The Cave

Bernadette Mayer (Author) Clark Coolidge (Author)
& 1 more


The Cave is a collaboration of prose, poetry, dialogue, and song alternately written by Clark Coolidge and Bernadette Mayer in their early thirties. Assembled between 1972 and 1978, The Cave explores the philosophy of Wittgenstein, the nature of language, and the connections between the present and past. It constantly challenges the reader to question reality, time, and the poets themselves. The work ranges from complex and imagistic rambles through imaginary landscapes to terse, clear accounts of exploring Eldon's Cave in western Massachusetts, the setting of several of Coolidge's poems. Like a mystery novel, The Cave draws the reader in with hints that all the strands weave together into a coherent picture.

Clark Coolidge and Bernadette Mayer have been writing for over fifty years, and they have both had an unquantifiable impact on the direction of experimental poetry. In the words of Marcella Durand, who provides an introduction to The Cave, "Coolidge and Mayer evidently shared a common mission in their writings to encompass consciousness, language, and the intricacy of physical/scientific/geologic structures, and to cross whatever fake borders had been set up between genres, materials, or even words themselves."

Clark Coolidge lives in Petaluma, California. His most recent books include Far Out West, published by Adventures in Poetry, and Bomb, a collaboration with Keith Waldrop, published by Granary Books.

Bernadette Mayer has experimented with numerous forms of media, including film, collage, stories, and poems. Her most recent books include Scarlet Tanager and A Bernadette Mayer Reader, both published by New Directions.

Product Details

$16.00  $14.72
Adventures in Poetry
Publish Date
July 01, 2009
7.08 X 0.21 X 9.98 inches | 0.4 pounds
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About the Author

Coolidge and Mayer are arguably two of the most influential avant-garde poets of the 20th and now the 21st centuries, with work spanning the last fifty years of American letters. Bernadette Mayer was born in Brooklyn in 1945 and is the author of numerous books, including "Two Haloed Mourners: Poems" (Granary Books, 1998), "Proper Name and Other Stories" (1996), "The Desires of Mothers to Please Others in Letters"( 1994), and "The Bernadette Mayer Reader" (1992). She directed the Poetry Project in the 1980s in New York, where she still lives.