Mei-mei Berssenbrugge

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge and Charles Bernstein: Charles Alexander introduction

Charles Alexander, introduction of POG reading, Oct. 10, 2020

Tonight we have the pleasure of premiering a video featuring the poets Mei-mei Berssenbrugge and Charles Bernstein.

The republic of space (PoemTalk #140)

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Kristin Prevallet, Simone White, and Mei-mei Berssenbrugge joined Al Filreis to talk about Barbara Guest’s poem “The Blue Stairs,” title poem of the book published in 1968. It can be found on pages 61–63 of the Collected Poems, edited by Hadley Guest and published by Wesleyan in 2008, fifty years later. PennSound’s Barbara Guest page is, we think, a thing of beauty, featuring more than a dozen readings across decades, each reading-length recording organized into poem-by-poem segments. The Guest author page includes three different performances of “The Blue Stairs,” the first given at the Library of Congress in June of 1969 (just months after the poem first appeared); the second a studio recording made in 1984; the third in 1996. During this episode we used the 1969 recording as the basis of our discussion.

Lineated time

Two problems, first of beginning, then of cohering, beset me as I worried the topic of this talk. Beginning and cohering, obviously, elementary features of typical expository forms, but problematic, more so for a topic that one finds, at the same time, fundamental and elusive, elusive because fundamental, in one’s own practice of reading and writing.

But here are three thoughts to possibly begin with:

Horizon

in the hug of a wave horizon rolled youngly from nothing.
Susan Howe, “Chanting at the Crystal Sea” [1]  

Slowing the rate of perception (PoemTalk #134)

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Al Filreis was joined for this episode of PoemTalk by Evelyn Reilly, Joshua Schuster, and James Sherry to discuss the title poem of Mei-mei Berssenbrugge’s book Hello, the Roses (New Directions, 2013; 58–62). Berssenbrugge’s PennSound page includes two recordings of her performance of this poem. The recording we played before our discussion is from a reading given at Dominique Levy Gallery in New York in March of 2016.

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge: recordings of poems from 'Four Year Old Girl'

From Mei-mei Berssenbrugge’s PennSound page, here are audio recordings (from various readings over the years) of poems published in the book Four Year Old Girl:

Irises: MP3
Daughter: MP3 in three parts: 1 | 2 | 3
Health: MP3
Pollen: MP3
Kali: MP3 (part 3 only)

All origin stories are Newtonian, part 1 of 2

One of my first encounters with poetry that overtly addressed theoretical physics and cosmology was Frederick Seidel’s book, The Cosmos Poems (FSG, 2000), which I read, without any knowledge about the author, as soon as it was published. This would have been a year after I graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, when I was teaching innumerable sections of freshman composition and a literature course in fiction. In my copy of The Cosmos Poems, the corner of the page with the poem, “Who the Universe Is,” is turned down, and I drew a small star. Or is that an x?

Berssenbrugge & Bernstein book party in New York


You are invited to join us on
Saturday June 8th from 4pm to 6pm

to celebrate the publication of two new books by

 Charles Bernstein  & Mei-mei Berssenbrugge

Richard Tuttle and Mei-Mei Berssenbruge

Ricard TuttleMei-mei Berssenbrugge
Tuttle gave a very rare poetry reading with Berssenbrugge at the Sue Scott Gallery in New York,

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