by Charles Bernstein
I am happy to announce the publication of Pitch of Poetry, my new collection of essays from the University of Chicago Press. There will be launches for the book in Washington, DC (Bridge Street Books) on March 20, at Penn (Kelly Writers House) on April 12, and in New York (the Poetry Project) on April 20 (see below for details).
“Often elliptical, argumentative, and personal, this is a radical work about the nature of poetry and of language itself.”
“A strangely compelling amalgam of postulations, propositions, interviews, and opinions, this collection from Bernstein is as much a work of art as a work of criticism.”
“The traits and energies that made Bernstein, the foremost poet-critic of our time, a leading figure of the 1980s-era avant-garde have continued unabated.”
“Pitch of Poetry is wide-ranging, protean, exhilarating.”
Subjects range across the figurative nature of abstract art, Occupy Wall Street, and Shoah representation. Detailed overviews of formally inventive work include essays on—or “pitches” for—a set of key poets, from Gertrude Stein and Robert Creeley to John Ashbery, Barbara Guest, Larry Eigner, Leslie Scalapino, Maggie O’Sullivan, and Johanna Drucker. Bernstein also reveals the formative ideas behind L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E. The final section, published here for the first time, is a sweeping work on the poetics of stigma, perversity, and disability that is rooted in the thinking of Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and William Blake.
BOOK LAUNCHES (readings and signings):
Bridge Street Books, Weds., March 30, 7:30pm (2814 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007):
Kelly Writers House, University of Pennsylvania, Tues., April 12, 6pm
Poetry Project, St. Mark’s Church, New York: Weds., April 20, 8pm
Information on ordering the book: University of Chicago Press page. The publication date is the first day of Spring, but the book is just now available. Book cover image: © Lawrence Schwartzwald