2011, 74 pages
Artwork by Richard Tuttle
Book design by Robert Rossenwasser
Special Edition, numbered and signed by the artists, with a stipple varnish on litho-printed Arches 88 paper, $200. Please inquire by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this extraordinary collection of poems by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, writing reflects human presence in the phenomenal world. Physical sensations of experience—a horizon, moisture, a child, a piece of quartz, a loss—become objects of focus and poetic elements. Her written lines, like strings of protein, both create and destroy bonds. Reading affords moments of exquisite vulnerability in which the perceived world is suddenly exposed to the quick. The pace of everyday life slips into that of a waking dream.
Mei-mei Berssenbrugge was born in Beijing and grew up in Masschusetts. She received degrees in poetry from Reed College and Columbia University School of the Arts and taught poetry at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her books include Empathy from Station Hill Press and five books from Kelsey Street Press: Sphericity, Four Year Old Girl, and NEST with covers and design by her husband Richard Tuttle, and Endocrinology and Concordance, collaborations with the artist Kiki Smith. Among her awards are two National Endowment Fellowships, two Before Columbus National Book Awards and two Asian American Writers' Workshop Book Awards. I Love Artists: New and Selected Poems was released from the University of California Press in 2006. Her collaborations include Hiddenness with Richard Tuttle publised by the Whitney Museum Library Fellows in 1997 and The Lit Cloud with Kiki Smith from Lelong Gallery in 2012. Hello, the Roses was published by New Directions in 2013. In 2021 Berssenbrugge was named the winner of Yale's 2021 Bollingen Prize for American poetry. The prize is awarded biennially to an American poet for the best book of poetry in the previous two years or for lifetime achievement. For Berssenbrugge the award recognized her work A Treatise of Stars (New Directions, 2020) and lifetime achievement. Berssenbrugge lives in norther New Mexico and New York City.