The poems and images in When I Was a Tree have been gleaned from Dina Bursztyn's vast collection of sketch books, paintings, journals, artist's books and prints, created over years of steady studio practice in New York City and Catskill. Some are decades old, others more recent. Several of the poems included here were published in previous artist's books, art catalogues and journals. This full-color volume gathers together the elements of quiet delight, the transformative, and the alien that characterize Bursztyn's long and varied career. Dina Bursztyn began writing as a child and studied literature at the Universidad Nacional de Cordoba in her native Argentina. Shortly after graduating from college, circumstances, rather than choice, brought her to New York, where she found herself literally lost for words. Displaced by a new culture and language and suddenly 'alien', she was saved by one fateful free ceramics class. Since then she has been making objects, sculptures, public art and works on paper. With Julie Chase she operates Open Studio in Catskill, New York, now celebrating its tenth anniversary.