Poetry and Photography

Poetry by Bill Mayer

Bill Mayer was born and raised in Los Angeles. He received his BA and MA from San Francisco State University, studying with Jack Gilbert, Stan Rice, William Dickey and Nanos Valaoritis. In the late ’60s, he was invited to join a poetry workshop with Gilbert, Linda Gregg, Larry Felson, George Stanley, Bill Anderson, Wilbur Wood, and others. The workshop persists to this day with some of its original participants. Paroikia Press has begun a series of chapbooks of its members, both past and present. Larry Felson’s Salt and Silver, and Mayer’s The Deleted Family, were the first in the series. In 2012, Steve Rood’s I Say Your Name  and Mayer’s Articulate Matter  were published.

Mr. Mayer has published four books of poetry, The Uncertainty Principle (Omnidawn, 2001), Longing (Pangaea, 1993 -first published, 2nd written), The Deleted Family, (Paroikia, 2004) and Aticulate Matter (Paroikia, 2012) and has work in a number of magazines: Caterpiller, Ironwood, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, Montana Gothic, Five Fingers Review, Red Rock Review, Paris Atlantic, Dance Macabre, and Poetry Flash, among others. He has recently appeared in an anthology of American poets who have lived in Greece, Kindled Terraces, edited by Donald Schofield. A fifth book, A Truce With Fantasy, will be published in the Fall of 2015 (Kelsay Books, Aldrich Press).

He has traveled widely, having spent extended time in Vermont, England, Greece, Hawaii, Monterey, Germany, France, Italy, and Austria. He is also a professional photographer (working with Tony Keppelman on Hummingbirds, a photographic essay published by Little-Brown) and importer of German and Austrian wines. He is married to Jane McKinne, professor of Art History at California College of the Arts, and lives with her in Berkeley, California.

A few quotes about Bill Mayer’s poems:

Mayer’s poems take their time in constructing his world, there is no hurry, no frenzy, just the quiet, careful craft of making things appear, something like watching the image in a photograph begin to take shape out of its chemical bath in the darkroom. But his poems are not merely descriptive, they are stepping stones into a renewed world, and they are informed by an intense mindfulness, a shimmering that remains long after the reading of the poem. Articulate Matter is a masterful work by a poet who delves into primary sources. His poems are a record of “what you wanted all along,/ the real world, not the imagined sorrow.”

Joseph Stroud

I find his poems intelligent, personal, and deeply courageous, a welcome support and contribution to the journey we all ultimately travel – that of finding ourselves at the deepest level. -Tony Keppelman

Bill Mayer’s poems are important, brave and religious in the deepest way because they ask relentlessly what is truly of consequence. -Steve Rood

Like many poets of the Greek Anthology or the Book of Songs, Mayer is a wanderer. But he is no exile. Rather he is a journeyer who searches not for discovery but for that something else sensed only through absence and longing. -Peter Weltner

I think Bill Mayer’s writing is essentially landscape poetry – not the kind found in representational art, but a landscape formed of feeling. -Bob Stephens

The best of these poems are transcendent, bring the sacred into common life. “The Arrival of Hermes” is sublime. This work is genuine. - Grace Schulman

In this book is a poetry without will, where things are what they are, and blessed. - Linda Gregg

When ordering Bill Mayer’s poetry books, please indicate which one(s) you want:

Purchase Longing $ 9.95

Longing, cover

from WINTERREISE, # 20

IM TREIBHAUS

THE HEART BEATS BENEATH THE BARK

 

Purchase The Uncertainty Principle $ 12.00*

The Uncertainty Principle, cover

Visit Omnidawn Press

# 10 FROM THE GREEK SERIES

AFTER

DER ROSENKAVALIER

 

Purchase The Deleted Family $ 10.00

The Deleted Family, cover

LA CUESTA ENCANTADA

from A DRAWER FILLED WITH PHOTOGRAPHS, # 5, THE TOUR AT SAN SIMEON

SOMEHOW ADMIRABLE

 

Purchase Articulate Matter $17.00

Articulate Matter cover

THE ARRIVAL OF HERMES

THE CONVERSATION

FROGS ON THE BORDER

APRIL 30, 1945 -THE SHAPE OF THE SOUL

TINAJA

THE WILD CATS

 

A TRUCE WITH FANTASY