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Readings in Contemporary Poetry

Jen Bervin and Bernadette Mayer

Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 6:30 pm, Dia Chelsea

Event Details
Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 6:30 pm

535 West 22nd Street, 5th Floor
New York City 

Readings in Contemporary Poetry curator, Vincent Katz provided an introduction for the evening's reading.

Free for Dia members; $10 general admission; $6 admission for students and seniors 

Advance tickets are no longer available. Walk up tickets will be sold based on availability.

Jen Bervin is a visual artist and poet whose research-driven interdisciplinary works weave together art, scholarship, text, textiles, science, and life. She has published ten books including The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson’s Envelope Poems (2013) with Marta Werner and Silk Poems (2017), a poem written nanoscale in the form of a silk biosensor with Tufts University’s silk lab. Bervin is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities residency at Northwestern University, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation residency, an Asian Cultural Council fellowship, and a Creative Capital grant. Her work has been exhibited at venues such as the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, Power Plant in Toronto, and the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum in East Lansing, Michigan, and can also be found in more than thirty international collections.

from Silk Poems, Research Sampler 

A “book” of silk is a measure forty feet long, annotated
on the selvage of ancient cloth. Other measures
of silk include ells and aunes, mommies and

The earliest human function of silk fabrics was wrapping
children’s bodies in the tomb. Inventory: a bundle
of bright silk yarn thirty feet long in her hand.
A billion-foot-long silk yarn for climbing to heaven.

Bernadette Mayer is the author of over twenty-seven collections of poetry including most recently Works and Days (2016), Eating the Colors of a Lineup of Words: The Early Books of Bernadette Mayer (2015), and The Helens of Troy (2013), as well as countless chapbooks and artist books. She has received grants from Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Guggenheim Foundation, and National Endowment for the Arts. She is also the recipient of a 2014 Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. From 1980 to 1984, she served as the director of the St. Mark’s Poetry Project, and has also edited and founded 0 to 9 journal and United Artists books and magazines. She has taught at the New School in New York City, Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, Long Island University, College of Saint Rose in Albany, and Miami University.

Living in Tents of Farinaceous Grain

This year I’ve pitched a polenta tent
the tentpoles reinforced artichoke spaghetti
I eat oatmeal, then run barefoot
down to the widened kinderhook to see
if the blue heron will answer my whistle

It’s raining so hard my poncho
doesn’t protect me adequately so like a whizkid
I visualize, then drink the iced-coffee creek
Where, in the wink of an eye, I drown

Rising from the dead I join
everyone else who did that & we sing
              dear fucking sun I aim
              to shine / on all sentient beings                       like you
except those who own private property,  amen




Photo: Don Stahl

Readings in Contemporary Poetry: An Anthology

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