Poem Bitten by a Man
Author: Brian Teare
Publisher: Nightboat Books (2023)
A medical emergency, a road trip, a breakup, and a paean to the power of creative process—Poem Bitten by a Man is for everyone who has tried against the odds to make a life in art, whether they succeeded or not. Using somatic language captured through a notebook practice, Teare recontextualizes the work of Agnes Martin, Jasper Johns, and others via art criticism, psychoanalysis, biography, queer theory, and historical document to honor writers, artists, and thinkers who sustain us when nothing else does.
“I’m always moved (and changed) by Brian Teare. It’s already a part of my mind what he makes and says this rich stark work affects me so deeply. Here to read means avidly copying into my notebook from his because what it is, this book, is heart and pain and the loosened materiality of all of it, the bodily records of his life and art and him copying thoughtfully from Jasper Johns and Agnes Martin everyone all pouring our secret public thoughts into so many cups, it’s dark & luminous reading this potion”
“Ekphrasis involves voicing what art can’t speak. Teare’s expansive response to the art of Agnes Martin and Jasper Johns—touching on visionaries such as Ruth Asawa, Jay DeFeo, Sam Gillian as well—does this ever so differently. While probing the conditions allowing the artists to transmute biography and turn away from turmoil, he sounds out their findings, letting them undergird his bodily experience of precarity, illness, and queer love. Behold the poet’s gorgeous turn toward!”