The Desert


“These deserts cut through

All that one hears or reads about them

It is precisely as one feels”

This chapter-length excerpt from Jen Bervin’s sewn poem, based on a facsimile of John Van Dyke’s The Desert (1901), beautifully evokes this award-winning artist’s provocative melding of art and poetry.

Brooklyn resident Jen Bervin received her B.F.A. in Studio Art from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an M.A. in Poetry from the University of Denver. She has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Camargo Foundation. Bervin’s books include The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson’s Envelope Poems (New Directions, 2013), The Desert (Granary Books, 2008), A Non-Breaking Space (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2005), and Nets (UDP, 2004). Bervin’s work can be found in more than sixty international collections, including the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Yale University, the Brooklyn Museum, and the J. Paul Getty Museum.