Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Bernadette Mayer (1945–2022)

The poet Bernadette Mayer has died at the age of seventy-seven. Artforum has an obituary.

From “‘well when you begin a poem,’” in Another Smashed Pinecone (United Artists Books, 1998):

& honestly I’ve been nowhere
but here
in the space of many colors
looking for a place
ideally and in no wise
for impossible travels and knowledge
to be enjoyed and gained
in this my age
I’m embarrassed to be in
And from “Experiments,” a collaboration by Mayer and members of the St. Mark’s Church Poetry Project Writing Workshop, 1971–1975, in In the American Tree, ed. Ron Silliman (Orono, ME: National Poetry Foundation, 1986):
Work your ass off to change the language & dont ever get famous.

December 5: The New York Times has an obituary.

Related reading
Bernadette Mayer’s website : Several early publications in facsimile

[The sentence from “Experiments” may not be by Mayer.]

comments: 3

Fresca said...

"don't ever get famous" reminds me of "to be small and to stay small", which I heard of from you too.

Michael Leddy said...

Yes! I know it’s Robert Walser, but I had to find it: it’s in this post.

Fresca said...

'I’m trying to compose in an area I can defend’
Oh, that's good.