Bill Berkson

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Bill Berkson

Citizen Film PRO

The prolific career of Bill Berkson (1939- ) spans some twenty books of poems and criticism. Berkson started writing poetry while attending the Lawrenceville School. While studying under Kenneth Koch in the late 50s, he became acquainted with the New…


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The prolific career of Bill Berkson (1939- ) spans some twenty books of poems and criticism. Berkson started writing poetry while attending the Lawrenceville School. While studying under Kenneth Koch in the late 50s, he became acquainted with the New York School of Poets. During the 60s he worked variedly as an editorial associate at Art News and a teacher at the New School and Yale University. From the 80s to the present he has written art criticism for magazines such as Artforum and Art in America. He taught art history and literature at the San Francisco Art Institute from 1984 to 2008.

In 2002, Sophie Constantinou and Bill Weir interviewed Berkson and recorded his playful musings and reminisces on the New York School including his friendship with Kenward Elmslie and Frank O’Hara, interspersed with readings of collaborative poems. These moments were captured as part a series of short films catalyzed by Elmslie. His vision was to illustrate the artistic spirit of and collaborations among American writers, poets and artists from the late 50s to today.

Executive Producer: Kenward Elmslie
Producers: William Blackburn Weir, Margaret Weir
Director: Sophie Constantinou
Editor: Mike Fuller
Artwork courtesy of the Trust and Estate of Joe Brainard
A production of Citizen Film Inc.
c. 2016 Kenward Gray Elmslie Revokable Trust

 

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