Poetry Open Mic on Wednesday, May 2 at Caffe Lena (47 Phila St, Saratoga Springs) with featured poet Bernadette Mayer. Sign up at 7pm, reading starts 7:30. Admission for this event is $2.00. This open mic is hosted by local poet Carol Graser.
Bernadette Mayer’s poetry has been praised by John Ashbery as “magnificent.” Michael Lally called her, “One of the most original writers of her generation.” Throughout the 1980s, she was the Director of the Poetry Project in New York City and she has taught there and at the New School. She is the author of numerous books including, The Bernadette Mayer Reader, New Directions Books. Last year, Tuumba Press published her interviews with Bill Berkson, What’s Your Idea of a Good Time? And recently the journal 0 to 9 she edited with Conceptual artist Vito Acconci in the late 60s was made available in one collected volume by Ugly Duckling Press.
Mayer’s position at The Poetry Project made her a central figure in the community of artists and writers gathered at that time in New York City’s Lower East Side, and many of her students from this period — Lee Ann Brown and Lisa Jarnot among them — have gone on to become writers themselves.
As a writer, Mayer is most often associated with the New York School, a rubric which refers to composers, painters, visual artists, conceptual artists, and choreographers in addition to writers. Mayer’s use of compositional methods such as chance-operation, collage, and cut-up identify her as an artist pursuing concerns similar to those of John Cage, Jackson Mac Low or Frank O’Hara — central figures in the New York School — as well as more contemporary figures associated with L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E writing. But Mayer’s work is also significantly influenced by modernist figures such as James Joyce and Gertrude Stein, as well as by her background in classical studies, evident in her syllabi, reading lists and in her informal translations of Catallus.
This program is funded in part by the Decentralization Program, a regrant programof the New York State Council on the Arts, administered by the Saratoga County Arts Council.
For more information contact Caffe Lena at www.caffelena.org or 518-583-0022