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My Life and My Life in the Nineties
Lyn Hejinian

Wesleyan Poetry Series

2013 • 152 pp. 6 x 8"

$16.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-7351-3
$12.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7352-0

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

“One major source of joy in reading My Life comes from the collision of various sentences and subjects. In that very collision—vaguely cubist or collagist—lies the humor and pleasure of this text, which is a kind of super-collider, a site for high-energy linguistic experimentation.”—Hank Lazer, Archive Newsletter

New edition of one of the founding works of Language writing

Lyn Hejinian is among the most prominent of contemporary American poets. Her poem My Life has garnered accolades and fans inside and outside academia. First published in 1980, and revised in 1987 and 2002, My Life is now firmly established in the postmodern canon. This Wesleyan edition includes the 45-part prose poem sequence along with a closely related ten-part work titled My Life in the Nineties. An experimental intervention into the autobiographical genre, My Life explores the many ways in which language—the things people say and the ways they say them—shapes not only their identity, but also the very world around them.

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Reviews / Endorsements:

My Life has so many good lines in it, it’s like a trot, it makes you want to steal from it or perhaps annotate it and make the compliment (or complement) of imitating it.”—Bernadette Mayer, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E

“Hejinian has for some time been noted for her love of rich textual surface effects, but never before has she found a method of construction so suited to its development.”—Ron Silliman, San Francisco Review of Books

“To read the twenty-first-century iteration of Hejinian’s poetic autobiography is to experience anew a poem that conceives of a life as an ever-unfolding process of recapitulations and echoes, expansions and contractions, discontinuities, recontextualizations, and accumulations. It presents life as a whole that is at once more than its constituent parts and yet incomplete and ongoing.”
Tim Wood, Boston Review

LYN HEJINIAN is the author of A Border Comedy, and The Book of a Thousand Eyes, among many other books. She has also worked in collaboratively-authored projects, including Sight (with Leslie Scalapino, 1999) and The Wide Road (with Carla Harryman, 2010). She is a professor in the English department at the University of California, Berkeley.