She had one sister, Rosemary , a sculptor who was a member of similar conceptual art communities during the s and 80s, in addition to being a founding member of the feminist art space A. Mayer attended Catholic schools early on, where she studied languages and the classics, and she graduated from the New School for Social Research in During July , Mayer photographed one roll of film each day, resulting in a total of photographs. Mayer then recorded a part narration as she remembered the context of each image, using them as "taking-off points for digression" and to "[fill] in the spaces between. Memory asked its observer to be a critical student of the work, as one would with any poetic text, while putting herself into the position of the artist.

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Guiding principles if you will. Secondly, we liked to write about animals thus the name. Third, we tried to push ourselves with various constraints, challenges, etc. One of our constraints was we wanted to write a book of poems in one day. This idea came to us from the book Midwinter Day by Bernadette Mayer, which apparently she wrote entirely on December 22, We did this relay style, for a week. The first poet would write for a day and we had several things each poet had to do in the course of the day, to add to the challenge, like visiting the zoo, or visiting one of the other ZooPo poets , and we had a baton that the poet would pass on to the next poet at the designated hour, whereupon the next poet will try to write a book of poems in the next 24 hours.

At the time Midwinter Day was just a concept to me, and I imagined a book that was more accomplished as ours, but still an experiment, so having many of the flaws that our books did. Well, yesterday I read this book and it is no longer a concept to me. Reading it now, it seems to me the written-in-one-day thing is much less of a big deal than the actual poem.

In fact, I doubt it was written in one day it took me all day just to read it, it is pages long. The point is that it is about one day, from waking up from dreams to going to the post office, to lunch, dinner, putting the kids to sleep, and back to sleep and dreams. It continues the tradition of books like Ulysses the poem has the same first word "Stately" and Mrs. Dalloway, but blends it with the personal and the poetic. Like Ulysses, each of its six parts is written in a slightly different style.

And like others who try to contain everything in a day, it seems Whitmanian in its need to catalog everything at times, but that categorization is musical. Some may find these sections boring, but I feel they are extremely important, and enjoyable if read aloud. What day does not have its trivial prosaic moments?

But most of this is soaring with great lines. This poem is also often funny and playful. At least to me. In little ways that make me smile. Oh well. The book is said to be a duck.

So many more great sections.


Midwinter Day



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Bernadette Mayer


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