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Richard Foreman Interview

Richard Foreman in conversation with Charles Bernstein on art's elitism and his relation to popular culture; on "ideas" versus "reality," and on his theater as a form of "mental gymnastics." Foreman is the director of the Ontological Hysteric Theater, where he has been producing and directing his own plays for almost forty years. Foreman's books include Paradise Hotel and Other Plays, from Overlook Press, 2001; No-Body (A Novel) (Overlook Press, 1996); My Head Was a Sledgehammer: Six Plays (Overlook Press, 1995), and Unbalancing Acts: Foundations for a Theatre (Pantheon Press, 1992). His poetry collection SLICE is available at



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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.