Beverly Dahlen is an American poet. Her first book Out of the Third, was published by Momo's Press in 1974. Two chapbooks, A Letter at Easter (1976) and The Egyptian Poems (1983) were followed by the publication of the first volume of A Reading (1––7) (1985), a serial poem that continues to be in process. Since then, four more volumes of A Reading have appeared, A Reading 11-17 (1989), A Reading 8-10 (1992), A-Reading Spicier & Eighteen Sonnets (2004), and A Reading 18-20 (2008). Dahlen was a co-founder, with Kathleen Fraser and Frances Jaffer, of the feminist poetics newsletter (HOW)ever.
Prior to her 2013 Grants to Artists, Dahlen received a Small Press Traffic Lifetime Achievment Award (2011). Dahlen earned her B.A. from Humbolt State University and continued her studies at San Francisco State. She currently teaches writing workshops in schools and teaches at the City College of San Francisco.
In June 1978, I embarked on a project I called A Reading, it was intended to be an open-ended work and was based to some extent on the Freudian principle of free association. I thought of it as an "interminable analysis," perhaps it is less analytic and more free with all the difficulties that freedom implies. I was curious about evading the "editor" as I worked and was interested in revealing facets of the ego of the "writer." As a reading it was meant to address language, the language of the works one read as well as one's own language.
- December 2012