From Borscht Belt vaudeville to his embrace by the trendy theorists of Paris, Charles Bernstein's career has had more ups and downs than Jerry Lewis. But with undimming flash and generosity his poetry speaks with greater force than ever, and it is always an event in our lives as participants in culture to see him read, for his work, always intriguing, at its best reaches the exhilarating glass-green rush and sublimity of Niagara Falls. He is the author of 20 books of poetry (including the newest,Republics of Reality: Poems 1975-1995, from Sun & Moon), and two influential books of essays:A Poetics (Harvard University Press, 1992) andContent's Dream: Essays 1975-1984 (Sun & Moon Press, 1986, 1994). Bernstein is David Gray Professor of Poetry and Letters at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

January 10, 1998