Mei-mei Berssenbrugge was born in Beijing and grew up in Massachusetts. She is the author of many volumes of poetry, including, most recently, I Love Artists: New and Selected Poems (University of California Press, 2006), Nest (2003), Four Year Old Girl (1998), Empathy (1989), and The Heat Bird (1983). She has frequently worked with visual artists on collaborative projects, including, for example, her books Concordance (2006) and Endocrinology (1997), both collaborations with sculptor Kiki Smith, and Sphericity (1993) and Hiddenness (1987), collaborations with Richard Tuttle. Of their collaborative book Hiddenness, she has said, “One of his subjects was the relationship between the visual and the verbal, two different mental planes that a collaboration might align. Our book, Hiddenness, unified visual and verbal planes by breaking out of the normal page margins. There was a unification like water spreading out in space” (Bomb Magazine, Summer 2006). Collaboration, Berssenbrugge says, is “a wonderful way to open to someone else’s sensibility, to use that openness like ocean or oxygen. I’ve used experience with the other arts to discover ways to make formal changes in my own poetry” (Jacket 27, April 2005).
- From "Endocrinology" (excerpt)