The great labour of appearance served the making of the pyre. But how nor how How also how they shal nat be toold shall not be told. Nor how the gods nor how the beestes and the birds nor how the ground agast Nor how the fire first with straw and then with drye and then with grene and then with gold and then.
Born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1962 to a Norwegian father and French mother, Caroline Bergvall grew up in Switzerland, Norway, and France with longer periods in the U.S. and England. She studied at Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris, received an MPhil from the University of Warwick, Britain, and a doctorate from the Dartington College of Arts.
Her collections of poetry and hybrid texts include Strange Passage: A Choral Poem (Equipage, 1993), Éclat: sites 1-10 (1996), Jets-Poupée (Rem Press, 1999), Goan Atom (Krupskaya, 2001), Fig (Salt Books, 2005), and Meddle English (Nightboat, 2010), among others.
Bergvall's works are noted for their combinations of performative, visual, and literary texts within the same project. Her artistic and performance work has been commissioned and presented internationally at MoMA, the Tate Modern, and the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Antwerp.
Of her practice, Bergvall says, "Thinking of the body as always having an accent, as being marked with a social accent rather than a seamless national literature, is a part of being in language and writing." Poet Charles Bernstein calls her "one of the most brilliantly inventive poets of our time."
She has served as the director of the innovative and cross-arts writing program at Dartington College of Arts and has taught at Temple University, Bard College, and the University of Southampton. She currently lives in London.