Charles Bernstein reads from Near/Miss


I am a slow reader and come to a lot of books slowly too, but if you live long enough, as I seem to be doing—so far, so good—good books, or books that I enjoy do come. Such a one has been Near/Miss by Charles Bernstein, a book of poems published in 2018. Reading it, I sometimes laughed out loud and personally felt as if a comedian as literate as Groucho Marx were in the room, sitting next to me, in fact, with his arm intimately around my shoulder, not intimidating in any way, but with affection. And then, of course, on the other side of a laugh there is grief so Near/Miss does run the gamut. When the poet knows the words so well he can turn them inside out like Alice’s Looking Glass the engaging reader happily sees a word’s possibilities in the foibles and quoibles of language.

The launch reading for Near/Miss was at McNally Jackson in November of 2018. I have included it in its entirety linked to YouTube at the end of this post. Besides Charles Bernstein, there were three other readers, Tracie Morris, Amy Sillman, and Felix Bernstein. For the fun of it, I edited Charles Bernstein’s reading in iMovie and added some of his texts for all to enjoy in the Vimeo below.




The artwork and colored titles in Near/Miss create a pleasant brightness that offers some light to read by. I’ve scanned a few of the pages below.






Near/Miss is published by The University of Chicago Press. You can find out more about the book here:





The Near/Miss reading at McNally Jackson, November 7, 2018 with Amy Sillman, Felix Bernstein, Tracie Morris, and Charles Bernstein follows on the YouTubes below:




Amy Sillman, one of the readers, made a cartoon of Charles Bernstein’s poem, “Pinky’s Rule,” animating it with her finger on her iPhone. You can find it on the link below. Enjoy.

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