Nice to See You: Homage to Ted Berrigan, edited by longtime friend and colleague Anne Waldman, is a moving tribute to an important poet. “Let none regret my end who called me friend,” wrote Berrigan in “Last Poem”: this is, instead, a celebration of Berrigan’s high-energy life and work.
Stories, essays, poems, paintings, and photographs by the gifted group of writers and artists who surrounded Berrigan create a compelling portrait of the New York Lower East Side poetry community over which he sometimes seemed to preside. Like Guillaume Apollinaire, he acted as a catalyst, providing inspiration and encouragement to a host of writers and artists. Donna Dennis, Ron Padgett, James Schuyler, Bernadette Mayer, Jasper Johns, Ed Sanders, Andy Warhol, Robert Creeley, Larry Rivers, Amiri Baraka, and Philip Whalen are a few of the distinguished contributors to Nice to See You.
“Fiercely unpretentious, intensely self-absorbed, prodigious in his ambition and energy, Berrigan did more than create a substantial body of poetry. He also embodied a spirit that gave meaning to many other writers’ lives,” wrote Ken Tucker after Berrigan’s death in 1983. Nice to See You testifies to the unique collective spirit that Berrigan personified during his lifetime, and includes 56 pages of photographs and illustrations.