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A.L. Nielsen Interview

A.L. Nielsen talks with Charles Bernstein about his cultural identity as a poet, the

sources of some of this poems, and his work as a scholar of African-American poetry.

Aldon Lynn Nielsen is the Kelly Professor of American Literature at Penn State

University. His works of criticism include Reading Race, Writing between the Lines,

C.L.R. James: A Critical Introduction, Black Chant, and Integral Music (which won the

Josephine Miles Award). His edition of Lorenzo Thomas's Don't Deny My Name: Words and

Music and the Black Intellectual Tradition
was presented with an American Book Award

from the Before Columbus Foundation in 2008. He was born in Nebraska, raised in D.C.

and now lives serially in airports between Santa Barbara and State College (32 minutes).


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Conversations and readings with poets and artists, produced in cooperation with PennSound and hosted by Charles Bernstein, the American poet, theorist, editor, and literary scholar. Bernstein was born in New York City in 1950. He is a foundational member and leading practitioner of Language poetry. Bernstein was educated at the Bronx High School of Science and at Harvard University, where he studied philosophy with Stanley Cavell and wrote his final thesis on Gertrude Stein and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

In the mid-1970s Bernstein became active in the experimental poetry scenes in New York and San Francisco, not only as a poet, but also as an editor, publisher, and theorist. With visual artist and wife Susan Bee, Bernstein published several now well-known poets whose work is associated with Language writing.