American Poet Bernadette Mayer Passed Away
We just heard the sad news that beloved poet, word master, and word mistress, Bernadette Mayer passed away peacefully in her home last night (November 22, 2022) at the age of 77.
May she sleep in paradise. We send our deepest sympathies to her loved ones, family, friends, and fans during this hard period.
We focused on her earlier this year (on the occasion of her birthday, May 12) with transcription of a 1989 workshop at Naropa were, in lively and true idiosyncratic, entertaining, Bernadette-fashion, she discoursed on the circumstances of the publication of several of her early books.
We followed it with the Q & A and an additional posting, delineating more recent publications, which are clearly in need of an update New Directions just this month published the wonderful Milkweed Smithereens, “a career-spanning bouquet of poems by the peerless and inimitable Bernadette Mayer”
Early in her life, Mayer lived in Lenox, Massachusetts.
Mayer was in a relationship with poet Lewis Warsh, with whom she had three children. Bernadette Mayer and Warsh kicked off living together in the spring of 1975. They initially moved from New York to an old farmhouse in Worthington, Massachusetts, and later to an apartment in Lenox. During this time their two daughters were born, Marie in 1975 and Sophia in 1977.
In 1979, Warsh and Mayer and family relocated to Henniker, New Hampshire, where they taught at New England College, and where their son Max was born. Of her romantic life, Mayer wrote, “Left a beautiful anarchist lover of 10 years because he wanted no responsibility for children, I chose to have three with another, now living ‘alone’ with them.” Mayer now lives with her partner the poet Philip Good in Upstate New York.
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Bernadette Mayer Passed Away But She is Alive in Our Hearts
Although official sources have not shared information about how Bernadette Mayer’s cause of death at this time, some announced she lost her life due to an illness.
Our team does not confirm any rumors about the news, though you can be sure that we are attempting our best to find related information about the tragedy and provide the latest updates as soon as possible; but do not forget that family privacy should be respected.
Bernadette Mayer was born in a predominantly German part of Brooklyn, New York, in 1945. Her parents were, as she writes in the autobiographical piece, “0–19”, “a mother-secretary & father draft dodger WWII electrician“. Mayer’s parents died when she was in her early teens and her uncle, a legal guardian after the passing of her parents, died only a few years later.
She had one sister, Rosemary Mayer, a sculptor who was a member of similar conceptual art communities during the 1970s and 1980s, in addition to being a founding member of the feminist art space A.I.R. Gallery. Mayer attended Catholic schools early on, where she studied languages and the classics, and she graduated from the New School for Social Research in 1967.
Mayer’s work first caught public attention with her exhibit Memory, a multimedia work that challenged ideas of narrative and autobiography in conceptual art and created an immersive poetic environment. During July 1971, Mayer photographed one roll of film each day, resulting in a total of 1200 photographs.