Charles Bernstein

Charles Reznikoff's "Amelia": A case study by Richard Hyland

Richard Hyland, Distinguished Professor, Rutgers Law School, Camden, New Jersey, has compiled the fullest account of the sources of a Charles Reznikoff poem, together with a detailed commentary on the Amelia Kirwan case and the poem Reznikoff wrote based on this case. Many of Reznikoff's poems, especially those in Testimony, are based on legal records. But there has been little research on the exact relationship between the legal record and the poem, with the general assumption that Reznikoff used only language from the legal records, cutting away but not adding any of his own words. The key to Reznikoff's aesthetic is his selection and condensation of the source materials. 

Surely Reznikoff is a paradigmatic poet for all documentary and source-based poetry of the 20th century and exemplary for many of us who use appropriated or found material in our work.

Madeline Gins (1941-2014)

Madeline Gins, a poet, architect, and long-time collaborator with artist Arakawa, died this morning. She was 72. The cause of death was cancer.

The Song of the Sewing Machine

Thinking of Reznikoff's “Amelia,” and the long essay on this poem by Richard Hyland posted here, and then, yesterday, going to a sewing machine performance of Elena Berriolo, I was remind of a song sung by Fanny Brice (1891-1951) that I have long been planning to write about — as an extension of discussion of Second Wave Modernists in “Objectivist Blues” in Attack of the Difficult Poems. I hope to come back to this song in the context of Brice’s other work, but for now, just the song:

Blanco Inmóvil: selected poems of Charles Bernstein translated into Spanish by Enrique Winter

The first book in the new Chimera translation series from Fondo de Animal Editores (Guayaquil, Ecuado) is Blanco Inmóvil (Standing Target), translated by Enrique Winter. The final poem in the book is "Chimera" from Recalculating. Below -- "A Defence of Poetry" and "In a Restless World Like This Is" plus Winter's introduction.

Poetics List is 20

The Buffalo Poetics list is twenty. I started the list in December 1993 with this poem --

Above the world-weary horizons 
New obstacles for exchange arise
Or unfold,
O ye postmasters!

Our first post was from Peter Quartermain about the new Coach House edition of Robin Blaser’s The Holy Forest