Electronic Literature

Kenneth Goldsmith

Born in Freeport New York, Goldsmith earned as B.F.A in sculpture from Rhode Island School of Design in 1984. He worked for several years as a sculptor and text-based artist before moving to become a writer. He teaches Poetics and Poetic Practice at the University of Pennsylvania and is Senior Editor of PENNsound. He hosts a weekly radio show and has published several books of print poetry, including Day (2003), Soliloquy (2001), and Fidget (2000) (the last two works are also available as interactive online instantiations). His master work is the poetry website UbuWeb, which he founded and curates and to which he also contributes his own writing. The extensive archives of UbuWeb include both print and digital works, with an emphasis on experimental and innovative practice in poetry and sound art. Goldsmith’s work tends toward encyclopedic representations of the everyday, based on an aesthetic that he describes as “Uncreativity as Creative Practice.” Soliloquy, for example, records everything he said for a week, and Fidget represents every move his body made during a thirteen-hour period, while The Weather (2005) represents a year of transcribed weather reports. Creative and critical responses to his work are archived at “Kenneth Goldsmith: Conceptual Poetics” (http://www.ubu.com/papers/kg_ol.html), including essays by such well-known critics and poets as Marjorie Perloff, Caroline Bergvall, Johanna Drucker, Christian Bok, and an essay by Goldsmith himself entitled “Sentences on Conceptual Writing,” in which he develops his idea of “uncreative writing.”