Charles Bernstein


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Poet Charles Bernstein may well have been having a bit of fun at the expense of his On the Fly interlocutor. Bernstein was in Iowa in late 2010 for a week-long residency at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Asked about where he writes, Bernstein replied: “My work is very concerned with wilderness…In order to recreate that sense of wilderness, I like to be deep in the sea. You know our water, our oceans are among the last really untouched, prime wilderness we have on the Earth’s surface. So I like to go, you know, 4, 5, 600 feet below the surface of the water, in mid-ocean if possible—Pacific, Atlantic especially—in a specially designed capsule. The one limit is that I’m not able to get wi-fi there…But that’s the place where I do almost all of my work. ”

He goes on to give a rather literal answer to a question about recharging his batteries before suggesting that the ideal audience for his work may be fish.

Berstein’s first collection was 1975’s Asylums. 2013 saw the publication of Recalculating.