The Gorgeous Nothings: Jen Bervin and Marta Werner on Emily Dickinson’s Envelope Poems
Thursday, Nov 14, 7:00PM
Poetry Foundation, 61 West Superior Street
Jen Bervin and Marta Werner, editors of The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems (Christine Burgin/New Directions 2013), will present text and images from their new book. A quiet masterpiece—equal parts artist book, portfolio, and act of archival scholarship—this new trade publication features Emily Dickinson’s complete envelope writings in facsimile from her visually stunning manuscripts. The book presents 52 envelope-poems reproduced in their original size in full color with the editors' accompanying transcription. Attendees will learn more about this little-known but important body of Dickinson’s writing. A multimedia presentation will be followed by a Q&A session. Related material will be on display in the Poetry Foundation gallery exhibition: Forever — is composed of Nows — : Artworks Inspired by Emily Dickinson, including a replica of Dickinson’s only extant white house dress (on loan from the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, MA).
Jen Bervin brings together text and textile in a practice that encompasses poetry, archival research, artist books and large-scale art works. Her work has been shown at the Walker Art Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, the Broad Art Museum, and is part of more than 30 collections. She is the author of The Dickinson Composites, The Desert, The Silver Book, A Non- Breaking Space and Nets. Bervin has received fellowships in art and writing from Creative Capital, The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, The New York Foundation for the Arts, The MacDowell Colony and The Camargo Foundation in France. Bervin will be a Fitt Artist in Residence at Brown University in 2014. She lives and works in Brooklyn.
Marta Werner is professor of English at D’Youville College (Buffalo, NY), where she teaches American literature, poetry and poetics, critical theory and writing. She is the author/editor of Emily Dickinson’s Open Folios: Scenes of Reading, Surfaces of Writing, Radical Scatters: An Electronic Archive of Emily Dickinson’s Late Fragments and Related Texts, Ordinary Mysteries: The Common Journal of Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne and Hannah Weiner: The Book of Revelations. Werner has been awarded both the Bowers Prize and the JoAnn Boydson Prize for her work as a textual scholar. She has also served as a member and co-chair for the MLA’s Committee on Scholarly Editions, and as an executive board member for the Society for Textual Scholarship. Recently, Werner accepted an appointment to the advisory board for the Houghton Library’s “digital Dickinson.” She is currently working on a project that concerns connections among Dickinson’s “bird” poems, Cordelia Stanwood’s field notebooks and Lorine Niedecker’s eco-poetics.