Session 04 with Charles Bernstein


In the next episode of the Poets Talk Politics series, we will be talking with Charles Bernstein about his new book, “Topsy-Turvy”. We will be discussing such topics as the role of poetics for citizenship, the importance of poetry in times of crisis (e.g. the pandemic), and the part that humor can play in the creation of political affinities, especially in an era of social atomization and alienation like our own.

As many of you know, Charles was one of the founders of the influential L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E group in American poetry, was the recent recipient of the important Bollingen Prize, played a central role in the establishment of the Poetics Program at SUNY Buffalo, co-created Pennsound (with Al Filreis) during his time at the University of Pennsylvania, has published many books of poetry and essay collections like “Attack of the Difficult Poems” and “Pitch of Poetry”.

In line with the work that the Institute for Comparative Literature has done in recent years on the topic, the series of online conversations entitled “Poets talk politics,” in which experts in contemporary poetry (from the ILC and other universities) will talk to a poet about the ways in which her/his work dialogues with the contemporary ideological milieu, negotiates the relationship between aesthetics and citizenship, and uses literary methods to produce political thought.

The broadcast will be via ILC’s Facebook channel and access is free.