Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Charles Bernstein

Donald T. Regan Professor of English and Comparative Literature


Fisher-Bennett Hall 221

Office Hours

By appointment, please e-mail.

Charles Bernstein teaches poetry and poetics, with an emphasis on modernist and contemporary art, aesthetics, and performance.

Bernstein has published four collections of essays —The Attack of the Difficult Poems: Essays and Inventions (Chicago, 2011), My Way: Speeches and Poems (Chicago, 1999), A Poetics (Harvard, 1992), and Content's Dream: Essays 1975-1984. His books of poetry include Recalculating (Chicago, 2013),  All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Girly Man (Chicago, 2006), With Strings (Chicago, 2001), and Republics of Reality: 1975 - 1995 (Sun & Moon, 2000).  His libretto Shadowtime, for composer Brian Ferneyhough, was published in 2005 by Green Integer; it was performed as part of the 2005 Lincoln Center Festival. Bernstein is the editor of several collections, including: American Poetry after 1975 (Duke University Press / special issue of boundary, 2009), Close Listening: Poetry and the Performed Word (Oxford, 1999), The Politics of Poetic Form: Poetry and Public Policy (Roof, 1990), and the poetics magazine L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, whose first issue was published in 1978. He is editor of the Electronic Poetry Center and co-director (with Al Flireis) of PennSound.

He has collaborated with painters Susan Bee, Mimi Gross, Amy Sillman, Francie Shaw, and Richard Tuttle on several artist's books and projects. In 2001, he curated Poetry Plastique, with Jay Sanders,  a show of visual and sculptural poetry at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York. He has writtern libretti for Ben Yarmolinsky, Anne LeBarron, Dean Drummond, and Feryneyhough. 

Bernstein, who was born in 1950, grew up on the upper West Side of Manhattan and attended the Bronx High School of Science. He graduated from Harvard College, after which he worked for many years as a freelance medical/healthcare writer. From 1989 to 2003, he taught at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he was co-founder and Director of the Poetics Program and a SUNY Distinguished Professor. 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; for lifetime contribution to poetry and scholarship. In 2006 he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

For more information go to Charles Bernstein's author page at the Electronic Poetry Center, his Penn home page, which includes full syllabi of all his Penn courses; note also his web log

photo ©2012 Lawrence Schwartzwald


Charles Bernstein CV


News & Events

Courses Taught

fall 2015

ENGL 111.401 Experimental Writing

spring 2015

spring 2014

ENGL 111.401 Experimental Writing
ENGL 589.401 The Pitch of Poetry

fall 2013

spring 2013

spring 2012

ENGL 111.401 Experimental Writing

spring 2011

ENGL 111.401 Experimental Writing

fall 2010

ENGL 062.401 20th Century Poetry

spring 2010

ENGL 111.401 Experimental Writing

fall 2009

spring 2009

ENGL 111.401 Experimental Writing

fall 2007

spring 2007

spring 2006

fall 2005

spring 2005

ENGL 774.401 Textual Conditions

fall 2004

spring 2004

fall 2003