Hannah Weiner


In beloved memory



We are happy to print here the biography originally submitted to Tender Buttons Press by Hannah Weiner for silent teachers     remembered sequel


annah weiner was born to it in providence ri in 1928 and graduated
from radcliffe college 1950 magna cum laude    she then worked for
three publishing houses   got fired from all of them    once for being
too intellectual    once for associating with aliens and once for
being caught not slapping her bosses face      she then turned to
retailing and was an assistant buyer for fat ladies dresses in
bloomingdales basement     she married a psychiatrist   freudian
and divorced him four years later     then she exaggerated but not lied
herself into a job designing lingerie and turned down her second
request for marriage     by this time she was making the rounds of
galleries and parties in the early sixties and began to write
poetry in 1963    both writing and designing were childhood ambitions
she got a free course at the new school and found she couldnt write
new york school poetry in fact she couldnt write her own words
at all    only the magritte poems      written in     and the fast are in
her own words     happily she discovered the international code of
signals and found she could write about almost anything
by using the code books     these became rather wild performances
followed by other performances like street works 1-7 and the
fashion show poetry event    she was very well reviewed because
the art critic of the village voice was one of her partners
she thus met the musicians   performers   pop artisits   lesbians
and poets of that time
all this glory ended in 1970 when she became extremely psychic
and hiding out in a cheap apartment wrote about nothing else in
almost 100 notebooks     see the fast     the words began to appear
in 1972 and led to the clairvoyant journal a three voice
performance poetry book about learning     explaining instructions
and the counter voice     years passed     the language group moved in
and so did the indians    she still remembers meeting chawho
at a party saying youre getting pretty old dont you think you
should publish    she did   sixteen and spoke begin to introduce
the teaching   now she is reaching her ultimate achievement
learned first at her grandmother's knee      TEACHING SILENT
she has dragged several poets into this with her    gosh ma shes a
real female tarpsichordist




Hannah Weiner’s telecommunications are on-line virtual language technology without cellular phones. We are reminded, by an insistent pattern of wishes, to pick up our messages. There is no mediation; it’s what’s at the extremes that counts. Language writing here becomes the kind of realism we always wanted.”

—Barrett Watten


“Suppose I raised the consciousness .07%? And incidentally wry silly, exasperated, and composed—the character of this writing fully realized/realizes—it starts and stops tumbling to/from where writing and being are the same raw experience. Passages are remembered and infinite. The social ‘filtered’ through the personal where the ‘personal’ is a complicated and brilliant combination of ways to see. Untempered, somber, hilarious. Cancel easy reminder of substance in reality. This writing makes the hall of mirrors look simple.

—Jessica Grim



“Silent teachers are those whom Hannah Weiner identifies as sending her subliminal instructions she alone hears and whose content she must determine how best to interpret in a world otherwise deaf to out message. It’s not a position for which one applies nor, since Weiner insists that the instructions are unconscious, one that can be denied or abandoned. Like the fallen angel in Wings of Desire, Hannah hears and takes on the world’s pain, joy and ambivalence, and humor with an acuteness that is breathtaking. For now over twenty years, Weiner has chronicled this minority reality with precision, wit and an extraordinary ear for language. Never has her range and rigor as a poet been more evident.”

—Ron Silliman




Patrick Durgin on Wiener’s “Clair-Style”

Marta L. Werner on Hannah’s Late Works


silent teachers    remembered sequel will be republished in the forthcoming

T E N D E R   O M N I B U S

The First 25 Years of Tender Buttons Press