Acclaimed poet and visual artist talks about her work

As part of York’s Creative Writing Reading Series, acclaimed American poet and visual artist Jen Bervin will deliver a talk about her creative process and read from some of her work at two different events next week.

Her talk, “Studies In Scale”, will take place Tuesday, March 5, from 3 to 4:30pm, at the Lorna Marsden Salon, JenBervin2nd Floor, Scott Library, Keele campus.

Jen Bervin

Bervin will primarily show and discuss her work with Emily Dickinson’s manuscripts, which has included curating exhibitions of rare Dickinson manuscripts, and publishing the artist’s books The Dickinson Composites (Granary Books 2010) and The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson’s Envelope-Poems (Granary Books 2012).

She will also share new work-in-progress The Silk Poems, an experimental book that takes this textile as its subject and form. Drawing on contemporary biomedical engineering research using patterned silk as sensors under human skin, the artist will fabricate the book by pouring silk solution on nanopatterned plates. The resulting pages will be combined into a transparent “book” resembling a piece of microfiche film – a single small sheet, with every poem present that can be read with fibre-optic light.

Her poetry reading will be the following day, Wednesday, March 6, from 1 to 2:30pm, at the Paul Delaney Gallery, 320 Bethune College, Keele campus. Everyone is welcome to attend both events, sponsored by the Creative Writing Program, Scott Library, the Department of English in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and the McLuhan Initiative at JenBervinBookFounders College.

The Dickinson Composites

Bervin’s work demonstrates how seamlessly conceptual art, critical thinking, creative writing and art making can meet within a practice. She brings together text and textile in a practice that encompasses poetry, archival research, artist books and large-scale art works.

Her books include The Desert (Granary Books, 2008), as well as The Silver Book (2010), A Non- Breaking Space (2005) and Nets (2004) from Ugly Duckling Presse. Her work has appeared in more than 30 collections, including The J. Paul Getty Museum, The Walker Art Center, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, Stanford University, Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the British Library.

In addition, she has received several fellowships in art and writing, and currently teaches poetry in the low-residency writing MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

For more information, visit the Creative Writing Program website.