Charles Bernstein

The impact of the poet-editor: some questions

An interview by Manuel Brito

Manuel Brito, editor of Zasterle Press (Canary Islands) interviewed me for a special issue of Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses on "Small Press Publishing: Absorbing New Forms, Circulating New Ideas" (#62, April 2011). In his introduction, Brito writes: "

David Antin, Marjorie Perloff, Charles Bernstein

Two photos by Alan Thomas, June 15, 2011, Los Angeles

Antin-Bernstein

 

Antin-Bernstein

 

E-Poetry [ 2011 ] : International Digital Language | Media | Arts Festival

SUNY-Buffalo

e-poetry poster

TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY FESTIVAL
May 18-21, 2011 festival website
program PDF (Draft)participants

poster: Charles Bernstein / Loss Pequeño Glazier, "Two Birds with One Stone"

Copenhagen & Oslo readings/conference

Caroline Bergvall, Christian Bök and I will be reading in Copenhagen and Oslo in the next weeks.

Through fogged and fumbling shallows

Stephen Ross on All the Whiskey in Heaven in "The Wolf"

wolf logo

'Don't use such an expression as "dim lands of peace". It dulls the image. It mixes an abstraction with the concrete. It comes from the writer's not realizing that the natural object is always the adequate symbol. Go in fear of abstractions.' - Ezra Pound, 'A Few Don'ts' (1913)

'Go in search of abstractions', Pound might have written had he really had his finger on the American pulse. For over a century now, a major strain of American poetry has flourished precisely by ignoring Pound's directive; in fact, by doing its opposite. Turning to specific practitioners, one thinks of John Ashbery, who throughout his career has found his 'dim land of peace' in places like 'the mooring of starting out' and 'the delta of living into everything'. Or T.S. Eliot, who wrote so stirringly in his youth of 'the conscience of a blackened street/ Impatient to assume the world'. Or Wallace Stevens, with his 'complacencies of the peignoir’ and ‘green freedom of a cockatoo'. One could play this sort of trick with almost any American poet. The apparition of these faces?

Which is not to sell short the clinching astuteness of Pound's avant-guerre pronouncements on the dos and don’ts of modern poetry. After all, every student of modernism knows why the disgraced phrase 'dim lands of peace' is weak. But how many know where it comes from? In fact, it comes from the pen of Pound's sometime mentor, Ford Madox Ford:

Past all the windings of these grey, forgotten valleys,
To west, past clouds that close on one dim rift
The golden plains; the infinite, glimpsing distances,
The eternal silences; dim lands of peace.

Like all true doggerel, these lines from ‘On a Marsh Road (Winter Nightfall)’ might be forgotten but their spirit lingers on. Charles Bernstein, for one, has made a career of mining the experimental potential embedded in this kind of bad writing. Indeed, Ford’s much-maligned ‘dim lands of peace’ offer a handy organizing conceit for a study of Bernstein, the undisputed master of atmospheric doggerel. . . .

READ MORE
The Wolf 24, March 2009

UCLA reading May 16 at 4pm

poster by Brian Kim Stefans

Legend: Group shot

Silliman, DiPalma, McCaffery, Bernstein, & Andrews, circa 1980

Legend 1

The art and practice of the ordinary

from "Attack of the Difficult Poems" [published in Poetry Daily]

The ordinary is always elusive—"near is / and difficult to grasp"—even as it is the most present actuality. And my sense, when talking about the ordinary, is always how extraordinary it is. Paradoxically, any attempt to fix the ordinary pulls it out of the everydayness in which it is situated, from which it seems to derive its power.    . . .

read more at Poetry Daily

Attack launch Tuesday April 26 6-7:30pm

Penn Book Center (PHL)

Bernstein Alien pix

Attack of the Difficult Poems: Essays and Inventions
(University of Chicago Press)
Penn Book Center Launch
130 S 34th St, Philadelphia

Tuesday, April 26
6-7:30pm

Star Black photos at Poets House April 16, 2011

Grand Piano reading

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