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Bob Perelman

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Bob Perelman Feature

Bob Perelman

Biographical Note

I was born in Youngstown, Ohio in 1947. Adolescent enthusiasms for poetry and piano. Went to Interlochen music camp after highschool; instantly disabused of notions of concert career, but I did bump into ABC of Reading and Beckett’s trilogy at the bookstore. Rapt.

Under Pound’s quite imaginary but weirdly charming tutelage, I began Greek and Latin at Rochester then Michigan, ending up with a bonus MA (earned by reading Aeschylus while working at an epidemiology lab the summer before going to the Iowa Writers Workshop in 1969. That happened via Donald Hall’s kindly intervention. At Iowa I met Barrett Watten, Michael Waltuch, Anselm Hollo, Kathleen Fraser, Robert Grenier, and exponentally more. Meanwhile I got together with Francie Shaw (1971). We lived in Cambridge, MA; Hills, Iowa (whence the name of the magazine, I edited — 1st issue with Michael Waltuch); in 1976, we moved to the Bay Area, which was intensely educational and exciting: readings, magazines, performances, Poets Theater, the Talk series. Francie and I had two children (also intensely educational and exciting): Max, born in 1979; Reuben, 1983.

Uninspiring teaching in various part-time slots led to going to UC Berkeley for a PhD, a naive move made with odd confidence. In 1990 I got a job at U Penn, which continues into the present.

Bob Perelman, with Sophie

Bob Perelman, with Sophie



Iflife (N.Y: Roof Books, 2006).

Playing Bodies, in collaboration with painter Francie Shaw (N. Y.: Granary Books, 2004).

Ten to One: Selected Poems (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1999).

The Future of Memory (N.Y.: Roof, 1998).

Virtual Reality (N.Y.: Roof, 1993).

Captive Audience (Great Barrington, Mass.: The Figures, 1988).

Face Value (N. Y.: Roof, 1988).

The First World (Great Barrington, Mass.: The Figures, 1987).

To the Reader (Berkeley: Tuumba, 1984).

a.k.a. (Great Barrington, Mass.: The Figures, 1984).

Primer (Berkeley: This, 1981).

7 Works (Berkeley: The Figures, 1978).

Braille (Ithaca, N.Y.: Ithaca House, 1975).


The Manchurian Candidate: Un Remake, translated into French by Juliette Valery (Grâne, France: Éditions Créaphis, 2000).

The Marginalization of Poetry, translated into French by Juliette Valery (Paris: Format américain, 1998).

The Masque of Rhyme (Tucson, Ariz.: Chax, 1997).

Fake Dreams (Elmwood, Conn.: Potes and Poets, 1996).

Chaim Soutine (Buffalo, N.Y.: Éditions Hérisson, 1994).

a.k.a, parts 1 and 2, (Berkeley: Tuumba Press, 1979).

critical books

The Marginalization of Poetry: Language Writing and Literary History (Princeton UP, 1996).

The Trouble With Genius: Reading Pound, Joyce, Stein, and Zukofsky (California UP, 1994).

edited books

Writing/Talks, collection of 16 talks by poets (Southern Illinois UP, 1985).

Talks (Hills 6/7), 11 talks by poets (San Francisco: 1980).


in Modernist Archaist: Selected Poems of Osip Mandelstam (Whale and Star: 2008).

in The Selected Poems of Tomaz Salamun (Ecco Press, 1988).

and Russian Poetry: The Modern Period (Iowa University Press, 1978).

flash poem

“My Type,” in X-Connect 17, June, 2001.

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