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Girly Man Paperback – April 15, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; First Paperback edition (April 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226044297
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226044293
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #928,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cofounder of the journal L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, from which language poetry takes its name, as well as the online poetics list and the audio poetry archive PENNsound, Bernstein is also a prolific critic and a consummate poet, as he shows again in this collection of seven discrete chapbooklike works. After the invocational four-poem opening of "Let's Just Say," the book moves to "Some of These Daze," Bernstein's prose dispatches in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, and on to the acerbic intimacies of "World on Fire," which critiques clichés like "what are we fighting for?" "In Parts" takes up the serial form Bernstein perfected in the classic Islets/ Irritations (1983) to examine the pieces of "a world in which there are no narratives in which to believe// simultaneous double negative// flop flip." A fascination with the sloganlike rhetoric of Tin Pan Alley runs through the collection, culminating in the title poem: "So be a girly man/ & sing this gurly song/ Sissies & proud/ That we would never lie our way to war." (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Charles Bernstein writes both prose and poetry about poetry, sometimes brilliantly, in ways calculated to upset the middlebrow and thwart the bland. The more you like the poetic equivalent of a nice tune, easy to hum, the more Bernstein means to disrupt your complacency." - Robert Pinsky, Washington Post "A major achievement.... Anyone interested in contemporary poetry should seek out the collection, if only to read one of our most provocative poet-critics writing his most engaging poems to date." - Thomas Devaney, Philadelphia Inquirer"

More About the Author


Charles Bernstein is the author of 40 books, ranging from large-scale collections of poetry and essays to pamphlets, libretti, translations, and collaborations. In March, 2010, Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux will publish All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems.. Recent full-lengtht works of poetry include Girly Man (University of Chicago Press, 2006), With Strings (University of Chicago Press, 2001), and Republics of Reality: 1975-1995 (Sun & Moon Press, 2000). He has published two books of essays and one essay/poem collection: My Way: Speeches and Poems (University of Chicago Press, 1999); A Poetics (Harvard University Press, 1992); Content's Dream: Essays 1975-1984 (Sun & Moon Press, 1986, 1994; reprinted by Northwestern University Press, 2001). Shadowtime (Green Integer, 2005) is the libretto he wrote for Brian Ferneyhough's opera and Blind Witness (Factory School, 2008) collects the libretti he wrote for Ben Yarmolinsky.

Bernstein is Donald T. Regan Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of Pennsylvania.

He is the co-founder and co-editor, with Al Filreis, of PENNsound (writing.upenn.edu/pennsund); and editor, and co-founder, with Loss Pequenno Glazier, of The Electronic Poetry Center (epc.buffalo.edu). He is coeditor, with Hank Lazer, of Modern and Contemporary Poetics, a book series from the University of Alabama Press (1998 - ). He has been host and co-producer of LINEbreak and Close Listening, two radio poetry series.

With Bruce Andrews, he edited L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, which was anthologized as The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book (Southern Illinois University Press, 1984). Bernstein is editor of American Poetry after 1975 (a special issue of boundary 2, 2009), Louis Zukofsky: Selected Poems (Library of Amecrica, 2006), Close Listening: Poetry and the Performed Word (Oxford University Press, 1998);The Politics of Poetic Form: Poetry and Public Policy (Roof Books, 1990); 99 Poets/1999: An International Poetics Symposium, a special issue of boundary 2; and Live at the Ear (Elemenope Productions, 1994), an audio poetry anthology. He is the co-author of A Conversation with David Antin (Granary Books, 2002). Bernstein has edited two collections of poetry: "Language Sampler" in Paris Review, No. 86 (1982) and 43 Poets (1984) in Boundary 2 (1986).

From 1990 to 2003, he was David Gray Professor of Poetry and Letters at the State University of New York at Buffalo and Director of the Poetics Program, which he co-founded, with Robert Creeely. In 2002, he was appointed SUNY Distinguished Professor (the university's highest rank). Bernstein has been writer-in-residence or visiting faculty at Columbia University, Princeton University, Brown University, Temple University, Bard College, the New School for Social Research, Queens College, and the University of California at San Diego and is an associate faculty member of the Transdisciplinary PhD Program on "Languages, Identities, and Globalization," Faculty of Arts & Sciences, University of Coimbra (Portugal).

Bernstein serves on the board of the Richard Foreman's Ontological Hysteric Theater, and is an editor of the Sao Paulo journal Sibila. He is on the advisory boards for Ubuweb, boundary 2, Chain, Ugly Duckling Presse, Futurepoem, Arizona Quarterly Review, and Foreign Literature Studies (Wuhan, China)

Anthology appearances include The Norton Anthology of Poetry; The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry; The Norton Anthology of Jewish American Literature; The Oxford Book of American Poetry; The Norton Introduction to Literature; The Norton Introduction to Poetry; Poems for the Millennium; From the Other Side of the Century: A New American Poetry 1960-1990; Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology; The Longman Anthology of Poetry: The Best American Poetry 1992, 2002, 2004, and 2008 ; Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present; Short Fuse: The Global Anthology of New Fusion Poetry: An Exaltation of Forms: Contemporary Poets Celebrate the Diversity of Form; The Body Electric: The Best Poetry from The American Poetry Review, 1972-1999; Language Poetries; In the American Tree; Up Late: American Poetry Since 1970.

Bernstein has written five librettos: Blind Witness News, The Subject: A Psychiatric Opera and The Lenny Paschen Show, with composer Ben Yarmolinsky, and Cafe Buffe, by Dean Drummond. Shadowtime, on the work of Walter Benjamin, was written for composer Brian Ferneyhough and premiered in May 2004 at the Munich Biennale; in 2004 it played at the Fesitival d'Automne in Paris and in 2005 at the Lincoln Center Festival. A CD was issued from NMC in 2006..

He has collaborated with Richard Tuttle on a poem/sculpture and an essay/poem on Tuttle's work, and collaborated with Susan Bee on several artists books. In 2002, he curated Poetry Plastique, with Jay Sanders, at the Marianne Boesky gallery and coedited the catalog.

Since the mid-1970s, Bernstein's poems and essays have been published in over 500 magazines and periodicals. His poetry and essays have appeared in translation, as well, in over one hundred anthologies and periodicals in Mexico, Argentina, Cuba, Brazil, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Serbia, Montenegro, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Russia, China, Korea, and Japan. Collections of his work have been translated into Spanish (poems from Xul Press, Buenos Aires and essays from Aldus, Mexico, forthcoming), Sweeden (OEI, 2008), Portuguese (Sao Paolo: Martins, 2008); Finnish (2006), and Chinese (forthcoming)..

Over 400 essays and reviews on his work have been published in TLS, PN Review, Critical Inquiry, The Nation, The American Book Review, The American Poetry Review, The Michigan Quarterly, Contemporary Literature, The Missouri Review, American Poetry, Jacket, MLN, Poetics Today, Harvard Book Review, and numerous other journals and books.

He has given about 500 readings and lectures/talks since 1975, throughout the world, including France, Finland, Denmark, Italy, Portugal, The Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Serbia, Spain, Canada, Cuba, Brazil, England, Sweden, Argentina, New Zealand, and the U.S.

In 2006, Bernstein was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Prizes include: The 1999 Roy Harvey Pearce / Archive for New Poetry Prize of the University of California, San Diego (established in 1995, the Pearce Prize is awarded biennially to an American poet-scholar in recognition of his or her distinguished lifetime contributions to poetry and literary scholarship); and, at Penn, the Dean's Award for Innovation in Teaching in 2005. Fellowships include: New York Foundation for the Arts Poetry Fellowship in 1995 and 1990, University of Auckland Foundation Fellowship (1986), the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship (1985), the National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship (1980), and the William Lyon McKenzie King Fellowship (at Simon Fraser University) (1973).

From the early 70s to the late 80s, he worked as a writer/editor on healthcare and medical topics, with a break to serve as Associate Director of the CETA Artists Project (the largest postwar American public employment program for artists).

Charles Bernstein was born April 4, 1950 in New York City. He attended the Bronx High School of Science and Harvard College, from which he graduated in 1972. He is married to the painter Susan Bee and has two children Felix and Emma (1985-2008)..

For overview, see Logan Esdale, "Charles Bernstein" entry in The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poets and Poetry (2005)

For more information go to http://epc.buffalo.edu/authors/bernstein.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By k on September 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have to admit that I feel a bit depressed when reading Girly Man. Why? Because I know it's going to be awhile before I find another book of poetry this good, this funny, this original. Not all the poems work, but the best are far better than what anyone else is producing these days. The rest of this review is intentionally left blank.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul A. Baker on August 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Charles Bernstein's writing combines a scholar's discipline, an advocate's passion, a theorist's breadth, and a readiness to deflate everything with a good joke. In Girly Man, anything can serve as inspiration for a poem or essay: paintings in an exhibition, highway signs, and even war. Bernstein is among those rare writers who can perform their works effectively, and you can hear recordings of his reading online at Penn Sound and at the Electronic Poetry Center.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By easyreeder on June 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Bernstein is in top form. The influence of revolutionary poetics is apparent now across the internet, film, television and literature. Bernstein is without a doubt a fundamental contributor to these evolutions, and this book should not be missed.
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