Catherine Bresner is the author of the chapbook The Merriam Webster Series, the artist book Everyday Eros (Mount Analogue 2017); and the empty season, which won the Diode Edition Book Prize in 2017. Her poetry has appeared in The VOLTA, Sixth Finch, The Offing, Heavy Feather Review, Gulf Coast, Poetry Northwest, Passages North and elsewhere.
She graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a BA in English and a concentration in poetry. In 2015, she earned her MFA from the University of Washington, Seattle. Catherine is the recipient of a fellowship to the Juniper Summer Writing institute and was the 2019 artist in residence at the Northwest Film Forum.
She has worked for The Massachusetts Review, Pilot Books, The Seattle Review, BOAAT Press and Kirkus Reviews. She is the publicist for Wave Books and lives in Seattle, WA.
Artist Rendering Care of Zachary Schomberg
the empty season
Catherine Bresner’s the empty season is an exquisite collection that comprises poetry, collage, illustration, and song. Her poems not only boldly challenge the ways that we as readers understand mental illness, femininity, cultural artifacts, and identity, but they interrogate the ways we understand the language of poetry altogether.
In her artist statement, Bresner writes, “When I create a poetry comic, I am writing from a place that is essentially ekphrasis in reverse. Typically, I will write a poem first and create a comic that complicates the first reading of that poem. I believe that the best poetry comics are ones that use images that are as mysterious as the language of poetry. Duplication is deadweight. Therefore, I like for a tension between word and image to exist, especially if metaphors are used. While I have illustrated comics in the past, digital collage seems well suited for the poems that I write. Just as I didn’t create language as a medium for poems, I didn’t create the images I collage together either. I am reminded of Jean-Luc Godard’s words, “It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.” I always try to take my poetry comics to a place of instability, evocation, and conundrum.”
Snarky, bawdy, and tender, Bresner’s hybrid poetry collection is a starling first book.