Kenneth Goldsmith reading at President Obama's A Celebration of American Poetry at the White House on May 11, 2011
Freeport, New York
|Period||1993 - present|
Kenneth Goldsmith (born 1961) is an American poet. He is the founding editor of UbuWeb, teaches Poetics and Poetic Practice at the University of Pennsylvania and is a Senior Editor of PennSound. He hosted a weekly radio show at WFMU from 1995 until June 2010. He has published ten books of poetry, notably Fidget (2000), Soliloquy (2001) and Day (2003) and Goldsmith's American trilogy, The Weather (2005), Traffic, (2007) and Sports, (2008). He is the author of a book of essays, Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in a Digital Age (2011). As editor he published I’ll be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews (2004) and is the co-editor of Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing (2011). In 2013, he was appointed the Museum of Modern Art's first Poet Laureate . He resides in New York City with his wife, artist Cheryl Donegan and his two sons.
Goldsmith was born in Freeport, New York. He was trained as a sculptor at the Rhode Island School of Design and graduated with a B.F.A in 1984. Goldsmith worked for many years within the art world as a text-based artist and sculptor before becoming a writer.
Conceptual Poetics and Poetic Practice
Driven by a preoccupation with “Uncreativity as Creative Practice”, Goldsmith is essentially the habitual editor of one large project, contributing to both the study and practice of poetry as a writer, academic and as curator of the prolific archives at UbuWeb. His process, a series of writing and self-induced constraints has produced 600 pages of rhyming r phrases, sorted by syllables and alphabetized (No. 111 2.7.93-10.20.96, 1997); everything he said for a week (Soliloquy, 2001); every move his body made during a thirteen-hour period (Fidget, 1999); a year of transcribed weather reports (The Weather, 2005); and one day, the September 1, 2000 issue of The New York Times, transcribed (Day, 2003). The Goldsmith's practice embraces the performance of the writer as process and plagiarism as content.
Extensive creative and critical responses to his work are archived at Kenneth Goldsmith, Electronic Poetry Center with several being consolidated in Open Letter: Kenneth Goldsmith and Conceptual Poetics (2005). Notable addresses of Goldsmith's poetry include those of the eminent critics Marjorie Perloff, Craig Dworkin, Sianne Ngai and Johanna Drucker and poets Bruce Andrews, Christian Bok, Darren Wershler-Henry, Christine Wertheim and Caroline Bergvall. Poet and Critic Juliana Spahr asserts, "Kenneth Goldsmith is without a doubt the leading conceptual poet of his time". Mexico's leading national newspaper Mileno said, "Joyce hoy, Kenneth Goldsmith es el autor más emblemático de la primera década del siglo XXI."
The first symposium on Conceptual Poetics was held at the Oslo Poetry Festival in November 2007. A larger conference, Conceptual Poetry and its Others, organized by critic Marjorie Perloff was held at the University of Arizona Poetry Center in May 2008.
In 2011, he co-edited with Craig Dworkin "Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing" (Northwestern University Press, Chicago)  and published a book of essays related to notions of conceptual poetics, "Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in a Digital Age" (Columbia University Press, New York). 
As a teacher at University of Pennsylvania, Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing,. Goldsmith’s syllabus includes Uncreative Writing, Interventionist Writing  and Writing Through Art and Culture  in partnership with the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. Class tools are appropriation, theft, stealing, plundering and sampling. Cheating, fraud and identity theft are all encouraged. For Goldsmith the classroom, is a free space into which ethical queries can be conducted in a safe environment. An in-depth article from Penn's Daily Pennsylvanian discusses Goldsmith's pedagogy. In addition, Goldsmith has also run a graduate seminar at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago entitled "Publishing as Project."
Radio, Sound, Live Events and Collaborations
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Goldsmith hosted a weekly show on WFMU, the New Jersey-based freeform radio station, from 1995 until June 2010, using the broadcast name of "Kenny G". The show was an extension of Goldsmith's writing experiments, his pedagogy and UbuWeb. His programs were titled (for various extended periods) "Kenny G's Hour of Pain," "Anal Magic" and "Intelligent Design."
He has also had numerous collaborations with musicians and composers. In 1993, Goldsmith embarked on a collaboration with avant-garde vocalist Joan La Barbara, resulting in a CD and book 73 Poems (Permanent Press / Lovely Music).
In 2005, Goldsmith collaborated with guitarist Alan Licht to stage an evening length performance of The Weather, as well as excerpts from Fidget. Goldsmith has also collaborated with musician David Grubbs with texts from Fidget.
In 2006, was Goldsmith wrote the libretto for and performed in the TRANS-WARHOL, Chamber Opera based on his book I'll Be Your Mirror; The Andy Warhol Interviews , a collaboration with choreographer Nicolas Musin, composer Philippe Schoeller and Ensemble Alternance. The opera premiered at the Bâtiment des forces motrices in Geneva in March 2007.
Goldsmith has written extensively on experimental music A Popular Guide to Unpopular Music and has curated numerous musical events and compact discs. He was a musical curator for the Whitney Museum of American Art's The American Century, Part 2, which included 73 Poems. In 2004, he curated a CD for the Sonic Arts Network in London called The Agents of Impurity. In 2006 he organized a CD for the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston called The Body is a Sound Factory. Also in 2006, he organized an 8 hour-long performance at The Sculpture Center (New York City) of Erik Satie's Vexations "Pianoless Vexations" (UbuWeb) for any instrument other than piano.
In October 2007, a documentary film of Goldsmith's life and practice, Sucking on Words, by filmmaker Simon Morris was screened at Shandy Hall in Coxwold, UK, where Lawrence Sterne wrote Tristram Shandy, and in London. The film was premiered at the Eccles Center at the British Library in London and subsequently screened at the Oslo Poetry Festival in November 2007.
In February 2008, he performed at the Instal 08 festival in Glasgow.
On April 17, 2009 Goldsmith organized an evening of contemporary poetry at The Whitney Museum of American Art in conjunction with the Jenny Holzer Retrospective entitled "Conceptual Writing vs. The Flarf Collective" featuring poets from both camps. Conceptualists included Christian Bök, Kim Rosenfield, Darren Wershler, formerly (Darren Wershler-Henry) and Goldsmith himself. Flarf poets included Gary Sullivan, Nada Gordon, Sharon Mesmer and K. Silem Mohammad.
On May 11, 2011, Goldsmith was featured at President and Mrs. Obama's A Celebration of American Poetry at the White House.  He read works by Walt Whitman and Hart Crane, as well as from his work "Traffic." Others performing at The White House that day included: Billy Collins, Common, Rita Dove, Alison Knowles, Aimee Mann, Jill Scott and Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers. During the afternoon, Goldsmith led a poetry workshop for high school students with Michelle Obama.
Goldsmith was invited to participate in dOCUMENTA(13) in Kassel, Germany, 2012. In 2011, dOCUMENTA published his chapbook, Letter To Bettina Funcke  as part of their 100 Notes - 100 Thoughts series. 
In 2013, he was appointed the Museum of Modern Art's first Poet Laureate . His tenure included a series "Uncontested Spaces: Guerilla Readings" in the MoMA Galleries, where as part of his Poet Laureate program, he invited renowned writers to choose works in MoMA's collection, develop a response, and then select a space in the Museum galleries where they performed the resulting readings and texts. Participants included David Shields, Sheila Heti, Rick Moody, John Zorn, Stefan Sagmeister, Charles Bernstein, Christian Bök, Vanessa Place, Maira Kalman, Heidi Julavits, Alex Ross (music critic), Vito Acconci, and others. Every Friday, from January to July 2013, Goldsmith himself contributed readings in the galleries.
- No. 110 10.4.93-10.7.93 (Artists Museum, Lodz, Poland, 1993)
- 73 Poems(1993), with Joan La Barbara (1994)
- No. 109 2.7.93-12.15.93 (Bravin Post Lee, 1994)
- No. 22.214.171.124-10.20.96(The Figures, 1997)
- Gertrude Stein on Punctuation (Abaton Books, 2000)
- Fidget(Coach House Books, 2000)
- 6799 (zingmagazine, 2000)
- Soliloquy(Granary Books, 2001)
- Head Citations(The Figures, 2002)
- Day (The Figures, 2003)
- The Weather : Winter Spring Summer Fall (Make Now, Los Angeles, 2005)
- Traffic (Make Now, Los Angeles, 2007)
- Sports (Make Now, Los Angeles, 2008)
- Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing (Northwestern University Press, Chicago, 2011)
- Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in a Digital Age (Columbia University Press, New York, 2011)
- Seven American Deaths and Disasters (powerHouse Books, New York, 2013)
- Goldsmith's Author Archive at The Poetry Foundation
- On Conceptual Poetics (The Poetry Foundation)
- Being Boring
- Uncreativity as Creative Practice
- If It Doesn't Exist on the Internet, It Doesn't Exist
- From (Command) Line to (Iconic) Constellation
- Kenneth Goldsmith on Uncreative Writing on NPR, April 1, 2012
- Kenneth Goldsmith reads at President and Mrs. Obama's A Celebration of American Poetry at The White House, May 11, 2011
- Kenneth Goldsmith at The White House Poetry Workshop with Michelle Obama, May 11, 2011
- Jon Stewart on Goldsmith's White House performance, May 11, 2011
- Talk radio host Michael Savage on Goldsmith's White House performance
- Kenneth Goldsmith page at the Academy of American Poets
- Kenneth Goldsmith Entry from the Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poetry
- Kenneth Goldsmith at the Electronic Poetry Center
- "Sucking on Words" (2007) a documentary about Goldsmith by Simon Morris at ubu.com
- Ubu.com: Kenneth Goldsmith
- Kenneth Goldsmith's sound works on PENNsound
- Kenneth Goldsmith, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania
- UPENN Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing
- Video of Goldsmith reading from Weather, Traffic and Sports in Buffalo on April 7, 2008
- Interview in Rain Taxi Review of Books
- Interview for Ràdio Web MACBA (December, 2010) 
- Audio interview on his personal experience as a sound collector (July, 2012) 
- "Proudly Fraudulent: An Interview With MoMA's First Poet Laureate, Kenneth Goldsmith," The Awl, February 6, 2013
- "Plagiarism: Maybe It's Not So Bad," NPR interview, On The Media, March 8, 2013
- "Uncreative Writing: Redefining Language and Authorship in the Digital Age," Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, March, 2013
- Kenneth Goldsmith, Artists Experiment video and profile at The Museum of Modern Art
- "Transforming the Discourse: MoMA Appoints Its First Poet Laureate" The Wall Street Journal, Wednesday, March 20, 2013, Vol. CCLXI No. 65, p. A22