Renowned poet Bernadette Mayer shared her work with Boise State on Friday while also discussing ideas for future poetry compilations.
On Friday, Oct. 5 in the Jordan Ballroom of the Student Union Building, Mayer read excerpts from many sonnets of her earlier years in addition to several pieces of her later works.
This event was arranged by the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Program as part of the Creative Writing Reading Series.
Mayer commenced the evening by saying, “Okay kids, get ready. It’s gonna be torture.”
From there the poet began reading a few of her sonnets. She told the audience the last of these, entitled “Complete Introductory Lectures on Poetry”, is her favorite self-written poem.
“It touched up on everything she thinks poetry used to be and perhaps still should be,” said Shelby Brown, freshman business and finance major.
Mayer read later works, one of which was “Summer Solstice 2006”, a narrative explaining what was going on that day: including the movies which were playing in theaters, places she would rather be and the meeting of her dog Hector.
According to freshman criminal justice major Jessica Moncrieff, this event was “every hippie’s dream.”
“Her work had a very Dylan-esque feel to it and many poems seemed to be focused around a utopian society,” Moncrieff said.
In addition to first person accounts, Mayer read Idyll, a piece written from the point of view of George, a neighbor she had in a Massachusetts lake-house. It was centralized around George’s liking and disliking for a calm and quiet area that was not the city.
Mayer said when she compiles a collective of works there is no vision or concept behind what she puts together. Though this is true for right now, she said she has thought about doing a conceptual book about “the Helens of Troy.”
If you missed Mayer’s reading session but would like to hear the work of other distinguished modern poets, Renee Gladman will read on Friday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hemingway Center.