Bernadette Mayer Fundraiser and Midwinter Day Celebration

Affinities, Women Artists & Hybrid Forms

November 25th, 2021
Image: from July 7 in Memory by Bernadette Mayer

The following text is the Poetry State Forest/Friends of Bernadette Mayer announcement. Join us in supporting Bernadette whose work has been so meaningful to us.

This summer, Bernadette’s friends and family began planning a fundraiser to support her ongoing work as a poet and teacher and prepare for her retirement. A major goal of this initial effort was to raise funds to make some desperately needed repairs on the house that Bernadette and her partner, Phil Good, share in upstate New York. This house, and the surrounding woods known as the Poetry State Forest, has served as the site of many poetry workshops, readings, and gatherings and provided a library and home for various visiting writers and artists for over twenty years; these repairs would ensure that the house would continue to be a comfortable home as well as a place to welcome poets and others in the future. In early October, just as we were getting ready to launch, Bernadette was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Bernadette is doing well and her doctors are currently working on a treatment plan, which will likely involve surgery and other treatments.

While our efforts are now focused on supporting Bernadette and Phil as she goes through treatment and recovery, we’re continuing to assess the long-term goals to meet their material needs and to repair the aging infrastructure of their home.

Please join us in honoring and celebrating Bernadette’s contributions to poetry and the arts by supporting her and her partner Phil during this challenging time. 

This current fundraising effort will cover expenses for the next 6 months of recovery, going towards: making up lost wages, additional medical expenses not covered by insurance, urgent house repairs, and supporting the general comfort and well-being of Bernadette and Phil as they navigate this health situation. Any additional funds will go towards house repairs and the preservation of the house as a place for workshops, readings, and other gatherings into the future. A more targeted fundraising campaign for the house that identifies specific needs and projects will be announced soon. 

Our ultimate fundraising goal is $100,000
Donations can be made through the Committee on Poetry a non-profit organization that supports poets in need. Donations are tax deductible. 

Click HERE to donate.  And SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter for updates on fundraising efforts and Bernadette’s work. 

Midwinter Day Reading

For the past several years, people have gathered all over the country and even the world to read Bernadette’s classic text, Midwinter Day. This year’s reading will be coordinated with these fundraising efforts. We are hoping to get a massive showing of support for Bernadette.

SAVE THE DATE: We are working with a group to plan a marathon reading (on zoom) of Midwinter Day on Saturday, December 18, 2021. If you are interested in tuning into this reading, please contact

We are also working to encourage others to organize additional readings/fundraisers on the occasion of Midwinter Day and hope to keep track of all the events on this day. If you are interested in organizing a reading/fundraiser, please contact:

We will share more info on these events in a future newsletter.

Staying in touch with Bernadette

Bernadette and her family appreciate your concern about her health and well-being. She has requested that people do not call her to check in. She would, however, love to hear from you in print. 
You can send letters or cards to her at: 

53 Tsatsawassa Lake Road
East Nassau, NY 12062


You can email a message to