Synopses & Reviews
This generous book-length poem is an investigation of the author's unique personal history as it entwines with his present role as poet, citizen, and "one of the six billion-plus."
The hope of a plurality
of recognition guides
us into, back into, our
common definition of
caring . . .
Anselm Berrigan is the author of Free Cell, Some Notes on My Programming, and Zero Star Hotel, among others. He is the current poetry editor for The Brooklyn Rail and the former director of The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church. He lives in New York.
"Stirring cosmic observations and succinct 'micro-meanings' in the same pot, Berrigan creates a single poem that reads like the manifesto of a poet who would never admit he's writing one. 'I don't think it works,' he says, 'to /plead for a voice out of /the monolith to make /clear what you sense, feel, know to be happening.' If we read this as a statement against finding one's voice in poetry via the Muse, elsewhere Berrigan is even more literal about his aesthetics: 'On the/ question of influence/ I seem to have forgotten/ all the names, places,/ objects, friends, failures,/ experiences that might/ make up the requisite list.' By Berrigan's own admission, then, he is 'influenced by, potentially,/ anything.' This is proven throughout the poem, as the poet welcomes both the mundane and weirdly personal detritus of the age of information into his lines, touching on early termination fees and an anonymous comment he read about his father, poet Ted Berrigan, online. The poem serves as a snapshot of the complexity of day-to-day life, 2011-style. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"A vortex, a nexus, and a weather system all to himself."Small Press Traffic
About the Author
Anselm Berrigan is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Free Cell, published by City Lights Books in 2009. Other books include Some Notes on My Programming (Edge, 2006) and Zero Star Hotel (Edge, 2002). He is the current poetry editor for The Brooklyn Rail, and co-editor with Alice Notley and Edmund Berrigan of The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan (U. California, 2005) and the forthcoming Selected Poems of Ted Berrigan (U. California, 2011). A member of the subpress publishing collective, he has published Selected Poems of Steve Carey (2009) and Your Ancient See Through by Hoa Nguyen (2002). From 2003-2007 he was Artistic Director of The Poetry Project at St. Marks Church, where he also hosted the Wednesday Night Reading Series for four years. He is Co-Chair, Writing at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, and also currently teaches writing at Pratt Institute and Brooklyn College. He was a New York State Foundation for the Arts fellow in Poetry, 2007, and has received two grants from the Fund for Poetry. He lives in New York City, where he grew up, with his wife, the poet Karen Weiser, and their daughter Sylvie.