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Bernadette Mayer Early Books Needs Your Support

By Harriet Staff

Bernadette Mayer

Station Hill! Station Hill! Thank you for getting the wheels turning to publish Eating the Colors of a Lineup of Words: The Early Books of Bernadette Mayer. We’ve been rummaging through Eclipse for years looking for some of Mayer’s early books, and now we’re thrilled to see Station Hill is taking the initiative to collect her early writing into an omnibus publication. But Station Hill can’t do this alone—they’re calling on the die-hard Mayer fans to lend a helping hand. What’s it about? This:

Bernadette Mayer’s revolutionary first books are long out of print, available in the caches of the secondary market at high costs, by loan or via single-page facsimiles online at Eclipse. While these early books have played an oceanic role in the formation of generations of poets, they are difficult to secure, meaning that opportunities to read, let along examine comprehensively, these books prove challenging at best, largely reducing their operative life to rumor and/or partial engagement, such as may be derived from New Directions’ Bernadette Mayer Reader. This has left a woeful gap in the continuum of American experimental poetry, which Station Hill proposes to bridge.

Eating the Colors of a Lineup of Words: The Early Books of Bernadette Mayer will include (listed below by order of publication date):

Story (1968)
Moving (1971)
Ceremony Latin (1964) (1975)
Poetry (1976)
Eruditio Ex Memoria (1977)
The Golden Book of Words (1978)
Red Book in Three Parts (2002)

& (BONUS!)

“The Old Style is Finding Out Something About a Whole New Set of Possibilities,” an unpublished collection roughly coincident with Story and partially published in Poetry.

[You may note two books are missing: Memory (1976), which is forthcoming with Black Widow Press; and Studying Hunger (1975), which was largely superseded by Station Hill's own 2011 publication of the totality of that work in Studying Hunger Journals.]

Eating the Colors… will be a landmark publication, and one we hope may act like a lightning rod, bringing focus to the energy that’s swirled for decades around Mayer’s early works. In this, we hope to organize not just a new vista of reading excitation but also a place of instigation for the current generation and those to come to engage, get the juice and, by the grace of Mayer’s preternaturally realized first poetic forays, carve fresh arcs of devotion to the Sphere of Atmos.

How thrilling! Go to their Indiegogo site and let’s make this happen folks!

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Posted in Poetry News on Friday, January 17th, 2014 by Harriet Staff.