by Bernadette Mayer

The Letters of Rosemary & Bernadette Mayer, 1976-1980
Rosemary & Bernadette Mayer
Swiss Institute - 25.00€ -

This collection of the correspondence between artist Rosemary Mayer (1943-2014) and poet Bernadette Mayer (born 1945) occurs between the years of 1976 and 1980, a period of rich creativity in New York's artistic avant-garde, and one which includes the development of major bodies of work by the two women.

Rosemary Mayer was creating sculptures, watercolors, books and temporary monuments from weather balloons and snow, while Bernadette Mayer was working on some of her best-known publications, including the book-length poem Midwinter Day and the poetry collection The Golden Book of Words.

Spanning the worlds of Conceptual art, Postminimalism, feminism, the New York School, Language poetry and more, these letters elucidate the bonds of sisterhood through intimate exchanges about art, relationships and everyday life.

Midwinter Day
Bernadette Mayer
New Directions Publishing - 16.00€ -  out of stock

Midwinter Day, as Alice Notley noted, is an epic poem about a daily routine. A poem in six parts, Midwinter Day takes us from awakening and emerging from dreams through the whole day-morning, afternoon, evening, night-to dreams again:...

a plain introduction to modes of love and reason/ Then to end I guess with love, a method to this winter season/ Now I've said this love it's all I can remember/ Of Midwinter Day the twenty-second of December// Welcome sun, at last with thy softer light/ That takes the bite from winter weather/ And weaves the random cloth of life together/ And drives away the long black night!

The Cave
Bernadette Mayer, Clark Coolidge
Adventures In Poetry - 16.00€ -  out of stock

The Cave is a collaboration of prose, poetry, dialogue, and song alternately written by Clark Coolidge and Bernadette Mayer in their early thirties. Assembled between 1972 and 1978, The Cave explores the philosophy of Wittgenstein, the nature of language, and the connections between the present and past. It constantly challenges the reader to question reality, time, and the poets themselves. The work ranges from complex and imagistic rambles through imaginary landscapes to terse, clear accounts of exploring Eldon's Cave in western Massachusetts, the setting of several of Coolidge's poems. Like a mystery novel, The Cave draws the reader in with hints that all the strands weave together into a coherent picture.

Clark Coolidge and Bernadette Mayer have been writing for over fifty years, and they have both had an unquantifiable impact on the direction of experimental poetry. In the words of Marcella Durand, who provides an introduction to The Cave, "Coolidge and Mayer evidently shared a common mission in their writings to encompass consciousness, language, and the intricacy of physical/scientific/geologic structures, and to cross whatever fake borders had been set up between genres, materials, or even words themselves."

Piece of Cake
Bernadette Mayer
Station Hill Press - 21.00€ -  out of stock

Bernadette Mayer and Lewis Warsh wrote Piece of Cake as a work of collaborative prose poetry, based on a process of each writing on alternate days in the course of August of 1976-the bicentennial year of the America's Declaration of Independence. It recounts the quotidian details of daily activities, negotiating the exigencies of young, married-with-children life, the artistic path and citizenship. It has the classic "I did this, I did that" of a New York School of Poetry text, as characterized by the poetry of Frank O'Hara, and is somewhat reminiscent of Mayer's work Studying Hunger Journal, written not long before taking up Piece of Cake. Another distinguishing feature of this work is that it is arguably the first significant male-female collaboration in 20th century American poetry. Regarding the possible derivation of the work's title, and exemplary of the work's tenor, is the start of Warsh's entry of August 29: "I also recall getting up and eating a piece of left-over cake (a very sweet store-bought cake with green or possibly pinkish icing) and drinking a glass of milk at the kitchen window. Empty streets, no moon. Michael and Twinkie asleep on the floor of Bernadette's room, Guy and Karen in mine, Bill on the couch in the living room. Marie in her crib. Everyone 'dead to the world,' a phrase I dislike, what a full house.

Bernadette Mayer was born in Brooklyn, New York, and received her B.A. from the New School for Social Research in 1967. She is the author of more than two dozen volumes of poetry. From 1972 to 1974, Mayer and conceptual artist Vito Acconci edited the journal 0 TO 9, and in 1977 she established United Artists Press with the poet Lewis Warsh. She has taught writing workshops at The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church in New York City for many years, and she served as the Poetry Project's director.

Lewis Warsh is the author of over thirty volumes of poetry, fiction and autobiography, including Out of the Question: Selected Poems (Station Hill, 2017), Alien Abduction (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2015), One Foot Out the Door: Collected Stories (Spuyten Duyvil, 2014), A Place in the Sun (Spuyten Duyvil, 2010) and Inseparable (Granary Books, 2008). He was co-founder, with Bernadette Mayer, of United Artists Magazine and Books, and co-editor, with Anne Waldman, of The Angel Hair Anthology (Granary Books, 2001).

Published January 2020. 

A Bernadette Mayer Reader
Bernadette Mayer
New Directions Publishing - 15.00€ -  out of stock

A Bernadette Mayer Reader collects texts that were originally published in small press books and chapbooks, magazines, and anthologies. The book holds poetry and prose from Mayer’s earliest works to then-contemporary publications. From Story (1968), to excerpts from Desires of Mothers and Midwinter Day (1982), and including a cache of new poems, this is a sprawling, surprising collection of Mayer at her best.

The reader was met with praise from peers and critics alike. In the words of Jackson Mac Low, "[Mayer] never gets stuck in one place - she changes as the spirit moves her- and her structural inventions and self-revelations provoke surprise and delight." 

Of the publication, Fanny Howe writes, "America could prove that her conscience, heart, and intelligence are still operating with this one volume of poetry." 

Bernadette Mayer was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1945. A most prolific poet, her first book was published at the age of twenty-three. Many texts later she continues to write progressive poetry from her home in East Nassau, New York. For many years Mayer lived and worked on the Lower East Side of Manhattan where she was the Director of St. Mark's Poetry Project from 1980-1984. Bernadette Mayer has received grants and awards from PEN American Center, The Foundation for Contemporary Performance Art, the NEA, The Academy of American Poets, and The American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Published 1992

Utopia
Bernadette Mayer
future - 15.00€ -  out of stock

A collection of texts defining utopia as a place existing only within the domain of language, Utopia gives a synthesis of historical utopias and a snapshot of the 1970-1980's poetic scene.

An avant-garde writer associated with the New York School of poets, Bernadette Mayer was born in 1945 in Brooklyn, New York, where she lives and works. From 1967 to 1969, she published the experimental newspaper 0 to 9 with artist Vito Acconci, which combined texts and works of writers and conceptual artists based on the use of language (Ted Berrigan, Clark Coolidge, Hannah Weiner, Aram Saroyan, Robert Smithson, Dan Graham, Morton Feldman or Sol LeWitt).

In 1967—along with Lewis Warsh—she founded the publishing house United Artists Books which published a number of influential writers such as Robert Creeley, Anne Waldman, Hannah Weiner, James Schuyler, Ted Berrigan and Alice Notley as well as Mayer's own books like 1978's The Golden books of Words or 1984's Utopia. Known for her innovative use of language, Mayer rose to prominence with the exhibition “Memory,” which combined photography and narration. During July 1971 Mayer took daily photographs and recorded her thoughts. These materials formed the basis for the exhibition, and for the eponymous book published in 1975. In 1980, Mayer became director of the Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church in New York where she also ran literary workshops. She also initiated the Poetry Project's Reading Series.
Mayer's composition methods such as chance operation, collage and cut-up identifies her as being close to the likes of John Cage, Jackson Mac Low or Frank O'Hara—central figures of the New York School—as well as more contemporary figures associated with the magazine L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E. Mayer's work is also influenced by modernist figures such as James Joyce, Gertrude Stein and the Dadaists or classical authors (Catullus).

French Edition.
Published in June 2016.

Memory
Bernadette Mayer
Siglio Press - 42.00€ -  out of stock

In July 1971, Bernadette Mayer embarked on an experiment: for one month she shot a roll of 35mm film each day and kept a journal. The result was a conceptual work that investigates the nature of memory, its surfaces, textures and material. Memory is both monumental in scope (over 1,100 photographs, two hundred pages of text and six hours of audio recording) and a groundbreaking work by a poet who is widely regarded as one of the most innovative experimental writers of her generation. Presaging Mayer's durational, constraint-based diaristic works of poetry, it also evinces her extraordinary --and often unheralded-- contribution to conceptual art.

Mayer has called Memory "an emotional science project," but it is far from confessional. This boldly experimental record follows the poet's eye as she traverses early morning into night, as quotidian minutiae metamorphose into the lyrical, as her stream of consciousness becomes incantatory. In text and image, Mayer constructs the mercurial consciousness of the present moment from which memory is --as she says-- "always there, to be entered, like the world of dreams or an ongoing TV show."

This publication brings together the full sequence of images and text for the first time in book form, making space for a work that has been legendary but mostly invisible. Originally exhibited in 1972 by pioneering gallerist Holly Solomon, it was not shown again in its entirety until 2016 at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago and then again in 2017 in New York City at the CANADA Gallery. The text was published without the photographs in 1975 by North Atlantic Books in an edition that has long been out of print.

Bernadette Mayer (born 1945) is the author of over 30 books, including the acclaimed Midwinter Day (1982), a book-length poem written during a single day in Lenox, Massachusetts, The Desires of Mothers to Please Others in Letters (1994) and Work and Days (2016), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Associated with the New York School as well as the Language poets, Mayer has also been an influential teacher and editor. In the art world, she is best known for her collaboration with Vito Acconci as editors of the influential mimeographed magazine 0 TO 9.

The Desires of Mothers to Please Other in Letters
Bernadette Mayer
Nightboat Books - 18.00€ -  out of stock

A reissue of Bernadette Mayer's classic fugitive intergenre text. Endlessly inclusive, The Desires of Mothers to Please Others in Letters, first published in 1994 and long out of print, evokes the complexity of real persons as it simultaneously reinvents multiple genres: epistle, prose poem, and memoir.

Written between 1979 and 1980 while pregnant with her third child, Mayer extends her imaginative letters into meditations for us all on life as it is lived in real time, with its responsibilities and manifold desires. Fierce, lyrical, intimate, and wise, both new and familiar readers, both mothers and non–mothers, will find this book beckoning again and again to offer delicious writing, timely information, consolation, and advice.

With Introduction by Laynie Browne. 

The Helens of Troy, New York
Bernadette Mayer
New Directions Publishing - 12.00€ -  out of stock

Profiles of all the women named Helen in Troy, NY, with poems and images, mixing the classical with the ordinary and delightful intelligence with irreverence. 

'everybody died there’s nothing more to say my hair’s braided like a family i took off, it was fun, i loved it if you did something wrong, they punished you one helen is enough, trust me'

cart (0)