Porter, Bernard (1911 - 2004)

Genre: Illustrator, Non-Fiction, Poetry

Bern Porter was born in Maine and graduated from Colby College in 1932. He went on to get an M.S. from Brown University and worked as a physicist on cathrode ray tube technology before WWII; when the war came, Bern was drafted for uranium separation work on the Manhattan Project, a job he quit after the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in Aug. 1945.

From 1944-1948 he and George Leite published the literary magazine Circle 10; Porter also published Henry Miller's anti-war tract, Murder the Murderers, the first U.S. publisher of Miller. He actively promoted and published other writers under Bern Porter Books publishing company, at the same time developing his own art, including poetry, found poetry (founds), sound poetry, performance art, experimental essays, surrealistic photographs, collages, mail art, architectural sketches, and found sculpture. Porter has also worked again as a physicist, on NASA's Saturn V manned space project, all the while working on an integration of science and art, formally developed in his Sciart Mainfesto (1950).

He's also the founder of the Institute for Advanced Thinking, a network of non-academic scholars in various arts.

Selected Bibliography

  • Being a Map of Physics... (designed by Porter, 1939),
  • Water-Fight (1941)
  • Henry Miller Miscellanea (1945)
  • Formula (1947)
  • Drawings, 1955-1956 (1957)
  • Physics for Tomorrow in Architecture, In Art, In Communication, In Literature, In Music, In Poetry (1959)
  • I've Left: A Manifesto and a Testament of SCIence and ART (SCIART) (1963)
  • What Henry Miller Said and Why It Is Important (1964)
  • Art Productions, 1928-1965 (1965)
  • The First Publications of F. Scott Fitzgerald (1965)
  • Mathematics for Electronics: A Self-Instructional Programmed Manual (1965)
  • H.L. Mencken: A Bibliography (1965)
  • Where to Go, What to Do, When in New York, Week of June 17, 1972 (1972)
  • Found Poems (1972)
  • Waste-Maker, 1926-1961 (1972)
  • The Manhattan Telephone Book 1972 (1975)
  • Run-On (1975)
  • Selected Sounds (1975)
  • Gee-Whizzels (1976)
  • The Book of Do's (1982)
  • Here Comes Everybody's Don't Book (1984)
  • Horizontal Hold (1985)
  • My My Dear Me (1985)
  • Sweet End (1989)
  • Less Than Overweight (1992)
  • Sounds That Arouse Me: Selected Writings (1993)
  • Questions About Henry Miller That No One Ever Asked Me -- With Answers (1995)
  • Symbols (1995)
  • These 50 Years Gone (1995)
  • Night Thoughts on Henry Miller, Ben Abramson and Claude Houghton... (1996)
  • A Sex Oriented, Woman Connected Guy Doing His Own Thing: Bern Porter on Henry Miller, A Manuscript (1996)

Illustrations and Photos

  • Poems Pennyeach (illustrations/ 1927; James Joyce)
  • The American Fantasies: Original End Papers and Page Illustrations (1959; for James Schevill's poems)
  • Die Fabelhafte Geträume Von Taifun Willi (decor/ 1970; by Dick Higgins)
  • Judgement [i.e. To Have Done With the Judgements [sic] of God]: A Radio Script (pen drawings/ 1971; by Antoine Artaud)
  • City with All the Angles: A Radio Play (photos/ 1974; by Dick Higgins).

Selected Resources

  • Bern! Porter! Interview! by Margaret Dunbar. Dog-Ear Press (1983)
  • Where to Go, What to Do, When You are Bern Porter by James Schevill. Tilbury House (1992)