Jen Bervin / Apr 07, 2020

Nets Poetry Jen Bervin has reimagined Shakespeare as our true contemporary Her little poems sing Paul Auster In NETS poet and artist Jen Bervin strips Shakespeare s sonnets bare to the nets chiseling awa

  • Title: Nets
  • Author: Jen Bervin
  • ISBN: 9780972768436
  • Page: 412
  • Format: Paperback
  • Poetry Jen Bervin has reimagined Shakespeare as our true contemporary Her little poems sing Paul Auster In NETS, poet and artist Jen Bervin strips Shakespeare s sonnets bare to the nets, chiseling away at the familiar lines to reveal surprising new poems, while pointing obliquely at the unavoidably intertextual ground of writing Using visual compositional strategiePoetry Jen Bervin has reimagined Shakespeare as our true contemporary Her little poems sing Paul Auster In NETS, poet and artist Jen Bervin strips Shakespeare s sonnets bare to the nets, chiseling away at the familiar lines to reveal surprising new poems, while pointing obliquely at the unavoidably intertextual ground of writing Using visual compositional strategies as effectively as verbal ones, Bervin allows the discarded text to remain on the page as a ghostly presence, while she highlights the marginal line numbers that allude to the sonnets canonization.

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      Posted by:Jen Bervin
      Published :2020-01-02T04:03:24+00:00

    About "Jen Bervin"

      • Jen Bervin

        Poet and visual artist Jen Bervin s work brings together text and textile in a practice that encompasses poetry, archival research, artist books, and large scale art works Her poetry artist books include The Dickinson Composites Granary Books 2010 , The Silver Book Ugly Duckling Presse 2010 , The Desert Granary 2008 , A Non Breaking Space UDP 2005 , The Red Box 2004 , and Nets UDP 2004 She has work forthcoming in I ll Drown My Book Conceptual Writing by Women Les Figues Press and Figuring Color ICA Boston Hatje Cantz.Bervin s work is included in the upcoming exhibition Postscript on 21st century conceptual writing and text based art at the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art Her work has been shown at The Walker Art Center and is in many special collections including The J Paul Getty Museum, Stanford University, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, Biblioth que Nationale de France, and the British Library She has received fellowships in art and writing from The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, The New York Foundation for the Arts, Centrum, The MacDowell Colony, Visual Studies Workshop, and The Camargo Foundation Bervin has taught recently at Harvard University and Vermont College of Fine Arts, and will be a Von Hess Visiting Artist at the Borowsky Center for Publication Arts at The University of the Arts in 2012 She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.


    1. This fascinating and lovely book of erasure poems was created using the sonnets (hence the name "nets" from "sonnets"). The lines were "erased" leaving only a few words and phrases. Those remaining words form the poem.The is not as simple as it might sound and certainly not to do well. The poems in Nets are haunting and delicate. I would quote here but the spaces not used are as important, it would seem to me, as the words that appear. The pages look beautiful, with the soft gray of the rest of [...]

    2. In erasure there must be revelation, and the presentation of these fine little poems emphasizes that - black words plucked from the pale source, the sonnets set upon the creamy page with nothing on the opposite page to distract the reader.Many of these poems stand strongly on their own. But it’s not possible for me to divorce the poems themselves from the concept and the presentation, so where some of the poems would perhaps not stand as well alone, I open my eyes wider and take in the full te [...]

    3. A fascinating book. Shakespeare's Sonnets are printed in halftone, and Bervin has chosen certain words and phrases to print in full, ordinary black type. So you can read the sonnet as a ghostly form "behind" the poem Bervin has created. I don't think he has made full use of the meanings of the Sonnets, but then again it's only right that his own interests, slightly constrained by Shakespeare's choice of words, Here are two examples (you have to imagine the halftone words that separate these word [...]

    4. Such a beautiful, simple idea, I'd wondered why it hadn't been done before. After reading Nick Flynn's The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands, I grew really interested in redactions/erasures, and at the recommendation of a coworker, I picked up Nets. Bervin has done a really masterful job pulling out new poems, and unlike a few people here, I really did think they were all high quality, beautiful pieces that could stand well on their own. (Though I'm glad to have the palimpsest behind it as well.) [...]

    5. A must have. Not just to read, but to own. Erasures of Wm. Shakespeare's sonnets. It does good things to the brain.

    6. Truly inspired. Bervin does an erasure of Shakespearean sonnets that are not erasures at all, living within the (still readable text), and jumping to the fore. The poems that result are extremely spare, but are gorgeous and thoughtful, both on their own, and as a commentary to the original. This is the kind of text that doesn't take up a lot of your time, but does absolutely incredible things with what it is. I could not possibly recommend this book enough to lovers of poetry and also to those w [...]

    7. Read this book first time through paying attention only to Bervin's (so to speak) text. Some great poems/lines smattered amidst other underwhelming ones. Next I went back and began re-reading by first taking in the original sonnet followed by Bervin's erasure-created piece. When viewed in that context, going from Big Willy to JB, the project as a whole was underwhelming due in part to the brevity of the pieces and in part to the fact that . . . well, it's Shakespeare. Come on. Having felt that I [...]

    8. Jen Bervin is a visual artist as well as a poet (I recommend everyone check out the Dickinson Composites, which are, as my professor called them, a "restorative translation" of Dickinson's work) and Nets is more visually stunning than it is amazing poetry. There are many poems which I quite liked, though it just didn't resonate with me as many other poems by other authors do. The whole book, however, from the cover to the type face to the bold black text rising above the wispy grey text, is beau [...]

    9. I would rate this a 3.5 if I could. It's a lovely book, well-made by Ugly Duckling Presse. And the presentation of Bervin's "erasures" is beautifully designed so you can read her work and the Shakespearean sonnets that lies beneath it. I enjoyed the spare beauty of many of Bervin's erasures. Does the work linger? I'm still mulling over that question. NETS will be a great book to share with students in any genre, and I think the young writers I know who are interested in making artist's books wil [...]

    10. Such an incredible book that blends something borrowed with something new. I truly loved this book as it ignited such a passion in me for erasure poetry! This was the first erasure that I had been exposed to and it's meaningful simplicity impacted me super positively. I liked mulling over the idea behind the title "Nets" and what that meant in relation to the text and how Jen Bervin styled her Erasure.

    11. Everyone I know loves Nets, but I think I didn't do Bervin any favors by reading this right after Michael Leong's "The Philosophy of Decomposition/Re-Composition as Explanation." I'm always in favor or excess and wild growth as opposed to elision and effacement. Both books do really wonderful, thoughtful stuff with source, but I'm more sympathetic to the methodology of the one than to the other. Which is unfair. I'm sorry.

    12. I am appreciating the experiment here. And by experiment I mean in the "scientific method" sense of the word. In this case we are given the fixed variable of Shakespeare's Sonnets and then experience the poet's departure and arrival to this fixed point. The distance is the experiment and I think in some places it works well and in others it is anywhere from heavy handed to just off the mark.

    13. Erasures have been a popular phenomenon as of late. As a result, I expected to be more impressed by the erasure poems that managed to be professionally published rather than strewn about on tumblr. I am a strong proponent of Jen Bervin's conceptual art. I love the idea of using Shakespeare's sonNETS to create something more modern. This, however, did not quite do it for me.

    14. I loved this book. In fact, it is one of few that I wish I could just erase the author name and add my own. I'm envious of how good this one is. The concept is great, and the erased sonnets that emerge are mesmerizing.

    15. Two-for-one poems! How can you go wrong? Some surprising erasures (do they technically qualify as erasures?). The layering effect of the sonnets' ghostly presence adds an interesting tone, but a good many stand out on their own as well.

    16. Nets is an intriguing exercise that helps to skew the line between author and audience. Where one poem was, there now are two, and they are talking to each other. And the reader is watching from behind a bush.

    17. Beautiful prose. The way in which Bervin derives these beautiful poems out of Shakespeare's sonnets feels genuine and unique to her, even if deletion is a popular method utilized in the modern world of poetry. A book I'd recommend to anyone, especially to a significant other.

    18. This is a book of erasures or, as Bervin puts it, "stripped" versions of Shakespeare's sonnets. The only way to quote the poems was to post photos of them. For that reason, my review is here: justinmarkspoetrythings.tumblr

    19. This book was honestly a big disappointment for me. I was into the concept of making new texts out of Shakespeare's sonnets, but the execution was weak and uninspired.

    20. the project's more clever than the result, but the project is really clever. worth a gander, or even a goose.

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