By Anselm Berrigan
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
ISBN# 9781940696294 (7.5x10.5 96pp, paperback)
ISBN# 9781940696249 (7.5x10.5 96pp, limited edition hardcover)
New York poet Anselm Berrigan plays with space like a painter with the prosody of a poet. Written as infinitely looping sentences around the page, the rectangular poems of Come In Alone act as a frame to space, outrunning thought with quickness, openness, humor, and protest. They are simultaneously inviting and impermeable, making familiar language uncanny with every turn around the page.
Listed in the top poetry books of spring 2016 by Publishers Weekly
Anselm Berrigan has taken it upon himself to write a book of poetry well beyond any conventional parameters. Come In Alone operates outside of whatever categorical box you might attempt to place it in, whether that may be classical or contemporary, academic or experimental. This is undoubtedly poetry but it’s not a book of poems in any conventional sense.
Patrick James Dunagan, The Rumpus
This is a highly innovative collection that deeply understands the form it has chosen, and it is definitely worth your attention beyond mere curiosity.
Ryo Yamaguchi, NewPages
Composed entirely of margin-hugging, rectangular poems that can be read starting at any point and loop without end, this collection is a rare breakthrough in form… As Berrigan’s language loops on, endlessly recontextualized, what results is a kind of commentary through form, the creation of an expanse through physical limitation.
Complete sentences are optional and of little consequence here, meanings accrue through the pile up of phrases [...] Are these even poems? If not, so what? They’re something, alive and swirling on the page kicking off sparks of possibility for anyone who’ll read around and spend some time in them.
Steve Potter, Medium
The textures here merge physical and personal space of the poem, the inner and outer, into a Beckettian kind of negation and distortion, simultaneously inventing and dismantling identity and context […] Cryptically and compellingly, Come In Alone beckons you to enter it, take hold of it, spin it, and never leave it alone.
Jon Curley, Hyperallergic
The physical act of...turning around...the book to continue reading…emphasizes the role of reader-involvement through no less than the body. Perhaps the idea then of Come In Alone is to enter the book as a reader only to come out of it seeing yourself or part of yourself. The poem, after all, can also act as a mirror.
Eileen Tabios, Galatea Resurrects
Anselm Berrigan is the author of many books of poetry: Something for Everybody, (Wave Books, 2018), Come In Alone (Wave Books, May 2016), Primitive State (Edge, 2015), Notes from Irrelevance (Wave Books, 2011), Free Cell (City Lights Books, 2009), Some Notes on My Programming (Edge, 2006), Zero Star Hotel (Edge, 2002), and Integrity and Dramatic Life (Edge, 1999). He is also the editor of What is Poetry? (Just Kidding, I Know You Know): Interviews from the Poetry Project Newsletter (1983–2009) and co-author of two collaborative books: Loading, with visual artist Jonathan Allen (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2013), and Skasers, with poet John Coletti (Flowers & Cream, 2012). His chapbooks include Pregrets (Vagabond Press, 2014), and Sure Shot (Overpass, 2013). He is the current poetry editor for The Brooklyn Rail, and co-editor with Alice Notley and Edmund Berrigan of The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan (U. California, 2005) and the Selected Poems of Ted Berrigan (U. California, 2011). A member of the subpress publishing collective, he has published Selected Poems of Steve Carey (2009) and Your Ancient See Through by Hoa Nguyen (2002). From 2003-2007 he was Artistic Director of The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, where he also hosted the Wednesday Night Reading Series for four years. 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. He was awarded a 2015 Process Space Residency by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and in 2014 he was awarded a Robert Rauschenberg Residency by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. He was a New York State Foundation for the Arts fellow in Poetry for 2007, and has received three grants from the Fund for Poetry. He lives in New York City, where he also grew up.
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