Bernadette Mayer

Bernadette Mayer

May 12, 1945 – ...

Bernadette Mayer (born May 12, 1945) is an American poet, writer, and visual artist associated with both the Language poets and the New York School. Mayer's record-keeping and use of stream-of-consciousness narrative are two trademarks of her writing, though she is also known for her work with form and mythology. In addition to the influence of her textual-visual art and journal-keeping, Mayer's poetry is widely acknowledged as some of the first to speak accurately and honestly about the experience of motherhood. Mayer edited the journal 0 TO 9 with Vito Acconci, and, until 1983, United Artists books and magazines with Lewis Warsh. Mayer taught at the New School for Social Research, where she earned her degree in 1967, and, during the 1970s, she led a number of workshops at the Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church in New York. Writers who attended or sat in on her workshops included Kathy Acker, Charles Bernstein, John Giorno, and Anne Waldman. From 1980 to 1984, Mayer served as director of the Poetry Project. Her influence in the contemporary avant-garde is felt widely.
Mayer received a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists award (1995). She was also a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship Recipient, a 2009 Creative Capital Awardee, and received a National Book Critics Circle Nomination for her most recent book, 2016's Works and Days.