Nice to See You: Homage to Ted Berrigan

Anne Waldman, Editor, Philip Guston, Illustrator, Joe Brainard, Illustrator Coffee House Press $14.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-918273-13-0
Though the wealth of information Waldman gleans from fellow poets, friends and family of the late Ted Berrigan is presented imaginativelyreminiscences, poems, journal entries, letters, cartoons, drawings and photographs are interspersed with Berrigan's poems and correspondencethis pastiche suffers from overkill and a distracting repetitiveness. Berrigan, who played a pivotal role in New York's Lower East Side poetry community in the '60s and '70s, lived wildly and excessively, censoring very little of his behavior or his art. As he writes in his ``Last Poem'': ``Friends appeared & disappeared, or wigged out, /Or stayed; inspiring strangers sadly died; everyone / I ever knew aged tremendously, except me.'' He kept such company as Ron Padgett, Allen Ginsberg, Kenneth Koch, Anselm Hollo and Donna Dennis, and with warmth and candor these artists bring Berrigan's personality and accomplishments clearly into focus. Though poet Waldman is loyal to the philosophy and style of her and Berrigan's generation in the freedom the format takes, were the homage briefer it would be a more effective chronicle of a controversial group of artists in their heyday. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Hardcover - 253 pages - 978-0-918273-11-6
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