Mei Mei Berssenbrugge

Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge was born in Beijing of Chinese and Dutch-American parents and grew up in the United States. Once an associate of Georgia O’Keefe, she is active in both Native and Asian American cultural movements from her home in Providence. Her previous books include Hiddenness (Whitney Museum), The Heat Bird (Burning Deck Press), Random Possession (Ishmael Reed Books), Summits Move with the Tide (Greenfield Review Press), and Fish Souls (Greenwood Press), among otherz.

Her work is known for its exploration of the complexities of cultural and political identity, an interest informed by her own experience of cultural and linguistic displacement. She was educated at Barnard, Reed, and Columbia University. After receiving her M.F.A. from Columbia in 1974, she settled in rural northern New Mexico which has remained her primary residence since then.

After receiving her degree, Berssenbrugge became active in the multi-cultural poetry movement of the 1970s along with her good friend Leslie Marmon Silko as well as Ishmael Reed, theater director Frank Chin, and political activist Kathleen Chang. Berssenbrugge taught at the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, where she co-founded the internal literary journal Tyuonyi. Traveling frequently to New York City, Berssenbrugge became engaged in the rich cultural flourishing of the abstract art movement, and was influenced by New York School poets John Ashbery and James Sherry, and then the Language poets, including Barbara Guest, Anne Waldman, Charles Bernstein, as well as artist Susan Bee.

She is married to the painter Richard Tuttle, with whom she has frequently collaborated.

 

Empathy

Mei Mei Berssenbrugge

What can one person know of another? These poems act as energy fields of images from science, philosophy, and romantic love. They evoke the spaces of the New Mexican desert, the Alaskan tundra, her Chinese home, and the interior self in relationships, as the poet makes empathy...

Additional DescriptionMore Details

Mei Mei Berssenbrugge

What can one person know of another? These poems act as energy fields of images from science, philosophy, and romantic love. They evoke the spaces of the New Mexican desert, the Alaskan tundra, her Chinese home, and the interior self in relationships, as the poet makes empathy a metaphor for the space of one person inside another. The lines of verse are long, sensuous, and prose-like, following the open horizons of the West.

"Mei-mei Berssenbrugge's poetry moves from "inner" phenomena to ones coming from the "external" world and back again with breathtaking evenness. Calmly and convincingly she leads our attention from.... confidence or passion or attention itself to ice crystals, gulls fireworks, or apple trees and to very specific qualities of perception, especially vision- most notably, those associated with the properties of light- fogginess, brightness, colors- (what a poet of light she is!)- in poetry that always speaks equally about "the world" and "herself." She is neither "objectivist" nor "subjectivist" but a poet of the whole consciousness. A virtuoso of the long line, hers- unlike those of most other poets- are startlingly non-rhapsodic, although they are more truly emotional than those of most rhapsodists. I've known and loved Mei-mei Berssenbrugge's poetry for years. It gets better all the time." -Jackson Mac Low


$14.95List Price:
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5Next >Last »