Bruce Andrews

Bruce Andrews

About Bruce Andrews

Bruce Andrews is an American poet who has been a key player in the LANGUAGE SCHOOL, both as a poet and theorist. Along with Charles Bernstein and others, Andrews has, over the past 30 years, explored the limitations of language within artistic expression. Employing such devices as radical fragmentation and juxtaposition, Andrews’s poetry represents the pinnacle of the avant-garde. Andrews strains the limits of familiar representation, which makes his poetry often difficult to understand but which also gives it power, as the reader must become an active participant. His first book of poetry, Edge, was published in 1973. He has published about forty books of poetry, either on his own or in collaboration with other writers, as well as a number of books of essays. His books include I Don't Have Any Paper So Shut Up (Or, Social Romanticism) (1992) and Ex Why Zee: Performance Texts, Collaborations with Sally Silvers, Word Maps, Bricolage & Improvisation (1995), Designated Heartbeat (2006) and Swoon Noir (2007).
His poetry makes reference to familiar objects; however, his extreme linguistic experimentation serves to make the familiar strange, breaking any neat, mathematical equivalence between signifier and a socially constructed signified. As a Language poet, Andrews has experimented with many poetic forms. His desire to explore the limits of language extends beyond his poetry: Andrews is also a theorist and at one point coedited, along with Bernstein, the seminal journal L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E. In one of his essays, Andrews makes the following declaration: Words are mere windows, substitutes, proper names, haloed or subjugated by things to which they seem to point.

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