Feb 3rd 2018

“Silk Poems by Jen Bervin takes silk as subject and form, exploring its cultural, scientific, and linguistic complexities. Bervin’s composition corresponds to the DNA structure of silk, modeled on the way a silkworm applies filament to its cocoon.”— Publishers Weekly Fall 2017 Announcements: Poetry

Jen Bervin and Matthew Goulish read from their latest works, “Silk Poems” and “The Brightest Thing in The World: 3 Lectures from the Institute of Failure.”

At the Co-op

About “Silk Poems”: In conjunction with Tufts University’s Silk Lab’s cutting-edge research on liquified silk, Jen Bervin wrote a poem composed in a six-character chain that corresponds to the DNA structure of silk; modeled on the way a silkworm applies filament to its cocoon. This poem, written from the perspective of the silkworm, explores the cultural, scientific, and linguistic complexities of silk written inside the body.

About “The Brightest Thing in The World”: “The Brightest Thing in The World: 3 Lectures from the Institute of Failure” is a collection of essays that touch on seating strategies, Dick Cheney, cuckoo clocks, the Fibonacci series, butterflies and old friends. These threads weave together like a tapestry and by their accumulated resonance create an impression of loss and longing. As in Sebald’s “The Rings of Saturn,” the reader passes through an associative experience. These are the essays of a poet; like a performance of words, each verb is as active as a muscle. While every sentence tends to its end, the reader resists its inevitable conclusion. Layout and design by Sonnenzimmer.

About Jen Bervin: Jen Bervin is an interdisciplinary artist and poet whose research-driven works weave together art, writing, science, and life. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is held in more than thirty collections, including The Walker Art Center and The J. Paul Getty Museum. She has published ten books, including “Silk Poems” and “Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson’s Envelope Poems,” named a Best Book of the Year by “Hyperallergic” and “The New Yorker.” Jen Bervin’s work receives support from Creative Capital and the Rauschenberg Foundation, and can be viewed on her website.

About Matthew Goulish: Matthew Goulish is dramaturg and sometime-performer with Every house has a door a performance group he co-founded with Lin Hixson. His books include “39 Microlectures – in proximity of performance” (Routledge, 2000), “The Brightest Thing in the World – 3 lectures from The Institute of Failure” (Green Lantern Press, 2012), and “Work from Memory” (with the poet Dan Beachy-Quick, Ahsahta, 2012). His essays have appeared in Art Journal, The Drama Review, PAJ, and the books “Performing Cities” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), and “Beckett and Musicality” (Ashgate, 2014). He teaches at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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