PRAISE FOR FIVE OCEANS IN A TEASPOON

“Imagine Portnoy’s Complaint rendered into Guillaume Apollinaire’s Calligrammes and you get some idea of the surprising combination of the rich recollections of a life and the graphic scoring that takes their poetic imagery into animation on the pages of Five Oceans in a Teaspoon. This completely virtuosic work pairs two perfectly matched talents. Dennis J Bernstein’s detailed descriptions of childhood, family, love, life and death, and Warren Lehrer’s typographic compositions combine in a wonderfully rich, broad, truly-moving work that embodies precisely what it means to figure the word and render the multiple dimensions of human experience. In the long history of graphic word works, few, if any, have this range and repleteness.”
Johanna Drucker foremost Visual Literature scholar, author of over 50 books,
Breslauer Professor of Bibliographical Studies at UCLA

“Brilliant and beautiful. I love it! Thank you for bringing in the new.”
Alice Walker Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, author of The Color Purple

“From a kidnap note for a world held hostage by an A-bomb, to a Holocaust survivor’s tattooed arms where the numbers just don’t add up, Five Oceans in a Teaspoon re-envisions a poetry memoir via a textual kaleidoscope. Here the concrete poem is cracked wide open. How can the imagination free the fetters of the page? It’s a math problem where the answer is ‘Divorce.’ It’s a typewriter keyboard that spells out a poem instead of QWERTY. Bernstein and Lehrer are the Rodgers and Hart of Visual Poetry.”
Bob Holman poet, poetry activist and chronicler, founder: Bowery Poetry Club

“Bernstein and Lehrer—the Lennon and McCartney of viz-lit—have reunited at the height of their creative powers. Five Oceans in a Teaspoon speaks to the madness, vulnerability, aspiration and language of our time. The gutsiness and raw emotion of the writing, revelatory appeal of the visual compositions, and brevity of the form creates an intensely moving experiential journey.”
Steven Heller author of over 180 books on art, design and visual culture, co-chair SVA MFA Design

“This book of poems exploits every formal aspect of typography, at a fevered pitch, to establish its syntactic relevance to the semantic, and to ensure—uncannily—that readers are invited and able to navigate unexpected orientations of text, changes in spacing, positioning of word or phrase beginning or ending points. Lehrer also indicates graphical elements—dots, lines, shapes created by interstices between text—and uses punctuation as images when it suits the content of Bernstein’s poetry. For the most part, letters and words do the heavy lifting all by themselves in this work that expands the notion of concrete poetry extending back some four hundred years.”
Timothy Samara Making and Breaking the Grid (Rockport)

more to come. . . .