Charles Bernstein

David Antin (February 1, 1932–October 11, 2016)

November 15, 2013, photo by Charles Bernstein

A great inspiration, radical model, dearest friend, and ever an iconoclast.  

David Antin was one of the great American poets of the postwar period, transforming both the practice of poetry and the essay. His “talk poems” are chock full of startlingly philosophical insight, compelling autobiographical turns, and bursts of comic genius. His work is the record of a person thinking out loud, weaving narratives on the fly, and making poems that are as engaging as they are wise.

Antin’s work can be read at his EPC page and seen and heard at PennSound.

If I told him: Gertrude Stein, the financier, and me

William Louis-Dreyfus (Gérard C. Louis-Dreyfus): June 21, 1932 – September 16, 2016

Around the turn of the century, a poet working at the Poetry Society of America asked me to do her, and PSA, a favor, and meet with the PSA board president, a businessman named William Louis-Dreyfus. The idea was that his taste in poetry was too conservative even for PSA and that perhaps I could open his ears a bit on that score. 


Ted Greenwald Memorial

© 2008 Star Black

I read this last night at the Poetry Project memorial for Ted Greenwald.

He is gone now
Taking his body with him
When all the time
I thought it was
The beauty of his mind
I loved
       ["Use No Hooks" in
Common Sense]

I first met Ted Greenwald in 1975, in and around the Poetry Project. He was my guide to much of what interested me among the local poets: he never hesitated to say what he liked and didn’t in the poems and people around us. It’s not just that he didn’t suffer fools easily, but he was hilarious in skewing pretenses and false premises. We always had a good time talking, with my indirectness dancing with his blunt wisdom like two people doing the cha-cha on the point of a fountain pen.  

Dennis Tedlock (June 19, 1939 – June 3, 2016)

image: Douglas Levere / UB

It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of Dennis Tedlock on June 3.  I worked closely with Dennis during our time in the Poetics Program at SUNY-Buffalo. I greatly admired Dennis's work and was lucky to get to know him.

Ginsberg, Corso, and Orlovsky with Studs Terkel in 1959


Thanks to George Drury, who is working on the Studs Terkel archive, PennSound has just made available a delightful and wacky 30 minute recording of Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and Peter Orlovsky on Studs Terkel’s WFMT (Chicago) radio show in 1959. They were in Chicago to support Paul Carroll’s Big Table.