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Naomi Replansky Conversation

Poet Naomi Replansky and co-founder of PennSound Al Filreis join series host Charles Bernstein in this program of Close Listening, recorded April 1, 2016. The three discuss Replansky's contributions to the world of poetry over her 98 years of life. Replansky tells how she went to see Gertrude Stein read as a teenager, her friendship with Bertolt Brecht, the tension between her Communist affiliations and her poetry, her early publication in Poetry magazine, her life as a poet on the margins of the poetry world, and more. Naomi Replansky was born in 1918 in The Bronx. Her first publication was in 1934 in Poetry magazine. Her 1952 book Ring Song is a collection of poems written during her time as a factory worker in the '30s and '40s. Subsequent books include Twenty-One Poems, Old and New (1988), The Dangerous World: New and Selected Poems, 1934-1994 (1994), and Collected Poems (Black Sparrow Press/Godine, 2012). She lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. You can listen to Replansky read her poetry at PennSound. Al Filreis, born in 1956, is the Kelly Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, and Faculty Director of the Kelly Writers House. Along with Charles Bernstein, he founded PennSound, an online archive for poetry run by the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing at the University of Pennsylvania, home to readings from John Ashbery, Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, and others.


Close Listening


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.