Mark Berriman, Venus Demars, Holly Day on Sept 22

September 22, 2015 - 7:00pm
Image credit: 
Stefanie Beckers

"Dancing in the boneyard / He is the man in the bunny / suit waving from the side / of the road.’ These lines from a poem in Mark Berriman’s new collection, That Turned Ugly Fast, might well describe the poet himself. He twirls his subjects out and around in jitterbug language, taking on everything from corn syrup to the zipper merge. Sometimes he makes you laugh; sometimes he makes you cry. You won’t be bored, and don’t worry: it will be over too soon—almost before you know it.”

– Joyce Sutphen, Minnesota Poet Laureate

“We stand on the brink at the ending of time. Time was, Time is, Time will be no more. / And it's The Big Bang Epiphany in the gap between thought and image voices streams / racing whispering through our blood pleading through our bones strange activities of / our nerves the unconscious life of our minds a tetrameter of iambs marching shouting / Voices Without Restraint alchemically transmutative symbol decipherment The Book / as Sacred Elixir Manger du Livre Eat The Book and I eat That Turned Ugly Fast / by Mark Berriman the poet who is writing the apocalypse and I am never the same again.”

– Ron Whitehead, author of I Refuse I Will Not Bow Down I Will Never Give Up

“In these poems, Mark Berriman sees the small things. He writes the details—the hair on the nape of a lover's neck, a child's leg folded over a cat—like an old man watching and lost in past memories. But then he turns it about, and spits it out and makes demands of the world. Then he sounds like a young man full of frustration and swinging around to point a finger in your chest to punctuate a moment.”

– Jack Sargeant, author of Naked Lens: Beat Cinema, Deathtripping: The Cinema of Transgression


After living in Atlanta, New York City and Milwaukee, Mark Berriman home for the past 20 years. He is a published author, a poet and artist, musician and active community leader.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, his work is influenced by global events as well as post-modern culture.

Mark’s first book, “Scar Lit” (2003), was written under the name Mark Edward Marston. He took a ten year break from writing poetry and then returned with the soap box stomping trilogy – “Brutally Frank” (2012), “Kink in the Chain” (2013), and “That Turned Ugly Fast” (2015). Mark has appeared on television (KARE 11) and radio (KSTP). His work has appeared in the St. Paul

Pioneer Press, The Star Tribune, and numerous regional and national periodicals. He has read and performed across the Midwest.

More information:
His artwork has been featured in a number of galleries throughout the twin cities. He currently serves as the Publisher of the Stillwater Gazette and The Stillwater Gazette Valley Life.


Venus de Mars is a multidisciplinary artist and musician, best known as a singer-songwriting transgender rock star and leader of the band All the Pretty Horses. A chance tax audit transformed her into a champion of artists’ tax rights, after which the Venus de Mars Fund with Springboard for the Arts was established. De Mars is the recipient of multiple grants and awards, among them a Minnesota State Arts Board grant, a Bush Fellowship, and a Minnesota Music Award. She is currently working on a memoir and her newest album is "Flesh and Wire."


Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minnesota, since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in over 2,000 literary journals internationally, including The Tampa Review, Oyez Review, SLAB, The McGuffin, and Gargoyle, while her recently published books include Music Theory for Dummies, Piano All-in-One for Dummies, The Book Of, and Nordeast Minneapolis: A History.