Monday, May 12, 2008

Bill Berkson and Philip Metres at Myopic Books, Sunday May 18, 7pm

I am delighted to be reading with Bill Berkson, a legendary New York School poet and art critic whose works include poetic collaborations with Frank O'Hara and Bernadette Mayer...

MYOPIC POETRY SERIES, curated by Larry Sawyer -- a weekly series of readings and occasional poets' talks

Myopic Books in Chicago -- Sundays at 7:00 / 1564 N. Milwaukee Avenue, 2nd Floor


Sunday, May 18 - at MYOPIC BOOKS

Bill Berkson & Philip Metres

Philip METRES is the author of To See the Earth (2008), Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront since 1941 (2007), Instants (chap, 2006), Primer for Non-Native Speakers (chap, 2004), Catalogue of Comedic Novelties: Selected Poems of Lev Rubinstein (2004), and A Kindred Orphanhood: Selected Poems of Sergey Gandlevsky (2003). His poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Best American Poetry and Inclined to Speak: Contemporary Arab American Poetry. He teaches literature and creative writing at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. Were it not for Ellis Island, his last name would be Abourjaili. See and for more information. He can be reached at

Born in New York in 1939, Bill BERKSON is a poet, critic, teacher and sometime curator, who has been active in the art and literary worlds since his early twenties. Director of Letters and Science at the San Francisco Art Institute from 1993 to 1998, he taught art history, critical writing and poetry and directed the public lectures program there 1984-2007. Berkson studied at Trinity School (1945-55), The Lawrenceville School, Brown University, Columbia, the New School and New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. During the 1960s he was an editorial associate at Art News, a regular contributor to Arts, guest editor at the Museum of Modern Art, an associate producer of a program on art for public television, and taught literature and writing workshops at the New School and Yale University. After moving to Northern California in 1970, he began editing and publishing a series of poetry books and magazines under the Big Sky imprint. He was awarded a creative writing fellowship in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1980 and has also received awards and fellowships from Yaddo, Artspace, the Poets Foundation, The Fund for Poetry, and Briarcombe Foundation. Before coming to the Art Institute, he taught regularly in the California Poets in the Schools program. In the mid-1980s he resumed writing art criticism on a regular basis, contributing monthly reviews and articles to Artforum from 1985 to 1991; he became a corresponding editor for Art in America in 1988 and also writes frequently for such magazines as Aperture, Modern Painters, Art on Paper, and others. He is the author of sixteen books and pamphlets of poetry—including, most recently, Gloria, a portfolio of poems with etchings by Alex Katz (Arion Press, 2005) and Our Friends Will Pass Among You Silently (The Owl Press, 2007). Berkson's poems have appeared in many magazines and anthologies. Other recent books are What’s Your Idea of a Good Time: Letters & Interviews 1977-1985 with Bernadette Mayer (Tuumba Press, 2006); BILL with drawings by Colter Jacobsen; and Ted Berrigan with George Schneeman. A collection of his criticism, The Sweet Singer of Modernism & Other Art Writings, appeared from Qua Books in 2004, and Sudden Address: Selected Lectures 1981-2006 from Cuneiform Press in 2007. Portrait and Dream: Selected Poems 1959-2007 will appear from Coffee House Press in Spring 2009.

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