(Poetry. "Only a feminist could have seen the point at whi...)
Poetry. "Only a feminist could have seen the point at which the form of the journal and the tradition of the American longpoem meet. Infusing each with the critical introspection of psychoanalysis, this first volume of A READING challenges every myth surrounding Literature. Its shape that of one life intensely witnessed, A READING proves that poetry can still be an act of extraordinary courage, intellectual honesty, and commitment to humankind" -Ron Silliman.
(Poetry. A READING 18-20 continues Beverly Dahlen's remark...)
Poetry. A READING 18-20 continues Beverly Dahlen's remarkable serial poem and its ever-shifting reading of the world, other texts, other people. At times like a diary in fragments, the work herein shifts between serious philosophical engagement and thoroughly contemporary lyric, with shards of autobiography and personal reflection thrown in to create a polyvalent text that touches many tonal registers. "In a world where the lunatic fringe becomes the entire cloth, language becomes an incoherent agent of the State. But A READING 18-20 makes something legible that exceeds that agent's grasp, something words didn't make, something really here, with us, under the erasure of the world that is our world. This installment of Beverly Dahlen's great long poem continues her ongoing work of deciphering the sacrifice we've made of our lives to a world undone by the need for belief in the coherence of system"-Rob Halpern. "There's a sphinx-like allure to the work of Beverly Dahlen, she intuits so much we haven't yet fathomed. Reading to write, writing through reading, her syncretic epistemology takes on mother, father, erasure, identity, philosophy, philology, history, war, the 'local' in parallel readings/queries of Engels, Derrida, Kristeva, Watten, Spicer, others.These three very different sections of A READING 18-20 are long overdue in book form, and will be in the hands of all my students soon. This book is a survival, a summons. Brava, Beverly, brava!"-Anne Waldman.
Dahlen was educated at Humboldt State University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in 1956, and at San Francisco State University, attending it from 1966 to 1969.
Dahlen started her career as an assistant and secretary at Poetry Center in San Francisco in 1967. Since 1970, she worked as a teacher in creative writing at California Poetry-in-the-Schools Project, East Bay Community Arts Project and City College of San Francisco. She was also a teacher of summer writing workshops at Foothill College, Los Altos, Lake Placid Art Center, Lake Placid, and Naropa Institute, Boulder.
Now Dahlen works as a freelance poet and writer, living in San Francisco.
Dahlen was married to Richard Pervier since 1957. However, in 1966 the marriage ended with a divorce. Now she is single and has no children.