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Fred Wah Conversation

Charles Bernstein talks to poet Fred Wah, who begins by answering his own question, "Why bother?" before discussing what it is to "fake it" and touching upon notions of poetry and race, teaching and community. Wah's books include Faking It: Poetry and Hybridity, Music from the Heart of Thinking, Petroglyphs from the Interior of BC and Diamond Grill. Wah was the founding coordinator of the writing program at David Thompson University Centre, which became the Kootenay School of Writing. After many years teaching at University of Calgary, he now lives in Vancouver (29 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.