For those who may be wondering, Jay Besemer and Jen Besemer are the same person--me. In early 2014 I began the process of transitioning from female to male, and now use the name Jay Besemer in both personal and professional life. I also use male pronouns to describe myself, and request that others also use them in writing about my work or referring to me as its maker. I am continuing to use my old domain name as a way to preserve the continuity and history of my work, and to recognize that my own personal journey has intimately involved that work. I have no desire to erase my past or deny the reality of my previous embodiment. I wish to thank my friends, colleagues and audiences for their amazing and totally overwhelming support!
This page lists selected publications, performances/readings, exhibitions and workshops from 2007 to the present. For information concerning older publications or other projects not listed here, feel free to use the form on the CONTACT page. Click here for my Directory entry on the Poets & Writers website.
artist Jay Besemer is the author of several poetry books and chapbooks,
including Aster to Daylily and the
recent A New Territory Sought. As Jen
Besemer he was the author of Telephone, Object with Man’s Face,
Quiet Vertical Movements, Ten Word Problems, and What Is Born.
Jay’s recombinant poetry projects are featured in issue 25 of TENDE RLOIN and anthologized in Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer
Poetry and Poetics. They can also be found in Monsters & Dust, Aufgabe,
Drunken Boat, BlazeVOX, e-ratio, Sentence and other delicious publications.His video poems have been screened
at events like Chicago’s “Absinthe & Zygote” experimental reading series,
and “@Salon 2014” in Bloomington, Illinois.
Jay also curates the occasional poetry event, writes feature
essays and reviews, and teaches art and poetry workshops in and beyond Chicago.
TELEPHONE released Oct. 1 by Brooklyn Arts Press.
Object With Man's Face collage poem card-deck "book" published by Rain Taxi Ohm Editions. August 2013.
"Release Party for Sophie Grimes' City Structures: Readings by Sophie Grimes, Jen Besemer and Russ Woods." July 7, Images Gallery Cooperative, Chicago.
Eight poems from A Man of Me in Aufgabe 12 (Litmus Press).
Participant, "Troubling Tuscon: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry Symposium." May 9-12, Casa Libre en la Solana, Tucson, AZ.
"Jen Besemer, Richard Fox and Robert McDonald." April 25, The Book Cellar, Chicago.
“Triple Play: Jen Besemer, Richard Fox and Robert McDonald.” March 21, City Lit Books, Chicago.
“Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics Marathon Reading.” March 8, 2013, Club Cafe, Boston.
“Brooklyn Arts Press Author Reading.” March 8, 2013, Lir Irish Pub, Boston.
Five poems with Poetics Statement included in Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics anthology. TC Tolbert and Tim Trace Peterson, eds. Nightboat Books, 2013.
"Between Reading" at Mess Hall Chicago, October 12. Celebrating the release of the Between Compendium (Richard Fox, Beverly Nelson, Steven Teref and Jen Besemer) and the novel Between by Nicholas Alexander Hayes. "Surrogates" collaborative poetry reading/performance. Elastic Sound & Vision Gallery, October 6. Part of the Seventh Annual Chicago Calling Arts Festival.
"Visual Poetics" exhibition at Addison Center for the Arts. Apr. 9-May 4.
Four prose poems in BlazeVOX11's winter edition Jan. 2012
"Preface" reading series w/ARTIFICE, Chicago Book Expo, Nov. 17.
Reading/screening at the ARTIFICE #4 release party, Elegant Mr. Gallery, Nov. 12
Veneer eight-piece visual poetry series in Otoliths #23 October 23. 6th Annual Chicago Calling Arts Festival, October 8 (with Tim Armentrout).
Half-Truths exhibition, Logan Square Art Festival, July 28-31.
Two "Word Weave" visual poems in REM Magazine Volume 2, July. Two more Word Weaves also appear on the REM Magazine blog in June.
Red Rover Series # 43: "Restrictive Andragogies & Ex-Citation," Outer Space Studio, Chicago, Feb. 19. Review of Lynda Barry's Picture This: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book in Rain Taxi Review of Books, Vol. 15 issue 4, Jan.
Fifth Annual Chicago Calling Arts Festival, Zhou B. Art Center, Chicago, Oct. 10.
Review of Michel Sanouillet's DADA in Paris, Rain Taxi Review of Books online edition, Spring 2010 issue.
Four chapters translated from French to English in Michael Löwy's book, Morning Star: Surrealism, Marxism, Anarchism, Situationism, Utopia. University of Texas Press.
Feature article, "Franklin Rosemont: The Revolutionary Autodidact at Play," in Rain Taxi Review of Books Volume 14, issue 4, Winter 2009-10.
Review of bell hooks' Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom, in Rain Taxi Review of Books online edition, Winter 2009-10.
"Hello Tiresias" in Information Booth: Duet for Caller and Oracle. Anthology edited by Vincent Dermody. "Local Authors Night" reading, The Book Cellar, April 30. Collage poems in Dust electronic anthology, Ignavia Press.
"Geometric Abstract" poetry reading curated by Lina ramona Vitkauskas, Sept. 16.
"Cabinet of Wonders" invitational exhibition curated by David London, June 1-23.