By Anselm Berrigan
Publication Date: October 9, 2018
Anselm Berrigan’s eighth collection of poems, Something for Everybody, is exactly as its title describes. Wide-ranging in forms, densities, and aesthetics—and written from numerous collaborations, prompts, and influences—these poems express poetry’s astonishing possibilities. At the same time, they evince this singular poet’s consciousness in the here and now, as a family and community member looking at the seams of public life.
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Throughout, Berrigan reframes and transforms unexamined routine into moments of energized space to promote fresh ways of engaging reality. That this is achieved without strain is a remarkable testament to Berrigan’s serious commitment to play as a compositional porthole through which the mundane becomes magic
Tony Leuzzi, Brooklyn Rail
As Berrigan puts the sense of magic spell back into the word charm, I sense somewhat of a post-punk ethos, as well as the Shakespearean Foole at his most linguistically complex.
Chris Stroffolino, Boog City
Whether he’s riffing like a jazz musician or clipping like a radio scanning through channels, Berrigan sets a surreal mood appropriate for increasingly apocalyptic and hallucinatory times. . . . Berrigan is always up for an experiment, and his clever and deeply human work soothes as a balm against the irritations of daily life.
Anselm Berrigan is the author of many books of poetry: Something for Everybody, (Wave Books, 2018), Come In Alone (Wave Books, May 2016), Primitive State (Edge, 2015), Notes from Irrelevance (Wave Books, 2011), Free Cell (City Lights Books, 2009), Some Notes on My Programming (Edge, 2006), Zero Star Hotel (Edge, 2002), and Integrity and Dramatic Life (Edge, 1999). He is also the editor of What is Poetry? (Just Kidding, I Know You Know): Interviews from the Poetry Project Newsletter (1983–2009) and co-author of two collaborative books: Loading, with visual artist Jonathan Allen (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2013), and Skasers, with poet John Coletti (Flowers & Cream, 2012). His chapbooks include Pregrets (Vagabond Press, 2014), and Sure Shot (Overpass, 2013). He is the current poetry editor for The Brooklyn Rail, and co-editor with Alice Notley and Edmund Berrigan of The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan (U. California, 2005) and the Selected Poems of Ted Berrigan (U. California, 2011). A member of the subpress publishing collective, he has published Selected Poems of Steve Carey (2009) and Your Ancient See Through by Hoa Nguyen (2002). From 2003-2007 he was Artistic Director of The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, where he also hosted the Wednesday Night Reading Series for four years. He is Co-Chair, Writing at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts interdisciplinary MFA program, and also teaches part-time at Brooklyn College. He was awarded a 2015 Process Space Residency by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and in 2014 he was awarded a Robert Rauschenberg Residency by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. He was a New York State Foundation for the Arts fellow in Poetry for 2007, and has received three grants from the Fund for Poetry. He lives in New York City, where he also grew up.
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