Bergvall, Caroline 1962-

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Bergvall, Caroline 1962-


Born 1962, in Hamburg, Germany. Education: University of Paris, L.L., 1984; University of Warwick, M.Phil., 1993; Dartington College of Arts, Ph.D.


Office—Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College, P.O. Box 500, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000. E-mail—[email protected].


Writer, poet, journalist, professor. Dartington College of Arts, Tontes, England, lecturer and director of performance writing, 1995-2000, associate research fellow in performance writing, 2000-2005, research fellow 2005—; Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, cochair in writing department. Writer, journalist, and performance artist in Norway and England, 1993—; guest tutor, Cardiff Institute of Fine Arts, 1991-1993; guest lecturer, Jesus College, Cambridge, 1997; poet-in-residence, University of New Hampshire, 1997; visiting professor, Temple University, 2005.



An Oblique View of a Room in Movement, Monolith (Oslo, Norway), 1989.

Strange Passage: A Choral Poem, Equipage (Cambridge, England), 1994.

A Queer Dresser (Tale for the Dashing), Diva 3 (London, England), 1994.

Éclat—Sites 1-10, Sound & Language (Lowestoft, England), 1996.

Goan Atom 1: Doll, Krupskaya (San Francisco, CA), 2001.

GONG, [Belladonna, NY], 2004.

8 Figs, Equipage (Cambridge, England), 2004.

Fig (Goan Atom 2), Salt Books (Cambridge, England), 2005.


(Translator) Nicole Brossard, Typhon Dru, Small Press Distribution (Berkeley, CA), 1997.

Processing Writing: From Text to Textual Interventions (thesis), University of Plymouth (Plymouth, England), 2000.

(Editor, with Ric Allsopp) Translations, Gefn Press (London, England), 2000.

Flesh a coeur, Gefn Press (London, England), 2000.

Via: Poems 1994-2004 (compact disc), Rockdrill 8 (London, England), 2005.

Work has appeared in the Oxford Anthology of Modern British and Irish Poetry, edited by Keith Tuma, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2001; Translating Nations (The Dolphin, 30), edited by Prem Poddar, Aarhus University Press (Aarhus, Denmark), 2000; and the Alterran Poetry Assemblage; contributor to the play Tenderenda by Karinne Keithley, performed in New York, 2005. Contributor to periodicals, including Critical Quarterly, Performance Research, and PAJ.


Caroline Bergvall is a London-based multilingual poet who was raised in France and Norway. Her spoken-word performances are frequently collaborations with other artists and media and have proved influential on the international stage. Many of her works have been published in book format, even though they usually concern the physical relationship between the body and the word. The result, according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer, is that "anyone who has seen Bergvall perform … will know the book is only half the story." One of her most notable collections, Goan Atom 1: Doll, "builds and demolishes a set of phonetic analogies between words and bodies," the Publishers Weekly reviewer summarized.

In reviewing the collection Fig (Goan Atom 2), comprised of works that all began as installations, a Publishers Weekly writer compared Bergvall's wordplay to that of James Joyce's Finnegans Wake, in that it requires readers to solve the puzzles created by the words in order to decipher their meaning.

As a professor, performer, writer, and mentor, Bergvall has been prolific, teaching at various universities and collaborating on a multitude of projects both in the United States and abroad.



Contemporary Women Poets, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1998.


New York Times, January 14, 2005, "Through a Dada Forest, Simply," p. 2.

Publishers Weekly, August 6, 2001, review of Goan Atom 1: Doll, p. 87; January 23, 2006, review of Fig (Goan Atom 2), p. 189.


Caroline Bergvall Home Page, (May 4, 2007).

Jacket, (May 31, 2007), Piers Hugill, review of Fig (Goan Atom 2) and Via: Poems 1994-2004.

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Bergvall, Caroline 1962-

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