February 4, 1979 |
|Alma mater||Brown University|
|Genres||Poetry, Novels, Essays|
|Notable award(s)||Hayden Carruth prize;
Believer Book Award
Benjamin S. Lerner (born February 4, 1979) is an American poet, novelist, essayist, and critic. He has been a Fulbright Scholar, a finalist for the National Book Award, a Howard Foundation Fellow, and a Guggenheim Fellow, among other awards. In 2011 he won the "Preis der Stadt Münster für internationale Poesie", making Lerner the first American to receive this honor. Lerner is currently a professor of English at Brooklyn College.
Life and work
Born and raised in Topeka, Kansas, which figures in each of his books of poetry, Lerner is a 1997 graduate of Topeka High School where he was a standout in debate and forensics, winning the 1997 National Forensics League National Tournament in International Extemporaneous Speaking. At Brown University he earned a B.A. in Political Theory and an MFA in Poetry.
He traveled on a Fulbright Scholarship to Madrid, Spain in 2003 where he wrote his second book, Angle of Yaw, which was published in 2006 and was subsequently named a finalist for the National Book Award, and was selected by Brian Foley as one of the "25 important books of poetry of the 00s (2000-2009)". Lerner's third full-length poetry collection, Mean Free Path, was published in 2010.
Lerner's first novel, Leaving the Atocha Station, was published by Coffee House Press in August 2011. It was named one of the best books of the year by The New Yorker, The Guardian, The New Statesman, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, and New York Magazine, among other periodicals. It won the Believer Book Award. and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award for "first fiction" and the New York Public Library's Young Lions prize, among other honors. Excerpts of Lerner's second novel, 10:04, won the Terry Southern Prize from The Paris Review.  His essays, art criticism, and literary criticism have appeared in a variety of publications, including Art in America, boundary 2, Frieze, Harper's, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. 
In 2008, Lerner began editing poetry for Critical Quarterly, a British academic publication. He has taught at California College of the Arts, the University of Pittsburgh, and in 2010 joined the faculty of the MFA program at Brooklyn College.
- 2003 Hayden Carruth Award 
- 2003-2004 Fulbright Fellowship 
- Finalist, 2006 National Book Award for Angle of Yaw.
- Finalist, 2006 Northern California Book Awards for Angle of Yaw 
- Winner, 2007 Kansas Notable Book for Angle of Yaw
- 2010-2011 Howard Foundation Fellow 
- 2011 Preis der Stadt Münster für internationale Poesie
- Finalist for the 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Award for first fiction 
- Finalist for the 2012 Young Lions Prize, given by the New York Public Library 
- Winner of the 2012 The Believer Book Award 
- Finalist for the 2012 William Saroyan Prize for International Writing 
- Finalist for the 2012 PEN/Bingham Award
- Finalist for the 2013 James Tait Black Memorial Prize 
- 2013 Guggenheim Fellow
- Winner of the 2014 Terry Southern Fiction Prize from The Paris Review
- The Lichtenberg Figures. Port Townsend: Copper Canyon Press. 2004. ISBN 9781619320734.. (poetry)
- Angle of Yaw. Port Townsend: Copper Canyon Press. 2006. ISBN 9781556592461.. (poetry)
- Mean Free Path. Port Townsend: Copper Canyon Press. 2010. ISBN 9781619320741.. (poetry)
- Leaving the Atocha Station, Coffee House Press, 2011. ISBN 9781566892926
- 10:04, Faber and Faber, 2014. ISBN 978-0865478107
- Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology
- H.L. Hix, ed. (2008). New Voices: Contemporary Poetry from the United States. Irish Pages. ISBN 978-0-9544257-9-1.
Selected web publications
- Lerner's long poem The Dark Through Patches Down Upon Me Also in Lana Turner
- Poem The Lost Browning Tape from SOFT TARGETS v.2.1
- Four poems from Angle of Yaw in Boston Review
- Three poems from Angle of Yaw in Jacket Magazine.
- An excerpt from The Lichtenberg Figures in Slope.
- Poems in Fascicle.
- Lerner's poem Didactic Elegy
- A poem by Lerner in The Nation
- Lerner's series "Doppler Elegies" in Jacket
- Lerner's essay on art vandalism in Harper's
- Lerner's essay on public speech in Harper's
- Ben Lerner interviews Peter Cole in Bomb see Wikipedia article on Peter Cole for another perspective
- Book Patrol: Ben Lerner on W.S. Merwin
- Poet’s Sampler: Lynn Xu Lerner provides an introductory note to a group of poems by Lynn Xu published in Boston Review's May/June 2010 issue
- Critical pieces, retrospectives, etc.
- Apples of Discourse on Rosmarie Waldrop in Jacket upon the publication of Waldrop's Curves to the Apple, which gathers her trilogy of prose poems
- "Cezanne refused to dissolve the object into atmospheric effects..." on poet Mei-mei Berssenbrugge in Rain Taxi, upon the publication of her book I Love Artists: New and Selected Poems
- Of Accumulation: The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley on Robert Creeley in boundary 2
- The Future Continuous: Ashbery's Lyric Mediacy on John Ashbery in boundary 2
- “Selfish Enchantments”: Barbara Guest and the Nature of Arrangement This essay on U.S. poet Barbara Guest first appeared in New American Writing, number 27
- An essay on the painter Simon Hantaï
- An essay on Abstract Expressionism
- An essay on the portable murals of Diego Rivera in Art in America
- An essay on Keith Waldrop's memoir, Light While There Is Light.
- An essay on art and fiction in Frieze http://www.frieze.com/issue/article/the-actual-world/ An essay on art and fiction in Frieze
- The Lichtenberg Figures
- Poetry Microreviews appeared in the Boston Review September/October 2005 online edition.
- The Lichtenberg Figures, reviewed by Cindra Halm in Rain Taxi.
- A Review of Ben Lerner's The Lichtenberg Figures by Brian Leary in 42opus
- Sustained elegy this review by Cyrus Console appeared online October 2005 in Jacket Magazine, Number 28.
- Angle of Yaw
- Fault Lines: Ben Lerner's Angle of Yaw and Sarah Manguso's Siste Viator appeared in the Boston Review September/October 2007 online edition.
- A review of Angle of Yaw at Coldfront Magazine.
- A review of Lerner's work in The Pittsburgh City Paper focuses primarily on Angle Of Yaw
- An essay on Lerner's "Didactic Elegy" in Jacket
- Mean Free Path
- An essay on Mean Free Path in The New Republic
- The Art of Losing, Re-mastered: an essay on Ben Lerner's "Mean Free Path" by David Gorin in Jacket Magazine, Number 40.
- A review of Mean Free Path in The Critical Flame
- A piece on Mean Free Path and six other contemporary poets at The Atlantic
- "Somewhere in this Book I Broke" -- a review of Mean Free Path
- A dialogue with Aaron Kunin about Mean Free Path in Jacket Magazine
- Karla Kelsey reviews Mean Free Path at the Constant Critic
- Ben Lerner's "Mean Free Path" reviewed by Evan Hansen at the website The The Poetry, April 4, 2010
- "Starred Review" in Publishers Weekly
- Mean Free Path reviewed in Library Journal
- Mean Free Path reviewed in Boston Review
- 'Giant Resonant Waves', Oxonian Review: review of Mean Free Path
- Leaving The Atocha Station
- An essay comparing Lerner and Hemingway in The New York Times
- A review by James Wood in The New Yorker
- A review by Geoff Dyer in The Observer
- A review by Lorin Stein in The New York Review of Books
- A review in The Wall Street Journal
- A review by Sheila Heti in the London Review of Books
- A review in N+1
- Leaving the Atocha Station reviewed in The Forward
- Bookforum reviews Leaving the Atocha Station
- A review by David Shields in the Los Angeles Review of Books
- A review by John Yau in Hyperallergic
- a review at Electric Literature
- A review at Open Letters
- Die wollen doch nur spielen An essay by Matthias Göritz, principally focusing in on the German translation of The Lichtenberg Figures; appears online in SPRITZ (German)
- An essay treating Lerner in Postmodern Culture.
- "Stadt Münster: Kulturamt - Lyrikertreffen". Muenster.de. Archived from the original on 17 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-19.
- Blankenship, Bill (March 9, 2005). "Young poet to read works at Washburn". The Topeka Capital-Journal. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
- "25 Important Books of Poetry of the 00s, by Brian Foley". Htmlgiant. 2009-12-14. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-19.
- In physics, the “mean free path” of a particle is the average distance it travels before colliding with another particle. The poems in Lerner’s third collection, Mean Free Path (Copper Canyon Press, 2010), are full of discrete collisions—stutters, repetitions, fragmentations, recombinations—that track how language breaks up or changes course under the emotional pressure of the utterance.
- [dead link]
- "Ben Lerner". Narrative Magazine. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-19.
- "Books of the year 2011". The Guardian (London). 2011-11-25.
- "The Best Fiction of 2011". The Wall Street Journal. 2011-12-17.
- "The ‘angle of immunity’: face and façade in Beckett's Film - GAVIN - 2008 - Critical Quarterly - Wiley Online Library". .interscience.wiley.com. 2008-04-16. Archived from the original on 22 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-19.
- "Brooklyn College English Department - MFA Faculty". Depthome.brooklyn.cuny.edu. Retrieved 2011-06-19.
- Link (2006-12-05). "Silliman's Blog". Ronsilliman.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2011-06-19.
- [dead link]
- "Acclaimed young poet Ben Lerner relocates to Pittsburgh. - Books - Book Reviews & Features - Pittsburgh City Paper". Pittsburghcitypaper.ws. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-19.
- "National Book Award 2006". Nationalbook.org. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-19.
- "Poetry Flash:NCBRAwards". Poetry Flash.
- "New Fellows". Brown.edu. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-19.
- "Book Prizes – Los Angeles Times Festival of Books Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times.
- "Finalist for the 2012 PEN/Bingham Award". Star Tribune.
- Scroll down the page to find this review, which appears alongside Catherine Barnett's Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced, Christian Hawkey's The Book of Funnels, Sabrina Orah Mark's The Babies, and Gilbert Sorrentino's New and Selected Poems: 1958–1998.
- The review is by Craig Morgan Teicher whose book of poems, Brenda Is in the Room and Other Poems, won the 2007 Colorado Prize for Poetry.
- Note: This appears to be a dead link (accessed on April 25, 2010) to a piece by David Caplan, "On Poetic Curiosity A response to Lori Emerson, Demystifying the Digital, Re-animating the Book: A Digital Poetics". Probably not accessible unless at a Library that has a subscription to Project Muse.
- Lerner's page at the Guggenheim Foundation
- Lerner's page at Copper Canyon Press
- Lerner's page at Coffee House Press
- An interview with Lerner about his short story, The Golden Vanity, which appeared in The New Yorker
- Lerner's National Book Award page
- Lerner's page at the National Book Foundation
- Lance Phillips' interview with Ben Lerner.
- The Believer's interview with Ben Lerner by Tao Lin.
- Bookforum interviews Lerner.
- An interview with Lerner about his novel in the Huffington Post
- Lerner's page at Pennsound
- Lerner's page at Narrative magazine
- Lerner's page at Luxbooks (in German)