by David Antin, Charles Bernstein
"The Review of Contemporary Fiction was preparing an issue on my work and they wanted to include a new interview to go along with six or seven critical essays. Over the years I'd been interviewed a fair number of times by some very able critics, but I thought it might be interesting to try something different. Not so much an interview as a conversation - with another poet, a younger poet whose mind and work I found powerfully meaningful. I immediately thought of Charles [Bernstein], his wide-ranging mind, his openness to all sorts of genres and modes, his quickness, his lightness, his seriousness… And there were obvious similarities in our interests and backgrounds. We're both dedicated experimentalists, both poet-critics, both New York and secular Jewish. But there were great differences. We started from two different worlds. I was born into the Great Depression and he was born into the Cold War eighteen years later. I came into the art and literary worlds of the late fifties, he entered in the seventies. We would have a lot to talk about, and we talked about doing it. I went East for an opening at the Whitney. Charles came out to San Diego to read a paper. Since I'm a 'talk poet' and Charles a voluble talker, we thought we should do it face to face for audiotape. But since I live on the West Coast and he lives on the East Coast, this was difficult to arrange. At a conference on American poetry in Amiens we decided we might as well do it by e-mail, which offers some of the immediacy of talking together with the elaboration possibilities of writing. The electronic speed of transmission made it a kind of cross between the 18th Century and the 21st. The elaboration process led us to a four-month interchange we enjoyed so much it ran more than twice the length we could use in The Review of Contemporary Fiction. This book is our whole uncut dialogue." - David Antin
The second text, "Album Notes", is a collection of photographs from Antin's life with extended annotations "shaggy dog stories"—verbal elaborations of the pictures which, together, add further dimension to the work of a writer and thinker Jerome Rothenberg has termed "as important a poet as we've got in America."
"Antin is what it means to be avant-garde." - Marjorie Perloff, author of 21st Century Modernism
Offset. Bound in paper wrappers. Also available: twenty-six copies signed by David Antin and Charles Bernstein.