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Robert Grenier

photo: © Charles Bernstein 2006

Robert Grenier lives in a sometime ecstatic state, but sometimes not, in Bolinas, California where he extends the tradition of the pastoral poem in ways entirely his own. One of the most influential poets of his generation, Grenier has, over the past forty years, pushed poetry into constantly new frontiers of practice and utterance. Over the past decade, Grenier has created handwritten poems that cross the upper limit of inscription to be both writing and drawing.

Appearing on Close Listening with Charles Bernstein, October 20, 2006

Program One:

Grenier discusses his development as a poet, his breaking away from conventional book format, his movement toward handwritten or "drawn" poems, and his relation to Larry Eigner.

Complete recording (26:57): MP3

Program Two:

Grenier reads from and discusses Sentences, a digital version of which is linked to his EPC page.

Complete recording (27:34): MP3

A guide to the reading of Sentences in this recording:

At 3:54 in this recording Grenier discusses how his "Sentences" are an homage to Creeley. At 5:15 he discusses the relationship of one card to another. At 8:00: bird sounds and "Sentences"; at 9:55, he reads "Bird"; at 13:50, he reads an introduction to a French translation of the work; at 15:08 he reads a card, "Walking down Washington Avenue"; at 20:30 he reads "If rain, it's raining" in two ways; at 22:39 Charles Bernstein reads "rain drops the first of many"; at 26:20 Grenier counts to eleven and whistles (bird sound); at 26:36 he reads "A Bird."

WPS1 engineer: Lucy Sinanjuntak

PoemTalk #31, discussing Grenier's "Sentences," April 22, 2010

Listen to the complete recording and read program notes for the episode at Jacket2.

PoemTalk #30, discussing William Carlos Williams' "Flowers by the Sea" and "The Red Wheelbarrow," March 28, 2010

Listen to the complete recording and read program notes for the episode at Jacket2.

Garlic in the Ground (Video)

Grenier reads poem from notebook; video by Charles Bernstein, Oct. 26, 2016

Al Filreis ans Charles Bernstein discuss a drawing poem by Robert Grenier

Dec. 2020 YouTube PennSound MP4

Public Talk with Etel Adnan at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London, England, June 1, 2016

Watch on

Complete recording (45:59): MP3

Talk at the Opening Reception of 'Language Objects: Letters in Space, 1970-2013' Brooklyn, New York, May 18, 2013