Charles Bernstein was born April 4, 1950 in New York City. He attended the Bronx High School of Science and Harvard College, from which he graduated in 1972. He is married to the painter, Susan Bee, and has two children: Emma and Felix.
From the early 70s to the late 80s, he worked as a writer/editor on healthcare and medical topics, with a break to serve as Associate Director of the CETA Artists Project (the largest postwar American public employment program for artists).
He is the author of 30 books of poetry and libretti, including Girly Man, Shadowtime,With Strings, and Republics of Reality: 1975-1995. He has published two books of essays and one essay/poem collection: My Way: Speeches and Poems,A Poetics, Content's Dream: Essays 1975‑1984 (Sun & Moon Press, 1986, 1994; reprinted by Northwestern University Press, 2001). He is also the co-author of A Conversation with David Antin (Granary Books, 2002). His work has been extensively anthologized.
He is editor of 99 Poets/1999: An International Poetics Symposium, a special issue of boundary 2; Close Listening: Poetry and the Performed Word (Oxford University Press, 1998), The Politics of Poetic Form: Poetry and Public Policy (New York: Roof Books, 1990) and Live at the Ear (Pittsburgh: Elemenope Productions, 1994), an audio poetry anthology. He has been host and co-producer of LINEbreak,Close Listening, and Studio 111, three radio poetry series. With Bruce Andrews, he edited L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, which has been anthologized as The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1984). With Phillip Foss, Bernstein edited Patterns / Contexts / Time (Tyuonyi, 1990). Bernstein has also edited two other collections of poetry: "Language Sampler" in Paris Review, No. 86 (1982) and 43 Poets (1984) in Boundary 2 (1986).
Bernstein is currently Regan Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania. From 1990 to 2003, he was David Gray Professor of Poetry and Letters at the State University of New York at Buffalo and Director of the Poetics Program; in 2002, he was appointed SUNY Distinguished Professor. He has been writer-in-residence or visiting faculty at Columbia University, Princeton University, Brown University, Temple University, Bard College, the New School for Social Research, Queens College, and the University of California at San Diego.
He is the Editor, and co-founder, of The Electronic Poetry Center (epc.buffalo.edu) and co-editor, with Al Filreis, of PENNsound. He is coeditor, with Hank Lazer, of Modern and Contemporary Poetics, a book series from the University of Alabama Press (1998 - ), has served the Executive Committee of the Poetry Division of MLA, and serves on the board of the Richard Foreman’s Ontological Hysteric Theater, boundary 2, Chain, Sibila ((São Paolo), the Arizona QuarterlyReview (Tucson), and the executive committee of the MLA Discussion Group for the Bibliography and Textual Studies.
Bernstein has written five librettos: Blind Witness News, The Subject: A Psychiatric Opera and The Lenny Paschen Show, with composer Ben Yarmolinsky, and Cafe Buffe, now being composed by Dean Drummond. Shadowtime, on the work of Walter Benjamin, was written for composer Brian Ferneyhough and premiered in May 2004 at the Munich Biennale; in 2004 it played at the Fesitival d'Automne in Paris and in 2005 at the Lincoln Center Festival. A CD is forthcoming.
He has collaborated with Richard Tuttle on a poem/sculpture and an essay/poem on Tuttle’s work, and collaborated with
BOOKS OF POETRY:
Asylums (New York: Asylum’s Press, 1975); Parsing (New York: Asylum’s Press, 1976); Shade (College Park, Maryland: Sun & Moon Press, 1978); Senses of Responsibility (Berkeley: Tummba Press, 1979/Providence, Rhode Island: Paradigm Press, 1989); Poetry Justice (Baltimore: Pod Books, 1979); LEGEND [with Bruce Andrews, Steve McCaffery, Ron Silliman, and Ray DiPalma] (New York: L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E/Segue, 1980); Controlling Interests (New York: Roof Books, 1980); Disfrutes (Boston: Potes and Poets Press, 1981); Stigma (Barrytown, New York: Station Hill Press, 1981); Resistance (Windsor, Vermont: Awede Press, 1983); Islets/Irritations (New York: Jordan Davies, 1983/New York: Roof Books, 1992); Veil (Madison, Wisconsin: Xexoxial Editions, 1987); The Sophist (Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1987/Cambridge, English: Salt Publications, 2004); Four Poems (Tucson, Arizona: Chax Press, 1988); The Absent Father in Dumb (Canary Islands: Zasterle, 1990); Rough Trades (Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1991); Dark City (Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1994); My Way: Speeches and Poems (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999); Republics of Reality: 1975-1995 (Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 2000); With Strings (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001); Let’s Just Say (Tucson, Arizona: Chax Press, 2003); World on Fire (Vancouver, Canada: Nomados, 2004); Warrant (New Delhi: Aark Arts/Contemporary World Poetry, 2005); Girly Man (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006).
See Green Integer title(s) by this author