Charles Bernstein, the Donald T. Regan Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, has published three collections of essays — My Way: Speeches and Poems (Chicago, 1999), A Poetics (Harvard, 1992), and Content's Dream: Essays 1975-1984 (Sun & Moon, 1985; rpt Northwestern, 2001). He is the author of over twenty collections of poetry, including All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2010), Girly Man (Chicago, 2006), With Strings (Chicago, 2001), Republics of Reality: 1975 - 1995 (Sun & Moon, 2000), Dark City (Sun & Moon, 1994), The Sophist (Sun & Moon, 1987; rpt Salt Publishing 2004), Islets/Irritations (Jordan Davies, 1983; rpt. Roof Books, 1992); and Controlling Interests (Roof, 1980). His libretto Shadowtime, for composer Brian Ferneyhough, was published in 2005 by Green Integer; it was performed as part of the 2005 Lincoln Center Festival. Bernstein is the editor of several collections: Close Listening: Poetry and the Performed Word (Oxford, 1999), 99 Poets/1999: An International Poetics Symposium (boundary 2 / Duke, 1998), and The Politics of Poetic Form: Poetry and Public Policy (Roof, 1990), and the poetics magazine L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, whose first issue was published in 1978.
He has collaborated with painters Susan Bee, Mimi Gross, and Richard Tuttle on several artist's books and projects. In 2001, he curated Poetry Plastique, a show of visual and sculptural poetry at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York.
Bernstein, who was born in 1950, grew up on the upper West Side of Manhattan and attended the Bronx High School of Science. He graduated from Harvard College, after which he worked for many years as a freelance medical/healthcare writer. From 1989 to 2003, he taught at the State University of New York, where he was co-founder and Director of the Poetics Program and a SUNY Distinguished Professor. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and of the Roy Harvey Pearce/Archive for New Poetry Prize of the University of California, San Diego. In 2006 he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.