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11th Annual ‘T’ Space Poetry Award: Charles Bernstein

January 31, 2023

‘T’ Space is pleased to announce that Charles Bernstein is the recipient of the 11th Annual ‘T’ Space Poetry Award.

Charles Bernstein’s most recent books are Topsy-Turvy (2021) and Pitch of Poetry (2016), both from the University of Chicago Press. His work was the subject of The Poetry of Idiomatic Insistences, edited by Paul Bove, the Fall 2021 issue of boundary 2. He is the winner of the 2019 Bollingen Prize from Yale for lifetime achievement in poetry and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He lives in Brooklyn and Valatie, NY.

Web site: https://writing.upenn.edu/epc/authors/bernstein/

some say life is a dream
but I say to live is to dream
some say to live is to dream
but I say dreams
will never get you anywhere
some say dreams
will never get you anywhere
but I say anywhere is now
some say anywhere is now
but I say hold your hat
some say hold your hat
but I say the sky is falling
some say the sky is falling
but I say to fall is to dream


Thinking of a picture
my mother gave me
of her mother
with her mother’s mother
in Odessa in the 1890s.
Birdie, my grandmother
(born Bertha)
(the only grandparent I knew)
came to Brooklyn
a few years after the photo
when she was seven
travelling alone
in steerage
bound for a
foreign world.
Jewish Odessa
of the late nineteenth century
exists now as ghosts
as shadows
(even as Jews endure there)
its relation to me
in Brooklyn
as tenuous as
white thread against
white sky.

Two separate excerpts from Charles Bernstein at the Oculus a collaboration with Richard Tuttle (2022).

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