Poetry News

A Call to Help Bernadette Mayer Stay Warm This Winter

By Harriet Staff


Many of you seriously read, listen to, and teach the poetry of the amazing Bernadette Mayer. Now we can send her a little payback (the good kind!). Brenda Coultas, Andrei Codrescu, Dave Brinks, Alan Casline, and Edie Abrams, acting with the Committee on Poetry (founded by Allen Ginsberg), have developed "The Friends of Bernadette Mayer Fund," which will help Bernadette with some essential costs of living in these tough times. "Your support will help Bernadette stay warm this winter and complete her next literary work. All gifts will be applied to necessities like oil, firewood, food, and transportation." Here are more details on the fund, directly from Casline:

A few of us who are friends of Bernadette Mayer have organized a fund raising appeal that we hope to run on an annual basis. It is designed to add to the coffers of a low budget lifestyle that she and partner Phillip Good maintain while living at an old drafty house in Rensselaer County, New York State. Many of us have visited their place and enjoyed their generous hospitality and for a few years Bernadette has been holding an affordable poetry workshop for interested poets there as well.

The good folks at Committee on Poetry are administering the fund. To my mind the fund is a way to tip the balance a little bit so that Bernadette can enjoy life with some of her monetary stress lessened. A gift of fresh fruit instead of canned beans fund so to speak. This appeal, as it says, hopes to reach the friends of Bernadette who might want to contribute a few dollars. There are many worthy causes as we all know so no one should feel obligated to contribute to this one.

It is philosophical for me that I want to support Bernadette Mayer's work which I see as a direct support of the cultural arts and a boost to a local luminary who has lived for her art to a greater extent than most of us.

Best, Alan Casline
Rootdrinker Institute

If you'd like to help, you can send a check to:

Committee on Poetry
P.O. Box 582
Stuyvesant Station, New York, NY 10009-0582

All donations are tax-deductible. Checks should be written out to Committee on Poetry, with Friends of Bernadette Mayer Fund written on the memo.

You'll want to provide your mailing address to receive a letter to include in your tax return for deductions.

For now, it seems snail mail is the best way to send a contribution, but we'll be sure to keep you posted should an online donation be possible. Let's do this!

Originally Published: January 8th, 2013