Charles Bernstein

Poets' Letter in Solidarity with Jailed Iranian Poets

As American poets who have committed our lives to free expression, we are devastated by the attacks on our fellow poets and writers in Iran. While the horrific news of the attacks of women and girls, and indeed on men and  boys, has been publicized, the attacks on these Iranian poets and writers has not been fully reported. We are grateful to poet and activist Sepideh Jodeyri for sending us this long list, compiled by an Iranian poet. Chillingly long. We call out to these poets and writers: we see you, we care, we stand with you, we want to read your future works. Poetry matters — in the U.S. and in Iran. The imprisonment of these Iranian literary artists is an attack on all of us.

Atefeh Chaharmahalian (poet, a member of the board of committee of Iran’s Writers Association, and social activist) / arrested by security forces in Tehran on October 3, 2022 and is being held in Ward 209 of the notorious Evin Prison. She has been denied the right to have a lawyer and her bail request has been rejected. She has been reported to be under pressure for forced confessions, causing considerable worries about her well-being.

Wake Forest University Reading, Oct. 25, 2022

audio and video

Reading at Wake Forest, introduced by Amy Catanzano
55 minutes 35 seconds on PennSound

mp3 audio

mov video
(with thanks to Julian Semilian)

The Russian Anthology of New American Poetry

Oct. 15, 2022: new PennSound video

 A video reading from The Russian Anthology of New American Poetry, ed. Vladimir Feshchenko and Ian Probstein (St. Petersburg: NLO). 

PennSound MP4, MP3

MoMA Mia: A video conversation with Amit Chaudhuri

Amit Chaudhuri asked me to meet him at New York's Museum of Modern Art on September 22, 2022, to talk about the museum's way of framing  modern art, bouncing off a conversation we had at the museum a few years earlier. A starting point for the conversation is my essay "Disfiguring Abstraction" in Pitch of Poetry. Chaudhuri deepens and enriches my attempts to get outside the "Western Box" (as Olson called it ) when looking at some of my favorite works of art. This is the first in what will be a series of video conversations for Chauhuri's web site Literary Activism, where this video was first posted. Note: ambient sound from IPhone (vertical image). 

Will Alexander: Blazing

“The mind is a blazing that gives off embers,” Will Alexander writes in the inscription in my copy of his blazing ars poetica,The Contortionist Whispers.) These three books from 2021/22, from Action, Roof, & New Directions, are an astounding contribution to North American poetry and poetics.