The Vivian Poems: Street Photographer Vivian Maier

Apr. 3 2020
Bruce Rice
New Publication

Saskatchewan Poet Laureate, Bruce Rice is pleased to annouce his sixth collection, The Vivian Poems: Vivian Maier Street Photographer, from Radiant Press. These poems peel back the layers of suburban life and the American Dream. Vivian Maier was a self-taught street photographer who worked as a nanny for middle-class families in Chicago. Her legacy of over 140,000 prints, negatives, boxes of undeveloped colour films, Super 8 films, and audiotapes were discovered in a storage locker auction in 2007. Maier died in poverty and saw nothing of the collection's worth. The poet imagines her as a documentarian who is compassionate, abrasive, and meditative, while her subjects provide their own stories. More than anything, the poems are a response to her work, which is all we have that comes directly from Maier herself. It is a deliberate challenge to the “mystery nanny” she is reduced to in much of the constructed narrative of her life.