Double Trouble in the Roaring Twenties: Valery Oisteanu and Lynne Sachs (PRINCE)

New York poets Valery Oisteanu and Lynne Sachs make distillations, sometimes with words, sometimes with images. As a collagist, Valery imbibes the detritus of visual culture, using the materials he has consumed to construct surreal, oneiric designs. As an experimental filmmaker, Lynne collects images and sounds and reshapes them into cinema poems that warp and enliven our awareness of reality. In the mid 1980s, Lynne’s father Ira Sachs met Valery and his wife Ruth in Bali, Indonesia at the beginning of their shared multi-year engagement with the island and its rich culture. Soon, Ira introduced Valery to Lynne during his visits to New York City. It was during these regular familial interactions over thirty years that Lynne and Valery discovered their shared passions for making image-based work as well as writing poems. Tonight’s Double Trouble reading at McNally Jackson marks their first public poetry convergence, as they celebrate the beginning of the Roaring Twenties! 

When Lynne turned fifty, she dedicated herself to writing a poem for every year of her life, so far. Each of the fifty poems investigates the relationship between a singular event in Sachs’ life and the swirl of events beyond her domestic universe. Published by Tender Buttons Press, Year by Year Poems juxtaposes Sachs’ finished poems, which move from her birth in 1961 to her half-century marker in 2011, with her original handwritten first drafts. In this way, she reveals her process of navigating within and alongside historical events such as the Moon Landing, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., streaking, the Anita Hill hearings, the Columbine shootings, and controversies around universal health care. With intro by Paolo Javier and design by Abby Goldstein. 



“The whole arc of a life is sketched movingly in this singular collection. These poems have both delicacy and grit. With the sensitive eye for details that she has long brought to her films, Lynne Sachs shares, this time on the page, her uncanny observations of moments on the fly, filled with longings, misses, joys and mysterious glimpses of a pattern of meaning underneath it all.” –– Phillip Lopate 

“The highly acclaimed filmmaker Lynne Sachs is also a captivating and surprising poet. Year by Year distills five decades into lyric, a lustrous tapestry woven of memory, wisdom, cultural apprehension and the delicate specificities of lived life.” –– Claire Messud 


Valery Oisteanu is a poet, writer, and artist of the avant-garde. Born in the USSR (1943) and educated in Romania, he debuted as a poet with the collection PROSTHESIS in 1970(Litera Press, Bucharest). At the age of 20, he adopted Dada and Surrealism as a philosophy of art and life and a few years later English as his primary language. Immigrating to New York City in 1972, he has been writing in English for the past 44 years. He is the author of 12 books of poetry, a book of short fiction, The King of Penguins (Linear Art Press, 2000) and a book of essays (in progress), The AVANT-GODS. Over the last 10 years, he has written art criticism for The Brooklyn Rail,, Whitehot Magazine, and NY Arts. He is also a contributing writer for French, Spanish & Romanian art and literary magazines (La Page Blanche,, Viata Romanesca, Observatorul Cultural,,, etc). As an artist, he exhibits his collages at galleries. Valery’s newest book of Vis-Po (Visual Poetry) collages is titled Lighter than Air (Spuyten Duyvil Press NYC, 2017). He has performed in theater and in poetry-musical collaborations with jazz artists from all over the world in sessions known as Jazzoetry. Recipient of the Kathy Acker Award, NYC, 2013, for contribution to the American avant-garde in Poetry Performance.; Founding member of PASS (Poets and Artists Surrealist Society) 1977- 2016; “It’s the end of the World as we know it” Award (Vault Literary Society) 2000, award for exceptional cutting edge artists who constantly take risks with their art. 

Lynne Sachs writes poems and makes films and collages. She was first exposed to poetry by her great aunt as a child in Memphis, Tennessee. Soon she was frequenting workshops at the local library and getting a chance to learn from poets like Gwendolyn Brooks and Ethridge Knight. Lynne later discovered her love of filmmaking while living in San Francisco in the late 1980s where she worked with artists Craig Baldwin, Bruce Conner, Barbara Hammer, Carolee Schneeman, and Trinh T. Minh- ha. Lynne has made thirty-five films, including Film About a Father Who, Tip of My Tongue, and Your Day is My Night. She received a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship in the Arts and lives in Brooklyn. 

Buy the Book: 
Year by Year Poems By Lynne Sachs Cover Image
ISBN: 9780927920209
Availability: On Our Shelves
Published: Tender Buttons Press - October 1st, 2019