings by Charles Bernstein, Corrine Fitzpatrick, and Carla Harryman Admission: $7.

link    |  12-3-10

Make it legal:

Christianifaction of U.S. laws

Is God’s Will


Republican “Tea” Party
for Christian Ascent


O! Oklahoma!


full set of placards


link    |  11-30-10

Charles Bernstein & Youngmin Kim
Dongguk University, Seoul, Oct. 19, 2010
152 minutes: video link

Install the Flash plugin to watch this video.

"Transnationalism and Cultural Translation: Distinguished Lecture Series and Symposium"
•Introduced by Brother Anthony. Poster here (pdf)
•Begins with lecture by Prof. Youngmin Kim on "Poetry and Typography/Topology: The Poetics of the Grid/Klein Bottle in Transnational 20thPoetry in English.”
•Then Bernstein talk/reading/discussion on poetry, sound, and technology starts at 40', talking through three essays: "The Art of Immemorability," " Making Audio Visible: Poetry's Coming Digital Presence," and
"Hearing Voices," (all collected in Attack of the Difficult Poems). At 66' there is a reading of "Most Frequently Words in Girly Man in Descending Order," at 72' "In Particular,". This is followed by discussion, and then ending, at 146': with a reading of “Azoot D'Puund.”

link    |  11-29-10

link    |  11-28-10

Columbia University (NYC) poetry readings

Thursday, Dec. 2
304 Hamilton 8:00 PM

Monday, Dec. 6
702 Hamilton 8 PM

link    |  11-26-10_Columbia

Legacies of Modernism: The State of British Poetry Today

9-11 June, 2011
UFR Etudes-Anglophones Institut Charles-V
Université Paris

This conference aims to provide a space for a critical reception in France for various currents in contemporary British poetry which lie outside the literary and academic mainstream, and which for this reason have received relatively scant attention thus far in France. This is a poetry which takes off from the London-based modernism of the early twentieth century, and the subsequent development of this modernism in American poets from Louis Zukofsky and Charles Olson to Frank O’Hara and the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets, in particular retaining an insistence on linguistic innovation and a deep engagement with the mediums and means available to a poet at any given time. Yet for this poetry—or better, these poetries—what is at issue is not simply formal experimentation; rather, they are characterised by a commitment to grasp contemporary society and to probe the place of poetry within it. As well as plenary papers by Allen Fisher, Drew Milne, Peter Middleton and Simon Jarvis, there will be a reading with Carol Watts, John Wilkinson and Tom Raworth (tbc). The conference welcomes proposals, in English, for papers on individual poets, historical or genealogical accounts of the various currents in contemporary British poetry, or particular themes or problematics for poetry and poetics. Such topics might include (but need by no means be restricted to):

-      Committed poetry and the politics of linguistic innovation
-      Significant figures for this poetry: Denise Riley, J.H. Prynne, Roy
Fisher (and others)
-      Younger poets such as Andrea Brady, Jeff Hilson, Keston Sutherland(and others)
-      Pastoral and Nature Poetry for a Post-Industrial era
-      Rhythm, metre, and traditional forms
-      Relations between British and American poets
-      Women poets and feminist writing
-      Anxieties of influence; poets engaging with literary history
-      Text, body and materiality
-      Contemporary British poetry within European modernism
-      Performance and performativity
-      Poetry in and outside the academy

Deadline for papers 1 February 2011; please send 250 word abstracts to

legaciesofmodernism @ gmail.com. For more details, please contact David
Nowell-Smith, david.nowell-smith @ univ-paris-diderot.fr.
Comité d’organisation:
Dr Abigail Lang, Université Paris Diderot
Dr David Nowell-Smith, Université Paris Diderot
Comité scientifique:
Dr Abigail Lang, Université Paris Diderot
Dr David Nowell-Smith, Université Paris Diderot
Dr Ian Patterson, Queens’ College, University of Cambridge
Prof Robert Hampson, Royal Holloway University of London
Prof Paul Volsik, Université Paris Diderot

Sponsored by LARCA (Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Cultures Anglophones), Université Paris Diderot.
There will be a conference fee of 30€ payable on arrival.

link    |  11-26-10_UK


Poetry Reading: Thursday, December 2, 2010, 7:00 pm 112 Borland Building
Lecture: Friday, December 3, 2010, 4:00 pm Grucci Room (14 & 15 Burrowes)

link    |  11-26-10


Translations of Korean Poetry
by Brother Anthony of Taizé

Ko Un web site

Gary Gach on Ko Un
(induding poems)

Brother Anthony on Ko Un
(including poems)

 Some poems from
The Sound of My Waves


Ko Un, Ten Thousand Lives, tr. from Korean by Brother Anthony of Taizé, Young-moo Kim, and Gary Gach.
Introduction by Robert Haas (Green Integer, 2005)

While in prison, for resistance to the South Korean dictatorship of the early 1980s, Ko Un, who was born in 1933, resolved to write a poem for every person he met in his life. Green Integer presents an excerpt from the 10 volume, ongoing work. The result has the typological sweep of August Sander, who imagined doing photographic portraits of ordinary people, at the same time there is a bit of late Whitman’s desire to touch every person he meets with his poems. The series of portraits are part parable, part zen koan. Poverty is never far from any of these serial poems, nor is the violence of the Japanese occupation of Korea. The last section includes portraits of major political figures in a way that sometimes resembles a kinder, gentler socialist realism. The poems about Ko’s literary forebears are stunning. Since I don’t know Korean, I can’t offer much commentary on the translations, but the English is vivid, colloquial, and compelling. The power of the whole is not captured by any one portrait, which tend to be underplayed and avoid excessive drama (akin to the poetics of Reznikoff). I offer this, therefore, not as exemplary but as a sample:


On a bank by the stream at Mijea
a solitary fisherman,
long-legged Sa-haeng
was reeling in his line.
Sa-haeng’s son Ch’il song came running along the other bank.
“Dad, dad. Ma’s dead and won’t shut her eyes!”

He was too far away, his shouts were wasted.
Cold waves lap between the two, forever parted

––Charles Bernstein


also from Green Integer:


link    |  11-21-10



Charles Bernstein and Tim Peterson (Trace)

Readings in Contemporary Poetry at Dia:Chelsea

Thursday, December 16, 2010, 6:30pm   
535 West 22nd St.
New York City
$6 general admission; $3 Dia members, students, and seniors
Tickets are available at the lecture only. Reservations recommended.
To rsvp online, please click here

link    |  11-20-10

Poetry Reading

Chaim Gross, Untitled, 1950. Ink on paper, 12 x 9 in.
The Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation, NY.
Chaim Gross © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The Renee and Chaim Gross Center for the Arts
invites you to a special program


In conjunction with the Foundation's current exhibit, Fantasy: Chaim Gross Drawings 1944-50

Charles Bernstein
Elaine Equi
Nada Gordon
Rod Smith

Moderated by:
Carla Billitteri, Associate Professor
Department of English, University of Maine<

Sunday, December 12, 2010 4-6 pm

Event is free and open to the public.
Space is limited however; please RSVP to: info@rcgrossfoundation.org by December 7, 2010.

The Renee and Chaim Gross Center for the Arts

526 LaGuardia Place
New York, NY 10012

link    |  11-19-10








This second delivery of S/N: NewWorldPoetics proves editorial continuity and persistence in a strict way of understanding poetry with works that defy the pre-existing conventions, but not in the predictable way of the vanguard, bohemian, or dissident.

In This Issue

Notas para una Poética Oposicionista
Erica Hunt

I'm Not There: Juan Luis Martínez
La Nueva Novela

Introducción y traducciones, 

Mónica de la Torre

From Jorge Santiago Perednik's
The Shock of the Lenders
Introduction and translations, Molly Weigel


"It's a Great Thing, Poetry":
Interview with José Viñals |

"Es una cosa muy grande,
la poesía":

Entrevista con José Viñals
Benito del Pliego &

Andrés Fisher

Harryette Mullen
, poemas
Traducciones, Pedro Serrano

Carmen Berenguer, poems
Translations, Mariela Griffor

De Mi vida de Lyn Hejinian

Introducción y traducciones,
Tatiana Lipkes

From Oliverio Girondo's

In the Moremorrow
Translations, Molly Weigel

Tom Raworth
, poemas

Gabriela Jauregui


Sobre John Ashbery
"La voz, las voces" | poemas
Introducción y traducciones,

Roberto Echavarren


Buy or Subscribe


$15 S/N I:2
$38 subscription (four issues)




link    |  11-16-09

Mimi Gross
Charles Bernstein


Some of These Daze

(full ppt & pdf of book)

published by Granary Books
2006, 64 pages
10 1/4" x 11"
edition of 65

link    |  11-08-10

You are cordially invited
to a talk by Susan Bee
on her art work
at the opening reception of her exhibition
at the Brodsky Gallery
of the Kelly Writers House University of Pennsylvania
on Tuesday, November 16 at 6pm.

Susan Bee, The Rescue (2005, 28 x 22", oil on linen).
Collection: Bob Perelman and Francie Shaw.

The show – which will be up till Dec. 6 – includes older and more recent paintings & pages from her artist's books.
curated by Lily Applebaum & Trisha Low
Kelly Writers House at the University of Pennsylvania
3805 Locust Walk Philadelphia

link    |  11-07-10

Anna Hallberg
on Close Listening,
Kelly Writers House, October 6, 2010

Program One: Reading
English translations by the author and friends, read by Michelle Taransky

complete reading (31:24): MP3 / MOV

  1. Seven Sprinkler, from Friktion (Friction) (2:26): MP3
  2. Four Blade, from Friktion (Friction) (1:02): MP3
  3. Eight Catatonia, from Friktion (Friction) (1:19): MP3
  4. from på era platser (On Your Marks) (9:14): MP3
  5. from Mil (Mile) (8:22): MP3
  6. Poem (Dead Brown Limbs...), from Kolosseum (Colosseum) (2:47): MP3
  7. Poem (Crashing into the Cold Light...), from Kolosseum (Colosseum) (6:03): MP3
Program Two: A conversation with University of Pennsylvania students
Gareth Glaser, Kim Eisler, Erica Jenkins, Sarah Arkebauer, Amaris Cuchanski
  • complete conversation (27:56): MP3 / MOV


Jörgen Gassilewski
on Close Listening,
Kelly Writers House, October 6, 2010
English translations by the author and friends, read by Charles Bernstein

complete reading (38:13): MP3 / MOV

  1. introduction (2:08): MP3
  2. The Marking of the Kerosene is High (1:26): MP3
  3. Grind and Drill (2:16): MP3
  4. To Whom Should You Talk (1:15): MP3
  5. Plant That is Green and Nice (1:00): MP3
  6. Paper of the Center, it is to Know (1:10): MP3
  7. Turning Back Right After Starting Off (1:39): MP3
  8. The Stork Founding a Home (1:00): MP3
  9. The Third Test of the Land, Following (1:25): MP3
  10. All Days in the Class (1:23): MP3
  11. The Weapon and a Forlornness (1:28): MP3
  12. Test Run and Refreshments are Offered (1:23): MP3
  13. I Love You in a Hundred Languages (2:06): MP3
  14. I Love You is a Beautiful and Useful Phrase (0:53): MP3
  15. I Love You (1:02): MP3
  16. I Love You Too (1:03): MP3
  17. When A Joyful Thing Falls (8:52): MP3
  18. Untitled (6:34): MP3

Program Two: A conversation with University of Pennsylvania students
Renee McDougall, Chris Millone, Trisha Low, Yolanda Carney, Alexandra Gold

  • complete conversation (28:10): MP3 / MOV

Hallberg program one video:

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Hallberg program two video:

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Gasselewski program one video:

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Gasselewski program two video:

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link    |  11-05-10

Three films by George Kuchar
at PennSound

I, of the Cyclops, a film by George Kuchar, 2006

Install the Flash plugin to watch this video.

Coven of the Heathenites, a film by George Kuchar, 2008

Install the Flash plugin to watch this video.

Zealots of the Zinc Zone, a film by George Kuchar, 2010

Install the Flash plugin to watch this video.

link    |  11-04-10-X

Leslie Scalapino's 

Flow (Winged Crocodile) / The Trains 

Tuesday, November 16 Dixon Place
161A Chrystie St New York, NY 10002
7:30 pm  $6 
(click here to buy advance tickets)

 The Belladonna* Collaborative invites you to celebrate the life and work of one of America's most influential experimental poets. Please join us for a special, full-length performance of Leslie Scalapino's daring and electrifying play, Flow (Winged Crocodile) / The Trains at Dixon Place.

Flow (Winged Crocodile) / The Trains travels between the left and right sides of the brain, with appearances by a reincarnated Patty Hearst in the 1974 SLA bank heist and a green-winged creature that is part crocodile, part Michelin man and part charging rhino. The play is performed by The Relationship, a performance group directed by Fiona Templeton that specializes in innovative language and use of site.  

Directed by Fiona Templeton, 
with Katie Brown, Stephanie Silver and Julie Troost.

Dance choreographed and performed by Molissa Fenley. 
Music by Joan Jeanrenaud. 
Costumes by Jill St Coeur.

Projected drawings by Eve Biddle.

Video selected by Stephanie Silver and edited by John Jesurun.

Scalapino makes everything take place in real time, in the light and air and night where all of us live, everything happening at once.” --Philip Whalen



link    |  11-04-10

Hannah Weiner
complete transcript of 1995 LINEbreak conversation
with Charles Bernstein
(courtesty Wild Orchids, #2, 2010)


I was intrigued when I discovered, in the course of seeking
permission to publish this transcript, that Hannah Weiner’s
1995 conversation with Charles Bernstein for the public radio
program LINEbreak had been edited down for broadcast. The
show’s producer, Martín Spinelli, replied quickly to my e-mail:
“[Hannah’s] recording session was one of the longest we did
for the series.” The raw tape of the session is preserved in Spinelli’s
archive at the immense UB Poetry Collection, and runs
about twenty minutes longer than the broadcast version archived
at http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/LINEbreak.
html. In keeping with the spirit of Weiner’s own impusle to let
her “nonliterary” surround in, I have transcribed all the conversation
on the tape.
— Robert Dewhurst

One extremely hot summer afternoon in 1995 Charles Bernstein
and I drove across Manhattan to Hannah Weiner’s cluttered
but comfortable apartment to record her for our radio
series LINEbreak. Charles and I had been recording other poets
and writers for the series and Hannah was one of last (if
not the last) to be taped. This would turn out to be her last
broadcast interview before her death. As I set up the recording
equipment we wondered about the noise coming in from the
open windows and decided to close them for better acoustics.
But even as we sweated in her airless living room the noise
from the street made it through and prompted me to stop a
couple of times. Hannah’s interview was one of the longest and
most meandering we recorded, as such it was one of the most
difficult to edit it down to “acceptable” radio standards. The
transcript below, in many ways, provides a better sense of the
actual encounter.
— Martín Spinelli

link    |  11-02-10

I will be giving a reading at
University of Iowa Writers' Workshop
Thursday, Nov. 11, 8pm
& the next day, Friday, Nov. 12th
there will be two discussions at 11:00am and 8pm
& finally Saturday, Nov. 12, a group reading of Shadowtime


Once.More Festival
Ann Arbor, Nov. 2-6
Robert Ashley, George Cacioppo, Gordon Mumma, Roger Reynolds, and Donald Scavarda, along with Marjorie Perloff, Nancy Perloff, and Laura Kuhn and a John Cage celebration.
Includes on-line catalog.


E-Poetry 2010
May in Buffalo


American Comparative Literature Association (Vancouver, late March)
CFP from Kate Eichhorn and Stephen Collis call for formal papers but also poetic interventions, readings, panel discussions etc.. Deadline Nov. 12:
"North of Intention/South of Convention: American Innovative Poetry in Canada/Canadian"


new from PennSound at BPC/Segue

October 2, 2010
Marie Buck (19:05): MP3
Kim Rosenfield (19:20): MP3

October 16, 2010
Julia Bloch (18:56):  MP3
Andrew Rippeon (29:16): MP3

October 23, 2010
Eddie Hopley (23:58): MP3
David Antin (41:16): MP3

October 30 at BPC/Segue
Dorothea Lasky (27:16): MP3
Arkadii Dragomoshchenko (46:17): MP3

link    |  11-10-10

I love America so much
I want to lock her in my basement & have her all to myself.

Vote the Republican Party line
Nov. 2

The tea we’re smoking ain’t pot.


The Republican Party Has a Proud History
Standing Strong  & Proud Against

Social Security
Labor Unions
Minimum Wage Laws
Unemployment Insurance
Environmental Protection
Market Regulation

Consumer Protection
Global Warming Science
The Theory of Evolution
Immigration Reform
Civil Rights for African-Americans
Civil Rights for Women
Civil Rights for Gays
Lower taxes for the poor & middle class
paid for by higher taxes for the rich

The Republican Party
Our America Not Yours


full set of placards

link    |  10-29-10-x

Marjorie Perloff
Unoriginal Genius:
Poetry by Other Means in the New Century

224 pages, 44 halftones

from the publisher's announcement:
Perloff traces this poetics of "unoriginal genius" from its paradigmatic work, Benjamin’s encyclopedic Arcades Project, a book largely made up of citations. She discusses the processes of choice, framing, and reconfiguration in the work of Brazilian Concretism and Oulipo, both movements now understood as precursors of such hybrid citational texts as Charles Bernstein’s opera libretto Shadowtime and Susan Howe’s documentary lyric sequence The Midnight. Perloff also finds that the new syncretism extends to language: for example, to the French-Norwegian Caroline Bergvall writing in English and the Japanese Yoko Tawada, in German. Unoriginal Genius concludes with a discussion of Kenneth Goldsmith’s conceptualist book Traffic—a seemingly "pure’" radio transcript of one holiday weekend’s worth of traffic reports. In these instances and many others, Perloff shows us "poetry by other means" of great ingenuity, wit, and complexity.


link    |  10-29-10

Craig Dworkin's Eclipse digital edition of
Ron Silliman's 1975 anthology of 9 poets for Alcheringa
The Dwelling Place

link    |  10-26-10-xx

Charlie Chan
Yunte Huang in conversation with Charles Bernstein
Thursday, October 28, 7:00pm
The Asian American Writers' Workshop
110-112 West 27th Street, 6th Floor Between 6th and 7th Avenues
Buzzer 600
$5 suggested donation open to the public

link    |  10-26-10-x

a new video by Felix Bernstein
(change from 360p to 480p or 720p or 1080p for HD viewing)

link    |  10-26-10

Arkadii Dragomoschenko
in New York and Phladelphia

Segue @ Bowery Poetry Club, New York
Saturday, Oct. 30 at 4pm

Kelly Writers House, Penn (Philadelphia)
Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 6pm

Columbia University
Thursday, Nov. 4 at 7:30pm

Philosophy Hall, Room 301

in conversation with Charles Bernstein, Thomas Epstein, and Genya Turovskaya
moderated by Eugene Ostashevsky and Matvei Yankelevich





Toronto reading on Saturday Nov. 6 at 7:30pm

plus Toronto New School of Writing seminar earlier the same day
info/registration here



Install the Flash plugin to watch this video.

Tucson Festival of Books, University of Arizona, March 13, 2010
featuring Tenney Nathanson, Barbara Henning and Charles Bernstein




counterclockwise: Ko Un, Eun-Gwi Chung, Sang-wha Lee, Brother Anthony, Susan Bee, and Charles Bernstein.
In Seoul, Lotte Hotel, 10/17/10

link    |  10-21-10



link    |  10-12-11

Peter Seaton in conversation with Henry Hills
March 17, 1985

  • part one (54:07):  MP3
  • part two (54:06):  MP3


In Edit Mode Press


Counting Each Step of the Sun
CD & book
(Malmö: Edition, 2009)
ISBN: 978-91-977853-1-0
This volume explores the diverse set of intersections between the voice of or in a text, the voice during actual reading, vocalization and subvocalization processes, and the recorded voice. It features contributions that in some way problematize, displace and deconstruct any easy set of identifications and distinctions between these different vocal realms as well as those which seek to render possible mutations, hybridizations, points of indiscernability and crossovers between them. ...
This volume ... includes the work of Charles Bernstein, Caroline Bergvall, Christian Bök, Johannes Heldén, Kenneth Goldsmith, Lars-Gunnar Bodin and Danny Snelson.
•my essay "The Bound Listener"
•my 1975 audio work "# 4" along with a transcription by Danny Snelson
•an annotated version of "1-100" (1969) by Carl Lindh, Ola Ståhl, & Peder Alexis Olsson
•Snelson's restaging/reperfomance of "1-100" and also his 60-second remix of the work.


Interview with Charles Bernstein
from In Edit

25 August 2009

includes remixed audio tracks

I’m speaking to you from Provincetown, Massachusetts.
there’s a little ech/ there’s a little/ there’s a little echo in your voice/ in your voice/ there’s a little echo in your voice // the tip of Cape Cod // as close to Eur/ s close to Europe as you could // echo/ echo in your voice/ echo // eastwards // direction // walk around // through // ambiance // at a higher level // one thing // at a higher level // sense // permutations // rep/ repetition // values // you know, one after/ one after the other/ you know, one after the other // forw/ forward or


"Thank You for Saying Thank You" broadside
typeset and printed by T. Michael Kaylor @ the Rose O'Neill Literary House
Washington College


link    |  10-10-11

TCR Logo

cropped cover image

Current Issue
Buy ISSUE 3.12!

The new issue features an interview with American poet and artist duo, Charles Bernstein and Susan Bee, about their early-career sojourn in British Columbia in the 1970s. Their BC history will be surprising to many readers.


We will also feature art work by Susan Bee and poems by Bernstein, all produced in Ruskin, BC in 1973. The issue will also include new work by Nicole Brossard, Erín Moure, and Meredith Quartermain plus several new writers: Colin Brown, Cara Kauhane, and others. The issue will also include our Midsummer Day contest winner!


Order your copy, or subscribe: www.thecapilanoreview.ca.

Series 3, No. 12


Fall 2010



"But sometimes a sign's all you need": A Conversation with Susan Bee & Charles Bernstein



Ruskin (earlier poems)



In and Around BC: Paintings/Drawings/Sculpture



The Not Of What She Didn't Know



The Significance of September






Three Poems



Tressaillir / Quivering



Two Poems



from The Unmemntioable: Games of Chance



the three sons of the rock harmonicon

jenn angela lopes


23' 26, Recanting: to Sing Again



Two Poems from The Shining Material

Light in the Forest, 1973
oil on canvas, 19" x 26"



link    |  10-07-10


Olson & the Century:
an Archival and Projective Reconsideration with inaugural reading by Tom Raworth and panels featuring Carla Billiteri, Don Bird, Ken Warren, Kaplan Harris, Mike Boughn, Chris Sylvester and Margaret Konkol, Rich Owens and a marathon reading of the Maximus Poems.

link    |  10-05-10

"Language Sampler"
Charles Bernstein. editor.
Published in The Paris Review, Number 86 (Winter, 1982),
this "special 'Language Poetry' Portfolio" was -- along with Ron Silliman's two collections,
"The Dwelling Place" [Alcheringa New Series 1: 2 (1975)]
and "Realism: An Anthology of 'Language' Writing" [Ironwood 20, no. 10 (1982)] --
one of the first presentations of Language poetry soi-disant.
[--Craig Dworkin's head note.]

link    |  10-04-10


Just Say No

healthcare, education
economic & immigration reform
the middle class, the poor, workers

democratic elections

Just Say No to America


Paid for by the Republican Party

Our America Not Yours


full set of placards

link    |  10-03-10

Big Government:


Keep Your Dirty Hands
Off My Social Security


Paid for by Tea Party Refiblicans

full set of placards

link    |  10-02-10

New at Eclipse

Hyperlinked index of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E
every essay in the four volumes linked in this author index


L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Volume 4


7 Works

Bob Perelman


many thanks to Craig Dworkin for creating this tremendous resource


link    |  09-04-10


Little Orphan Anagram
Susan Bee & Charles Bernstein
Complete Granary Book
at Artists's Books On-line

link    |  09-3-10

New York University
launch for
Mary Ellen Solt: Toward a Theory of Concrete Poetry,
ed. Sergio Bessa,
from OEI
Oct. 27 at 6:30

link    |  09-28-10

Robert Grenier
at Columbia University (NY)
602 Hamilton Hall
Tues, Sept. 28
8 PM

photo ©2006 Bernstein/PennSound


Jörgen Gassilewski & Anna Hallberg
reading their poetry
introduced / in conversation with Charels Bersntein

Kelly Writers House at
University of Pennsylvania
Weds., October 6, 6pm

Poets House New York
Thursday, October 7, 7:00pm
$10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House Members
10 River Terrace (at Murray St)
in Lower Manhattan

Jorgen Gassilewski (born in 1961) is a Swedish writer, translator, cultural journalist and critic. His literary debut was the collection of poetry Du ("You", 1987). All in all he has published nine books, most recently the novel Goteborgshandelserna ("The Gothenburg Events", 2006). Next February a new book of poetry with the classic title Karleksdikter ("Love Poems") will appear. His poetry has been translated into Mandarin, Russian, French, English, Spanish, Polish, Hindi, Danish, Norwegian and German.


Anna Hallberg (born in 1975) is a Swedish poet and critic. Her first book was the collection of poetry Friktion ("Friction", 2001). Three years later it was followed by pa era platser ("on your marks", 2004), and she has been nominated for The Nordic Council's Literature Prize and other awards. This spring her third volume Mil ("Mile", 2008) was published. Hallberg also works with visual poetry, and has had several exhibitions at Nordic galleries. She writes literary criticism for the largest Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, and regularly publishes essays and articles in literary magazines.


link    |  09-21-10-x

Steve McCaffery


Verse and Worse Selected and New Poems of Steve McCaffery 1989-2009
Darren Wershler, editor

Wilfred Lanier University Press, 2010

The 1980s proved an important decade for me. In 1986 my critical writings from 1973 through 1986 appeared collectively as North of Intention in a joint Canadian and American venture. It was also a decade in which some of my most substantial poetic texts appeared: the collaborative Legend (1980), the aphoristic Knowledge Never Knew (1983), Evoba (my poetic rescension of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, 1987) and The Black Debt (1989) whose two lengthy components (“Lag” and “An Effect of Cellophane”) realized my own poetics of recombination and phrase propulsion (in deliberate contrast to the New Sentence). The year 1988 was marked by the tragic passing of my dear friend and colleague bp Nichol. During the two decades sampled here in Verse and Worse I published eleven poetry titles through nine different presses based in four different countries. I mention these facts to underscore some fundamental proclivities in my writing that should be evident in the material republished here: a stridently anglophonic non-nationalism, a rejection of an ego-based poetry and a deep commitment to formal innovation. Notions of “identity,” “self” and “subject” have never been important factors in my writing. This is not to say that these do not inform my work, but that such matters have never been a focus or preoccupation. As a white heterosexual male, matters of identity are what one tries to escape and I’ve found my persistent commitment to collaboration (critical and creative) a mainstay to non-unity and decentredness.

read more at Sibyl

link    |  09-20-10



Monday, Sept. 20th
7:30 PM
2814 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20007
ph 202 965 5200
Located in Georgetown, next to the Four Seasons Hotel, five blocks from the Foggy Bottom Metro, blue & orange lines.

Tuesday, Sept. 21
8 PM
Research I, Room 163
Fairfax, VA
with fiction writer Julia Pierpont

link    |  09-14-10


Assistant Professor of Poetry, The Department of English at Temple University invites applications for a tenure-track position as a poet-critic, able to teach writing workshops and tutorials within the Creative Writing MFA Program and courses within the graduate and undergraduate programs in English. The candidate should be in a field that allows for the teaching of modern, late 20th-, and early 21st-century poetry. The successful candidate will be conversant with a wide range of poetics, poetic movements, and poetic traditions. Additional specialties that center on poetry are welcome. The candidate should have a publication or research record that shows s/he has promise and achievement in both poetry and criticism/scholarship/theory, commensurate with an assistant professor. Doctorate or equivalent terminal degree (such as an MFA) required on appointment. Prior teaching experience is required. Please send cover letter, CV, and three (3) letters of recommendation by October 18th to: Professor Shannon Miller, Chair, Department of English, Temple University, 1114 Pollett Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19122. We plan to interview at MLA, but the position will remain open until filled. Temple University is an equal opportunity, equal access, affirmative action employer, committed to achieving a diverse community. Qualified women and minority candidates are encouraged to apply.
link    |  09-10-10-X

“Laura (Riding) Jackson in the Twenty-First Century”
a conference at Cornell

Four Sets of Tributes to Leslie Scalapino
from Delirious Hem
one two three four

link    |  09-10-10

Multiple German tr. of
(from Absent Father in Dumbo & in All the Whiskey in Heaven)
Hugo Ball issue


Larry Eigner Autobiography
1996 compilation of autobiographical writings and interviews by Eigner, with a euology by his brother Richard


link    |  09-02-10-xx

Larry O. Dean
on All the Whiskey in Heave: Selected Poems
New Pages


[Flash 9 is required to listen to audio.]

“Samba de Orly,” Sir Lucious Bernstein: The Son of Herman Joseph


link    |  09-02-10

link    |  08-31-10

vol. 2
Hannah Weiner

Coda to
Hannah Weiner's The Book of Revelations
Marta Werner

from The Book Of Revelations
Hannah Weiner
(excerpts from previously unpublished ms
ed. Marta Werner)

LINEbreak Hannah Weiner Interview
(transcript of undedited recording)
Charles Bernstein
(with a brief intro by Martin Spinelli)


Hannah Weiner and Our "Unknown Collaborators"
Laynie Browne

Apartment Drama
Corina Copp

Fashion Auras
Kaplan Harris

from The Life and Times of Annie Weiner
Jennifer Karmin

No One Asked You
Joey Yearous-Algozin

Jennifer Russo

Hannah Weiner's Clear-Sighted Journal
Jeremiah Bowen

Radiant Elvis MRI

What She Read
Eileen Myles

Chris Kraus

The Incinerator
Juliana Spahr

Writing Between Distant Others
Stan Apps


link    |  08-28-10



The Dihedrons Gazelle-Dihedrals Zoom
Leslie Scalapino


The Dihedrons Gazelle-Dihedrals Zoom is an ekphrastic implosion inside our severed human-body/animal-mind. "Memory isn't the origin of events," Scalapino writes early in this magisterial work, which restores the synthesis of events to its place as meanings' origin. The Dihedrons Gazelle-Dihedrals Zoom -- as much a work of grotesque science fiction as a poem -- cracks open the imaginary reality astride reality. In the stadium of its visionary composition, the everyday floats vivid strange: in time, as time, with time, beside time.


link    |  08-27-10


Geist 77 Summer 2010


Charles Bernstein
a poem presented at the In(ter)ventions conference in Banff, February 2010
and first published in West Coast LINE.

You Never Looked So Simulating

The next stop was Edmonton
where I got lost in the Fantasyland 
Mall on the way to one of the demi–
keynotes at the International Association 
for Philosophy and Literature 
“Thinking Between Poetry & 
Philosophy” convention & so missed
most of the lecture on the “The Ineluctable
Split of Poetry’s Unsayable Name: Reading
Derrida through Nietzsche’s Unknowable
Answer to Celan’s Joyce (A Response to
Benjamin).” Many of the conventioneers
noted that the “Bourbon Street” food
mall was a perfect example of “simulation” —
a view I have trouble understanding
(not unusual for me) 
since the patrons of the food court
seem to enjoy the fact that 
“Bourbon Street” is ineluctably in
the West Edmonton Mall & the designers 
of the street seemed to go 
out of their way to emphasize this fact,
making it look like a plaster cast 
sketch of a picture of a New Orleans street
& not like the “real thing” at
all; the only ones fooled were
we conventioneers having our
dinner as we chatted about the
break­down of reality and simulacra
(or simusoy for the lactose 
intolerant). & talk about authentically
local as you might, the Buffalo
wings on Bourbon Street
in the West Edmonton Mall
never tasted so real
or would have. I had trout. 


link    |  08-23-10

The Capilano Review
Issue 3.12 (Fall 2010)

will be on the newsstands and in your mailbox in October: it features an interview with American poet and artist duo, Charles Bernstein and Susan Bee, about their early-career sojourn in British Columbia in the 1970s. Their BC history will be surprising to many readers. We will also feature art work by Susan Bee and
poems by Bernstein, all produced in Ruskin, BC in 1973. The issue will also include new work by Nicole Brossard, Erìn Moure, and Meredith Quartermain plus several new writers: Colin Brown, A. Di Nardo, Cara Kauhane, and others. Subscribe if you haven’t yet: www.thecapilanoreview.ca

cover image: 1973 painting by Susan Bee.

link    |  08-20-10


Modern Poetry
(key intro site for innovative UK poetry)


Ken Edwards interview




Time, Text & Echoes
Leigh Davis Flag Poems
(New Zealand)

link    |  08-19-10

Tan Lin

Go to blog page to see streaming video; links below are corrected!

Ambient Tan
We met a new Japanese yogurt spot on West 32nd and then over to a Korean place just East of Fifth. The place was empty and we chatted away the afternoon.
August 1, 2007
(mp4, 50 seconds, 37.2 mb)

Video Portraits Galleries
Portraits page 1
Portraits page 2
Portraits page 3
Portraits page 4
Portraits page 5
Portraits page 6

link    |  08-17-10


Astronome: A Night at the Opera

Production: Richard Foreman
Music: John Zorn
Video: Henry Hills

Using two HD video cameras, Henry Hills recorded 10 full live performances of this 2009 Zorn-Foreman collaboration, weaving together thousands of Foreman tableaux to create this exquisite mosaic. As Hills notes in the liner notes to the DVD, each shot represents the frame choice a viewer makes when confronted with the visual panorama that Foreman provides; you can never take in the whole, so go from discrete view to discrete view. (The choice of camera and the constraint of live performances precluded any long shots of the piece.) This is the greatest resource available to see the set-piece details of Foreman’s theater: concrete particulars woven together with dazzling precision. On the same DVD is Hill’s  King Richard, from Emma’s Dilemma. Interwoven with a disarming and charming Foreman interview by 12-year-old Emma Bee Bernstein. Hills has created his own magical interpretation of the Foreman experience: his repeats, overlays, and swoops give a visceral sense of this theater. (King Richard is also available on PennSound, but the image quality on the DVD is far superior.)


link    |  08-15-10-Astronome

Douglas Messerli's
new blog

includes scripts from Mac Wellman (Bad Penny), Alfred Kreymborg, Synge (and Barnes on Synge),
Ronald Tavel's Hedi Lamar, Stein's What Happened
and one of Messerli's own plays and his commentaries.


(W)reading Performance Writing
ed. Rachel Lois Clapham


"Abraham Sutzkever—who died early this year on January 20th at the age of 96—was, as The New York Times obituary mentioned, one of "the great Yiddish poets of his generation." But to describe him in only that way is to miss much of his larger contribution to literary history. ..."
On Abraham Sutzkever
Douglas Messerli


Yinglish Strophes 1-19
Thomas Fink

Truck Books
is an elegant and inventive new press:
beautifully designed books you can buy (at sliding scale) or download.

One of the first:
Fink is an ideolectical poet with a twist: he uses Yiddish syntax and, in performance, intonation and accent, in his marvellous “Yinglish” poems –
“We’ll have snow April. Did
you ever have here April snow?”



link    |  08-15-10

Robert Grenier
(Martin Richet / Robert Creeley, “Figure of Outward”)


Yunte Huang in tomorrow's The New York Times


link    |  08-10-10

Elizabeth Willis

Go to blog page to see stream of this video to see this player.

Versions of Winter
Liz grew up in Northern Wisconsin and spent many years in Buffalo (where she got her PhD), before moving to Western Massachusetts. She and Peter came by my apartment one afternoon and I shined a light on her and asked her about the seasons.
June 4, 2007
(mp4, 32 sec., 7.4 mb)
link    |  08-09-10

John Wieners EPC page

Poems selected by CA Conrad
Edited & designed by Jack Krick

The EPC extends its warm thanks to Bill Corbett, Penelope Creeley, Jim Dunn, Raymond Foye, Jack Kimball and James Maynard for their invaluable assistance.

link    |  08-07-10

Yunte Huang's Charlie Chan like Danny Kaye's duck:
swan in soup.



Yunte Huang’s book is a tribute to Charlie Chan as a key figure at the heart of what makes American culture most vibrant – cross-cultural miscegenation. While the book offers fascinating details on the “real” Charlie Chan versus his book and move incarnations, it also includes a detailed history of anti-Chinese racism in the U.S., from lynching to yellowface. Yuang’s ever-fascinating book overlays cultural studies, film history, poetics, and autobiography to make an enormously entertaining and edifying, but also disturbing study. Huang’s style moves from a hilarious pastiche and exquisitely subtle ventriloquism of Chanisms – Chan’s pataqueerical aphorisms are at the heart of the study – to shocking stories of violence against Chinese immigrants. In Charlie Chan Huang offers a a compelling paradigm for Asian-American and ethnic studies.


This weeks' New Yorker provides a good summary of part of the book.
(New Yorker placement like pig 'n' blanket at Bar Mitzvah: all beef.)


Susan Schultz provides a more subtle reading.
(and she provides the photo above.)



link    |  08-06-10-Chan

Raphael Rubinstein's SILO
is a kind of alternative web encyclopedia of artists.
Among the first he features on the new site is the great Julio Galan
(image: "The Black Pearl" from 1990)


Kirk Nurock on
Felix's Cinderealla Musical!!!

Extraordinary!!! An hysterically psycho-camp, gender-twisting cyberdelic opera. Shades of Ludlam, Warhol, of Rocky Horror Picture Show, and perhaps a drop of John Waters, all twisted-perverse in a sumptuous visual palette and an only-today's-generation grasp of the creative possibilities of youtube. The parodistic lyrics are a laugh-out-loud joy, and the martian-processed voices a musical comedy unto themselves. The young cast find fun and nuance in the mockingly-graceful, especially the faux glow of the sultry Cinderella and the charmingly deadpan Prince. If that weren't enough, Felix Bernstein whose vision the whole thing is - who likely wrote/directed/designed/edited every tiny detail of the tightly-paced work - also plays the Step Mother. His onscreen presence "eats the scenery," his audacious tranny-protagonist part Marie Antoinette, part Hermione Gingold. Moreover, the work shows unfathomable precocity - its auteur a mere 17 years old! Tell everyone you know to watch this thing. It's a total treat!!!

link    |  08-06-10

Fourteenth Series, No. 3: Summer 2010

Kootenay School of Writing

Guest-edited by Gregory Betts and Robert David Stacey



"The Dystopia of the Obsolete": Lisa Robertson's Vancouver and the Poetics of Nostalgia. PAUL STEPHENS

Thanked by Barrie. FRANK DAVEY

Feminist Poetics as Avant-Garde Poetics. ALESSANDRA CAPPERDONI

Empty and Full Speech: A Lacanian Reading of the Kootenay School. CLINT BURNHAM

Ambling in the Streets of Affect: Jeff Derksen's "Happy Locally, Sad Geopolitically. JENNIFER BLAIR

Collective Texts/Interviews

Versus the Atomizations of Power: A Dialogue About The Kootenay School of Writing, Friendship, and Collectivity. DONATO MANCINI, COLIN SMITH

By the Collective, For the Collective, On the Collective. CURRENT AND RECENT MEMBERS

Aroused by Unreadable Questions: Interviews with Lisa Robertson and Catriona Strang. CHRISTINE STEWART

Historical Contexts

KSW: Origins, including Nelson. FRED WAH

Kootenay School of Writing as an Expanded Field: Retrofitting and Insider Knowledge. JEFF DERKSEN

Canonicity and Teachable Texts: A Response to Christian Bok's "TISH and KOOT". JASON WIENS

link    |  8-01-10-OL

creeley cover

poèmes 1968-1975
Martin Richet's marvellous, necessary translation, with a brief afterword by Creeley.
Editions Héros-Limite

also tranalted by Martin Richet
Lyn Hejinian's Gesulado

from Eric Pesty Editeur

also from Eric Pesty Editeur


by Claude Royet-Journoud

link    |  8-01-10

Leslie Scalapino
early books

O and other poems
(Berkeley: Sand Dollar, 1976)
(pdf of complete book)

The Woman Who Could Read the Minds of Dogs
(Berkeley: Sand-Dollar,1976
(pdf of complete book)

This eating and walking at the same time is associated all right
(Bolinas: Tombouctou, 1979)
(pdf of complete book)

Instead of an Animal, drawings by Scalapino's sister Diane Sophia
(Cloud Marauder Press, 1978)
(pdf of complete book)

N.B. the latter three titles are collected in Considering How Exaggerated Music Is (North Point, 1982) : available from SPD

link    |  07-31-10

In Memoriam
Leslie Scalapino
on her birthday

July 25, 1944 – May 28, 2010

Tribute from the Contemporary Poetics Research Center
Birbeck, University of London

Leslie Scalapino died in late May this year.

We wanted to mark her passing simply, both her loss to friends that knew and spent time with her, and the brilliant scene of her writing, what it continues to mean to hear and encounter it.

There are few poets whose work is a full engagement with the times we live in, who punch language and its possibilities into contention, prise open the inside and outside of thought, action and the world.  Leslie Scalapino’s work does that and outruns it. Hers is a unique and original voice. Heard from the cobalt. Read more.

Remembering Leslie Scalapino:

Fanny Howe

  Tim Atkins

  Robert Grenier

  Rob Holloway

  Lisa Samuels

  Caroline Bergvall

  Peter Middleton

  Barry Schwabsky

  Stephen Ratcliffe

  Carol Watts


Photo by Carol Szymanski

link    |  07-25-10


Felix's Cinderella Musical
A video by Felix Bernstein


link    |  07-24-10

Breakthrough Nostalgia: Reading Steve McCaffery Then and Now 


As Steve McCaffery approaches his mid-60s, his poetic and critical output shows no signs of abating. Within the last decade, in fact, McCaffery has produced five new collections of poetry, a new collection of critical essays, and three volumes of selected material: Seven Pages Missing Vols. 1 & 2, and Verse and Worse.

        Yet it has also been nearly 25 years since Open Letter’s first festschrift on McCaffery appeared, and both the critical community surrounding McCaffery’s work specifically, and of innovative writing in general, has changed dramatically. Thus, this new issue of Open Letter seeks to examine the changes in the reception of McCaffery’s work, as well has his own poetic development, over the last quarter century

Intended as a continuum from the first collection of Open Letter essays on McCaffery, this new gathering seeks critical essays (both scholarly and experimental) on any aspect of McCaffery’s criticism or poetry (including sound, visual, and performance poetry), with a particular interest in writing produced since 1990.

       Some points of departure, or lines of inquiry may include: 
-       Reassessments of McCaffery early writing or analysis of recent writing
-       Is there a McCaffery canon? The significance of Teachable Texts, Carnival, or The Black Debt?
-       McCaffery and digital poetics: his inclusion in Poems for the Millennium Vol. 2 as a cyberpoet? Carnival: Panel 3 as his first self-identified digital work?
-       McCaffery collaborations (TRG, Nichol, The Four Horsemen, Mac Cormack)
-       McCaffery’s contributions to theories of translation, sound poetry, or pataphysics -       McCaffery’s influence on writers, both younger and contemporary
-       The concept of nationality in McCaffery’s career: his international reputation or his interrogation of nationality in assessing literature?
-       McCaffery and trans-historicism: making the new old, or making the old new?
-       The critical and theoretical contributions of McCaffery to literary debate  Priority will be given to critical writing on McCaffery’s work, but submissions of poetry or visuals inspired by, or related to the work of, McCaffery will also be considered. 


Please send proposals/ intentions/ ideas to Stephen Cain <sjcain@yorku.ca> by October 1st, 2010. Complete work will be requested by January 2011.


link    |  07-22-10

He that cannot pay
Let him pay

committee for a Republican future


full set of placards


link    |  07-21-10

Tan Lin
Edit Publications 2010 | Series Editor: Danny Snelson
with an Introduction by Danny Snelson and an Afterword by Charles Bernstein
free download / 100pp

link    |  07-17-10

Tuli Kupferberg

Morning, morning
Feel so lonesome in the morning
Morning, morning
Morning brings me grief

Sunshine, sunshine,
Sunshine left upon my face
And the secret of the shining
Puts me in my running place

Evening, evening
Feel so lonesome in the evening
Evening, evening
Evening brings me grief

Moonshine, moonshine
Moonshine dots the hills with grace
And the glory of the shining
Seems to break my simple pace

Nighttime, nighttime
Feel so lonesome in the nighttime
Nighttime, nighttime
Does not bring me to relief

Starshine, starshine
Chills the moon upon my cheek
Starshine, starshine
Darling kiss me as I leave

Richie Havens:

The Fugs:


link    |  07-16-10



Two Poems from Phillip Foss Valley of the Cranes


Two reviews of All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems

The Rumpus

Mark Scroggins
(July 8, 2010)

Provincetown Arts
Mary Maxwell
Summer 2010


All the Whiskey in Heaven
(poem and in "text flow")


link    |  07-15-10

Ugly Duckling Press: New Web Site

including the beginning of the
UDP Digital Archive


It's my pleasure to be on the board of UDP. I hope you will consider contributing the press's current fund drive:


Ugly Duckling Presse presents “THE CLAMBAKE”


UDP needs individual support to maintain our bustling operation, and continue to publish the googliest stuff out there! We’ve been running on volunteer energy since the 1990s, and we are a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit so your donation is tax-deductible.

Make a donation online:

Major credit cards accepted.
PayPal account not required.

Donate by check:
You can make it out to Ugly Duckling Presse and send it to 232 Third Street, #E002, Brooklyn, NY 11215.

Gifts over $49 will be acknowledged as follows:
$500 and up :: Clam Shucker
$100 and up :: Supporter
$50 and up :: Helping Hand

Thank you Clambake donors!

By making an annual donation now, you directly support the publication of exciting new works of poetry, translation, artist books, experimental prose, and more.

Wait, remind me what UDP has been up to recently?
Take a look at this comic by Julien Poirier to find out more! Click to enlarge!

Have any questions? Contact us at info [at] uglyducklingpresse [dot] org or 347-948-5170. Thanks!

link    |  07-14-10

Mickey's Missing!
a video by Felix Bernstein

watch in HD (after play begins click above from 360p or 480p to 720p)

Made in the summer of 2009, my junior year of High School. The film follows Teeny Mouse, my parody of Minnie Mouse, as she attempts to process the loss of her husband Mickey, who has disappeared. She wonders if, without him, she will have to go on playing the same pathetic roles she did before. Mickey, who silently gazes upon and records Teeny, encourages and choreographs her hysterics; in much the same way normative spectators encourage queer spectacles of parody, pathos, drag, and camp. The struggle to create a politically empowering parody of Minnie Mouse was difficult since gender parodies have both the subversive potential to reclaim negative images and the destructive potential to fail and reproduce the very norms and traumas they attempt to subvert. Therefore, sometimes Teeny Mouse shows distance from her cartoonish helpless role and sometimes she is entirely absorbed by it.
Finding my way as a young, gay individual amid cultural and social pressures for spectacle and specialness has been a chaotic and exciting journey. YouTube has been the perfect grounds for me to explore these complex issues. I came out of the closet on YouTube in 2009: comically embodying a manic gay stereotype, in clown face paint with big cherry-red lips and a powder-white face. Then I confessed with feigned naiveté: "My name is Felix Bernstein and I am a homosexual." My coming out video was as much a satire on my generation's use of the Internet to publicize private information, as it was an affirmation of my sexual orientation and identity.

In addition to playing Minnie Mouse, I have also played Lamb Chop, and Cinderella's Wicked Stepmother in films for YouTube. I'm drawn to cartoon characters because they have no independent existence outside of their performed artifice. I look for the repressed shadows of the characters, the inappropriate, perverse, and "wrong" emotions that go hidden in their performances. Then I play with these shadows, allowing Lamb Chop to show her hidden rage and sexuality, the Wicked Stepmother to show her vulnerable dependence for male approval, and Minnie Mouse to show her frustration at always performing a helpless, naïve femininity. I also play with my own shadows, for instance my desire as a gay man to identify with and portray stereotypical images of women. In this way I hope to add a new critical and reflective dimension to queer spectacles. Beginning a process of healing that I hope continues with the viewer, who can now question the roles that they have been asked to perform and explore the shadows that they have hidden.
© Felix Bernstein 2010

link    |  07-13-10

Stephen Fredman

Contextual Practice
Assemblage and the Erotic in Postwar Poetry and Art

Stanford University Press, 2010


Stephen Fredman's Contextual Practice provides an in-depth exploration of cultural and aesthetic contexts shared by poets Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley and Denise Levertov, filmmaker Harry Smith, philosopher Norman O. Brown, and artist Wallace Berman and the circle around his seminal Semina magazine. Fredman has written a brilliant treatise on the poetics of collage in the New American poetry. And he puts his theories into practice with his exemplary use of contingent juxtapositions of a precisely ordered constellation of examples.


link    |  06-27-10

The Toronto New School of Writing

The Attack of the Difficult Poems:
Close Encounters with Poetics
(Say, Do You Have a Poetics?)

Instructor: Charles Bernstein

November 6, 2010 12pm – 4:30pm

(a 3-hour class with a 1/2 hour break, followed by informal reception for the last hour)

A discussion of contemporary poetics, focusing on a set of short works of poetics submitted by each participant. This seminar class will start with a discussion of, responses to, and extensions from Bernstein’s new selected poems All the Whiskey in Heaven. A set of additional suggested readings and web sites will be provided. Each participant will submit a response to these readings, combined with (or in addition to) an articulation of their own poetics (speculations/orientations/interventions) — in whatever style preferred from journal entry to essay to list to polemic to poem. Submit these works by November 4; they will be distributed by email on Nov. 5, to be read before the seminar on the next day. register here link    |  06-26-10-tnsow


Teaching Modernist Poetry
ed. Peter Middleton and Nicky Marsh
Palgrave, 2010

Introduction: Pedagogy and Poetics; N.Marsh
The Elusive Allusion: Poetry as Exegesis;
Politics and Modernist Poetics;
Science and Poetry;
“The New comes forward”: Anglo-American Modernist Women Poets;
Race, Modernism and Institutions;
Contemporary British Modernisms;
Modernist Pedagogy at the End of the Lecture: IT and the Poetics Classroom;
Reading and Writing Through Found Materials: from modernism to contemporary practice;
Experiment in Practice and Speculation in Poetics;
Wreading, Writing, Wresponding;
Early Modernism, Late Modernism, and Interpretative Ingenuity;


link    |  06-26-10

Cover to Agreement courtesy Eclipse. Read it here.

Crisis Intervention
courtesy Eclipse here.
The Son Master courtesy Eclipse here.


Peter Seaton
(December 16, 1942 - May 18, 2010)

Seaton died of an apparent heart attack in New York.



link    |  06-25-10

Leslie Scalapino’s Rhythmic Intensities

Scalapino Memorial
Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church
New York, June 21, 2010


The poet dies, the poet’s work is borne by her readers.

When I first encountered Leslie Scalapino’s work I was hard hit by its psychic intensity, formal ingeniousness, and rhythmic imagination. I felt I came to the work late; the first book I read was The Woman who Could Read the Minds of Dogs, which while published in 1976, I didn’t read till around 1981. The psychosexual dynamics of the work and its ability to make dislocation a visceral experience immediately became, once I had taken in the magnitude of Scalapino’s project, a capital point on the mapping of poetry associated with L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E magazine, one that deepened and enriched that survey. When North Point published Considering How Exaggerated Music Is in 1982, Scalapino’s work became an indelible part of my poetic firmament, that imaginary company each of us chooses but that also chooses us. That is, I feel as much chosen by Scalapino’s work as that I was doing the choosing; her work entered into and changed my consciousness about what was possible for poetry, changed the terms for all of us working along similar lines.

 Every once in a while I would say something to Leslie about Considering How Exaggerated the Music Is. She would shake her head, slightly laughing, “Oh Charles not the music: considering how exaggerated music is.” As in her music, the music of her poems. Not exaggerated in the sense of hyperbolic or overstated, but as in extravagant, wild and wandering.

Starting in my earliest conversations with Leslie, when I would try to describe qualities I found in her work, she was adamant in resisting interpretations she felt countermanded her intentions. When I would say, but you know, Leslie, readers will respond in many different ways to a poem, she would give no ground; for her, how a work is to be interpreted was part of the poem: not just her intention, but part of the integrity of the work itself. I felt her rebuke to my more porous view of interpretation to be magnificent and improbable, for as much as Leslie set the bar for interpretation a bit higher than actual reading practices will ordinarily sustain, she demonstrated her fierce commitment to poetic meaning and also the truth in the form and materials, sincerity in Zukofsky’s sense: that reading was a social bond that necessitated the reader’s recognition of the formal terms of the work. So there was a right way to read, not in the moral sense but in a very practical one, as in a right way to operate software so it works, does the job for which is was made.

And you could say that Scalapino created a new and thrilling poetic software, allowing for a phenomenological unique experience, something like a 3- or 4-D poem. Her overlays, repetitions, and torques enable proactive readers to enter the space of the poem as something akin to a holographic environment. The present time of the work is intensified by her echoes (overlapping waves of phrases) of what just happened and what is about to happen, so the present is expanded into a temporally multi-dimensional space. Her  undulating phrasal rhythms are in turn psychedelic, analytic, notational, pointillistic, and narrational.  Think of it as deep-space syncretic cubism. And Scalapino’s performances of her work, many collected at PennSound, are crucial guides to entering this hyperspace.

Scalapino’s poetry was central to my poem/essay Artifice of Absorption, which I wrote starting in 1985. In Artifice of Absorption, I noted that Scalapino’s rhetorical repetitions create a disabsorptive/affective charm: the slight, accented, shifts in similar statements operate as modular scans of the field of perception, building thick linguistic waves of overlay and undertow, the warp of a thematic motif countered with the woof of its torqued rearticulation.

When I visited Leslie and Tom in Oakland a few weeks before Leslie died, her luminous and effervescent stoicism, the nobility in which she acknowledged death lurking in her garden, was fused with her refusal to give up on life and her urgent, tragic recognition of the work she still had it in her to do that she would not be able to do. She spoke of how much she wanted to come to New York to read her new work, and so together with Stacy and Tracy we made plans for her to read here tonight. In Oakland in May, we laughed together at the moment’s literary gossip and we talked about her just finished book, The Dihedrons Gazelle-Dihedrals Zoom, written in the late style of Floats Horse-Floats or Horse Floats; she knew it would be her last.

I sent her my response to this work just days before she died, trying to do justice to the work and hoping that she would accept my description as apt, which Tom tells me she did:

The Dihedrons is an ekphrastic implosion inside our severed human-body/animal-mind.  “Memory isn’t the origin of events,” Scalapino writes early in this magisterial work, which restores the synthesis of events to its place as meanings' origin. The Dihedrons Gazelle-Dihedrals Zoom -- as much a work of grotesque science fiction as a poem --cracks open the imaginary reality astride reality. In the stadium of its visionary composition, the everyday floats vivid strange: in time, as time, with time, beside time.

Scalapino’s poems, from her first book to this last, probe politics, memory, perception, and desire, creating hypnotically shifting coherences that take us beyond any dislocating devices into a realm of newly emerging consciousness. Like a sumo wrestler doing contact improvisations with a ballerina, Scalapino balances the unbalanceable poetic accounts of social justice and aesthetic insistence.

Every once in a while, I’d say something to Leslie about her book series, calling it O Press; she would shake her head, slightly laughing, “Oh Charles not oppress, O Books”! “Oppression is our social space.” Leslie, with the support of Tom White, created one of the great small presses of our time.

I keep thinking about her titles, which are among the most amazing, fantastic, and unexpected of anybody ever … And her essays, which are models  of  a non-expository, exploratory style remains foundational for any activist poetics.

Like a ballerina doing contact improvisations with a sumo wrestler.

The poet dies, the poet’s work is borne … by us, in us, through us, as us.

It’s the longest day.

Considering how exaggerated music is.


published by Sybil
photo © 2002 Bernstein/PennSound

link    |  06-22-10

Hejinian on Scalapino (Academy of American Poets)
R.D. Pohl on Scalapino (Buffalo News)

Robert Grenier's biographical note
on Larry Eigner

On All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems:

John Herbert Cunningham
“Poetry’s Ulysses: All the Whiskey in Heaven"
The Quarterly Conversation

(June 7, 2010)

JBunce, Hub Pages
(June 2, 2010)

Isabelle Alfandary on "Recantorium"
Revue Française d'Etude Américaine
No. 121, Fall 2009 (in French)

Australian Broadcasting Company, Poetica
"Thank You for Saying Thank You"
interview and reading, broadcast June 12, 2010

Al Filreis on
John Marin's drawing as writing

Logan Esdale on Joel Bettridge's Reading as Belief: Language Writing, Poetics, Fatih.

English 111
my "Experimental Writing" seminar at Penn
sound files, visual poems, collaborations, twitter poems, and individual web sites.

My February Banff reading in MP3s:
introduction to Charles Bernstein (0:09): MP3
In the Middle of the Way (tr. of Carlos Drummond de Andrade) (1:17): MP3
Thank You for Saying Thank You (3:32): MP3
from Today's Not Opposite Day (1:09): MP3
Wherever Angels Go (1:45): MP3
every lake (1:13): MP3
You Never Looked So Simulating (2:27): MP3
The Twelve Tribes of Dr. Lacan (2:37): MP3
Won't You Give Up This Poem to Someone Who Needs It? (1:38): MP3
Dear%r Fr~ie%d (3:04): MP3
The Sixties, With Apologies (1:53): MP3
Recalculating (15:15): MP3
Morality (1:52): MP3
Sapphics (1:06): MP3
All the Whiskey in Heaven (1:31): MP3

link    |  06-18-10

Leslie Scalapino
reading her new work
February 2010
recorded and produced by Konrad Steiner
distributed by PennSound


Leslie Scalapino reads from Floats Horse-Floats or Horse-Flows

Leslie Scalapino reads from The Dihedrons Gazelle-Dihedrals Zoom

link    |  06-13-10

Poetry Project St. Marks Church
New York
Memorial for Leslie Scalapino
Monday, June 21, 2010 8:00 pm

Petah Coyne, Simone Fattal, Joan Retallack, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Charles Bernstein, Susan Bee, Ann Lauterbach, Susan Howe, Paolo Javier, Molissa Foley, Fiona Templeton, Laura Elrick, Rodrigo Toscano, Steve Clay, Rachel Levitsky, James Sherry, Pierre Joris, Judith Goldman, E. Tracy Grinnell and Tom White
& others
There will be a wine and cheese reception to follow.

The Memorial follows two performances of Scalapino’s Noh play
Flow–Winged Crocodile
at Poets House
Saturday, June 19, at 7:00pm & Sunday, June 20, at 2:00pm
Directed by Fiona Templeton, with Katie Brown, Stephanie Silver and Julie Troost. Dance by Molissa Fenley. Music by Joan Jeanrenaud. Projected drawings by Eve Biddle. Cosponsored by Belladonna and The Poetry Project.
$10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poetry Project and Poets House Members

Buddhist funeral ceremony
officiated by Abbot Norman Fischer
Thursday July 1, 2010
San Francisco Zen Center Green Gulch Farm
1601 Shoreline Highway Muir Beach, CA 94965-9759
for directions and parking: www.sfzc.org/ggf/
2pm in the Green Dragon Temple; 4-5:30 reception in the Wheelwright Center

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to: The San Francisco Zen Center, 300 Page St., San Francisco, CA 94102 Poets in Need, PO Box 5411, Berkeley, CA 94705 Reed College for the Leslie Scalapino Scholarship, 3203 Southeast Woodstock Blvd., Portland, OR 97202-8199 The AYCO Charitable Foundation, PO Box 15203, Albany, NY 12212-5203 for the Leslie Scalapino-O Books Fund to support innovative works of poetry, prose and art

SF Memorial readings with poets, artists & friends
Friday November 19, 2010 (date to be confirmed)
Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall
University of California, Berkeley
Time & further details TBA

link    |  06-08-10-LS



link    |  06-09-10

my favorite Chelsea sign

link    |  06-09-10-x

Art Walk


Yves Klein at Hirschhorn, Washington, DC

I'd never fully taken in the full scope of his work until this show (which is not that large but beautifully presented); it is often delightfully satiric but for Klein the satiric or comic is a perspicuous framing/conceptual device for a series of works that are exhileratingly aesthetic and markedly structural. Four bodies of work are presented: the great leap photo is by itself; the Klein blue objects (which seen in proliferation are gorgeous) and related monochromatic paintings (which stood up the Stellas and Ellsworth Kelly in the museum) (in some surprising ways related to Malevich); the abstraction derived from young French models dripping in paint rolling against the canvas (video of Klein directing the production is hysterical); and the paintings made by burning/fire. Klein's insouciance and conceptual perspicacity is exemplary.


Allen Ginsberg Photographs, National Gallery, Washington, DC

Many remarkable and iconic photographs, but in the end Ginsberg’s interest is less on the art of photography than on documenting and mythologizing (the distinction may be less marked than first assumed) his immediate poetry circle.



Second Wave modernist
Mark Rothko (Marcus Rothkowitz)'s
"black on black" 1964 paintings
Tower, National Gallery, DC

are rarely black, but frame darkness light as doors or frames, spaces within spaces.  
Morton Feldman's "Rothko Chapel" deepens the space.



YOU WANNA BE A WHITE MANS BLACK BITCH? TWO MINUTES LATER A REPLY COMES: YES; tote bags; duct tape; flat-screen TV; white, pink, and black marble sculptures; Men Without Love; Old Holland oil paint tubes; Krink inks; black Chanel Ballerines; The Synthetic Slut: New York; Smith & Wesson bear claw knives; Winchester Bowie knives; Manhunt portraits; mounted photographs; a fully-made Hens bed; I CAN DO IT IN ANY WAY YOU WANT IT; silicon foam platypuses--purple, yellow, orange, magenta, turquoise, lime green, forest green, olive green; camo-print Serbian military uniforms; felt Serbian soldiers; framed photographs ofArkan?s Tigers ; a remixed Serbian snuff video; HOW DO YOU WANNA DIE? ; chihuahuas; fruit bats; child soldiers; cologne; bottles of Perfume Commes des Garcons, Monocle, La Prairie, LaiSalmer, Luxe; beige goat leather Margiela jacket; gray pin-stripe wool Margiela suit; black silk Margiela suit; sequined lapel; leather Margiela boots; silver Margiela rings; purple chairs, leather sofas, and black wooden tables by Wittman; he feels his lips on his neck and hears him whisper in his ear: My white whore, my white property ; Playboy hat; Monographs?Jean Dubuffet, Jean Cocteau, Richard Prince, Richard Hawkins, Rudolf Stingel; David Hockney, Sigmar Polke, Michael Krebber, Meg Cranston, Martin Kippenberger, Bjarne Melgaard, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Georg Baselitz, Nate Lowman, Julian Schnabel; It's a sex party in Chelsea. Get in for free. Oh yeah, you can come in?walk around. Feel cool. Wanna fuck. One guy is eating his ass, another one is sucking him off, and a third guy is kissing him. Guys stand around wanking; a salt water aquarium of sharkskin leather; Australian and Indo-Pacific fish?Harlequin tusk, Hippo tang, Naso tang, Sohal tang; coral reef?purple gorgonians, red wellsophyllia, green sinularia, orange lobophyllia; pills; needles; syringes; prescription drugs; 0,25MG Risperidone; 75MG Effexor; 3MG Lunesta; 6MG Serostim; 300MG Euro Boldenon; 350MG Euro Sustanon; 200MG Trenbolone Enanthate; Black Whore Wants White Pride Daddy (John 32); gold leaf platypus; Bottino chicken salad; cans of Diet Coke; bottles of Boylan?s Ginger Ale; RUSH; Slut palette. Slut installation; Artslut. Artist as slut. Artist slut; Renaud Camus Tricks ; Bernadette Corporation's Reena Spaulings ; Christopher S. Stewart's Hunting the Tiger ; Henrik Hovland?s Amputasjon ; James Robert Baker's Testosterone ; Malcolm McLaren and the Bootzilla Orchestra; FUCK ART ABOUT MOVIE STAR AND ESPECIALLY ART WITH MANNIQUENS; Parkett; Purple Fashion; Bomb; Artforum; Dazed and Confused; The Journal; The Wire; Raw Vision; Before he even walks in, a joyous overweight fag greets him by exclaiming: Hello! We?re all the same whores here, which is probably the fat bitch?s not-so-painless way of assimilating him into his own social codes and ethics; Compass in Hand; Self-Taught Outsider Art; Societe Anonyme; Black Low; Rod Bianco; Rudolf Schwarzkogler photograph; Me as Arkan and you as my tiger baby; plastic Kubrick ape action figures; Chuevara rebel ape ; Apethoven the chimposer; SSUR; Supreme; So how many do you think you killed? ; metal Benin leopard statues; black and white NAMBLA images; Plato?s Retreat; Big Fat Black Cock, Inc.; In a city exploding with unsafe sex and endless sexual encounters between any race, age or class, the art world in New York behaves like a stuck-up, educated old grandma hoping to impress the grandchildren with her home-baked cookies. The idea is that a discourse is gonna help the fact that we are all a bunch of useless whores without a client. We think discourse is where intellect and education will somehow let us transcend the fact that we are speechless when we are met with a reality without any excuse.

Bjarne Melgaard at Greene Naftali
Bruno Does Yugoslavia
The Sex Pistols meet Mel Brooks, and then some, as this Norwegian artist gives the finger to homophobes, racists and Balkan Nazis
(image is my treated version of press release)
Rollicking installation.


June Leaf at Edward Thorp


Anne Truitt at Matthew Marks

(image from different but similar installation)


Edward Kienholz, Roxys (1960-61), at David Zwirner


link    |  06-06-10

link    |  06-04010

Jay Sanders Bomb interview
on the occastion of the publication of
All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems

full interview now on-line
issue 111, 2010


You seem to always stand in the doorway, vacillating between theory and practice, criticism and art. The voice of the poet and the voice of the critic are performed, almost like hand puppets that you occupy for a little while, manipulate, and then abandon. I don’t see you stepping outside your poetic practice to speak in a declarative way when articulating aesthetic issues. Instead, that spectral range between making a poem and responding to one becomes a wide field of activity.

I love that you call this vacillating! Thinking of those oscilloscopes on science-fiction television of the ’50s, I’ve called the rhythmic impulse of my stepping inside and outside the frame oscillating, a quasi-scientific term. Oscillating suggests something formal, whereas vacillating suggests fear, ambiguity, ambivalence, wanting different things. That’s more accurate to the experience, and to hand puppets… You know, one of the reproaches I’ve often received—and I’m not alone—is that my work is much more interesting as theory. From my point of view, I never write theory anyway. However, I am not interested in breaking down the distinction between essays and poetry: as a rhetorician and sophist I am committed to those genre distinctions, although one genre is not subservient to the other in my queer practice. I think of it as a swerving between holding stations, and even as a vying to undermine the authority of both. It’s true that, on the one hand, I mock and destabilize the foundation of a commitment to lyric poetry as an address toward truth or toward sincerity. But, on the other hand, if you’re interested in theory as a stable expository mode of knowledge production or critique moving toward truth, again, I should be banned from your republic. (I’ve already been banned from mine.) My vacillating poetics of poems and essays is a serial practice, a play of voices.

read more

link    |  06-02-10

Louise Bourgeois

Mira Schor on Bourgeois


link    |  05-31-10

Literature by Design

Jerome J. McGann and Nicholas Frankel, General Editors

Literature by Design: British and American Books 1880-1930 consists of literary works published between 1880 and 1930 that foreground the vehicle of the book and the visible nature of language itself. Literature by Design titles incorporate facsimile reproductions of the original editions—all of which are noteworthy for the role design and typography played in shaping readers’ responses—along with new critical material by leading contemporary scholars.

Nicholas Frankel, ed., The Sphinx (2010). Oscar Wilde spent over eleven years fine-tuning his poem The Sphinx — arguably the central work of his creative mind and the ultimate embodiment of his ideas about the power of artifice and the nature of art. He hesitated to publish it, he said, because he feared it would “destroy domesticity in England.” But Wilde was simply waiting for the perfect bibliographic vehicle for his poem; and the publication of The Sphinx in 1894, as a book printed in three colors, bound in ivory vellum, with decorations by Charles Ricketts, represents one of the most astonishing attempts ever made to integrate poetry with graphic design.

Craig Saper, ed., Words (2009). In January 1931, Bob Brown worked with Nancy Cunard's Hours Press to publish Words—two sets of poems printed in a single volume. The book was subtitled "I but bend my finger in a beckon and words, birds of words, hop on it, chirping." One set of poems was printed in 16-point Caslon Old Face, a classic font style used in all Hours Press publications. The other was relief-printed from engraved plates at less than 3-point size (perhaps, according to Cunard, less than 1-point). Because the subtitle was also printed in the microscopic text, archives, libraries, and bibliographies often mistakenly omit it.

Although Brown was, for Cunard, "at the very center of his time, a zeitgeist in himself," they printed only 150 copies, and the book passed into relative obscurity. It is generally mentioned only as a footnote in discussions of Cunard's life or in reference to Readies for Bob Brown's Machine, Brown’s better-known anthology of experimental texts by modernist writers, including Cunard herself. Over time, this experiment in blurring the distinction between text on the one hand and its design and presentation on the other has become a major prophetic work. Noted Brown scholar Craig Saper brings Words back to light, with a thorough explication of its meaning and role in literary history.

The Readies
  • Buy Now
  • Read Online

    Craig Saper, ed., The Readies (2009). Before there was Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or Jeff Bezos, there was Bob Brown. Back in 1930, Brown foresaw the day when reading would be done on devices that brought with them a tendency to smash and recombine language into a kind of grotesque shorthand. With one foot in the avant-garde camp of Marcel Duchamp, Kay Boyle, F. W. Marinetti, and Gertrude Stein, and one foot in the more practical efforts to invent new forms of book storage and retrieval, Brown exerted a considerable influence on some of the most important literary and artistic figures of his time. The Readies—a parodic, playful announcement of Brown’s imagined invention of a new reading machine that would require writers and readers to reduce language to “smashum” words and to eschew use of bulky adverbs, adjectives, and countless other unnecessary words in the new age of streamlined communication—now stands as one of the most remarkable examples of accidental prophecy in the history of literature. Rice University Press is bringing The Readies back to light as part of its Literature by Design series, with a fascinating Afterword by Craig Saper, one of the world’s leading scholars on texts and technology.

    Le Petit Journal des Refusées
    • Buy Now
    • Read Online

      Johanna Drucker, ed., Le Petit Journal des Refusées (2009). In the late nineteenth century, when the San Francisco artist and writer Frank Gelett Burgess published this one-of-a-kind sixteen-page pamphlet, printed on wallpaper, trimmed to a trapezoidal shape, and full of parodic references, he was making a critical argument about cultural networks and industries as well as creating an original and unique piece of humor. Purporting to be a publication consisting of works rejected by at least three other journals, Le Petit Journal des Refusées was really the work of Burgess and a few of his friends. This entertaining pamphlet would provide only passing interest if it were not for the remarkable degree of self-consciousness with which it exposed the social nature of aesthetic production. Le Petit Journal stands now as an engaging and thought-provoking artifact of late nineteenth-century international cosmopolitan culture. Noted scholar Johanna Drucker brings Le Petit Journal back to light in this new facsimile edition, brilliantly explicated by her Afterword detailing the intellectual ferment of the time.

      The Black Riders and other
      • Buy Now
      • Read Online

        Jerome McGann, ed., The Black Riders and other lines (2009). The 1895 publication of Stephen Crane's The Black Riders and other lines was a milestone event in the history of American letters. Crane's was the first American book to be printed with a clear Modernist design — a look devised with the conscious intention to echo the sense of his text.

        Rice University Press is bringing Crane's breakthrough volume back to life in this new facsimile edition, part of our Literature by Design series, with an enlightening Afterword by the noted scholar Jerome McGann. Dr. McGann carefully explicates both the poetry and its presentation, leading the reader through an interpretation of the work that is also an interpretation of the pages themselves, along with a thorough account of the state and motion of the publishing industry in 1890s America.

        Forthcoming Titles:

        George Egerton, Fantasias, edited by Margaret Stetz
        William Meinhold, Sidonia the Sorceress, translated by Speranza, Lady Wilde, edited by Charles Sligh
        Ella Hepworth Dixon, My Flirtations, edited by Valerie Fehlbaum
        John Gray, Silverpoints and Spiritual Poems, edited by Joseph Bristow and Daniel Williford
        Laurence Housman, Green Arras, edited by Lorraine Jantzen Kooistra.

        link    |  05-30-10-rup

        Rethinking Poetics
        A Conference of the Columbia-Penn Poetics Initiative
        June 11-13, 2010


        More on Radical Poetics and Secular Jewish Culture
        Chris Nagler, Robin Tremblay-McGraw, and Charles Bernstein
        (follows up on this post from X Poetics)



        Glossator 2
        commentaries on J.H. Prynne


        Tan Lin interview

        link    |  05-30-10

        here is the EPC announcement, sent out by Leslie Scalapino's family:

        “Scalapino makes everything take place in real time, in the light and air and night where all of us live, everything happening at once.” — Philip Whalen

         Leslie Scalapino passed away on May 28, 2010 in Berkeley, California. She was born in Santa Barbara in 1944 and raised in Berkeley, California. After Berkeley High School, she attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon and received her B.A. in Literature in 1966. She received her M.A. in English from the University of California at Berkeley in 1969, after which she began to focus on writing poetry. Leslie Scalapino lived with Tom White, her husband and friend of 35 years, in Oakland, California.

        In childhood, she traveled with her father Robert Scalapino, founder of UC Berkeley’s Institute for Asian Studies, her mother Dee Scalapino, known for her love of music, and her two sisters, Diane and Lynne, throughout Asia, Africa and Europe. She and Tom continued these travels including trips to Tibet, Bhutan, Japan, India, Yemen, Mongolia, Libya and elsewhere. Her writing was intensely influenced by these travels. She published her first book O and Other Poems in 1976, and since then has published thirty books of poetry, prose, inter-genre fiction, plays, essays, and collaborations. Scalapino’s most recent publications include a collaboration with artist Kiki Smith, The Animal is in the World like Water in Water (Granary Books), and  Floats Horse-Floats or Horse-Flows (Starcherone Books), and her selected poems It’s go in horizontal / Selected Poems 1974-2006 (UC Press) was published in 2008. In 1988, her long poem way received the Poetry Center Award,  the Lawrence Lipton Prize, and the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. Her plays have been performed in San Francisco at New Langton Arts, The Lab, Venue 9, and Forum; in New York by The Eye and Ear Theater and at Barnard College; and in Los Angeles at Beyond Baroque.

        In 1986, Scalapino founded O Books as a publishing outlet for young and emerging poets, as well as prominent, innovative writers, and the list of nearly 100 titles includes authors such as Ted Berrigan, Robert Grenier, Fanny Howe, Tom Raworth, Norma Cole, Will Alexander, Alice Notley, Norman Fischer, Laura Moriarty, Michael McClure, Judith Goldman and many others. Scalapino is also the editor of four editions of O anthologies, as well as the periodicals Enough (with Rick London) and War and Peace (with Judith Goldman).

        Scalapino taught writing at various institutions, including 16 years in the MFA program at Bard College, Mills College, the San Francisco Art Institute, California College of the Arts in San Francisco, San Francisco State University, UC San Diego, and the Naropa Institute.

        Of her own writing, Scalapino says “my sense of a practice of writing and of action, the apprehension itself that ‘one is not oneself for even an instant’ – should not be,’ is to be participation in/is a social act. That is, the nature of this practice that’s to be ‘social act’ is it is without formation or custom.” Her writing, unbound by a single format, her collaborations with artists and other writers, her teaching, and publishing are evidence of this sense of her own practice, social acts that were her practice. Her generosity and fiercely engaged intelligence were everywhere evident to those who had the fortune to know her.

        Scalapino has three books forthcoming in 2010. A book of two plays published in one volume, Flow-Winged Crocodile and A Pair / Actions Are Erased / Appear will come out in June 2010 from Chax Press; a new prose work, The Dihedrons Gazelle-Dihredals Zoom will be released this summer by Post-Apollo Press; and a revised and expanded collection of her essays and plays, How Phenomena Appear to Unfold (originally published by Potes & Poets) will be published in the fall by Litmus Press.

        Her play Flow-Winged Crocodile will be performed in New York at Poets House on June 19th at 7pm and June 20th at 2pm by the performance group The Relationship, directed by Fiona Templeton and with Katie Brown, Stephanie Silver, and Julie Troost. Dance by Molissa Fenley, music by Joan Jeanrenaud, and projected drawings by Eve Biddle. This production is co-sponsored by Belladonna* and the Poetry Project.

        There will be a memorial event for Scalapino at St. Mark’s Poetry Project on Monday, June 21st.

        A Zen Buddhist funeral ceremony will be conducted by Abbott Norman Fisher in about a month with the arrangements in a subsequent announcement. Tom requests that in lieu of flowers, Leslie's friends consider a charitable donation in her memory to: Poets in Need, PO Box 5411, Berkeley, CA 94705;  Reed College for the Leslie Scalapino Scholarship, 3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, OR 97202-8199;  The AYCO Charitable Foundation, PO Box 15203, Albany, NY 12212-5203 for the Leslie Scalapino-O Books Fund to support innovative works of poetry, prose and art; or to a charitable organization of their choice. Condolence cards may be sent to Tom & Leslie’s home address, 5744 Presley Way, Oakland, California 94618-1633.


                    to make my mind be actions outside only. which they are. that collapses in

        grey-red bars. actions are life per se only without it.

                 (so) events are minute — even (voluptuous)

        ––Leslie Scalapino


        EPC page

        LINEbreak show


        Leslie Loses Her Breath

        Go to blog page to see this player to see this player.

        Leslie Scalapino
        Leslie was in New York for the Poetry Project panels on her work. She came by our place for lox & bagels. I asked her about the time she literally lost her breath in Tibet.
        November 12, 2006
        (mp4, 48 seconds, 7.8 mb)


        Norman Fischer took this picture of Leslie, Tom, and me
        a few weeks ago, in front of their house in Oakland.
        I took the photo at top in 2006.

        link    |  05-29-10-LS


        Oslo Poetry Festival 2009

        Pär Thörn, 25 October 2010


        Jordan Scott 24 October 2010


        Charles Bernstein ("Morality)," Jordan Scott (from Blert), and Pär Thörn
        reading at the Oslo Poetry Festival, 24 October 2010.

        More video and montage from festival.


        link    |  05-29-10

        link    |  05-27-10

        Norman Fischer & Charles Bernstein
        Radical Poetics and Secular Jewish Culture

        (University of Alabama Press)
        a conversation at
        The Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
        May 11, 2010
        co-sponsored by Small Press Traffic
        full program (1:18:47): MP3
        edited podcast (55:49): MP3


        I will be continuing this discussion with Norman Fischer
        at the Jewish Meditation Center of Brooklyn
        Monday, June 7, 2010
        BZC - 505 Carroll Street, between 3rd and 4th Avenues


        & the next day in Manhattan
        a reading from

        Jewish Art for the New Millennium
        Avant-Garde Poetry and Music
        Charles Bernstein, Kenneth Goldsmith, and Jamie Saft
        Curated by Jake Marmer
        Tues June 8th, 8:00 pm
        Sixth Street Synagogue
        325 East 6th (b/n 1st and 2nd Ave)
        cover: $8

        link    |  05-23-10

        (July 6, 1936 - May 18, 2010)


        from The Mechanism of Meaning

        link    |  05-20-10


        S/N: NewWorldPoetics

        is a quarterly journal dedicated to the poetries of the Americas and to South/North [S/N] dialog. In each issue we will publish poetry and poetics in English or Spanish translation, introducing North American readers to Latin American poetry and vice versa. Our commitment is to a poetics of invention and exploration. This also defines our approach to translation, which we see not as an expedient but as an art form in itself. S/N will present work that challenges received conventions about poetry and poetics – but not necessarily in the predictable ways of the avant-garde, bohemian, or dissident. The poetry and poetics we present is meant to open up new understandings of poetic invention and formal exploration, in works that are as wild and unpredictable as Our Americas.

        S/N: NewWorldPoetics es una revista cuatrimestral dedicada a la poesía y poéticas de las Américas, como asimismo a promover el diálogo entre Sur y Norte [S/N]. En cada número publicaremos poemas y poéticas en traducción al inglés o español, presentando a los lectores de Norte América la poesía de América Latina, y viceversa. Nuestro compromiso es con las poéticas de invención y exploración. Esto también define nuestra concepción de la traducción, a la cual no vemos como una simple mediadora sino como una forma de arte por sí misma. S/N presentará obras que desafían las convenciones pre-existentes sobre la poesía, aunque no necesariamente a la manera predecible de las vanguardias, la bohemia, o la disidencia. La poesía y poéticas que publicaremos están pensadas y concebidas para inaugurar nuevos entendimientos de la invención poética y de la exploración formal, en obras que son tan salvajes e impredecibles como Nuestras Américas.


        Charles Bernstein & Eduardo Espina, editors




        Issue One

        Essays / Ensayos
        Charles Bernstein
        Roberto Echavarren
        Eduardo Espina
        José Kozer
        Heriberto Yépez

          Poetry / Poesía
        Carlos Germán Belli
        Régis Bonvicino
        Robert Creeley
        Oliverio Girondo
        Tan Lin
        Harryette Mullen
        Tom Raworth

             Interview / Entrevista
        Marjorie Perloff
        Enrique Mallen

        Gabriela Jauregui
        Ernesto Livon-Grosman
        Pedro Serrano
        Rose Shapiro
        Travis Sorenson
        Julia Stanka
        Molly Weigel

        116pp., 8x10", color


        link    |  05-15-10

        Cross-Cultural Poetiics Episode #208
        February 4, 2010
        Charles Bernstein & Leonard Schwartz discuss
        All The Whiskey In Heaven: Selected Poems.
        Complete Recording (36:58): MP3




        May 12, 2010
        Asked for a quick definition of language-centered poetry, Charles Bernstein obliged.


        Masking and Unmasking
        On Jewish Identity
        (Purim / Makor Or)\
        Norman Fischer


        link    |  05-14-10

        May 21 and 22

        Translating French and American Poetry Today
        (Traduire la poésie française et américaine des/aux 20e et 21e siècles)

        Friday, May 21
        10:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
        Questions de traduction
        Jean-Marie Gleize
        Traductions, conversions
        Charles Bernstein
        Pataqueerical Translation and Ecphrastic Warp: New Apps
        Hedi Kaddour/Marilyn Hacker
        Intervention à deux voix, à partir de Treason

        2:00 p.m.- 4:15 p.m.
        Traduire le poème américain
        Axel Nesme
        Du traduire comme geste critique: sur trois versions françaises de Leaves of Grass
        Christophe Lamiot
        Gestes de transcription vers le langage articulé The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book, édité par Bruce Andrews et Charles Bernstein (1984)
        Richard Sieburth

        Saturday, May 22
        10-15 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.
        Poétiques du traduire
        Raluca Manea
        Emmanuel Hocquard: the Poet as Translator
        Steven Crumb
        Renga (1971) and the Translation of Lyric Forms in the 20th century
        Isabelle Alfandary
        Penser le traduire: passages et impasse chez Walter Benjamin

        2:00 p.m.- 4:15 pm
        Traduire la poésie française contemporaine
        Mary Ann Caws
        The Mountain and the Poem: Living Char’s Landscape
        Hoyt Rogers
        Chemins vers la parole: Translating Yves Bonnefoy
        Pierre Joris
        On the Ghost of Arabic in the Francophone Maghrebian text

        7:00 p.m.
        Lecture (bilingue) de poésie
        Location: Unnameable Books, 600 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238.

        Conference sponsored by the Humanities Initiative, the Department of French and NYU Paris.

        Reservations: 212-998-8750 or maison.francaise@nyu.edu

        link    |  05-14-10-x

        Charles Bernstein
        Banff Center (Alberta, Canada)
        "In(ter)ventions: Literary Practice at the Edge"
        Feb. 20, 2010
        video by David Jhave Johnston:

        Part 1:
        "In the Middle of the Way" and then poems from All the Whisky in Heaven: Selected Poems, starting with "Thanks You for Saying Thank You," ...
        web page with stream

        Part 2:
        "Recalculating," "Morality," and "All the Whiskey in Heaven"
        web page with stream

        link    |  05-13-10

        Samuel Greenberg & Grammatic Truth

        "Strangeness was becoming an awe of interest"
        — "Between Historical Life" (p. 110, 1947 edn.)

        "O what I would give for the knowledge of grammatic truth"
        —"Between Historical Life" (p. 116, 1947 edn.)

        My short note on second-wave modernist poet Samuel Greenberg includes links to poems and compares the holograph mss and published versions of his "Apology to Spirituality."



        link    |  05-07-18-x

        China Signs

        I originally posted these nine sign photos in July 2007

        link    |  05-08-10x

        Shadowtime: the CD

        now on I-Tunes


        The libretto is available from Green Integer.

        Shadowtime web site


        [from the NMC announcement]

        NMC is proud to announce the release of Brian Ferneyhough's opera Shadowtime, setting Charles Bernstein's poetic and complex libretto of seminal 20th-century philosopher Walter Benjamin's last days and a phantasmagorical descent to the underworld.

        Recorded in July 2005, in  collaboration with BBC Radio 3 and the English National Opera (ENO), Shadowtime is released on NMC on 3rd April 2006, performed by outstanding contemporary music specialists Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart and the Nieuw Ensemble of Amsterdam, and conducted by Jurjen Hempel. Acclaimed guitarist Mats Scheidegger features in the opera's Scene II, Les Froissements d'Ailes de Gabriel (The Rustling of Gabriel's Wings), while the combined role of pianist and reciter is taken by Nicolas Hodges.

        Reviews of the 2005 London performance:
        “…Wonderful sounds,musical moves that tell, technical exigence turned to eloquence: I listened spellbound."       
        Andrew Porter, Times Literary Supplement

        "Bernstein's text makes oblique manoeuvres round the themes of Benjamin's work, and Ferneyhough sets them to complex yet frequently beautiful music, a mixture of tough and tender modernism." 
        The Observer

        Read Fabrice Fitch's introduction to NMC recording
        Performers & credits

        NMC D123

        now on I-Tunes
        and via download from NMC

        for the CD:
        US Orders from Qualiton.Imports
        UK and other orders direct from NMC

        also available from some on-line and retail stores

        Brian Ferneyhough's vision of a philosopher in the Underworld

        Described as a "thought opera", Brian Ferneyhough's Shadowtime sets Charles Bernstein's inventive and complex libretto based on the work, life and imagined death of philosopher and cultural critic Walter Benjamin: it includes a movement for a speaking pianist - Opus Contra Naturam, the opera's fourth scene - a guitar concerto (Scene II) and ends in an ethereal haze of voices and electronics, Stelae for Failed Time.

        Shadowtime was recorded in collaboration with BBC Radio 3 and English National Opera at the London Coliseum production in July 2005; this release has been made possible by funding from Stanford University, the Holst Foundation and by the generosity of the artists involved:

        Nicolas Hodges, piano/ reciter
        Mats Scheidegger, guitar
        Jurjen Hempel, conductor
        Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart
        Nieuw Ensemble

        Shadowtime web site

        & audio samples
        at NMC & Amazon



        link    |  05-07-10




        Republicans to Environment:

        Drill, Baby, Drill!



        Deregulation Is Sal(i)vation


        full set of placards

        link    |  05-07-10

        Robert Grenier
        autobiographical invterviews at PennSound

        Interview and Discussion on 1959-1964
        Al Filreis, Ron Silliman, and Bob Perelman at the Kelly Writers House, on October 27, 2009
        Interview Part 1 (1:16:28): MP3

        Interview and Discussion on 1964-1970s
        with Grenier, Al Filreis, Charles Bernstein, and Michael Waltuch in New York City, on March 19, 2010
        Interview Part 2 (2:11:44): MP3

        link    |  05-06-10

        Worth a detour:
        Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present
        at the Museum of Mosdern Art (New York)
        closes May 31


        Time of Sky & Castles in the Air
        Ayane Kawata
        tr. from Japanese Sawako Nakayasu
        Two mind-bent (pataqueerical) works: the first from 1969 short, distressed haikued surreal serial poems; the second from 1991, serial dreams. Nakayasu's illuminating introduction here.


        O Books
        has just reissued two classics

        It Then
        Danielle Collobert
        tr. from French by Norma Cole


        Crowd and not evening of light
        Leslie Scalapino

        link    |  05-05-10-xx


        Heimrad Bäcker

        ed. Frierich Achleitner
        tr. Vincent Kling, Patrick Greaney

        Dalkey Archive, 2010

        Heimrad Bäcker (1925-2003) is an Austrian poet associated with the Vienna Group and also concrete poetry (Heissenbuttel, Gombringer, Jandl, Mayrocker, and Priessnitz come to mind). transcript, first published in 1986, is a work made up entirely of quotations or citations (collages of found texts, as Walter Benjamin envisioned), which are often visually arranged in a manner that resembles the grid lists of concrete poetry. These found linguistc shards confront, without summarizing or representing, the Systemic Extermination of the European Jews in the 1940s. Unlike Charles Reznikoff's elegiac event-monents is Holocaust, Bäcker's source texts (which overlap with those used by Reznikoff) are sampled, fragmented, constellated. Narrative is under erasure, but ineradicable. trasncript's sources are documented in notes that form an intergral part of the text. Raul Hilberg's The Destruction of the European Jews is prominent among the works appropriated for the poem, which feels like a long cut-up of that work, or to put it a dfferent way, a "diastic" reading of Hilberg (to use Jackson Mac Low's term for reading through a source text). But, in fact, there are many and various sources. Unlike Hilberg and Reznikoff, Bäcker was in the Hitler Youth, and this biographical fact, not explicit in the work, affects the reading in a way that is exemplary of how such external factors always frame meaning. Achleitner's and Greaney's commentaries are excellent; and Greaney has an informative essay on the work, "Aestheticization and the Shoah" in the Winter issue of New German Critique. Let me quote one key passage, on "gibberish," from this article:

        Most of the entries in nachschrift isolate their quotations on an otherwise blank page, and each quotation is documented in an endnote. Most of the entries quote between one and three sentences, such as this single sentence that can serve as an introductory example for Bäcker’s method: “ich muss, wenn ich die dinge rasch erledigen will, mehr transportzüge bekommen” (“i need more freight trains if i’m going to take care of things quickly”). The endnote reveals that the source is a 1943 letter from Heinrich Himmler. The sentence’s failure to mention the purpose of the required trains is put in relief by the terse, explicit vocabulary of the cropped quotation on the facing page:

        (I) . . .
        (II) . . .
        (III)  an der verfolgung und ausrottung
        1. ihre ermordung
        2. ihre konzentration
        3. . . 4

        [(I) . . .
        (II) . . .
        (III)  in the persecution and eradication
        1. their murder
        2. their concentration
        3. . . .4]

        The note tells us that these lines are taken from an index of a book on the trials of camp administrators. Bäcker omits some of the items in the index, and he cites the superscript reference 4 without supplying the note to which it refers, thereby explicitly registering the relation of nachschrift to a larger, absent body of writing as well as the fact that this link is broken.

        These few entries already allow for a summary of Bäcker’s method: quotation, documentation, isolation, abbreviation, and, in some cases, modification. Bäcker slightly modifies 43 entries, as in the quotation from the index, in which some terms from the original have been omitted; most of these alterations are indicated as such in the notes. The passages that he distorts the most are from Nazi leaders, as in this pastiche of Mein Kampf: “only when a nation in all its members to that high sentiment someday forged together unshakable any exuberant force by fate for the greatest revolutionary changes on this earth fanatical passion to the benefit of aryan humanity some day a race ripe for the last and greatest the crown burn into.” By putting together short quotations of only a few words, Bäcker turns Mein Kampf into what he would call Kauderwelsch (gibberish), a key term for understanding the method of nachschrift. In a short paragraph that he inserts as an introduction to the endnotes, Bäcker explains his method and describes his most extreme modification of sources as creating a “methodisches Kauderwelsch, das ein Leben kostendes Kauderwelsch reproduziert” (methodical gibberish that reproduces a deadly gibberish). The use of the term Kauderwelsch, here and in other Bäcker texts, reveals something essential about his method and about the relation between his texts and his source material.

        link    |  05-05-10-x

        Charles Bernstein and Josef Strau
        Sunday, May 16, 2010, 3:00 PM

        Sculpture Center, Queens, NY

        Organized and introduced by Jay Sanders

        Artist and writer Josef Strau has experimented with the roles of curator, musician and gallerist, co-founding the legendary Friesenwall 120 in Cologne, Germany, and operating Galerie Meerrettich (2002-2007) in Berlin until relocating to New York.


        link    |  05-05-10

        Sibila's English Portal

        Catriona Strang
        Low Fancy
        Toronto: ECW Press, 1993

        pdf of full book

        Strang cover

        link    |  05-04-10

        Bay Area trip

        Wednesday May 12, 7:30pm
        reading with Norman Fischer
        San Francisco State @ Unitarian Center
        1187 Franklin (at Geary), SF

        Tues. May 11, 8pm
        Jewish poetics talk with Norman Fischer
        Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
        3200 California Street, SF
        co-sponsored by Small Press Traffic

        link    |  05-03-10

        Charles Bernstein interview with Thom Donovan
        All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems
        Poetry Foundation Harriet blog

        Part One
        Part Two


        All the Whiskey
        Zinc Bar Launch
        photos, as above, ©2010 Lawrence Schwartzwald
        & readings from the book by Peter Gizzi, Dottie Lasky, Kenneth Goldsmith
        Tan Lin, Liz Willis, Erica Hunt, Thom Donovan & Charles Bernstein


        Nikil Saval
        "Benjamin in Extremis
        N+1 (April 2010)

        link    |  04-30-10

        Reina María Rodríguez,
        April 14, 2010
        Queensborough Community College
        bilingual reading, video

        link    |  04-28-10-v

        Sculpture Center
        Long Island City (Queens, NY)

        Charles Bernstein and Josef Strau

        Sunday, May 16, 2010, 3:00 PM

        Artist and writer Josef Strau has experimented with the roles of curator, musician and gallerist, co-founding the legendary Friesenwall 120 in Cologne, Germany, and operating Galerie Meerrettich (2002-2007) in Berlin until relocating to New York.
        Organized and introduced by Jay Sanders.

        link    |  04-28-10-x

        From Michael Golston & Bob Perelman ....

        Announcing the Columbia-Penn Poetics Initiative

        April 12, 2010 – 12:53 am

        We are convening a three-day conference at Columbia (June 11-13, 2010), “Rethinking Poetics.” It is our sense that the practices of poetics are in danger of becoming pro forma and that a focused, skeptical examination of basic assumptions will be most useful. Terms continue to be used routinely in circumstances that increasingly call for nuanced or even fundamental change. What does “materiality of the signifier” mean in the era of data mining or platform instability? What does “news” mean? How useful are current periodizations? Such questions can be multiplied.

        Given that new questions need to be raised and old certainties troubled, our goal is to have a conference dedicated to articulating what most needs to be rethought, what familiar formulations seem increasingly inadequate, what new directions seem best to pursue.

        In order to allow for time for substantial conversation, we are scheduling no multiple panels and no plenaries; rather, there will be a series of plenary-panels, two in the morning and two in the afternoon, with four or five speakers each taking 10-12 minutes for themselves, leaving half the session for more general discussion. There will be a panel chair to moderate discussion, but there will be no introductions.

        Participants will include Rachel Zolf, Rodrigo Toscano, Jennifer Scappettone, Brent Hayes Edwards, Lytle Shaw, Juliana Spahr, Kenny Goldsmith, Erica Hunt, Alan Golding, Monica de la Torre, Andrew Schelling, Bruce Andrews, Michael Taussig, Joan Retallack, Rachel DuPlessis, K. Silem Mohammad, Jena Osman, Craig Dworkin, Elizabeth Willis, Barrett Watten, Rob Fitterman, Jonathan Skinner, Marjorie Perloff, Sherwin Bitsui, Mark Nowak, Judith Goldman, C. S. Giscombe, Steve Evans, Stephanie Young, Lisa Robertson, Paul Stephens, Rob Halpern, Jeff Derksen, Ben Friedlander, Joshua Clover, Michael Taussig, Astrid Lorange, James Livingston, Jeff Nealon, Fred Moten, Richard Doyle, Tan Lin, Tonya Foster, Matthew Hofer, John Melillo, Susan Howe, and Chales Bernstein.

        Conference costs for the three-day conference are $50/university faculty, $20/student & unaffiliated; $10 1-day entrance.

        link    |  04-28-10-R

        Republicans to Coal Miners:
        Deregulation Is Salvation

        Free Markets Rule!

        link    |  04-26-10

        Charles Bernstein
        April 29 at 7:30pm
        Screening & Reading

        205 Genesee Street
        AUBURN, NY 13021

        link    |  04-25-10-xx

        Armies of Compassion
        Eleni Stecopoulos
        Palm Press, 2010
        This startling work brings something necessary to American poetry: a visceral poetics that transforms diagnosis into a performative linguistic probe in the service of the disturbed body. The body politic’s symptoms and signs are the foundation for Eleni Stecopoulos’s aversive lyrics, whose beauty lies not in the unbearing of a device but in the bearing of our discomfiture in the world and the potency of our imaginary realignments. Armies of Compassion is a talisman, antidote to what ails, spells woven against an engulfing night.

        Elizabeth Fodaski
        Document’s ludic lyrics bounce off everyday life and into a field of poetic perception, leaving everything in its place but palpably transformed. These palpitations are the rhythm of Fodaski’s poems, which resist the formulaic in their oscillation between displacement and reinvention; as if you could see the world from the outside while still being in it.

        A Prank of Georges
        Thalia Field and Abigail Lang
        Esssay Press, 2010
        Abigail Lang & Thalia Field create a dazzling set of variations in, about, and around lines from Gertrude Stein. Stein’s lines become threads with which Lang & Field weave a heterolingual text in which the play of names becomes a matter of meaning’s performing. The question here is not “what the poem says” but how it keeps on keeps on saying.

        Jennifer Karmin
        Flim Forum, 2010
        Jennifer Karmin brings an openness and generosity to these poems of public address and private insistence. Aaaaaaaaaaalice’s buoyant charm calls out for new listeners.


        The Letters of Gertrude Stein & Virgil Thompson:
        Compostion as Conversation
        edited by Susan Holbrook & Thomas Dilworth
        Oxford University Press, 2010
        A meticulously edited record, from the minute details to the conceptual backstories, of the great collaboration that produced Four Saints in Three Acts and The Mother of Us All.

        link    |  04-25-10-x

        Emma Bee Bernstein
        on YouTube

        New YouTube page includes a two-part version of the DOVA slide show, created by Antonia Pocock
        & also my video portrait of Emma.


        A.I.R. Gallery is honored to announce the second recipient of the
        Emma Bee Bernstein Emerging Artist Fellowship,
        2010-11 A.I.R. Fellow, Sam Vernon.

        Each year A.I.R. Gallery's Fellowship Program supports the developing careers of six emerging and underrepresented women artists. In 2009, A.I.R. Gallery named one yearly A.I.R. Fellowship Program Award in memory of the artist, activist, writer, and feminist Emma Bee Bernstein (1985-2008). In recognition of Emma's significant contributions as a young artist, one Fellowship Recipient under the age of thirty receives the additional honor of holding the A.I.R. Emma Bee Bernstein Fellowship.  

        This Year's honoree is Sam Vernon. Vernon (b. 1987) was born in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art as a Fine Art major in 2009 with awards in Excellence in Drawing and Student Service. Vernon has studied a variety of disciplines within the arts with a primary focus on photography, drawing, and printmaking, specifically lithography. In her work she pays homage to the past and revises the traditional ghost story, addressing questions of postcolonialism, racialization, sexuality, and historical memory. Vernon's solo exhibition, "Think On It-Then Lay It Down For Good" will be on view at A.I.R. Gallery in Spring 2011. For a full press release on Sam Vernon and the Emma Bee Bernstein Fellowship, please click HERE.
        Please join us again this year in honoring Emma Bee Bernstein and supporting the careers of emerging women artists. Make your contributions towards the fellowship on our website at www.airgallery.org
        or send to A.I.R. Gallery, 111 Front St., #228, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

        A.I.R. Gallery is a not-for-profit 503(c) organization.
        Donations are fully tax-deductible.
        All donors will be acknowledged on A.I.R. Gallery Fellowship Program materials.

        link    |  04-25-10

        The best words in their best order

        My contribution to the FSG blog ...

        The Company …
        Robert Creeley liked to call those of us who shared his life in, and commitment to, poetry company. Over the last few years, I find the company I keep ever harder to keep up with, just in terms of the sheer and exhilarating range of work. Still, there is nothing I like more than making my way through the wealth of new poetry books, both by younger poets and so many of the poets who have formed my poetic horizon.

        read more

        link    |  04-21-10

        art walk


        Carolee Schneemann: Within and Beyond the Premises
        Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, SUNY New Paltz

        Amy Sillman
        Sikkema, Jenkins

        Joachim Koester
        "My Frontier is an Endless Wall of Points (after the mescaline drawings of Henri Michaux)"
        16 mm film installation, 16 mm black and white film loop, 10.24 minutes
        Greene Naftali

        Hantai pix

        Simon Hantaï
        Paul Kasmin Gallery

        Justin Lieberman, "Box of Money" (2007)

        Tracey Emin, "Sleeping with You" (2007)

        both from intriguing show
        "Self-Fulfilling Prophecies"
        Leo Koenig

        Anthology Film Archive Kuchar Brothers Festival

        Secrets of the Shadow World
        a key work for Geroge Kuchar, uproarious pataqueerical exploration via painterly pastiche of UFOdom and its deep and surface "alien" fantasy structures
        a must for any study of the cold war
        astounding use of sound/image

        dir. by Curt McDowell
        with a brilliant screenplay by George Kuchar
        at points surpassing, while mimicking, Tennessee Williams
        in which GK once again confronts our inner gorilla

        link    |  04-19-10-x

        Hands off Goldman-Sachs
        Stop Socialist Regulation of Markets

        Big Bonuses Buy Entrepreneurship
        & Innovative Investing

        Paid for by the Republican Party
        Business Family Values®
        Antonin (“I’ve never met a big business I didn’t like”) Scalia, Chair

        full set of placards

        link    |  04-19-10

        from All the Whiskey in Heaven
        read by Sherry and Felix Bernstein (YouTube)
        at Kelly Writers House, UPenn, April 8
        more info/pix via Nicole Peyrafitte



        link    |  04-18-10

        editor Tim Griffin
        All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems

        link    |  04-17-10


        All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems
        two new reviews

        The New York Times Book Review
        (link to Times web version)
        by Daisy Fried
        April 11, 2009


        Entertainment Weekly
        by Ken Tucker
        April 16

        “A solid selection of 30 years of Bernstein’s lyrical, thickly layered poetry. Bernstein has, on occasion, been criticized as “difficult.” But Whiskey does the great service of showing how consistently he has explored the true, richly emotional meanings of what we’re trying to express when we speak or write in halting phrases or with nervous repetition and hesistation. Or as Bernstein puts it: “Poetry is like a swoon, with its difference / it brings you to your senses.”


        Free Library of Philadelphia Book Festival Sunday, April 18
        reading, q&a, book signing
        2:00 p.m.Bob Perelman | IFLIFE
        3:00 p.m. Charles Bernstein | All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems
        1901 Vine Street(between 19th and 20th Streets on the Parkway)
        Skyline Room, 4th Floor

        link    |  04-10-10



        from Jerome Rothenberg's blog

        Bob Perelman

        for Emma Bernstein


        They say
        the mind can keep sense alive
        for about seven seconds

        and that we can register at most
        seven things, coins, pebbles, apples,
        or six, five

        almost nothing.


        Maybe that's why
        we invented the present
        as a place to live, to keep the things we do know,

        know so exactly, keep them exactly, keep
        all of them, keep what we know

        near, at hand, alive in our minds:


        It's hard to remember what,
        exactly what, the light looked like
        all that time ago, what it was saying in such detail, so instantly, hard
        to count
        all the blackbirds in that pie, the extra-special one, four and
        twenty they said it was, but we only see the
        released flock, single flying mass
        of bodies, each one the only one, the first and only birth.


        Such a small set of seconds
        to set everything down in,

        especially since not everything is here that we love,
        which makes it impossible not to want the small set to be utterly
        the flock to have swooped right instead of left then up and back,
        to have landed in any other tree

        than that one.


        Not the look of the light, which is clear and vertical,
        or soft and childlike, or whatever else our seven seconds dictate, here,
        wherever that is,
        but how fast it shows us how to read it
        and to know in an instant
        that it's showing us exactly what is here, and what is not,
        that's what makes the seven seconds
        so endlessly hard.


        Still we see our light, are in it so instantly
        that seeing won't let us remember
        what it looked like, before

        sight turned hard as stone
        which barely remembers
        its own birth
        let alone any of ours.


        It is our privilege alone
        to disappear,
        to never forget that we do,
        never forget to set down what must be set down
        so that it not be forgotten,
        not be lost in all this time:

        link    |  04-07-10



                                after Mallarmé

        Nothing, this cum, verging verse
        Only to design the cut
        Such loins know a troupe
        Of sirens married in environs

        Loose navigations, O my diverse
        Amis, moi just on the poop
        You who want faster coups
        The float of fools and shivers

        An ivoried bell men gage
        Sand's cranes maim son's tonnage
        Then portend debut this salute

        Solitude, retreat, tolls
        To no importance that value
        The blank sail of our soul
          The blank toil of our sail
            The blank soul of our toil


        from "The Revenge of the Poet-Critic" in My Way Speeches & Poems


        yesterday's great reading at Segue/BPC via PennSound

        Fanny Howe: Segue Series Reading at the Bowery Poetry Club
        Ben Friedlander: Segue Series Reading at the Bowery Poetry Club

        link    |  04-04-10


        Thursday, April 8
        Kelly Writers House at Penn
        A poetry reading and book party with Charles Bernstein & friends
        celebrating the release of
        All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems

        & two new reviews of the book

        Jake Marmer
        "Fussing on the Cliff, Is This What You Call the Jewish Avant-Garde?",
        (March 26, 2010)

        Yunte Huang
        Santa Barbara News Press

        (March 28. 2010)


        Jörgen Gassilewski, Anna Hallberg & Jonas J. Magnusson

        Poets House
        10 River Terrace, New York
        Wednesday, April 21, 2010
        12:30pm - 2:00pm

        A lunch reading and conversation with three of Sweden's most innovative poets and artists, all associated with OEI.

        Jonas (J) Magnusson is a founding editor of OEI and a book/conceptual artists and poet. For an article about OEI see Artforum:

        Jorgen Gassilewski (born in 1961) is a Swedish writer, translator, cultural journalist and critic. His literary debut was the collection of poetry Du ("You", 1987). All in all he has published nine books, most recently the novel Goteborgshandelserna ("The Gothenburg Events", 2006). In February a new book of poetry with the classic title Karleksdikter ("Love Poems") was published. His poetry has been translated into Mandarin, Russian, French, English, Spanish, Polish, Hindi, Danish, Norwegian and German.

        Anna Hallberg (born in 1975) is a Swedish poet and critic. Her first book was the collection of poetry Friktion ("Friction", 2001). Three years later it was followed by pa era platser ("on your marks", 2004), and she has been nominated for The Nordic Council's Literature Prize and other awards. This spring her third volume Mil ("Mile", 2008) was published. Hallberg also works with visual poetry, and has had several exhibitions at Nordic galleries. She writes literary criticism for the largest Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, and regularly publishes essays and articles in literary magazines. get directions at

        Jörgen Gassilewski, Anna Hallbergwill be reading at the
        Kelly Writers House at Penn on
        April 19 at 6pm

        link    |  04-02-10


        The Alphabet: A Symposium on Ron Silliman‘s Long Poem
        25-26 March 2011
        University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario

        ―"I‘m not writing for 'a small circle of friends,‘ I‘m writing to you."

        After three decades of composition, Ron Silliman‘s The Alphabet is complete, and published under one cover (University of Alabama Press, 2008). When this twenty-six-sectioned, thousand-plus-page poem was only available in discrete portions, in magazines, chapbooks, limited-run books, what punctuated each was not the poem‘s next ―new sentence but concurrent claims and counterclaims on contemporary life. The Alphabet was written during decades when high theory and cultural studies had arrived in the academy to exact formal and mostly progressive social evaluations from culture and the arts, but still often at the expense of poetry‘s own theoretical challenges to the academy‘s institutional base; when intensified corporate consolidation of the mass media and new technologies were transforming existing paradigms of ―the consumer society (Baudrillard), its ―captains of consciousness (Ewen), and ―culture of narcissism (Lasch); and when, among other factors, manufactured consent (theorized equally by Burawoy for factory work as by Chomsky and Herman for mass media) propelled the US mainstream rightwards into postmodern politics. Specific responses to claims by these dominant narratives (to pick just three) from the post-Vietnam War era are to be found among poets associated with Language Poetry (a label in part projected from such narratives) and other contemporaneous groupings and tendencies. But even in a given contextual and interpretive frame such as this one, loose and incomplete as it is in this version but in which some idea of ideological mediation prevails, how is it that one thing The Alphabet does is embody perceptions of a sensible world (―the way old gum leaves its spotted shadow on the cement‖), which is a poetic task much older than and yet foundational to ―the ideology of the aesthetic (in Eagleton‘s title phrase)? I offer this long-debated question of art‘s function – ―to strengthen the perceptive faculties and free them from encumbrance (to quote Pound on Dante, from almost a century ago) – as an example of how The Alphabet‘s singularities and influences may re-illuminate received verities regarding the politics of aesthetic forms in Language Poetry‘s milieu. Put another way, once timely and key discursive interventions associated with Silliman‘s name and context—such as use of theory in poetry, ―ethnography of the everyday, critiques of accessible communication modes and of speech-based subjectivization, poetics of ideological mediation—may require further elaboration, or rethinking, if not their significance re-calibrated, in the face of this poem‘s challenges. For, arguably, Silliman‘s reputation, even notoriety, as critic, theorist, exponent of poetry‘s production as a socially relevant and collective act, has preceded and to a degree guided how the poetry is to be received. But if a reader responds to the poetry, then how and what does she or he see and hear? ―I‘m writing to you,the text says in the section called ―Lit. So, what is reading The Alphabet―like, for you?

        This symposium aims to invite readings of Ron Silliman‘s long poem, The Alphabet, and encourages critical engagements with its formal and socio-historical/-ideological dynamics as well as with its contexts and interpretive frames that have accrued around the author‘s time and work. Papers on any issue focussed on or around The Alphabet or an aspect thereof are welcome, including but not limited to those addressing how The Alphabet engages elements of
        • language (poetic language and form, grammar, syntax, pun, cliché, description, reference, etc)
        • narrative / anti-narrative / story
        • representation (recalling Stuart Hall‘s constructionist sense of ―the active work of selecting and presenting, of structuring and shaping: not merely the transmitting of already-existing meaning, but the more active labour of making things mean, ―things including class stratification, gender construction, whiteness / racialization, etc)
        • the aesthetic (& form; & ideology; & the body; & perception)
        • the social (historical; sociological; psychological; poetic)
        • nature (landscape, description, etc)
        • realism (& 19C / 20C codes of ―the reality effect; & knowing)
        • the unconscious (political, etc)
        • genre (long poems, prose poems, novels, lyrics, etc)
        • group & individual affiliation / disaffiliation (Language Poets / Language Writing / Language School; contemporaries in the poetic field such as Rae Armantrout, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Leslie Scalapino, etc)
        • ―tradition‖ (e.g.: Whitman, Thoreau; first-, second-generation modernists such as H.D., Reznikoff; ―New American Poets‖ such as Whalen, Olson, Spicer; etc)
        • non-US poetry & poetics in/from Canada (e.g.: Kootenay School of Writing; Toronto Research Group; ―the Canadian long poem), China, Russia, France, Australia, England, etc
        • theory (postmodernity / postmodernism / modernism / modernity / globalization)
        • ―after (after theory; after ―the American century; after Language poetics; after ―21st-century modernism‖; etc)

        Please send 300-500-word abstracts for twenty-minute papers, or detailed proposals for panels, by 1 Nov 2010 to
        Louis Cabri
        < lcabri  -- at --uwindsor.ca >.

        link    |  03-24-10-x

        new from


        Charles Bernstein

        ISBN 978 0925904 86 7
        24 page chapbook
        letterpress covers with hand painting
        hand sewn with sage green thread
        Translations by Charles Bernstein of poems by Guillaume Apollinaire, Charles Baudelaire, Osip Mandelstam, Bernard Noël, Paulo Leminski, João Cabral de Melo Neto, Régis Bonvicino, Catullus, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Claude Royet-Journoud, and Victor Hugo.

        24 pages
        $15.00 vers hand printed by Charles and  Nora Alexander.

        Painting on covers (handpainted on each separate cover) by Cynthia Miller.

        First edition limited to 200 copies. Almost all copies are signed.

        also available from Chax:
        Let's Just Say
        Charles Bernstein
        24 pages, $15.00

        link    |  03-24-10

        Francie Shaw, "Weights and Measures" at A.I.R. Gallery II (Brookyn):
        Opening Reception: Thursday, April 1, 2010, 6-8pm

        link    |  03-21-10-x

        Just Say No
        Meaningful Health Insurance Reform

        Listen to the people who brought you

        U.S. Federal Government Takeover of Iraq
        The Great Recession
        Historically Spiking Income Inequalities
        Election by Auction: Scalia, Roberts, Thomas, & Bloomberg


        Paid for by Fox News’s Republican Party

        full set of placards

        link    |  03-21-10

        BOMB 111/Spring 2010

        BOMB 111/Spring 2010   cover

        Charles Bernstein
        by Jay Sanders

        If poets are said to be “painters with words,” then Charles Bernstein would surely moonlight working in a custom frame shop. With samples lining the walls—from the gaudiest fake-gold scrollwork to the most austere black lacquer finish—I imagine him testing the clients’ nerves by frantically holding every outlandish sample to the edge of their pictures to assess the overall effect. A cheap clip-frame for a museum’s masterpiece, gilded silver leaf for a baby’s doodle, exotic wood for a crappy poster won at a carnival. His is a poetics of framing and re-framing, with a guarantee: if you end up liking it, he’ll quickly try something else, for free. We met last December to talk about his new volume of selected poems, All the Whiskey in Heaven; this is a segment of our ongoing conversation. -- J.S.

        Jay Sanders: I remember reading a short piece written in the late ’70s by Jackson Mac Low for L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E. He recounts how you mailed him a list of questions about his procedural, chance-derived poetry and then proceeded to nudge him a bit to ensure a response. His characterization of you stuck with me ever since… the degree to which you discourage isolationism among poets, for whom, maybe, it’s natural. (laughter)

        Charles Bernstein: Their natural habitat might be more toward curmudgeonliness and isolation. That was around Jackson’s 60th birthday in 1980. I organized, with Anne Tardos, a huge birthday tribute to him; he would have been about my age at that time. We had an incredible lineup, including artists such as John Cage and La Monte Young. Jackson was part of an intense performance network but he wasn’t sufficiently accepted as a poet. His personality was not such as to push against that lack of recognition. So that’s where I came in, because when Bruce Andrews and I were doing L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, starting in ’78, Jackson was acutely important for us.

        JS: It’s your particular manner of “coming in” that Jackson so keenly expressed. I wouldn’t understate the importance of that aspect of your early work: the championing of highly eccentric writers such as Hannah Weiner or Robert Grenier, just to mention two whose work has heavily impacted my thinking thanks to your efforts. If you examine L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E closely—which gets historicized as a militant aesthetic break—you find that it’s actually as much about this connectivity that sets the stage for your continued activities as a booster, promoter, anthologist, and archivist of exotic/esoteric poetries.

        In the introduction to The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book, you invoke the metaphor of a latticework. The image distributes power differently from, say, a line or a thread, which might point to a calculated tethering toward your own poetic practice.

        CB: The term is Bruce’s, but we share the concept. When we started L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E we were trying to open up conversations across divides. As you say, rather than trying to narrow things down, the journal was about dialogue not just among poets of the same generation and the same perspective, but among poets of different generations, and also with those in the other arts. Still, the reaction in terms of the parochial world of poetry was that somehow something exclusive was being launched. We proposed an alternative to what then dominated as respectable poetry. Ours was a poetics of (some of) the excluded.

        JS: And a rearticulation of temporarily closed-down possibilities, an effort to animate connections that were there to be made, but which others couldn’t see.

        CB: We tried to trace a history of radical poetics, taking up the model presented in Jerome Rothenberg’s Revolution of the Word, and later by Rothenberg and Pierre Joris in Poems for the Millennium and Marjorie Perloff in The Futurist Moment. When you go back 30 years, you see that poetics that now are widely accepted as foundational for contemporary poetry were harshly rejected then. Poetry’s center of gravity has shifted to the poetic left, to call it that, though not everyone has heard the news. Even in the more mainstream poetry magazines now there’s a certain amount of work that is far looser and formally radical than you would have seen in the mid-’70s.

        JS: In your and your poetic peers’ early work, you feel that intensity of purpose, of provocation, amidst what was perceived as a staid poetic and political climate. Drawing on peculiar inspirations and tactics, that anxiety or struggle of reception seems implicit in the actual textures of your work—it’s its key attribute. As your combined efforts have gradually opened the field, that shift in reception can be felt too, mirrored in the poetry that’s subsequently emerged. You find more work now that can calmly execute formal disjunction.

        CB That’s right; the difference that I would make is that some recent poetry and poetics concertedly take out the contentiousness from formal invention. This comes up with the Norton American Hybrid poetry anthology; while the editors welcome a certain kind of elliptical, fragmented style, they also try to find a happy mean between extremes. For me, it’s the extremity, the eccentricity, even the didacticism, that shakes things up. When poetry becomes normalized and more oriented toward craft, it loses the point. I’m not interested in any of the styles, per se, that were developed in the ’70s and ’80s—my own or anybody else’s. The issue was never stylistic technique as such. You have to read that era in the context of the intense resistance to nonlinear poetry, to algorithmic forms, to appropriated language, and non-“I”-centered poems—all of which are now accepted. Even the procedural is just one technique or form that emerges, sometimes zombie-like, to reveal hidden codes, or other times just as textile, as generator of texture.

        The rest of this conversation is in Issue 111, available on newsstands now
        or SUBSCRIBE to get the current issue.

        link    |  03-16-10

        There is terrorism from without
        and then American domestic terrorism
        against our own people.


        from "The Challenge of Mass Incarceration in America"
        by Bruce Western
        Bulletin of the American Academy, Winter 2010
        commentary by Western and Glenn Loury

        "Now is the time for your tears ..."

        link    |  03-10-10

        All the Whiskey in Heaven
        Selected Poems of Charles Bernstein
        (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux)

        reviewed today in


        Launch & Signing
        Sunday March 28, 2010, 6:30pm
        Zinc Bar
        82 W. 3rd St, New York, NY
        Poets & friends read from
        All the Whiskey in Heaven

        Thom Donovan
        Peter Gizzi
        Kenneth Goldsmith
        Erica Hunt
        Dorothea Lasky
        Tan Lin
        Elizabeth Willis
        & Charles Bernstein
        hosted by Dorothea Lasky

        link    |  03-09-10

        Larry Ochs

        in New York at The Stone in Manhattan on March 20, 21 ,25 as part of two weeks of shows he has curated..
        On March 20: Rova - the 33 year old saxophone quartet, not the German tax agency for Turkish immigrants, and not the Finnish outcropping of rock - is coming to the Stone for the first time. (www.rova.org) 8 PM show: we play all original compositions never played in NY. 10 PM show (separate admission) we will perform with special guest John Zorn as well as playing some quartet pieces. Rova will also make available the brand new CD release by Rova and Nels Cline Singers called The Celestial Septet. So new that as of this writing on March 3, I have yet to see it myself. (Currently available online from the CD label called New World Records with wider availability in next 2 weeks.).
        On March 21: 10 PM Larry Ochs’ Kihnoua. A New York debut for this band which features Dohee Lee’s gut-wrenching vocalese, Scott Amendola (Larry Ochs Sax + Drumming Core, Nels Cline Singers) on drums and electronics, and special guest Devin Hoff on bass. (The core band is the trio, then I add other musicians, usually a string or two , and we perform compositions composed by Ochs for this band, “new forms” inspired if not exactly “influenced” by the blues of Asia and Eastern Europe. A new CD on Not Two should be out in early April.
        On March 25 at 10 PM: ODE, the music collective of Ochs, Trevor Dunn on bass, Lisle Ellis on bass and circuitry, and Michael Sarin on drums; the band’s first appearance in a year in New York. I love playing with these guys.
        For a complete listing of all the artists performing at The Stone, during Ochs’ curatorial period (March 16 – 31), and for shows before and after that, visit:
        THE STONE is located at  the corner of avenue C and 2nd street. Seating is limited; no reservations.
        (Each set is a separate admission and all proceeds go to the musicians.)

        link    |  03-08-10

        The Collected Poems of Larry Eigner, Volumes 1-4
        Edited by Curtis Faville and Robert Grenier
        Stanford University Press
        now out!

        Robert Grenier's introduction

        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 gives 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.

        Advance praise from Silliman, Gelpi, Hejnian, Friedlander, Ratcliffe, Creeley, and Robinson.

        Eigner at EPC
        Eigner at PennSound

        link    |  03-07-10

        “The Thinker”: Fired Clay, Hamangia, Cernavodă (Hamangia/Romania) 5000–4600 BCE
        Female Figurine, Fired Clay, Cucuteni, Drăguşeni (Hamangia/Romania), 4050–3900 BCE

        The Lost World of Old Europe:
        The Danube Valley 5000-2500 BC

        closes April 25
        Institute for the Study of the Ancient World
        15 W. 84th Street, NY NY
        worth a detour


        Playing with Pictures: The Art of Victorian Photocollage
        Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
        closes May 9, 2010


        Alias Man Ray: The Art of Reinvention
        closes March 14, 2010
        The Jewish Museum, NY

        especially notable for the collection of work Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzky, 1890-1976) , did while living in the New York area (and especially Ridgefield, NJ) before emigrating to Paris in 1921, when he was just past 30. This include early magazine covers and design as well as documenting his engagement with Ferrer's Modern School.
        "Tapestry" (1911, from the Pompidou) is made up of fabric swaths from his father's tailor shop:

        link    |  03-06-10

        FRED WAH
        Close Listening

        February 21, 2010

        on PennSound
        Art International Radio, operating at ARTonAIR.org.
        Recorded at The Banff Center as part of "IN(TER)VENTIONS: Literary Practice At The Edge,"
        with thanks to Steven Smith and engineer Piper Payne.
        • Program One: reading from Is a door (28:37): MP3
        • Program Two: conversation with Charles Bernstein (29:23): MP3

          Segmented Reading:
        1. Introduction (0:46): MP3
        2. Music at the Heart of Thinking, 108 (1:09): MP3
        3. To the Dogs (0:44): MP3
        4. Is a Door Blue (0:56): MP3
        5. Sheet Music (1:25): MP3
        6. The Marlin Seafood Grill (3:25): MP3
        7. Double Dutch (0:54): MP3
        8. Hey Man (0:38): MP3
        9. I Need to Apply (1:00): MP3
        10. Is a Door (0:33): MP3
        11. Mr. In-between (0:37): MP3
        12. Discount Me In (1:12): MP3
        13. Count (1:15): MP3
        14. Me (0:49): MP3
        15. In (0:42): MP3
        16. Writing (1:12): MP3
        17. Public (1:24): MP3
        18. Betweeen you and Me there Is and I (0:47): MP3
        19. Reverence (0:32): MP3
        20. Selves (0:50): MP3
        21. Naturalized Citizen Peeled (0:24): MP3
        22. Rubble (0:16): MP3
        23. Abdijection (1:32): MP3
        24. Aporia (0:40): MP3
        25. Class (0:40): MP3
        26. Defend the Zero (0:27): MP3
        27. Head Smashed in (0:55): MP3
        28. Household (0:49): MP3
        29. Loki Sniffs the Floods (0:26): MP3
        link    |  03-02-10

        David Kaufman, "Sensible Swoons"
        review of All the Whiskey in Heaven
        Tablet Magaizne


        "Making Minds Whole"
        Douglas Messerli on Controlling Interests


        Two poems from All the Whiskey in Heaven
        read last week at the Renaissance Society, University of Chicago



        ‘17 Ugly Years’ / UDP exhibition and events at PS1

        Thursday March 4
        ‘17 Ugly Years’ / UDP exhibition and events at PS1
        Exhibition at PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, NY
        17 UGLY YEARS — Exhibition and Events to Celebrate the Life and Times of Ugly Duckling Presse
        From March 4 to March 29, 2010, Artbook @ PS1 will be showing “17 Ugly Years,” an exhibition of publications, projects, and historical ephemera from the archives of Ugly Duckling Presse, a Brooklyn-based arts and publishing collective.  Organized thematically, the exhibit will examine several aspects of the Presse’s evolving mission and practice: the role of free labor in collective making; the book as gift or as an (anti)commodity; the development of editorial projects; the play of forms and materials in book design; and the problems of distribution and dissemination. Since the days of the xeroxed Ugly Duckling zine of the early 1990s, UDP has produced more than 200 individual titles — ranging from tiny hand-bound chapbook editions to 700-page tomes — of poetry, artists’ projects, and translation, with a focus on emerging, international and “forgotten” authors. From broadsides and letterpress ephemera to magazines, newspapers and perfect-bound books, UDP’s productions contain handmade elements, calling attention to the labor and history of bookmaking.
        Opening Ceremonies — Sunday, March 7, 4pm —  PS1 Cafe
        A wine reception with readings by Charles Bernstein, Jen Bervin, Aaron Kiely, Eugene Ostashevksy, and Yuko Otomo; plus a 16mm screening of Joel Schlemowitz’s award-winning documentary, “Loudmouth Collective / Ugly Duckling Presse / Anti-Reading.”


          My views of
        Judith Malina & Anne Waldman
        at the penultimate performance of
        Red Noir at the Living Theater (NY)



        Installation shots
        from Emma Bee Bernstein, "Masquerade: A Retrospective" at DOVA in Chicago
        (click on image for larger view)

        Chicago Tribune review of Girldrive

        Hinton, Laura. Girldrive, The Poetry Project Newsletter. Feb/Mar 2010, #222, pp. 26-27:
        "The Strangeness of Girldrive,"
        Chant de la Sirene, Feb. 20, 2010.




        Buller, Rachel Epps
        "Feminist Threads, or, It's All About the Ladies,"
        eReview, Feb. 22, 2010.

        Davy Crockett's Hat
        (on Marjorie Perloff and her book The Vienna Paradox)

        Douglas Messerli


        Granary Books Robert Creeley Library
        Click here to see the contents of The Robert Creeley Library List 3 (M-Z)
        Click here to see the contents of The Robert Creeley Library (A-Z)
        Granary Books website
        (with new and recent publications by Kiki Smith & Leslie Scalapino; Trevor Winkfield & John Ashbery; Emily McVarish; Anne Waldman & Donna Dennis; Marjorie Welish & James Siena)

        link    |  03-01-10

        Contemporary Poetics:  Experimental, Avant-Garde, Radical or Conceptual?
        Guest Editors Clint Burnham and Christine Stewart

        This special issue will explore works of contemporary poetic experiment and the conditions within which they are produced. This can include digital/screen poetics; popular forms like hiphop or other "insurgent" music like punk/indie/heavy metal; spoken word/oral. 

        We are interested in research and criticism into the relationship between formal innovation and political claims. Should one make political claims at all for formally motivated poetry? Much of this work professes to destabilize naturalized ideological forms, creating previously unarticulated spaces within larger dominant discourses. What can we make of these claims? Does such experimentation merely carry out the brainwork of late capitalism / neoliberalism? That is, do formal innovations in poetics advance the work of capitalism – 1980s disjunction becomes contemporary media streams, the “open” text becomes the digital “hot” link, 1960s poets’ lower-case “i” becomes the iPod/iPhone.

        Concerns about the implications of formal experimentation are varied.  Narrowing their critique to the term and the concept of the avant-garde, Pauline Butling and Susan Rudy argue that the avant-garde privileges young white male artists and "enacts progressive narratives of modernisms / capitalisms (Writing in Our Time: Canada's Radical Poetries in English (2006)). Leslie Scalapino, in “Letters to Poets,” Jacket 31 (2006), critiques the assumption that “the elimination of expressivity” is a sound definition for contemporary avant-garde work. She argues that such a conclusion excludes “feminist and Black art” and pushes “formalism to the point of a totalitarian construct.” Stephanie Young and Juliana Spahr address similar concerns in noulipian Analects (2009), questioning the gender politics of constraint poetics within the experimental Oulipo tradition of Anglophone writers.

        Consider these discussions and the questions they raise. What constitutes an avant-garde, experimental or radical poetic? Can poetic innovation make any claim toward political activism? Are the terms currently in use (avant-garde, experimental, radical, conceptual) meaningful? Are some more fitting than others and how might these terms work with (or against) postcolonial, aboriginal, feminist, queer, communist, anarchist, or posthuman concerns? If the experimental is so easily plugged into the agendas of late capitalism (from i to iPod), might it be better, as Alan Badiou claims, “to do nothing . . . [rather than] contribute to the invention of formal ways of rendering visible that which the Empire already recognizes as existent” (“15 theses on contemporary art” Lacanian Ink 23.2004)? Or not?

        Note: As this edition is dedicated to the study of structurally innovative texts, submissions that challenge the boundaries of the conventional paper will be considered as well as those taking more standard approaches. 

        Essays should follow the submission guidelines of the journal:  www.canlit.ca/submissions.php
        Cover letters should indicate that the article is to be considered for this special issue.  The deadline for submissions for consideration for publication in this issue is 1 Dec 2010.

        link    |  02-28-10-x


        TAN LIN

        7 Controlled Vocabularies
        and Obituary 2004. The Joy of Cooking

        Wesleyan University Press

        Tan Lin’s poetry is just way too cool. In 7 Controlled Vocabularies, Lin makes language pop, sizzle, melt, careen, dodge, sparkle, and reform[ulate]. Lin’s poems are as chic as they are sharp and ingenious. This new book is a dazzling display of aesthetic élan and as charming as Magritte’s pipe.
        —Charles Bernstein

        Tan Lin proposes a radical idea for reading: not reading. Words, so prevalent today, are merely elements that constitute fleeting engagements, one amongst many that make up the shape of our rich technological landscape. You get the sense that these words aren't meant to last forever. By setting up a textual ecology—recycling and repurposing language—Lin makes us aware of both the material and ephemeral nature of words. Language is fluid and can be poured into many forms. Skim, dip, drop-in, tune out, click away. For this brief moment, they've come together between the covers of this book; tomorrow they'll be a Facebook meme.
        —Kenneth Goldsmith

        Tan Lin returns us to the most traditional idea for reading. Words, so transitory today, are fundamental elements that constitute Orphic engagements, singular among the many technologies make up the shape of our rich semiotic landscape. You get the sense that Lin’s words are meant to last forever. By setting up a textual ecology – archiving and rejuvenating language -- Lin makes us aware of something that is beyond both the material and ephemeral nature of words. Language is solid and palpable. Plunge the depths, close read, dwell, savor, project. Today these figments of eternity have come together between the covers of this book; tomorrow they'll be canonical..
        —Charles Bernstein
        (part of a forthcoming collection of conceptual blurbs for this work)


        D. SNELSON
        Tan Lin's HEATH annoted
        Danny Snelson’s HTML re-edition of Tan Lin's Heath,
        with Autechre and Summer BONUS PAK DISCO DOWNLOADS.
        of the book


        Chalk Playground, LitTwitChalk


        link    |  02-28-10

        All the Whiskey in Heaven

        Selected Poems of
        Charles Bernstein

        Farrar, Straus and Giroux
        on sale March 2
        300 pp.
        ISBN 978-0-374-10344-6

        new biographical note for the collection

          All the Whiskey in Heaven brings together some of Charles Bernstein’s best work from the past thirty years, an astonishing assortment of different types of poems. Yet, despite the distinctive differences from poem to poem, Bernstein’s characteristic explorations of how language both limits and liberates thought are present throughout. Modulating the comic and the dark, structural invention with buoyant sound play, these challenging works give way to poems of lyric excess and striking emotional range. This is poetry for poetry’s sake, as formally radical as it is socially engaged, providing equal measures of aesthetic pleasure, hilarity, and philosophical reflection. Long considered one of America’s most inventive and influential contemporary poets, Bernstein reveals himself to be both trickster and charmer.

          “Charles Bernstein’s poems resemble each other only in being unexpected. Simultaneously mad, tragic and hilarious, they seem written to illustrate the truth of his lines: ‘things are / solid; we stumble, unglue, recombine.’ All the Whiskey in Heaven is a vast department store of the imagination.”
          —John Ashbery 

          “Charles Bernstein uses words as a surgeon uses a scalpel. He strips away the skin and cuts to the bone to reveal reality and—ultimately—to heal. This essential collection from 30 years of cutting edge work will confirm Bernstein as our true poet laureate—the voice of a new generation.”
          —John Zorn

          “For more than thirty years Charles Bernstein has been America’s most ardent literary provocateur. This long-needed selection of his poetry gives us a new perspective on his work, for it shows us that the many forms he has worked in over the years are in fact a single form, the Bernstein form, and it is unique, the product of an imagination unlike that of any other contemporary writer. His poems challenge you to think in unaccustomed ways. They address public matters, private matters, poetic matters—in other words, all that matters most. And, good Lord, can they ever make you laugh”
          —Paul Auster

           “Charles Bernstein is our ultimate connoisseur of chaos, the chronicler, in poems of devastating satire, chilling and complex irony, exuberant wit, and, above all, profound passion, of the contradictions and absurdities of everyday life in urban America at the turn of the twenty-first century. From such early underground classics as “The Klupzy Girl,” to the mordant verbal play of “The Lives of the Toll Takers,” to the great meditation on 9/11 called “Report from Liberty Street” and the deeply personal ballads and elegies of recent years, Bernstein’s much awaited Selected Poems displays a formal range, performative urgency, and verbal dexterity unmatched by other poets of his generation.”
          —Marjorie Perloff

           “A perfect introduction to the adventure that is Charles Bernstein’s work. But even for those of us who have known his irrepressible inventiveness and engaged humor from the individual books it is a boon to see here the full range of his exuberant ingenuity in battling sclerosis of word, mind—and poetry.”
          —Rosmarie Waldrop

          “This wonderful book confirms Charles Bernstein’s position as the pre-eminent American poet of mental activity—delineating not simply the mind as it registers stimuli, but the more radical commitment to mind as a machine that constantly invents totally new moves and strategies in the daily battles of perception. All the Whiskey in Heaven captures 30 years of ground breaking and revelatory work.”
          —Richard Foreman

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



          Feb./March 2010
          "... a rousing selection from thirty years of work ... Bernstein deftly shifts moods and tones, but a sense of urgency and a hard-won clarity are in eveidnce throught this volume."
          --David O'Neill

          Publisher's Weekly

          starred review
          This gathering of 30 years worth of work by the prominent L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poet and essayist offers a rigorous critique of the art of poetry itself, which means, among other things, a thorough investigation of language and the mind. Varied voices and genres are at play, from a colloquial letter of complaint to the manager of a Manhattan subway station to a fragmentary meditation on the forces that underlie the formation of knowledge. Bernstein's attention to the uncertainty surrounding the self as it purports to exist in poetry—“its virtual (or ventriloquized)/ anonymity—opens fresh pathways toward thinking through Rimbaud's dictum that “I is another.” In addition to philosophical depth—which somehow even lurks beneath statements like “There is nothing/ in this poem/ that is in any/ way difficult/ to understand”—a razor-sharp wit ties the book together: “You can't/ watch ice sports with the lights on!” These exhilarating, challenging poems raise countless essential questions about the form and function of poetry. (Mar.)

        link    |  02-27-10

        Interview with Charles Bernstein
        by: Daniel Benjamin

        In last week’s issue I wrote about poet Charles Bernstein,
        who gave a reading on the University of Chicago’s campus on February 14. 
        Here is the interview that I did with Bernstein the previous day.

        How has your upbringing and early exposure to poetry shaped your work?

        No doubt my upbringing underlies the proclivities and unconscious obsessions and fascinations that I pursue. I’ve lived all my life pretty much in the same neighborhood in the Upper West Side so I think that being from that place, the look and sound, social attitudes, the implicit imaginary of the neighborhood is very important and informative, though I don’t necessarily represent it or much talk about it. I avoided early exposure to poetry. But at some point I did get the infection, which took a viral hold over me that I couldn’t shake despite common sense and against all odds.

        I write poetry because I can’t do anything else as well.

        In college, I studied philosophy with Stanley Cavell and Rogers Albritton. My undergraduate dissertation, “Three Steins,” focused on Ludwig Wittgenstein and Gertrude Stein. (I was a lone “steen” among the Steins.)  Sometimes it scares me how little I have strayed from my engagements in that early work; but then, I am easily frightened.

        At the time, I wrote a little bit of what might be called poetry, but I would have said I was interested in writing: verbal stuff.  The concept of poetry that was in my mind was too narrow. Over the years I’ve gotten much more engaged with the history of the genre and am inclined to think of poetry in the broadest sense, as the language art, as David Antin has so usefully insisted.

        Could you talk more about Wittgenstein and his influence on you?

        At Harvard, I found an asylum in Emerson Hall, because I couldn’t abide the literature classes: the axiomatic claustrophobia of the professors was intolerable, but far worse was the quick and contemptuous dismissal of modern and contemporary art in all its forms by my overwhelmingly (or so it seemed) prep school or prep school wannabe classmates. I remember a class on Céline’s “Mort à  credit” (“Death on the Installment Plan”) … such incredible use of ellipsis, such a dystopian imagination, so grotesque…  My classmates had never read anything like this … they didn’t like it. At the time, I was young enough to feel wounded by their responses. So I found my way over to philosophy. While the analytic side of philosophical discussion was of only modest interest to me, I didn’t have that same visceral revulsion, maybe because I didn’t care as much about abstract philosophical arguments as I did about art. So that’s how I drifted into philosophy. I enjoyed especially the history of philosophy—the Greeks; Augustine and Aquinas, Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz; Kant, Rousseau, Mill, Marx, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche …  And then especially Wittgenstein.

        Wittgenstein’s turn to language had me in its spell.  His perception that words are not just a mapped onto “things” in a one-on-one correspondence (slab for slab, slop for slop), but that the texture of language, as we use it in conversation, is a basis for our ways of seeing. Language provides a lens or filter or map or probe with which, and through which, we negotiate the world.
        It’s this dimension of aesthetics in terms of poesis that is attractive to many poets, if not through Wittgenstein then through John Dewey or Roman Jakobson or George Lakoff.  Wittgenstein encourages intuitions about significance of sound, that metaphors are not expendable (we don’t just see but see as), that syntax is a perceptual system. So even though Wittgenstein is the poet of the everyday and of convention, for me he also provided a foundation for an engagement with the practice of abnormality, aversion as Emerson puts it, or swerving away in the Heraclitean or Alfred Jarryesque sense: the odd or queer turn of phrase that might suggest a way of life.

        Of course I also swerved from Wittgenstein, toward more socio-historical and ideological frames of reference and toward making art. I’m more interested in interest, in Habermas’s sense in “Knowledge and Human Interest”; and also in factura, constructing verbal objects for reflection.

        With the idea of the “linguistic turn,” one might see Language poetry and Ordinary Language philosophy as two paths that came out of Wittgenstein in very different ways.

        One more expected and the other a surprise, the illegitimate child. I associate the linguistic turn with Stein, Freud, Wittgenstein, and Benjamin, but behind that Blake, Poe, and Dickinson, among others. I think of philosophy more the way I think of poetry, as a genre like detective fiction, rather than as a truth-seeking activity in and of itself. The truth-seeking activity is the genre.

        Could you talk more about editing L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E magazine and the beginning of Language poetry and how that related to previous avant-garde movements in poetry?

        Language poetry doesn’t exist. It’s a chimera robed in allusion. Imaginary. Or perhaps it’s an oasis: you’re in a desert and there seems to be a pool of water just over there. Something like the enticing, if wintry, Lake Michigan just out the window from Regents Park, where we’re talking. People on different shores are looking at it from different perspectives and seeing different things they want or don’t want from it, and it becomes those things. So it’s plural (a plural that includes those who think it isn’t). Or then again: Language poetry is a social construction; a performance not an essence. Collective and collaborative.

        One thing about L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, which I edited with Bruce Andrews from 1978 to 1982, is that it rejected the modernist avant-garde model.  L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E  was a bricolage of related poetic, philosophic, and political works; we were exploring a tendency, not defining a set of principles. We were trying to connect disparate groups, individuals, and formations and by so doing advocate approaches to poetry, modernist and contemporary, that we felt were undervalued, or indeed that were stigmatized. In particular, I was scanning for poetry and poetics that were formally eccentric, diverging from literary and linguistic norms, poetry that was weird and queer and extreme and very self-conscious about how its forms were provisional and imaginary and invented.

        What we did in the ’70s is specific to what was possible at that moment, building on the work of radical modernist and New American Poetry, but also reflecting the cultural possibilities of the moment, following the anti-war movement and taking some cues from an emerging counter-culture of dissensus.  From the point of view of cold war neoliberalism—post history, post ideology—our insistence that poetry was not removed from ideology … well it made some folks see red. We were accused of being dogmatic precisely because we refused the prevailing verse dogmas (PVDs).

        L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E assembled a compendium of samples, a range of activities that had no natural place of their own, no proper place. Here I would use the term of Michel de Certeau and say we were about tactics because we were not able to have a strategy.  Certeau speaks about strategy as being for someone that has the high ground, the proper space; tactics are activities that undermine those controlling interests.  Although I’d also say that it’s not just tactical, that what’s needed is a poetics of tactics, so there is of a larger reflection on the nature of how those tactics operate. In that sense, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E was a constellation of tactics without an underlying principle, except perhaps Joe Hill’s: don’t mourn, organize. The absence of an underlying principle is, I think, what I mean by “imaginary” in my initial reply to you; I think it’s crucial to why the magazine may have resonance now (if it does). Often poetry groupings have more to do with commitments to a specific style or to a particular social milieu. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”, as Seinfeld would say. But either I wasn’t interested in that or maybe it’s just that in New York in the mid-’70s I was too much on the periphery of the art and poetry and performance subcultures that I found most attractive, and I didn’t find any one style that I wanted to marry either. So we made something up!  But eclecticism was not our thing either.

        L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E was a montage. We were about constellation not juxtaposition. It was all about picking and choosing to create a palpable, compelling even tantalizing sense of the possibilities for poetry, all the time acknowledging the history we felt ourselves extending. And forging friendships and commitments as we went along.

        I understand this kind of approach isn’t for all poets, or maybe even for most poets, many of whom would find so much organizing a distraction. But for me—and this takes me through the rest of my life—organizing is a poetic practice. I think of poetry, marginal though it is, as a fundamental activity within our culture. I think of it as historical, cognitive, philosophical, aesthetic work. Because I think that, I try to put things together that might not go together at first—but then, after not too long, it might seem they were—almost—a natural fit.  And for me it also means mapping poetic work onto multiple cultural spaces, some expected some not—the internet, universities, reading series, the visual arts, music, film, little magazines, performance, publishing, radio.

        With L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, there were a number of poets who were in conversation, engaged in a discussion of the linguistic turn, of the significance of verbal language as a perceptual membrane that changes the way we see the world, of the possibilities of continuing formal invention within poetry and the social implications of such invention, and of the relation of voices to voicing, found materials to made patterns, parts to wholes, standardization to conformity …

        L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E  is syncretic. Our conversations melded into an alloy. And there is one more crucial element, maybe most important of all: our commitment to non-expository modes of discursive thinking; to new essays forms engaged with nonlinear thinking. Essays, poetics as a crucial part of the work of poetry …

        Your work is formally very varied, spanning poetry, essays, libretti, online placards.  And even within the “poetry” your work takes very different form.  I’m wondering if you could talk about if you’re conscious of working in form, and whether it’s a mistake to divide your work through that kind of formal lens?

        I am interested in poetry as a medium for exploring the possibilities, and resistances, to expression, not as a vehicle to express a message I have already formulated. My poetry doesn’t convey what I know, it explores the conditions of how I know it. A lot of the kicking-up-dust aspects of 1970s discussions about poetry were, not surprisingly, centered around the problems of language and description. The word “poem” doesn’t delimit all that much. It used to drive me crazy when people whose work I thought was terrific would say “poetry does this” and “poetry does that.”  I remember writing a letter to Jerome McGann saying I love this essay but I don’t understand why you say poetry in this way; isn’t it some poetry or this particular poem. And then I found myself doing exactly what I was complaining to McGann about, and for the same reason that McGann sometimes does it, as an expression of desire.

        Poetry itself is a porous term; it means a lot of different things to different people. It’s not an honorific. A work doesn’t become a poem because it’s good and cease to be a poem if it is bad. If somebody chooses to publish the TV listing from this hotel as a poem—and why not?—the problem would not be whether the work is a poem. Veronica Forrest-Thomson, in “Poetic Artifice,” lays this out this argument persuasively. She points out that if you can take a newspaper article and break it up into verse lines, you’ll read it as a poem, but not necessarily as an especially good or interesting poem.

        For me poetry is a form of sophism and of rhetoric rather than of truth and sincerity.

        Our terminology or typology for poetry is inadequate to the proliferating and contradictory range of approaches in the postwar years. I want to talk about hue or tone; about satire versus irony versus sarcasm versus humor; about bumpy versus smooth surfaces; about 13 ways of looking at rhythm in nonmetrical poetry; about the difference between form and its inflections. Narrative, prose poem, lyric, epic, personal, performance, long, short, elliptical, sound, visual, identitarian, disjunctive, projective, formalist, objectivist—just as “language” or “conceptual”—don’t account for the wild divergences within the rubrics and unexpected affinities across them.

        Still I count on recognition of genre distinctions, including these sub-genre categorical distinctions, even when I pull the rug out from under them. This was crucial to me in putting together my “All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems,” where a stanza can be a short poem or then again part of a longer serial work; and where the poems, taken from thirty years of work, are repurposed to be part of this new serial work, with the book as organizing principle. For the selected, I wanted to juxtapose very disparate forms, in order to create a rhythm out of the movement among the discrepant parts; the meaning is as much in the space in between as in the poems themselves. Each poem does have its autonomy, but the book as a whole more as an installation than a collection.

        In the promotional material for your new book some lines struck me as interesting.  You are called “both trickster and charmer.”  And your poems “provide equal measures of aesthetic pleasure, hilarity, and philosophical reflection.”  What are your thoughts on being read as a satirist?

        My work has a lot of comic elements. In some way I think of poetry, in its expressive and figurative quests, as comic; if not outright bathetic then the pathos of decorum often strikes me as vaguely ludicrous. Yet, I’ve resisted the terms satire and irony, even though some of my poems most surely do appear to be one or the other, maybe both. One way to say it is that they’re never wholly ironic and they’re not primarily satiric. It’s more that things don’t always mean what they seem to mean on the surface. Nor do they mean the opposite.

        One poem in the “Selected,” “Thank You For Saying Thank You,” satirizes the belief that poems should be accessible and understandable. As the poem goes on, it becomes darkly impossible to take seriously the ostensive content because the poem, written in an apparently hyperaccessible style, is so patently undermining what it’s saying. And yet at the same time, the poem is making a relatively straightforward point. But the straightforward point of that poem (the contravention of the ostensive content) isn’t what interests me about it. It’s not that I’m not annoyed about certain kinds of superficial dismissals of difficulty in poetry. For poets of any stripe, or even of no stripe at all, issues of difficulty or “getting it” are unavoidable, because poetry as a genre is difficult. Even poetry that tries to be as user-friendly as possible can’t overcome the problem that it’s a poem … for God’s sake. Poets have a vested interest in either saying, “Oh no it really is accessible, just give it time,” or claiming to want to be inaccessible. The issue can’t go away because—nothing to do with any given poet—poetry is such a socially marginalized activity that even the concept of doing poetry itself is obscure to most people. Puzzling. “What is that, I sort of like that, but do you do that for a living?  Can you publish work like that?” So it comes back to this: as social form poetry has a kind of comic and pathetic aspect to it.

        What interests me about “Thank You for Saying Thank You” partly is the borderline between the comic and condescension; exploding certain ideas as you’re saying them, so that it appears that you’re saying exactly the opposite, which in that case would not be saying the opposite. I’m interested in it as a kind of odd rhetorical machine, what I’ve been calling bachelor machine (after Duchamp and Kafka): “celibate machines,” non-productive, non-procreative. I think of them as self-cancelling artifacts that just get caught in their own internal logic, are hoisted on their own petards. It’s almost like a short-circuit in the internal logic. In “Recantorium,” which was in Critical Inquiry and excerpted in Harper’s last year, I specifically bring into play the disciplinary apparatus of Kafka’s “The Penal Colony”.

        This becomes a motif in “All the Whiskey in Heaven,” starting with the first poem, from 1975, “Asylums,” which considers the language of self-enclosed, self-canceling, self-rending systems. The words we use, and that are used for us, can connect us to the world or cast us adrift, make us voyeurs of (even our own) everyday life or participants. I try to rub up against, and even mess with, the metaphoric or ideological structures we all live inside of, including, especially, my own (the ones that own me); I try to make these disciplinary imaginaries manifest, tangible. What is being satirized? Both “Thank You For Saying Thank You” and “Recantorium” can be described as sarcastic and satiric; sarcasm and satire are their subjects. But neither has a “proper” point of view that replaces the ostensive deformed order. In fact, both poems replace a deformed order with a bent and weird and unstable othering. I’d say they satirize satire, but that’s not right either, since they indulge in it. While, there is a recognition of bad faith in both poems there is also an acknowledgement of being enmired in it, of complicity. They’re quite performative and aggressive: they mean to do something, not do something that means.

        Poetry—see here’s that overly abstract usage!—well, my poetry allows me to think through conflicts and agonisms in a space that isn’t directly involved with outcomes or solutions; I can dwell in ambivalence and disability. It’s a truism to say poetic decisions are not necessarily the best ones in non-poetic realms, such as those of the state. But poetry allows us to imagine alternative and even counterfactual or impossible outcomes. It’s a space for thought and for reflection.

        You have been a critic of “official verse culture.”  What constitutes official verse culture, and would you say it has changed significantly in recent years?

        Since it is a successful dynamic process, Official Verse Culture lives by change, much as vampires live by fresh blood. Official Verse Culture in 2010 has adapted to many things that it repudiated 25 or more years ago: it is, after all, at its heart, eclectic, incorporating the good, the bad, and the ugly.

        Are the changes in official verse culture legible through an ideological analysis—by which I mean, can we track the changes in official verse culture simply by tracking the changes in the economic and political conditions?

        Yes and no. My generation has been riding a wave of significant cultural change and poetry, at all levels, tracks, reflects, foments and impedes those changes. Demographically neither your generation nor mine has the same prejudices or assumptions about gender, race, and sexual orientation, or for that matter about marriage, as did my parents’ generation. At the same time, the question would be: does capitalism still work? Capitalism wasn’t exactly dependent on those cultural issues, which doesn’t mean the changes aren’t of the greatest value, they are. But also we shift our prejudices from one group to another, then the Reds now the terrorists, without coming to terms with the terrorism we create or the class inequities that have increased. And with official verse culture the problem is the systematic evasion of the criteria for judgments and the repression of the cultural and political interests that underlie the hierarchies being created; in other words, the fantasy that poetry is not a field made of competing and agonistic poetics and so the repression of that agonism.

        Meanwhile, in poetry, certain styles that were forbidden thirty years ago are now fodder for the creative writing mill; while the Associated Writing Programs is more about containment than ever, partly because it sees neoliberalism and anti-intellectualism as a way to increase its footprint in the university and thus its economic base. As if the AWP is going to save the imagination from the MLA (in which case, God help the imagination). While poetry is, of course, important to AWP, it surely is not important to the New York Times, so it is sometimes hard to understand why the poetry coverage there is so one-sided and just basically clueless; it wouldn’t be tolerated in most other areas the newspaper (though I always do wonder about the real estate section). It just doesn’t seem to matter enough to give poetry …  well if not due diligence than any diligence, even some basic reporting.

        Official Verse Culture continues to incorporate teaspoon doses of the kind of poetry I want. And when that happens, I am delighted and just want more, more instanter: tablespoons, buckets. I don’t back away from those encroachments into the mainstream, I seek them out. Because I think poetry matters, and I think the recognition poetry receives in the “larger” culture matters too. I think the poetry on the radio, the poetry taught in high schools and colleges, matters. I’d love to see the new multiple volume collected Larry Eigner get a front page review in the Times and a long article in the New Yorker. Every time I hear Garrison Keillor’s “Writers Almanac” do a poetry segment I am acutely disappointed by the timidity of the choices, the lost opportunity. I’m sad that any number of the books I’ve felt most significant have not had greater acknowledgment in the nationally circulated press and major newspapers or by the big awards and prizes; but it doesn’t affect the value of their work and the recognition these poets have among many of us who care about the art of poetry.

        The critique is institutional. Poetry is striated by intense aesthetic and ideological conflict. That’s what needs to be acknowledged. Official Verse Culture attempts to neutralize such conflict, often with the pathos of the true believer.

        It seems as if there’s been a recent consolidation of many interesting avant-garde poetry groups: the EPC, PennSound, the Poetics List, and Jacket.  You have an early essay that is critical of “groupings.” I’m wondering if you’re worried about a new kind of grouping coming out in the poetic academy which might have a specific kind of power and force as a mold to be broken.

        I am worried about the consolidation of “intellectual content” in the hands of large corporations. With PennSound, perhaps more important even than the poetry readings we have made available is the fact that we have put this vast archive of poetry in the public domain (for noncommercial use); that is, kept it from being privatized. Everything on PennSound and the EPC is free, downloadable; there are no ads. With PennSound, I’ve been fortunate to work with Al Filries whose commitment to creating and maintaining alternative poetry spaces is extraordinary. The imperative to me is to make the most of the institutional resources available to me. The problem for me is not that we’ve done too much, but that we are not doing enough. And I hope and trust that the models we have created will encourage other people to respond to what we’ve done and especially what we’ve failed to do—and to create their own comparable sites.

        Daniel Benjamin on UChicago reading

        link    |  02-24-10

        David Antin
        Kelly Writers House Talk
        Rethinking Freud--Taking Freud Out of Psychoanalysis

        February 16, 2010

        • Introduction by Charles Bernstein (5:22): MP3
        • Complete Talk (1:06:09): MP3


        link    |  02-23-10-x

        Erín Moure
        Close Listening

        February 21, 2010.

        Recorded at The Banf Center as part of "IN(TER)VENTIONS: Literary Practice At The Edge,"
        with thanks to Steven Smith and engineer Piper Payne.

        • Program One: reading from 0 Resplandor (22:54): MP3
        • Program Two: conversation with Charles Bernstein (25:42): MP3


        link    |  02-23-10

        The Fred Wah Digital Archive

        Compiled and with an Introduction by
        Susan Rudy


        link    |  02-17-10

        Leslie Scalapino
        Floats Horse-Floats or Horse-Flows

        Miners, polar bears, insurgents sweeping the desert in Toyota pickups, a detective on the trail of illegal fur traders, Venus Williams' deconstructed forehand, wild horses, blooming chrysanthemums, tadpoles eating corpses in the Euphrates, and so much more - Leslie Scalapino's FLOATS HORSE-FLOATS OR HORSE- FLOWS is a startlingly beautiful, politically engaged, poetic novel. Narrative moments arrive out of inchoate states - an alexia where unknown words create a future - and the reader is continually and unexpectedly moved by the buoyancy and breathtaking velocity of Leslie Scalapino's language.

        "This is a jewel book that has come out of the spagyric hinterlands of purest imagination, where it has lain for an immeasurable time alongside Burroughs's Cities of the Red Night, Hans Arp's poetry, Monkey's Journey to the West, and Mark Twain's Mysterious Stranger - and it blows with the elegance of a horse - or a wolf... Virginia Woolf!" - Michael McClure.

        "Leslie Scalapino's writing reveals how far language — and therefore thought itself — can go beyond what we are accustomed to, and the forms in which she writes delightfully defy our expectations. Yet her work is infused with a seriousness, a passion, a timeliness, and an intelligence with which we profoundly identify. A new book by Leslie Scalapino is — always! — cause for celebration."  Lydia Davis, author of Samuel Johnson Is Indignant

        "What is an event anyway? This is a question Scalapino has explored before, but never quite as she does here. There is the known world where 'one-box-fits-all-words' make 'even plants indistinguishable from humans.' And then there is the world Scalapino creates, a world of fresh encounters where the 'hartebeest is wandering' and the 'vast shimmying fractionation is heard.' This other world isn't Eden, though it might seem so at first. Like the one we know, this world is filled with disaster and violence. The difference is that here we don't see it coming; we can't hide behind dead verbiage; we can't brace ourselves."  Rae Armantrout, author of Versed

        In celebration of the book's release, Scalapino will appear at the following upcoming SF/Bay area [California] readings:
         Tuesday, 2/23 at Moe's Books, 7:00 pm (w/ Amy Evans McClure)
        Wednesday, 3/10 at UC Press Books, 6:00 pm
        Saturday, 3/20 at Small Press Traffic, 7:30 pm (w/ Bruce Andrews)

        Scalapino cover
        Pre-publication copies now available
        Buy direct from Starcherone - this is the method of purchase by which you can support us best. [click image]
        $18.00 + shipping

        Also available from SMALL PRESS DISTBUTION

        STARCHERONE BOOKS is a nonprofit publisher of innovative fiction located in Buffalo, NY. In 2008, our title THE LOST BOOKS OF THE ODYSSEY by ZACHARY MASON became one of five nominees for the New York Public Library's YOUNG LIONS AWARD. Previously, JOSHUA HARMON'S QUINNEHTUKQUT was a finalist for the CABELL FIRST NOVELIST PRIZE. Starcherone authors have also won National Endowment for the Arts and Isherwood Fellowships, the Italo Calvino Award, and the Kurt Vonnegut Prize from North American Review, among other awards. Starcherone publishes four titles a year, and FLOATS HORSE-FLOATS OR HORSE-FLOWS is our 20th book since the press's inception in 2000.

        Floats Horse-Floats or Horse-Flows will have its official release on April 1, 2010.

        Orders from Starcherone in the United States are charged $6 shipping. Outside the US, the charge is $8.



        A message from Chax Press

        Please choose to specifically support one (or more) of these books through a targeted donation.
        To do so, please visit the book sponsorship page on the Chax Press web site at 

        Robert Mittenthal, Wax World
        Barbara Henning, Cities and Memory
        Alice Notley, Reason and Other Women
        Nico Vassilakis, Diesel Hand
        Charles Bernstein, Umbra
        Anne Waldman, Matriot Acts
        Tenney Nathanson, Ghost Snow Falling in the Void (Globalization)

        . Chax Press is supported by government grants, book sale revenue, private foundation grants, and donations from individuals. The largest and most important of these amounts: donations from individuals. We could not publish books without help from people like you.

        Please choose to specifically support one (or more) of these books through a targeted donation. To do so, please visit the book sponsorship page on the Chax Press web site at 

        You may choose to support the full costs of a book, or various partial costs, or simply to give in any amount you choose. 

        In addition, on this page you will also find opportunities to support books by Robert Mittenthal, Nico Vassilakis, and Will Alexander. We will also soon be adding more opportunities to lend your important support to other books by Leslie Scalapino, Jonathan Stalling, Andrew Levy, Joe Amato, Alan Loney, Standard Schaeffer, Mark Weiss, and more.

        Chax Press is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and your contributions are tax deductible.



        a new poetry and poetics center
        classes with
        Cara Bensin, Angel Carr, Mark Goldstein, Jay MillAr, Jenny Sampirisi, & Mark Truscott


        During the Vancouver Olympics
        Roger Farr and Stephen Collis will be hosting
        "Short Range Poetic Device"
        a series of readings and discussions about poetry and politics
        as part of Vivo Media Arts' "Safe Assembly" project.
        Tuesday Feb 16 7pm: Roger Farr, Stephen Collis, Donato Mancini
        Wednesday Feb 17 2pm: Reg Johanson, Kim Duff, Jeff Derksen
        Tuesday Feb 23 7pm: Clint Burnham and Rita Wong
        Wednesday Feb 24 9pm: Cecily Nicholson and Naava Smolash
        For details see http://shortrangepoeticdevice.blogspot.com
        streamed live from Vancouver at

        link    |  02-15-10

        blip.tv permlink for video

        watch in full screen mode (click video icon above)

        Emma Bee Bernstein
        Photographic Medley (2010)

        Slideshow curated by Antonia Pocock for
        "Emma Bee Bernstein -- Masquerade: A Retrospective" for
        exhibition at DOVA Temporary, University of Chicago, February 2010.


        Catalog for the DOVA show now available

        plus essays by
        Kate Bussard and Matthew Jesse Jackson.

        link    |  02-10-10


        ‘The Something Startled Rise of Birds’:
        A Tribute to Leigh Davis, 1955-2009

        Wystan Curnow

        Leigh’s alignment of his poetry with  insurgent visual media may be counted a response to poetry’s serious loss of prestige over his lifetime. (Such shifts will often register more dramatically in small, less complex cultures like New Zealand). At the same time he took an active interest in the rapid growth of new digital technologies—Jump Capital favoured telecommunications projects—and what poetry could make of them. Leigh considered poetry publishing in New Zealand had given the medium a bad name, and from Station of Earth-Bound Ghosts on made it clear that he was going it alone: ‘A bad poetry book is one that is instantly recognized as a poetry book. … These books have been banalised, like white bread, with most particularity and character removed. They are cheapened all round as publishers trade down the market in the belief that it is a social duty for these books to carry their precious content cargo despite sad economics’. He objected in particular to the ‘common view that poems come grouped together in small books, like boxes of chocolates that one scans for favourite flavours’. He wanted books that ‘use the physics of poetry not to make various kinds of statement but to make states of reading which are boundaryless in a was at least attributable  to their consumption of time’. Longer book length poems have been Leigh’s stock in trade from the outset. This is more than a matter of packaging and design. ‘There must’, he wrote’, be a cogency and mutual reinforcement between a poetry work and its vehicle behaving as an idea. (my italics) … A book is many things besides a bland codex. It is a household object. It is a meter of sequence and therefore time. It is a control device with respect to serial narrative, either accelerating or impeding the flow of sense. It has weight and measure. It is a fan; a turbine, a layering device or series of veils; an onion. It is an environment and a metaphor for culture’.

        read more


        link    |  02-08-10


        Leevi Lehto on
        Translating Joyce's Ulysses
        into Finnish

        Blackbox Manifold

        Alex Houen & Adam Piette's new web journal
        from Cambridge, England

        Thin Air Video
        Mitch Corber's deep archive of poetry readings & lectures
        now on DVD

        Robert Creeley's personal library
        catalog from Granary Books



        COMPLICITIES: British Poetry 1945-2007
        eds. Robin Purves & Sam Ladkin
        ISBN 978-80-7308-194-2 (paperback). 261pp.
        Publication date: November 2007. Prague. Litteraria Pragensia Books.
        Archived online
        Contributors include: Thomas Day, Keston Sutherland, Alizon Brunning, Robin Purves, J.H. Prynne, Bruce Stewart, D.S. Marriott, Stephen Thomson, Craig Dworkin, Sophie Read, Sara Crangle, Malcolm Phillips, Tom Jones, Josh Robinson, Sam Ladkin, Jennifer Cooke, Ian Patterson.

        The Avant-Garde under "Post-" Conditions

        ed. Louis Armand
        ISBN 80-7308-123-7 (paperback). 300pp.
        Published: September 2006. Prague. Litteraria Pragensia Books.
        "The question at the heart of these sixteen essays--alternately theoretically demanding, impishly elusive, stylistically impacted, and wholly absorbing--is this: what, in the context of contemporary politico-aesthetic practices, is the avant-garde, and how, if at all, can some version of it continue to exist in an historical moment when ... everything is permitted, hence nothing is any longer possible?" --American Book Review

        Avant-Post engages the question of whether or not avant-garde practice remains viable under the prevailing conditions of a whole series of "post-" ideologies, from Post-Modernism and Post-Structuralism, to Post-Historicism, Post-Humanism and Post-Ideology itself.

        Contributors include Johanna Drucker, Michael S. Begnal, Lisa Jarnot, Ann Vickery, Christian Bök, Robert Archambeau, Mairead Byrne, R.M. Berry, Trey Strecker, Keston Sutherland, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Robert Sheppard, Bonita Rhoads, Vadim Erent, Laurent Milesi, Esther Milne ...
        now -on-line

        link    |  02-07-10

        Harvard University
        Barker Center
        October 5, 2009

        my complete reading (59:19): MP3
        & segmented:
        1. introduction by Stephanie Sandler (1:53): MP3
        2. In the Middle of the Way (tr. of Carlos Drummond de Andrade poem) (1:01): MP3
        from Recalculating (work in progress):
        3. The Sixties with Apologies (1:38): MP3
        4. Fold (3:07): MP3
        5. The Honor of Virtue (0:14):MP3
        6. Sad Boy's Sad Boy (1:10): MP3
        7. Loneliness in Linden (1:07): MP3
        8. On Election Day (3:45): MP3
        9.: Dear%r Fr~ien%d, (3:01): MP3
        10. The Twelve Tribes of Dr. Lacan (2:05): MP3
        11. The Truth in Pudding (13:19): MP3
        12. Morality (1:25): MP3
        13. Won't You Give Up This Poem to Someone Who Needs It? (1:07): MP3
        14. Stupid Men, Smart Choices (1:25): MP3
        15. Two Stones with One Bird (1:12): MP3
        from All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems:
        16. Dear Mr. Fannelli (4:42): MP3
        17. from "The Republic of Reality (0:50): MP3
        18. Rivulets of the Dead Jew (0:32): MP3
        19. Doggy Bag (1:14): MP3
        20: from "Today is not Opposite Day" (0:35): MP3
        21: every lake (1:08): MP3
        from Recalculating:

        22. Catullus 85 (0:10): MP3
        23. And Aenigma Was His Name, O! (0:16): MP3
        24. tr. of Hugo, Les Contemplations #XIV (Demain, dés l'aube ...) (1:05): MP3
        25. If You Say Something, See Something (0:36): MP3
        26. Today Is the Last Day of Your Life 'til Now (0:39): MP3
        27. Time Served (1:25): MP3
        28. The Introvert (O:45): MP3
        29. Sapphics (0:34): MP3
        30. tr. of Baudelaire, "Be Drunken" (1:10): MP3
        31. tr. of Apollinaire, "Le pont Mirabeau" (1:22): MP3
        32. "Madame Moiselle" from Shadowtime (0:34): MP3
        33. “All the Whiskey in Heaven” (1:16): MP3
        Recorded by the Woodberry Poetry Room Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard.

        link    |  02-05-10-x


        Jacket magazine: An Announcement from John Tranter and Al Filreis

        Dear friends:

        We are writing with news of a transition we both deem very exciting. 

        By the end of 2010, John Tranter and Pam Brown will have put out 40 issues of Jacket (jacketmagazine.com). It began in what John recalls as "a rash moment" in 1997 - an early all-online magazine, one of the earliest in the world of poetry and poetics, and quite rare for its consistency over the years. "The design is beautiful, the contents awesomely voluminous, the slant international modernist and experimental." (So said _The Guardian_.)

        After issue 40, John will retire from thirteen years of intense every-single-day involvement with Jacket, and the entire archive of thousands of web pages will move intact to servers at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where it will of course be available on the internet to everyone, for free, as always. But the magazine is not ceasing publication: quite the opposite. 

        Starting with the first issue in 2011, Jacket will have a new home, extra staff and a vigorous future as Jacket2. Jacket and its continuation, Jacket2, will be hosted by the Kelly Writers House and PennSound at the University of Pennsylvania. 

        The connection with PennSound, a vast and growing archive of audio recordings of poetry performance, discussion and criticism, is seen as a valuable additional facet of the new magazine, as is the relationship with busy Kelly Writers House, a lively venue for day-to-day poetic interchange of all kinds. The synergy in this three-way relationship has great potential.

        Al will become Publisher and Jessica Lowenthal, Director of the Writers House, will be Associate Publisher. The new Editor will be Michael S. Hennessey (currently Managing Editor of PennSound) and the new Managing Editor will be Julia Bloch. John will be available as Founding Editor, and Pam will continue as Associate Editor. 

        More news about Jacket2 in the weeks and months to come. Meantime, the Jacket2 folks extend gratitude -- as many in the world of poetics do -- to John and to Pam Brown for the extraordinary work they've done. And John, for his part, is mightily pleased that Jacket will be preserved and will continue and grow in a somewhat new mode but with a continuous mission and approach.

        - John Tranter & Al Filreis



        link    |  02-05-10


        We Need Their Language Skills

        Repeal the Ban on Gays
        in Military Service

        Civil Rights Is a Privilege
        National Security Is a Necessity

        Paid for by Hiram Monserrate
        & His Royal Majesty King Michael of New York
        Republicans for Limited Democracy


        full set of placards

        link    |  02-03-10

        Spring 2010 Schedule

        This series of talks by major contemporary poets, titled in honor of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, explores the relationship between contemporary poetic manifesto, practice, queer theory, and pedagogy.

        All events take place at CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

        Akilah Oliver, Kate Eichhorn, and Charles Bernstein
        February 24 Wednesday, 6:30 PM
        Martin E. Segal Theater

        erica kaufman, Douglas A. Martin, and Mina Pam Dick
        March 9, Tuesday, 6:30 PM
        Martin E. Segal Theater

        Dodie Bellamy, Eileen Myles, and Kevin Killian
        April 9, Friday, 6:30 PM
        Martin E. Segal Theater

        Jack Kimball, CA Conrad, and Stacy Szymaszek
        May 6, Thursday, 6:30 PM
        The Skylight Room, 9100 (please note this location is different)

        * * *

        Tendencies: Poetics and Practice is curated by Tim Peterson (Trace)
        Sponsored by the Center for the Humanities, the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, the Ph.D. Program in English, and the GC Poetics Group


        link    |  02-02-10

        Dubravka Djuric

        Go to blog page to see the Flash stream.

        Dubravka's Caravan
        Dubravka was visiting from Belgrade. Just after we taped the Close Listening shows, I asked her about the feminist, non-national caravan through the traumatized lands of the former Yugoslavia.
        April 29, 2007
        (mp4, 3 min. 29 sec., 32.9 mb)

        link    |  02-01-10

        Rae Armantrout interviewed
        in The Chicago Weekly

        by Daniel Benjamin
        January 29, 2009


        Innovative Poetry

        PDF-booklet (34 pp.)
        contains an introduction by Robert Sheppard
        and papers by Andrea Brady, Caroline Bergvall and Robert Hampson,
        as well as photos from the Birkbeck launch event in October 2009.


        link    |  01-30-10

        Returning to the Closet (on Raymond Federman)
        Douglas Messerli


        Mimeo Mimeo 3
        Danny Snelson does a remarkable close reading of two magazine issues: Form from 1966 and Alcheringa's 1975 "Dwelling Place" feature edited by Ron Silliman.


        95 Cent Skool: Summer Seminar in Social Poetics



        link    |  01-28-09

        from Joan Retallack's
        forthcoming from Roof Books (New York)

        A I D /I/ S A P P E A R A N C E

        for Stefan Fitterman

        The disappearance moves through the letters of the alphabet (and the source text) in this way: Beginning with letters A I D S, it spreads to adjoining letters B H J C E R T, to F G K Q U,  to L P V,  to M O W,  to N X,  to Y. ....

        The poem was composed in 1994 and first published in Object 5 (1995): it was first collected in Retallack's 1998 collection How to Do Things with Words.  For a discussion of this poem, see “AIDS and the Postmodern Subject: Joan Retallack's ‘AID/I/SAPPEARANCE’” by Bryan Walpert, Poetics Today 2006 27(4):693-710.  


        in Sibyl

        link    |  01-26-09


        Money Rules!

        Vote Republican to
        Safeguard the Rights of Corporations
        & to Keep the  Supreme Court

        Paid for by Mike Bloomberg, Chair, Oligarchs for a Republican Future



        Ted Kennedy:

        We spit on your grave

        Stop Socialized Medicine Now:
        Health Care Is for Profit Not People!

        The voters of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


        full set of Fall 2008 Election Placards

        link    |  01-23-10-p

        Charles Reznikoff reads from Holocaust
        New York City, December 21, 1975
        recorded and with photos by filmmaker Abraham Ravett

        from Mike Hennessey's PennSound Daily entry today:
        " While Holocaust, as a text alone, serves as a viscerally pointed indictment of Nazi atrocities during the Second World War, not to mention a marvelous example of documentary poetics, in these selections, the auratic resonance of these appropriated testimonies are amplified dramatically, particularly when framed by the frail yet determined voice of the seventy-nine year old poet — who would pass away a month and a day from the date of this recording session — lending the work a gravid anger, a grand sense of monumental enormity."

        1. audio check (0:32): MP3
        2. Research 1 (take 1) (1:49): MP3
        3. Research 1 (take 2) (1:36): MP3
        4. Ghettos 8 (1:13): MP3
        5. Massacres 4 (2:03): MP3
        6. Massacres 4 (end) (0:29): MP3
        7. Massacres 5 (take 1) (0:46): MP3
        8. Massacres 5 (take 2) (0:41): MP3
        9. Work Camps 1 (1:10): MP3
        10. Gas Chambers and Gas Trucks 1 (9:15): MP3
        11. Gas Chambers and Gas Trucks 1, strophe 9 (retake) (0:53): MP3
        12. from Work Camps 3, final (5th) strophe (1:19): MP3
        13. Children 2 (0:52): MP3
        14. Children 3 (1:15): MP3
        15. Work Camps 6 (2:26): MP3
        16. Work Camps 8 (1:59): MP3
        17. Entertainment 1 (0:56): MP3
        18. Mass Graves 5 (2:40): MP3


        link    |  1-23-10

        Emma Bee Bernstein (1985-2008):
        Masquerade, A Retrospective

        (photographs and a slide show)

        DOVA Temporary Gallery
        University of Chicago
        5228 South Harper Avenue
        February 5 through February 27, 2010.
        Co-curated by Kat Griefen and Laura Letinsky.
        There will be a reception for the show on Friday, February 12th, from 5 to 8pm.

        Gallery Hours: Weds.-Sat., 12pm-5pm. Tel: 773-324-2089. 
        A catalog is available for the show with essays by Kate Bussard and Matthew Jesse Jackson.


        Charles Bernstein
        a reading for Emma
        on Sunday, Feb. 14
        at 2pm
        at the Renaissance Society
        University of Chicago
        (free and open to the public)


        by Emma Bee Bernstein & Nona Willis-Aronowitz
        reading at Bluestockings
        172 Allen St., NYC
        on Thursday, February 4 at 7 p.m.
        Nona Willis Aronowitz, Jennifer Baumgardner,
        Una Aya Osato, Likwuid Stylez, Susan Bee..

        link    |  01-22-10

        link    |  01-17-10-x

        Below is the official Kenning announcement of the poets theater anthology, officially being released on January 19.
        The volume is filled with treasures, not the least is the extensive set of notes in the back, which is detailed and illuminating and chock full of elusive historical details and contexts. The editors, and publisher Patrick Durgin, deserve many congratulations for this milestone achievement.
        (Cover image of V.R. "Bunny" Lang.).
        Much more to say about this, and poets theater, but for now just this ...

        Kenning Editions
        edited by Kevin Killian and David Brazil.

        Order online from Small Press Distribution
        or postage paid by ordering directly from the press.
        Further discounts are available by subscription to Kenning Editions.

        With new interest in poetry as a performative art, and with prewar experiments much in mind, the young poets of postwar America infused the stage with the rhythms and shocks of their poetry. From the multidisciplinary nexus of Black Mountain, to the Harvard-based Cambridge Poets Theatre, to the West Coast Beats and San Francisco Renaissance, these energies manifested themselves all at once, and through the decades have continued to grow and mutate, innovating a form of writing that defies boundaries of genre. THE KENNING ANTHOLOGY OF POETS THEATER: 1945-1985 documents the emergence, growth, and varied fortunes of the form over decades of American literary history, with a focus on key regional movements. The largest and most comprehensive anthology of its kind yet assembled, the volume collects classics of poets theater as well as rarities long out of print and texts from unpublished manuscripts and archives. It will be an indispensable reference for students of postwar American poetry and avant-garde theater.

        Among the poets featured in THE KENNING ANTHOLOGY OF POETS THEATER are Charles Olson, John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara, Russell Atkins, Gregory Corso, Helen Adam, Michael McClure, James Broughton, Kenneth Koch, Jackson Mac Low, Lorenzo Thomas, Anne Waldman, ruth weiss, Ron Padgett, Hannah Weiner, Lew Welch, Sonia Sanchez, Joe Brainard, Bruce Andrews, Keith Waldrop, Rosmarie Waldrop, Bob Holman and Bob Rosenthal, Steve Benson, Ted Greenwald, Carla Harryman, Ntozake Shange, Bob Perelman, Kit Robinson, Robert Grenier, Alan Bernheimer, Charles Bernstein, Stephen Rodefer, Fiona Templeton, Kenward Elmslie, and Leslie Scalapino. Also included are previously unpublished plays by Jack Spicer, V.R. "Bunny" Lang, James Schuyler, Robert Duncan, Madeline Gleason, Diane di Prima, Barbara Guest, James Keilty, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Johanna Drucker, and Nada Gordon. The editors provide informative and provocative prefatory matter, including extensive notes on each play, as well as several that fall within the purview of the book but, for one reason or another, were omitted, as with Pedro Pietri's The Masses Are Asses or Jessica Hagedorn's Tenement Lover. Rounding out the book are contemporary classics: LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka's Dutchman and Kathy Acker's The Birth of the Poet.

        This is a great book! Here are the poets, the great modern poets who have given us our language, our imagery, our style—plunging us into their theater: John Ashbery’s The Heroes, with its classical echo in Ashbery’s singular idiom, which The Living Theatre produced in 1952; Bunny Lang’s marvelous re-invention of English phrases, which The Poets Theatre at Cambridge so boldly produced; Frank O’Hara, who inspired a whole generation of poet-playwrights; the stylist Schuyler, our blustering hero Corso, the magical Duncan; their names themselves are poetry…and though the fickle theater has sometimes betrayed them, they remain the foundation of our hope that the theatre of poetry lives today—and will flourish tomorrow if our planet is to be saved from oblivion.
        —Judith Malina

        Kevin Killian and David Brazil's wonderful anthology reminds us of the vital role of theater among postwar U.S. poets and testifies to the enduring connection between poetry and drama from Shakespeare and Milton to Gertrude Stein and Amiri Baraka.  These inventive, daring, funny, strange and exciting works are not mere sidecars to the authors' more important work in poetry but stand as significant contributions to American theater in general, often premiered at major theatrical venues (Judson Church, Living Theater, Berkeley Rep, Cherry Lane Theater, New Langton Arts, Manhattan Artists Theater). Killian and Brazil have provided a superb set of notes documenting each play's provenance as well as performance data that includes casts of characters drawn from fellow poets and friends. This is a major contribution to poetics and performance studies.  
         —Michael Davidson

        Each play included here is a gauge of the contributions, some light-hearted, some light-headed, some gestural, some structural, that a great many influential American poets have made in the shadow of experimental theatre’s heydays. The editors are themselves no strangers to the guilty pleasures of this less charted genre and their additional 50 pages of notes show the extraordinary archaeological digs they have created to retrieve lively or relevant compositional or production details. Along with the preface, these notes ensure that the collection will appeal to fans as well as scholars. So don’t be fooled by the sober title. This wonderful volume cannot but delight anyone who likes their plays served in the raw and the cooked of poetry.
        —Caroline Bergvall

        This absolutely essential anthology unearths many hidden treasures that would have a profound effect on any mature, artistically oriented American Theater, if that could only come into existence. What hidden wealth is displayed here!
        —Richard Foreman

        Alas! A thoroughgoing collection of Poets Theater works that not only maps the ever-budding / never fully harvested genre that is Poets Theater, but also projects a concrete terrain from which poets and pert near anybody can act on. If PT has been about language capacitance foregrounded from the get-go, then this book is the go-to-go.  
        —Rodrigo Toscano 

        ISBN: 0-9767364-5-4
        ISBN 13: 978-0-9767364-5-5

        Kenning has been publishing some of the detailed notes on contributions to the book at its website:
        Fiona Templeton
        Jack Spicer
        Steve Benson
        Pedro Pietri
        Theresa Hak Kyung Cha

        link    |  01-17-10

        David Reed ‘Works on Paper’
        at Peter Blum (Soho, New York)

        at one point Reed writes (and shows)
        "The color Wittgenstein said was impossible ..."
        The integration of drawing, painting, and writing, under the sign of sketching makes these works marvels of poetry plastique.
        Reed remarked to me that it was surprising to him that he had not done any collaborations with poets or writers, given his lifelong engagement with so many; but these works are visual-verbal collaborations.
        Of course, these “working drawings,” as Reed calls, them are studies for his paintings; the verbal language integrated with the paintings and drawings are detailed notes for revision as well as commentary (instruction and reflection and recipe). It is just for this reason that this work makes such a strong case for the connection of the verbal and the visual and the way in which the verbal commentary is a prompt or prospectus for the visual marks. The verbal material here is not secondary but an integral part of the poesis.

        While seeing the original works on a paper is compelling, David Reed, Rock Paper Scissors (Cologne: Kienbaum Artists’ Books, Snoek, 2009) is a large-format color book that has fine reproductions of this work.


        link    |  01-16-10-xx

        Jeffrey Robinson, Jerome Rothenberg and I discuss
        Robert Duncan's "Often I Am Permitted to Return"
        on the new PoemTalk, with host Al Filreis.
        (I'm the one with grey hair.)


        Bob Holman's extensive guide to
        2009's Poetry Books



        At Gabriel Orasco at MoMA (New York)
        "Dial Tone" (1992):
        a very wide Chinese scroll with
        columns of partial phone numbers collaged from the New York white page telephone book.
        Of course, I'm partial to telephone book art,
        but this struck me a marvelous work of visual-verbal-conceptual-concrete-language-centered (VVCCLC) art.
        (Unfortunately MoMA does not offer a decent image.)

        link    |  01-16-10-x

        Click here to find out more


        As you know, Haiti - and in particular Port-au-Prince was hit by a devastating earthquake on Tuesday at 5 pm. News reports and early images show a city in which one out of four buildings have collapsed, and the infrastructure has been shaken to rubble. Tens of thousands appear to be trapped beneath flattened buildings, injured or dead. And as rescue and relief teams start to make their way in, progress is agonizingly slow, and the scale of the task seems almost overwhelming.

        Twenty-First Century Foundation (21CF), whose mission to lead, innovate and influence giving for Black community change, has followed these events very closely, sadly reminded of the experience of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 as we examine what our role ought to be in the face of the current disaster.

        Drawing from our lessons learned, we recommend the following two considerations and offer numerous places to give. We share this information in hopes that it will enable a compassionate and just response to the suffering of Haiti's people and their aspirations for rebuilding their lives, homes and country to a better future.

        1. Giving/ supporting/ helping in these early days after a monumental natural catastrophe is different than the giving/supporting/helping that will be absolutely necessary in the days and months to come when the dust has settled. Consider giving now to organizations that will provide critical emergency medical care, infrastructure and logistical services to help save lives now.

        Doctors Without Borders
        Partners in Health
        Oxfam International
        Church World Service
        Episcopal Relief and Development
        AmeriCares To follow on Twitter: @americares.
        World Vision To follow on Twitter: @WorldVisionUSA
        Mercy Corps To follow on Twitter: @mercycorps

        2. Compassionate and just response follows the hierarchy of needs: first survival, then rebuilding and growth. Consider contributing to organizations that authentically develop the capacity of individuals and communities to recover and rebuild, and will stay and work with the local residents and local organizations over the long run.

        Lambi Fund of Haiti
        Grassroots, Inc.
        Global Fund for Women
        Peace Development Fund

        We intend to closely follow the rescue and relief effort in Haiti in the days and weeks to come. In Haiti, we see the parallel with Louisiana and Mississippi where behind the natural disaster, there are decades of neglect, poverty and corruption. We see that hope for a resilient and reborn Haiti will come from Haitians wherever they are, and their friends, ready to stand by and to give funds, support and witness.

        This Foundation will do its part to help Haiti find recovery by sharing information with our colleagues in the field, and helping to increase strategic investment, social justice and economic empowerment for Black communities here and abroad.

        Generosity is compassionate and thoughtful. Think about giving now to help save lives. And think about giving in three months from now when the media has left and the people have to pick up their lives and undertake the hard work of transforming their society into one that is more democratic and just.


        Erica Hunt



        link    |  01-16-10

        Robert Grenier

        PENN SCANS
        from Whalecloth


        These 71 drawing poem images were selected/thrown together primarily out of two 2008 notebooks to bring to show (look at, read & discuss in public) at the Kelly Writers House at the University of Pennsylvania, the evening of October 27, 2009.

        A record of that night's proceedings exists, as of this writing, here.
        (Video via PennSound)

        Many too many to 'get through' on one occasion, as usual, & just thrown together—but isn't it funny, 'after the fact' they look like they've been married all their life.

        Might as well prop them up together here with the prior/online version of Sentences (originally hand-drafted in notebooks, but 'composed' on typewriter, c. 1971-1978) with which—despite seeming (time/distance) otherwise weird result of determining to (quit the typewriter!) draw letters/write in colors/use the whole space of the page—they (curiously) have much in common.

        A fairly begun exercise in 'compare & contrast' could certainly proceed to fill up a number of blue book pages at 8 a.m. almost anywhere (presuming any able body wanted to undertake the work)—I don't care what their 'motivation' is any more, I just think it's well time I got some substantial notice (!) & had, demonstrably, some real readers !

        Somebody who had something to say !

        The last six poems were written in sequence on Long Island in February 2003 (& are included in discussion in Buffalo published by Jonathan Skinner's Field Books in 2009 as Farming The Words)—the rest (heretofore unpublished, along with thousands of others) are rough-scanned from two 2008 notebooks & are 'from & of' (how so?) Bolinas (arguably a straightforward 'record of life' hereabouts).

        Two (nos. 37 & 38) are 'mere quotation'—a (remembrance) 're-writing' of a repeated question from "A LONG DRESS" in Stein'sTender Buttons—& thus (though acknowledged here) hardly to be differentiated from plagiarism (?). What is the 'point' of doing that? (And why suddenly resort to use of a punctuation mark, when such have been consistently eschewed elsewhere?)

        Whether drawing poem texts like 'the one about crickets' (no. 39) accomplish (or help accomplish) whatever it is they are otherwise 'saying'—so that seeing/reading "crickets" a reader may hear 'crickets themselves' (& even be able to literally go ('by ear') "across/the/road"?)—remains an animating question.

        —RG, January 3, 2010

        link    |  01-13-10

        "Coming in from the Cold"
        Celebrating 20 Years of the MLA Off-Site Reading


        MLA Off-Site & On-Site Reading 2009


        from l'amour fou by Tom Beckett


        Stephen Ratcliffe's poem a day
        lookin' out the window


        Kit Robinson. The Dolch Stanzas.
        Available in three versions from Whalecloth:
        page-throughscroll-through, and PDF format.


        Danny Snelson at PennSound


        George Oppen:
        2 Newly Discovered Poems from Guggenheim Museum Reading, 1964

        with thanks as always to Richard Swigg


        Steve Clay and Kyle Schlesinger
        Threads talk series on books arts
        Loney, Alexander, Cutts, Spector


        Barrett Watten


        from RealPoetik (2009)
        a recent poem

        link    |  01-12-10

        Prepared for the Inauguration of Daniel Dromm as the representative of the 25th Council District in New York City, this video was produced by Joel Kuszai and Brendan Fay, and edited by Joel Kuszai and makes generous use of "Danny Boy," the 2003 documentary on Daniel Dromm by Brendan Fay.

        link    |  01-11-10

        reading & talks tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday

        Henry Art Gallery
        Thursday, January 7, 7:30pm
        Henry Auditorium
        poetry, essays, performance
        Previews: Robert Mittenthal  & Judy Lightfoot


        “Making Audio Visible" 
        Print Culture Speakers Series for 2009-10:
        “Making Audio Visible: The Lessons of Visual Language for the Textualization of Sound”
        Friday , Jan. 8th, 3:30-4:30 pm
        Simon Fraser Univ., Burnaby, BC AQ 6106.
        Free Admission.


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


        Writing and Contemporary Art

        233 Carrall Street
        V6B 2J2 Canada
        Vancouver, BC
        How does writing, as a practice, inform contemporary art and vice versa? Speakeasy, a semi-annual series of talks and presentations, will interrogate Artspeak's mandate to encourage dialogue between visual art and writing. From text based art, visual poetry, and parallel texts to activities of publication and research, how do writing practices and concerns intersect with contemporary art practices? This multipart series will take place at Artspeak from January to April 2010.

        SATURDAY, JANUARY 9, 2010 1pm
         (Introduced by Jacqueline Turner)

        Charles Bernstein and Richard Tuttle, <i>With Strings</i>, 2000-2001

        Charles Bernstein and Richard Tuttle, With Strings, 2000-2001

        link    |  01-07-09

        poetry is [vol. I] from George Quasha on Vimeo.

        poetry is (Speaking Portraits) [Vol. I--v. 1.4]--

        61 POETS IN VOL. I:

        Ammiel Alcalay, Hector Alves, David Antin, Arman, Coleman Barks, Caroline Bergvall, Charles Bernstein, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Harvey Bialy, Blue, Lee Ann Brown, Tisa Bryant, Elizabeth Clark, Michael Coffey, Alan Davies, Michel Deguy, Timotha Doane, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Fisher, Joanna Fuhrman, Eric Gansworth, Steve Goodman, Carla Harryman, Kevin Hart, David Henderson, Mitch Highfill, Bob Holman, Anselm Hollo, Mikhail Horowitz, Fanny Howe, Susan Howe, Romana Huk, Franz Kamin, Robert Kelly, Richard Kostelanetz, Louise Landes Levi, Judith Malina, Chris Mann, Michael Meade, Joyce Carol Oates, Sharon Olds, Cheryl Pallant, Nick Piombino, Kristen Prevallet, India Radfar, Carter Ratcliff, Hanon Reznikov, Jerome Rothenberg, Sapphire, Leslie Scalapino, Ron Silliman, Charles Stein, David Levi Strauss, Kate Suddes, Chris Tysh, Cecilia Vicuña, Tenzin Wangyal, Barrett Watten, Henry Weinfield, Elizabeth Willis, Krzysztof Ziarek

        more Quasha "art is" video at Vimeo

        link    |  01-04-09