Ropes Lectures: Charles Bernstein and Kenny Goldsmith
Thursday, February 2 7:00 p.m.
427 Engineering Research Center
“The Present of the Word”
Charles Bernstein explores the significance of verbal language reproduction from the invention of the alphabet to the phonograph to the age of the internet, with special reference to poetry, poetics, and the politics of forms, genres, and media and the recorded reproduction of human voice.
Kenneth Goldsmith explores how techniques traditionally thought to be outside the scope of composing literature, such as cutting and pasting, data basting, identity ciphering, and programming, can inspire the reinvention of writing. He suggests that the Internet and digital environments present writers with new opportunities to rethink creativity, authorship, and their relationship to language.
Charles Bernstein is author of Attack of the Difficult Poems: Essays & Inventions(University of Chicago Press, 2011), All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems(Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2010), Blind Witness: Three American Operas(Factory School, 2008), Girly Man (Chicago Press, 2006), and My Way: Speeches and Poems (Chicago, 1999). From 1978-1981 he co-edited, with Bruce Andrews,L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E magazine. In the 1990s, he co-founded and directed the Poetics Program at the State University of New Yorkâ€”Buffalo, where he cofounded the Electronic Poetry Center. He is Donald T. Regan Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is co-director of PennSound <writing.upenn.edu/pennsound>.
Kenneth Goldsmith’s writing has been called “some of the most exhaustive and beautiful collage work yet produced in poetry” by Publishers Weekly. Goldsmith is the author of ten books of poetry, founding editor of the online archive UbuWeb (ubu.com), and the editor of I’ll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews, which was the basis for an opera, “Trans-Warhol,” that premiered in Geneva in March of 2007. An hour-long documentary on Goldsmith’s work, “Sucking on Words” premiered at the British Library in 2007. He teaches writing at The University of Pennsylvania, where he is a senior editor of PennSound, an online poetry archive. He held the The Anschutz Distinguished Fellow Professorship in American Studies at Princeton University for 2009-10 and received the Qwartz Electronic Music Award in Paris in 2009. In 2011, he co-edited, Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing and published a book of essays, Uncreative Writing.