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Language is a Temptation: Daily Readings from Bernadette Mayer’s Memory


Bernadette Mayer's MEMORY


In July 1971, Bernadette Mayer embarked on a month long experiment: every day she exposed a roll of 35mm film and kept a journal. The result was a groundbreaking, conceptual work, comprised of more than 1100 photographs and two hundred pages of text. Mayer’s durational and constraint-based diaristic work of poetry and photography investigates the nature of memory: its surfaces, textures and material.

In July 2020, Poets House and Siglio Press embark on a month long daily experiment: a passage from the corresponding day in 1971 will be read by poets, writers, critics, and artists, as a parallel durational work that celebrates the new publication of Bernadette Mayer’s Memory (Siglio Press, 2020), which brings together the full sequence of images and text for the first time in book form.

Bernadette Mayer (b. 1945, Brooklyn, NY) is the author of over thirty books including the acclaimed Midwinter Day (1982), The Desires of Mothers to Please Others in Letters (1994), and most recently Work and Days (2016) which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. In the art world, Mayer is best known for her collaboration with Vito Acconci as editors of the influential mimeographed magazine O TO 9.



July 1: Anselm Berrigan

July 2: Anaïs Duplan

Anaïs Duplan

July 3: Jen Bervin


July 4: Bill DeNoyelles

Bill DeNoyelles

July 5: J’Lyn Chapman

J'Lyn Chapman

July 6: Tausif Noor

Tausif Noor


July 7: Jill Magi

Jill Magi

July 8: Peter Gizzi

Peter Gizzi

July 9: Aldrin Valdez

Aldrin Valdez


July 10: Sarah Cain

July 11: Ann Stephenson

Ann Stephenson

July 12: Greg Masters

Greg Masters


July 13: Rona Cran

July 14: Andrew Durbin

July 15: Lee Ann Brown

Lee Ann Brown


July 16: Olivier Brossard

July 17: Peggy DeCoursey

Peggy DeCoursey

July 18: Barbara Epler


July 19: Matt Connors

Matt Connors

July 20: Brenda Coultas

July 21: Stephen Motika


July 22: Fanny Howe

July 23: Grace Murphy

July 24: giovanni singleton


July 25: Morgan Ritter

July 26: Emmy Catedral

Emmy Catedral

July 27: Tammy Nguyen

Tammy Nguyen


July 28: Rachel Valinsky

July 29: Urayoán Noel

July 30: Lynne Sachs


July 31: Bernadette Mayer


Readings by: Anselm Berrigan, Anaïs Duplan, Jen Bervin, Bill DeNoyelles, J’Lyn Chapman, Tausif Noor, Jill Magi, Peter Gizzi, Aldrin Valdez, Sarah Cain, Ann Stephenson, Greg Masters, Rona Cran, Andrew Durbin, Lee Ann Brown, Olivier Brossard, Peggy DeCoursey, Barbara Epler, Matt Connors, Brenda Coultas, Stephen Motika, Fanny Howe, Grace Murphy, giovanni singleton, Morgan Ritter, Emmy Catedral, Simone White, Rachel Valinsky, Urayoán Noel, Lynne Sachs, and Bernadette Mayer!