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Anselm Berrigan Grapples with Contemporary Poetics and the Words of Visual Art

November 06, 2015

The English MA Program in Literatures of Modernity recently hosted internationally renowned, New York writer Anselm Berrigan as the visiting scholar artist in its Distinguished Speaker Series. In his talk “Composition is a Glimpse,” Anselm addressed a packed room at the Arts and Letters Club, discussing the ways artist writings reshaped his approach to poetic composition. For him, “the attention to visual artist’s words opened the door to an imagined connection between poetic prosody and the picture plane, allowing me to put words and sounds where they don’t belong in order to make poems happen.” His explanation of his conceptual approach was complemented by readings of various pieces of his poetry, and was followed by a question period and reception that gave students, faculty, and the other attendees an opportunity to discuss poetry and poetics amongst each other and one-on-one with our guest.

Anselm is the author of seven books of poetry, including Notes from Irrelevance (2011), Primitive State (2015), and Come in Alone (2016). He is also co-author of two collaborative books: Loading, with visual artist Jonathan Allen (2013) and Skasers, with poet John Coletti (2012), and co-editor with Alice Notley and Edmund Berrigan of The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan (2005) and the Selected Poems of Ted Berrigan (2011). He is Co-Chair, Writing at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts interdisciplinary MFA program and also teaches part- time at Brooklyn College.