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News Release

January 30 , 2006

Poets Charles Bernstein and Jerome Rothenberg to Read

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – Smith College will present acclaimed poets Charles Bernstein and Jerome Rothenberg at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 14, in Stoddard Hall Auditorium. The reading is free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible. 

The event coincides with the exhibition “Too Much Bliss: Twenty Years of Granary Books” at the Smith College Museum of Art, which features the work of both poets through Feb. 19.

Author of more than thirty books of poetry, essays and lyrics, Bernstein is a critic, essayist, artist and musical collaborator. Geoff Ward of the “Boston Review” praised Bernstein’s latest publication, “With Strings,” for “startling and genuinely new thinking on identity politics, the aesthetic, cultural studies and poetry as performance art.”

Bernstein’s work includes founding a radio poetry series, “LINEbreak,” and exploring the juxtaposition of text and art with his wife and collaborator, the artist Susan Bee. Bernstein also curated, with Jay Sanders, the exhibition “Poetry Plastique” and wrote librettos with the composers Ben Yarmolinsky, Dean Drummond and Brian Ferneyhough.

Honored with the prestigious Roy Harvey Pearce Archive for New Poetry Prize for his lifetime contribution to poetry and scholarship as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts foundations, Bernstein is currently the Donald T. Regan Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jerome Rothenberg’s complex and singular poetic voice has emerged in more than seventy volumes of poetry, prose and innovative translation over the past half-century.  Within the self-fashioned realm of ethnopoetics, he negotiates his identities as man, Jew, artist, displaced person, observer and participant in society. Determined to mine what is dismissed by mainstream writing, he also works with photography and visual languages to explore the relation of the seen to the spoken.

Rothenberg first published his poetry with Hawk’s Well Press, the house he founded in 1958. His compilations of poetry include such titles as “Technicians of the Sacred,” “Shaking the Pumpkin” and “A Big Jewish Book.” Throughout his career, Rothenberg has been the recipient of many honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the American Book Award and two PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Awards.  He currently resides in California. 

The readings will be followed by a book sale and signing in Stoddard Hall. Afterward, the Smith College Museum of Art will host a reception in the museum atrium.

The event is funded by the Poetry Center, Smith College Museum of Art and the Mortimer Rare Book Room. For more information, contact Cindy Furtek in the Poetry Center office at (413) 585-4891 or Ellen Doré Watson, director, at (413) 585-3368.


Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Marti Hobbes
News Assistant
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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