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We are very pleased to announce a book release party and signing event on Tuesday, 26 April 2011 at 6:00 pm to celebrate the publication of Charles Bernstein's new book, Attack of the Difficult Poems: Essays and Inventions, by University of Chicago Press. There will be wine and talk of poetry – please join us! Penn Book Center is at 130 S. 34th Street in Philadelphia.
Please note: This event has not been sanctioned by Official Verse Culture, and has nothing to do with National Poetry Month.
Charles Bernstein, the Donald T. Regan Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, is the author or editor of more than 30 books of poetry and poetics. He was co-editor of the influential journal of poetics L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E. At SUNY-Buffalo, where he was Professor of Poetry and Letters, he was co-founder and Director of the Poetics Program; he is also the co-founder of the Electronic Poetry Center at Buffalo. At Penn he is co-founder of the poetry audio archive PennSound. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and of the Roy Harvey Pearce/Archive for New Poetry Prize of
the University of California, San Diego. In 2006 he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2010, a selection of his poetry from the previous thirty years, All the Whiskey in Heaven, was published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux to major critical acclaim.
About Attack of the Difficult Poems:
Charles Bernstein is our postmodern jester of American poesy, equal parts surveyor of democratic vistas and scholar of avant-garde sensibilities. In a career spanning thirty-five years and forty books, he has challenged and provoked us with writing that is decidedly unafraid of the tensions between ordinary and poetic language, and between everyday life and its adversaries. Attack of the Difficult Poems, his latest collection of essays, gathers some of his most memorably irreverent work while addressing seriously and comprehensively the state of contemporary humanities, the teaching of unconventional forms, fresh approaches to translation, the history of language media, and the connections between poetry and visual art. Applying an array of essayistic styles, Attack of the Difficult Poems ardently engages with the promise of its title. Bernstein introduces his key theme of the difficulty of poems and defends, often in comedic ways,not just difficult poetry but poetry itself. Bernstein never loses his ingenious ability to argue or his consummate attention to detail. Along the way, he offers a wide-ranging critique of literature’s place in the academy, taking on the vexed role of innovation and
approaching it from the perspective of both teacher and practitioner. From blues artists to Tin Pan Alley song lyricists to Second Wave modernist poets, The Attack of the Difficult Poems sounds both a battle cry and a lament for the task of the language maker and the fate of invention.
“A superb poet and great inventor of poetry, Charles Bernstein dazzlingly invents the essay for poetry: professing in a gorilla suit and white tuxedo.” — George Lakoff
“This is a smart and invigorating book that triumphantly demonstrates Charles Bernstein’s goals and values. Those who want satire, those who want earnest discussion, those who want information, those who want to get a sense of personality, those who want theory, those who want entertainment, even those who wish to be confirmed in their beliefs and those who wish to nurse their resentments, will all find something here.” —Daisy Fried