University of Chicago Press
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“The ethos and critique are of poetry, which becomes a rich dark with a phosphorescence of lyric as witness.”
In 1978, Bernstein and fellow avant-gardist Bruce Andrews founded L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E magazine as a place to oppose the “confessional” voice and lyrical verse popular at the time. In dozens of books over the course of nearly 40 years, Bernstein has inspired and puzzled, annoyed and amused readers by rethinking what poetry is and what language can do. While difficult to define, we find a clue to Bernstein’s aesthetic in the epigraph to a new poem, which “adapts a line from Judith Malina’s 1967 translation of Brecht’s 1948 version of Hölderlin’s 1804 translation of Sophocles’s Antigone.” For Bernstein, historical works, interpretation, and adaptation all contribute to the cacophony of contemporary life. This collection contains a characteristically wide range of innovative verse, including formal stanzas with predictable end rhymes, columns of replicated phrases, essays in verse, axiomatic maxims, zen koans, and translations of Baudelaire, Apollinaire, and Catullus. Throughout, Bernstein usurps expectations and even anticipates, jokingly, how skeptical readers might receive his work: “I try to get them to see it as formal, structural, historical, collaborative, and ideological. What a downer!”--Diego Báez
Charles Bernstein’s poetry is language that breaks thought into meaning in spite of itself.... Reading through I’m struck with his generosity in telling us everything, letting his brain register what it will, and done beautifully. He’s also a philosopher and gives us bullets that stay –from Strike, ‘every hope begins with a disappointment.’ … Bernstein is a stylist, a man on a quest, a trailblazer. His poems are a system of methodologies and theories, fueled by a set of dynamics that are intuitive and progressive. He recreates before he creates. One thing is true. Bernstein is wild with sensations and writes as if there’s no eternity. I know better than to argue with that.
"Charles Bernstein is on a mission to tear down and build back up everything we know, believe and love about poetry. His first collection in seven years uses translations, homages, and manifestoes to write a new poetry future. Witty and daring. Playful and brilliant. Recalculating will be in the discussion for all the major poetry awards this year." –– Porter Square Books
Eliabeth Burns in conversation with Bernstein on Recalculating, from Summer 2013 Rain Taxi
rob mclennan's blog
Kacy Muir, Northeast Pennsylvania Weekender (The Times Leader, Wilkes Barre, PA) April 3, 2013, rated WWWWW (5 star/highest) [Wilkes-Barre, PA]
Al Filries, introduction to April 16 Penn launch.
Caleb Beckwith, Volta
Josh Cook, Bookslut (May 2013)
Frank Davey, London Open Mic (May 2013)
Tom Beckett, Galatea Resurrects #20 (May 2013)
Jake Marmer, "Charles Bernstein Makes Lovely Cacophony in his Latest Collection: Secular Avant Garde Poet's Most Jewish Work" in The Jewish Daily Forward
Reed Cooley, American Reader vol 1, 5/6 May/June 2013
Jed Rasula, Provincetown Arts Summer 2013: pdf
Mary Weston, Cleaver, #2, Summer 2013
Sean Singer, The Rumpus, Nov. 8, 2013
Mark Ford, TLS, Nov. 22, 2013
Adam Fitzgerald, The American Reader, January 2014
Recalculating is Charles Bernstein’s first full-length collection of new poems in seven years. As a result of this lengthy time under construction, the scope, scale, and stylistic variation of the poems surpasses Bernstein’s previous work. Together, the poems of Recalculating take readers on a journey through the history and poetics of the decades since the end of the Cold War as seen through the lens of social and personal turbulence and tragedy.
Thanks to Alan Thomas, my local editor and publisher; Natalie F. Smith for the design, Carrie Adams for getting out the word, and Kelly Finefrock-Creed for editorial acumen.
"The Truth in Pudding" in Poems & Poetics
"Recalculating" (Conjunctions, 2011)
"Before You Go" (ArtCritical.Com, 2011)
tr. of Khelbnikov's "Incanttion by Laughter" (2009)
tr. Hugo's "Tomorrow, dawn ..." with Rothenberg commentary (2009)
tr. Baudelaire's "Be Drunken"
Three poems in the final issue of Electronic Poetry Review (2008) ("You Say Insipid, I say Inscripsit," "What makes a Poem a Poem?" and "Up High Down Low Too Slow")
"A Theory's Evolution" (Philadelphia Inquirer, 2006) and Jewish Journal (2014)
"Great Moments in Taches Blanches" (Reconfigurations, 2007); commentary by Franklin Winslow at Baruch blog
Sane as Tugged Vat, Your Love (homophonic translation of Leevi Lehto's Finish) (from RIF/T 4.1) (forthcoming in Recalculating)
"Armed Stasis" in Plume (2013)
Recalculating launch at Kelly Writers House, April 16, 2013. Intro Al Filreis followed by reading: