Charles Bernstein: Bollingen Prize for Poetry
University of Pennsylvania Professor Charles Bernstein has been named the winner of the 2019 Bollingen Prize for American Poetry; it is is among the most prestigious prizes given to American writers.
The Bollingen Prize is awarded biennially to an American poet for the best book published during the previous two years, or for lifetime achievement in poetry, by the Yale University Library through the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The Prize was originally conferred by the Library of Congress with funds established in 1948 by the philanthropist Paul Mellon. An admirer of the psychoanalyst Carl Jung, Mellon named the prize after the Swiss town where Jung spent his summers. In 1949 the first award was made to Ezra Pound, for The Pisan Cantos. He had studied at Penn as an undergraduate and got his masters here as well.
In 1950 the award was transferred to the Yale University Library, through the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library under the auspices of which it has since been administered. Originally annual, it became biennial in 1964. The prize includes a cash award of $165,000.
Mr. Bernstein is the author of numerous books of poetry, including Near/Miss, published last year, Recalculating, and All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems, among many others. His collections of essays include Pitch of Poetry, Attack of the Difficult Poems: Essays and Inventions and A Poetics.
“The Bollingen is the ultimate American poetry prize, and the honor of this award turns to pure delight when I acknowledge the award committee,” Mr. Bernstein said. “I am overwhelmed at being in the company of my fellow Bollingen winners, who include so many poets whom I read with supreme astonishment. How great that Near/Miss has been so warmly welcomed into the world.”
Mr. Bernstein is the 51st poet to be honored with the award and joins a list of past winners that also includes W.H. Auden, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, Louise Bogan, Léonie Adams, Robert Frost and Robert Penn Warren, as well as contemporary poets Susan Howe, Charles Wright, Louise Glück, Nathaniel Mackey and Jean Valentine.
“As poet, editor, critic, translator and educator, Charles Bernstein’s decades-long commitment to the community of arts and letters reflects a profound understanding of the importance of language in the business of culture-making,” the three-member prize judging committee said.
“His extraordinary new collection of poems, Near/Miss, finds Bernstein deploying his characteristically incisive satire and sharp wit to dismantle the clichés driving public speech. Yet, in moments treading close to heartbreak, the work sounds the depths where the public poet must find the words for private grief. Bernstein’s work interrogates, restlessly, seemingly word by word, language and its performative nature.”
On Penn’s faculty since 2003, Mr. Bernstein is the Donald T. Regan Professor of English and Comparative Literature in the School of Arts and Sciences (Almanac February 8, 2005). He is also known for his translations and collaborations with artists and libretti. With Al Filreis, Penn’s Kelly Family Professor of English, Mr. Bernstein is the co-founder of PennSound, an extensive archive of recorded poetry, which features a robust library of Mr. Bernstein’s poetry readings as well as poetry by Penn alumni Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams.
“Penn has provided the ideal place for me to write and teach poetry and poetics. Conversations with fellow writers, researchers, teachers and especially students—graduate and undergraduate—have so deeply enriched my thinking and work that I can’t imagine that I could have won the Bollingen without them. The English and Comparative Literature departments, and the astounding Kelly Writers House, along with PennSound, have been my intellectual home. Part of this prize surely goes to them,” Mr. Bernstein said.
“We are thrilled that the 2019 Bollingen Prize judges have honored Charles Bernstein, a poet whose creative and critical work has for decades enlivened American poetry and poetics,” said Bollingen Prize director Nancy Kuhl, curator of poetry for the Yale Collection of American Literature at the Beinecke Library. “The poems in his latest book, Near/Miss, explore the very nature of poetry.”
Mr. Bernstein was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2006. Other awards and honors include Janus Pannonius Grand Prize for Poetry (Almanac September 1, 2015), the Münster Prize for International Poetry, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship. He also received a Lindback Award in 2009 (Almanac April 21, 2009).
The three-judge panel included poet Ange Mlinko, Yale professor of poetry Claudia Rankine, and Rutgers English professor Evie Shockley. “Throughout his career, Bernstein has facilitated a vibrant dialogue between lyric and anti-lyric tendencies in the poetic traditions we have inherited; in so doing, he has shaped and questioned, defined and dismantled ideas and assumptions in order to reveal poetry’s widest and most profound capabilities,” they said.
“Contemporary American poetry thrives through its small scale and radical differences of form,” Mr. Bernstein said. “Its freedom is grounded in the diverse approaches of its practitioners and in its resistance to market-driven popularity. Poetic invention is as fundamental to our democracy as the bill of rights—something to celebrate with exuberance and pleasure.”
Penn Medicine: 25 Years of Integration, Innovation and Ideals
After 25 years, the combined mission of patient care, medical education and research that defines Penn Medicine is a proven principle. As Penn Medicine’s model has evolved over this quarter century, it has continually demonstrated itself to be visionary, collaborative, resilient and pioneering, all while maintaining Franklin’s core, altruistic values of serving the greater good and advancing knowledge.
Penn Medicine’s reach and impact would impress the lifelong teacher and inventor as well. One of the first integrated academic health systems in the nation, the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) grew from a medical school with one owned teaching hospital and a network of physician practices in the early years to a sprawling $8 billion enterprise with six acute-care hospitals and hundreds of outpatient practices that serves a diverse group of patients across the continuum of care and across the region, from Center City Philadelphia to central New Jersey to the western reaches of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Alongside its clinical care, Penn Medicine—as it is known today, encompassing both UPHS and the Perelman School of Medicine—boasts one of the nation’s top-regarded education and training programs for 21st century physicians within mere steps of a small city of cutting-edge research facilities producing translational discoveries that have elevated the institution into the higher levels of advanced medicine.
“We serve the region with the most advanced medical procedures as well as convenient and geographically distributed primary care,” said Ralph W. Muller, chief executive officer of UPHS. “Our innovations in patient care are models for the nation, as we both anticipate and shape what patients need.”
In the early 1990s, under then-CEO and Dean William N. Kelley, transforming Penn’s traditional academic center—a teaching hospital, medical school and research facilities—into an integrated system was viewed as a bold but necessary move. Penn’s medical leaders saw integration as a path to greater patient reach in a changing health-care market. Combining that with stronger cultural integration among the pillars of the academic center and heavy investments in research infrastructure, Penn could leverage that integration to cement its place as a national leader in medicine.
But there were bumps in the road. In the late 1990s, a few years after its establishment, UPHS was one of many health-care organizations in a precarious financial situation. While some academic centers questioned holding onto their hospital counterparts, Penn ultimately managed itself out of its difficulties through governance and financial restructuring, heightened integration with the University, and fresh leadership, which put it on a more sustainable and successful path (Almanac April 4, 2000). Staff loyalty persisted, and patient care, research and education only grew stronger.
Today, Penn Medicine employs over 40,000 people and serves millions of patients, from primary to the most complex care. Its medical school graduates are some of the brightest minds and leaders in medicine. Its research endeavors have led to five US Food and Drug Administration drug approvals within the last year alone.
And, through it all, integration—across missions, across disciplines and across geography—has been key to success.
“Being on this campus, with the Wharton School, School of Engineering, Arts and Sciences, Nursing, Dental, Vet has a big impact day in and day out on what happens here and what happens elsewhere,” said J. Larry Jameson, dean of the Perelman School of Medicine and executive vice president of the University for the Health System. “I think the combination of integration within Penn Medicine and the integration within the University has created an environment where we really have very few peers.”
Penn’s Way—Thanks a Million
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
Each year Penn’s Way calls upon the strength of the Penn community to respond to the needs of those less fortunate. For this year’s Giving is Penn’s Way campaign you answered our call and then some! On behalf of the University and Health System leadership and our charitable partners from Penn Medicine, Philadelphia Alliance for Change, and The United Way, we would like to say Thanks a Million! Thanks a million for your commitment to sending a message of hope and support to the vulnerable populations these agencies serve.
Because of your generosity and compassion, the Penn’s Way Campaign met and exceeded its goal of $1,650,000! Our final total was $1,799,878.
We especially applaud the hard work and enthusiasm of the many individual volunteers who served as Penn’s Way Volunteer Coordinators.
Our deepest thanks to them and to you for making the Penn’s Way Workplace Giving Campaign another remarkable success! Thank You.
Maureen S. Rush
Vice President for Public Safety
University of Pennsylvania
Penn’s Way Co-Chair
Patricia G. Sullivan
Chief Quality Officer University of Pennsylvania Health System
Penn’s Way Co-Chair
Professor, Wharton School
Chair-elect Faculty Senate University of Pennsylvania
Penn’s Way Faculty Advisor
Peter D. Quinn
Vice Dean for Professional Services
Senior Vice President University of Pennsylvania Health System
Penn’s Way Faculty Advisor
Uncovering the Unsung Heroes of Philadelphia Theater History through
People-Powered Scholarship at the Penn Libraries
People-powered scholarship projects liberate information locked away from easy public access. Laura Aydelotte, researcher in the Penn Libraries’ Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to lead The Philadelphia Playbills Project in collaboration with the New York Public Library and free the information within an important archive to anyone who is interested. The project takes historical playbills from the archives of the Penn Libraries collections at the Kislak Center and turns them into data everyone can use to learn about the history of performance in the United States’ oldest theaters.
The sample set of 700 digitized playbills document the history of works performed, from adaptations of Uncle Tom’s Cabin to an evening advertised as a combination of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro and the appearance of a “Living Elephant.” They also document the people who performed these plays, such as Edwin Booth, brother of Lincoln’s assassin (though a loyal supporter of Lincoln himself), and Laura Keene, the first woman to become an influential theater manager in New York and Philadelphia, who was performing the night of that assassination and held the dying Lincoln in her arms. For Ms. Aydelotte, the most rewarding part of the process has been discovering the unsung heroes, the firsts and the new windows into approaching this history.
The Philadelphia Playbills Project tests three different approaches to gathering data from archival materials. Project team members will produce the data for the project from a combination of community crowdsourced transcriptions on the Zooniverse platform, Optical Character Recognition technology, and in-house transcriptions. A final dataset formed from a combination of these methods will be converted to Linked Open Data, a format that will allow the playbills data to connect more readily with other data across the internet, which will aid users in the discovery process.
According to Ms. Aydelotte, this research is groundbreaking. “The Philadelphia Playbills Project will produce a previously unavailable data set that will support new research about the American Theater, and develop and refine methodologies for generating such data on a larger scale with other playbill collections in the future,” she said.
To find out more about how you can lend your time and talent to this project, visit: https:// philadelphiaplaybills.com/
ABCS Course Development Grants: April 12
The Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships announces course development grants to promote Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) courses that integrate research, teaching, learning and service. Over 150 courses from a wide range of disciplines and Penn schools have linked Penn undergraduate and graduate students to work in the community. The grants support University faculty to develop new courses or adapt existing courses that combine research with school and community projects.
To see a list of the ABCS courses, visit https://www.nettercenter.upenn.edu/what-we-do/courses
Grants will be for no more than $5,000 per project. These funds can be used to provide graduate and undergraduate support, course support and/or summer salary ($5,000 is inclusive of employee benefits if taken as salary).
Funded by the Netter Center, course development grants facilitate faculty in developing new and/or substantially restructured undergraduate- and graduate-level courses that engage students in real-world problem-solving projects in conjunction with schools and community organizations located in West Philadelphia.
The following criteria will be used to evaluate proposals:
- Academic excellence
- Integration of research, teaching and service
- Partnership with schools, community groups, service agencies, etc.
- Focus on Philadelphia, especially West Philadelphia
- Evidence as to how the course activity will involve participation or interaction with the community as well as contribute to improving the community
- Evidence as to how the course activity will engage undergraduate and/or graduate students in real-world problem-solving research opportunities
- Potential for sustainability
Please format proposals as follows:
- Cover page
1.1 Name, title, department, school, mailing address
1.2 Title of the proposal
1.3 Total amount of funding you would like
1.4 100-word abstract of the proposal (include a description of how the course will involve interaction with the community and benefit the community)
- A one-page biographical sketch of applicant
- A two-to-four-page mini-proposal
- Budget detailing how you intend to use the requested funding
Proposals for Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 courses should be submitted to the Netter Center for Community Partnerships by April 12, 2019.
Please contact Faustine Sun, ABCS Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to submit proposals.
—Dennis DeTurck, Robert A. Fox Leadership Professor; Professor of Mathematics, SAS; Netter Center Faculty Advisory Board Co-Chair
—John Gearhart, James W. Effron University Professor and Emeritus Director, Institute for Regenerative Medicine; Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and Animal Biology, PSOM and School of Veterinary Medicine; Netter Center Faculty Advisory Board Co-Chair
—John Jackson Jr., Walter H. Annenberg Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication; Richard Perry University Professor of Communication, Africana Studies, and Anthropology; Netter Center Faculty Advisory Board Co-Chair
—Terri H. Lipman, Assistant Dean for Community Engagement; Miriam Stirl Endowed Term Professor of Nutrition; Professor of Nursing of Children, SON; Netter Center Faculty Advisory Board Co-Chair
—Loretta Flanagan-Cato, Associate Professor of Psychology, SAS; Co-director, Biological Basis of Behavior Program; Netter Center Faculty Fellow
—Ira Harkavy, Associate Vice President; Founding Director, Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships
This article is related to the Provost-Netter Center Faculty-Community Partnership Award & Nomination Process: April 1 article.
Penn Vet’s Mobile Clinic: Bringing More Lifesaving Services to Philadelphia Area Animal Shelters
In 2016, there were 50,000 animal intakes in the Philadelphia region’s animal shelters. The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) Shelter Medicine Program provides clinical care support to several of these shelters and works to reduce the number of animals entering them to begin with. The program is about to increase its regional reach and impact with the Penn Vet Mobile Clinic, a new 40-foot-long facility-on-wheels that will help more vulnerable animals.
Penn Vet unveiled the clinic at a January 25 ribbon cutting ceremony. The Mobile Clinic initiative is supported in part by the Bernice Barbour Foundation and PetSmart Charities.
When it launches this spring, the Mobile Clinic will offer services and equipment that can be challenging for shelters to afford or accommodate. In addition to exam, surgery and recovery spaces on board, there are diagnostic tools such as a microscope, radiography, ultrasound and blood machines. Eventually, the roaming facility will also have dental care equipment.
“When planning the Mobile Clinic, we looked at gaps across the area and discussed how we can be a consistent, valuable resource to the Philadelphia community,” said Brittany Watson, Penn Vet’s director of Shelter Medicine. “Our animal welfare partners, who often operate on budgets three to four times less than they need, are confined by their brick and mortar facilities. We will be bringing them a nimble, fully operational, independent clinic that can be directed to where the need is greatest.”
On a weekly basis, the clinic will be onsite at select Penn Vet shelter partner locations— which include Animal Care and Control Team (ACCT) Philly, Morris Animal Refuge, Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA), the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Providence Animal Center and the Women’s Animal Center—extending the shelters’ diagnostic capabilities and enabling more spay and neuter procedures.
The unit will also be used through community partners, such as Pets for Life, to provide clinical services to the public in areas of greatest need. At other times, it will provide an opportunity for Philadelphia middle and high school students to learn about animal health and welfare. Down the line, plans include using the clinic for disaster and emergency response and in animal cruelty cases.
Beyond providing clinical care and community partnership, the Mobile Clinic is going to be a dynamic new resource for teaching shelter medicine to Penn Vet students.
“We want students to understand and recognize community needs,” said Chelsea Reinhard, Bernice Barbour Assistant Professor of Clinical Shelter Medicine at Penn Vet. “With the Shelter Medicine program, students work in shelters, in underserved communities and engage with community schools. Our goal is that this experience and exposure empowers them after graduation, enabling them to be a resource as practitioners within their own communities.”
For more information, visit: https://www.vet.upenn.edu/research/centers-initiatives/shelter-medicine