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About this poet

Charles Bernstein was born in New York City in 1950. He received his B.A. from Harvard College. Among his more than twenty books of poetry are Girly Man (University of Chicago Press , 2006), With Strings (2001), Republics of Reality: 1975-1995 (2000), Dark City (1994), Rough Trades (1991), The Nude Formalism (1989), Stigma (1981), Legend (with Bruce Andrews, Steve McCaffery, Ron Silliman, Ray DiPalma, 1980), and Parsing (1976).

He is also the author of three books of essays, My Way: Speeches and Poems (1999), A Poetics (1992), and Content's Dream: Essays 1975-1984 (1986). He has edited many anthologies of poetry and poetics including Close Listening: Poetry and the Performed Word (1998) and The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book (1984, with Bruce Andrews).

Among his translations from the French are Red, Green, and Black (1990, by Olivier Cadiot) and The Maternal Drape (1984, by Claude Royed-Journoud). In the 1970s, Bernstein co-founded the influential journal L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E. He has also written the librettos for a number of operas with composers such as Ben Yarmolinsky, Brian Ferneyhough, and Dean Drummond.

 

Bernstein serves as the Executive Editor, and co-founder, of The Electronic Poetry Center at SUNY-Buffalo. His honors and awards include the Roy Harvey Pearce/Archive for New Poetry Prize and fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Currently, he is Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania.


Multimedia

From the Image Archive

High Tide at Race Point

Charles Bernstein, 1960

           for Norman Fischer

A commercial with no pitch.
A beach without sand.
A lover without a love.
A surface without an exterior.
A touch without a hand.
A protest without a cause.
A well without a bottom.
A sting without a bite.
A scream without a mouth.
A fist without a fight.
A day without an hour.
A park with no benches.
A poem without a text.
A singer with no voice.
A computer without memory.
A cabana without a beach.
A bump with no road.
A sorrow without a loss.
A goal without a purpose.
A noise without sound.
A story without a plot.
A sail without a boat.
A plane without wings.
A pen without ink.
A murder without a victim.
A sin without a sinner.
An agreement without terms.
A spice with no taste.
A gesture without motion.
A spectator without view.
A slope without a curve.
A craving without a desire.
A volume without dimension.
A Nazi without a Jew.
A comic without a joke.
A promise without a hope.
A comforter without the comfort.
The certainty without being sure.
Stealing with nothing stolen.
The might have beens without the was.
The Mishnah without Torah.
The two without the one.
The silken without the silk.
The inevitable without necessity.
Logic without inference.
Suddenness without change.
A canyon without depth.
Fume without smell.
Determination with no objective.
Gel without cohesion.
A cure without a disease.
A disease without a trace.
A mineral without a shape.
A line without extension.
Persistence without intention.
Blank without emptiness.
Border without division.
A puppet without strings.
Compliance without criteria.
A disappointment without an expectation.
Color without hue.
An idea without content.
Grief with no end.

Copyright © 2012 by Charles Bernstein. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2012 by Charles Bernstein. Used with permission of the author.

Charles Bernstein

Charles Bernstein

Charles Bernstein was born in New York City in 1950. He received

by this poet

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poem

          Count these number of things you call mine. This is the distance between
          you and enlightenment
.
                    —Swami Satchidananda.


                        (for Jenny)


my pillow

my shirt

my house

my supper

my tooth

my money

my kite

my job

my bagel
poem

 

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