Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Book Spine Poems

Maria Popova, curator of the deservedly well-known Brain Pickings, began in April a series called Book Spine Poetry (see Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Last week, Glynn Young introduced to TweetSpeakPoetry readers the prompt, which is too irresistible to pass up. Many of us having been having fun with it. (Be sure to read the comments to Glynn's post.) Here are a few of my own book spine poems. Please feel free to share your own "found poems" in the comments section.

* * * *

The following were inspired as I browsed the virtual shelves of Barnes and Noble.

Hemingway's boat: Everything he loved in life, and lost
invisible monsters remix.

Authors of titles in order of appearance: Neil Barofsky, Paul Hendrickson, Chuck Palaniuk


Between you and me,
tigers in red weather
don't say a word!

Authors of titles, in order of appearance: Emma McLaughlin, Liza Klaussmann, Beverly Barton


The Dark Knight rises.
Let the Devil sleep
where we belong:
buried on Avenue B.

Authors of titles, in order of appearance: Greg Cox, John Verdon, Emily Griffin, Peter De Jonge

* * * *

The following are books on my shelves and thus the inspiration for the following book spine poems:

life is a verb,
blue notes
open the door.

Authors of titles, in order of appearance: Rudyard Kipling, Patti Digh, Joan Dideon, Joyce Rupp


Wearing heels in the Rust Belt,
you and three others are approaching a lake.
Into perfect spheres such holes are pierced
fully into ashes.

Authors of titles, in order of appearance: Karen J. Weyant, Anna Moscovakis, Catherine Barnett, Sofia M. Starnes


Ignore everybody!
an inconvenient truth.

Authors of titles, in order of appearance:  Hugh MacLeod, Deborah Lupton, Al Gore


Dear Ghosts,

Surviving has made me crazy.
The simple truth:
strong is your hold
day by day.

Authors of titles, in order of appearance: Tess Gallagher, Mark Nepo, Philip Levine, Galway Kinnell, Robert Lowell


Come, Thief.
Come and see
red bird
unpacking the boxes.
present company
to be of use.

Authors of titles, in order of appearance: Jane Hirshfield, Fanny Howe, Mary Oliver, Donald Hall, Liz Waldner, W.S. Merwin, Marge Piercy


What are big girls made of?
Stone, paper, knife
wild iris
curses and wishes
winter trees
eyes, stones
phantom noise.
the will to change
toxic flora

Authors of titles, in order of appearance: Marge Piercy, Marge Piercy, Louise Gluck, Carl Adamshick, Sylvia Plath, Elana Bell, Brian Turner, Mary Oliver, Adrienne Rich, Kimiko Hahn, Sandra Steingraber


And if I don't go crazy, I'll meet you here tonight;
One sleeps the other doesn't
connecting the dots.

Authors of titles, in order of appearance: Filip Marinovich, Jane Kenyon, Naomi Shihab Nye, Jacqueline Waters, Donald Hall,  Maxine Kumin


What love comes to
left out in the rain:
the best day, the worst day
every riven thing
refusing heaven.

Authors of titles, in order of appearance: Ruth Stone, Gary Snyder, Donald Hall, Christian Wiman, Jack Gilbert


Barbies in communion,
God in the yard.
Contingency plans
rumors of water.
Delicate machinery suspended
the whipping club
inside out.

Authors of titles, in order of appearance: Marcus Goodyear, L.L. Barkat, David K. Wheeler, L.L. Barkat, Anne M. Doe Overstreet, Deborah Henry, L.L. Barkat (These all are authors of T.S. Poetry Press.)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Muse Watches 'Sea Salt'

I was delighted to find this Motionpoems animation of "Sea Salt" by Colorado's Poet Laureate David Mason. My profile of Mason, who was appointed for a four-year term that began in July 2010, is here

The animation is the work of Amy Schmitt, an illustrator and the creative director of Motion504 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Text of Poem

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Thought for the Day

. . . I always tell people . . . that it is very good if you
do not fall. But people are apt to trip. If you get up
back on the right track, then the experience will enrich
your life. If you don't get up, you reach the end, and 
you lose. But getting up is great.
~ Toshiro Ogura*

* Quoted from interview with Hiroshima survivor Toshiro Ogura in Hiroshima in the Morning by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto (Feminist Press of City University of New York, 2010). 

A trailer for the award-winning book, which I read recently, is here.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Sharing (My Finds Are Yours)

Take some time to chill with today's edition of Saturday Sharing. Start at the top or skip around; just don't tell me there's nothing here to interest you.

✦ The online magazine Urban Ghosts is all about abandoned and forgotten places, "hidden" history, and "alternative" travel. Urban explorers will find plenty to hold their attention.

Urban Ghosts on FaceBook

✦ If you have children who enjoy making art, treat them to a low-cost membership with The Imagination Factory, where they'll also learn about recycling and reusing solid waste materials. 

✦ Mike Urban's "The Cretaceous Garden" will take you back a few million years.

✦ In addition to presenting Poems of the Week, the poetry blog THEthe includes a Poetry Comics section curated by poet and artist Bianca Stone. You can follow Stone's own blog here.

THEthe on FaceBook and Twitter

✦ If stats are your thing or you're looking to bolster your arguments with facts, visit Gapminder, which offers an unparalleled body of data. The Website has a section for teachers, in addition to videos and data visualizations. Hans Rosling is co-founder of Gapminder Foundation, a nonprofit in Stockholm, Sweden, whose aim is to replace myths with facts and to "show major global development trends with animated statistics."

Gapminder Blog

Gapminder on FaceBook, Twitter, and Vimeo

Gapcasts on iTunes (Free)

Hans Rosing on Twitter

New York Neon blog is dedicated to documenting old neon signs. The collection is to be issued in  Thomas E. Rinaldi's book of the same title later this year by W.W. Norton. Also see Rinaldi's New York Neon Website, which features images of more than 400 signs Rinaldi has been documenting since 2006; the images are grouped categorically.

✦ May this  video of "Rain of Poems Over London" and this eyewitness account leave you smiling:

Rain of Poems over London / Bombardeo de poemas sobre Londres from Casagrande on Vimeo.

Friday, July 27, 2012

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Syria-born and current Los Angeles resident Suhair Sibai uses the female form to to explore identity and the self. Her large mixed media canvases are stunning. 

Suhair Sibai on Video

Suhair Sibai at Saatchi Online

Also see the work of Yari Osovany (video) and Farnaz Taghavi.

Grain is a photography collective launched this year.

Grain on Twitter

Grain Blog

✦ Encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference books have never been quite the same since artist and scientist Julia Strand got her hands on them. See her creations at HokeyStokes!

✦ Imagery for the art of Karen Margolis is inspired, she says, by enso, Japanese for "circle", a sacred Zen Buddhist symbol for infinity and perfection. All the pieces in her Integration and Molecular Works series are created with hand-made Abaca paper.

✦ In doing some research for my poem about Alan Turing, I learned that the late artist Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, whose mosaics grace the Tottenham Court Road underground station in London, created a series of Turing-related prints, none of which uses Turing's face or body as imagery. See the prints. The Turing suite also may be viewed here. Also see Jin Wicked's print.

✦ The Textile Arts Center, Brooklyn (Park Slope), New York, which seeks to preserve and promote textile handcrafts, has launched SHOP, featuring kits, books, apparel, paper items, home goods, and more.

TAC on FaceBook and Twitter

TAC Blog

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Sonoma, California, is presenting through September 23 "Cross Pollination: The Art of Lawrence Ferlinghetti". Divided into four themes — Her - Woman, The Sea, Liberation/Pacificism, Art and Literature — the exhibition showcases Ferlinghetti's paintings, graphic works, and writings, including poems.

SVMA on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

Lawrence Ferlinghetti's artwork can be seen at George Krevsky Gallery in San Francisco.

This video interview with the poet at his easel and at a gallery opening is from KQED Arts.

✭ The Tamarind Institute's latest group exhibition, involving paired bi-national artists, is "AFRO: Black Identity in America and Brazil". Participating are Brazilians  Rosana Paulino, Tiago Gualberto, and Sidney Amaral, all of Sao Paulo, and Alison Saar (Los Angeles), Willie Cole (Somerville, New Jersey), and Toyin Odutola (San Francisco). Tamarind invited the artists, who are in residence through August, to create lithographs that explore the complexities of the issues of racial identity, equality, and inclusion in Brazil and the United States. 

Exhibition Poster 
Tiago Gualberto, Cabelo (Hair), 2011
Charcoal and Smoke, 39" x 39"

Alison Saar and Rosana Paulino were the first pairing; images of them in Tamarind's Workshop are on FaceBook. Gualberto is paired with Cole, and Amaral with Odutola. Their prints are wonderful.

Tamarind Institute on FaceBook

✭ New York City's Museum of Arts and Design continues through October 21 its exhibition "Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation, 3" featuring contemporary Native art from the Northeastern and Southeastern United States and Canada. In this show, the conclusion to a series of exhibitions presenting the work of established and emerging Native artists, more than 130 works by more than 80 artists of several generations are on view. Media used range from bark and fiber to clay and metal. There are site-specific installations as well as examples of performance, video, and digital art. Exhibition Images

G. Peter Jemison, Crow in Shadow, 2011
Handmade Paper Bag, Acrylic Paint, Collage
23" x 12" x 6-1/4"
Photo: Kevin Vickers and David Mitchell

MADMuseum on FaceBookTwitter, and YouTube

MADMuseum Blog

Notable Exhibitions Abroad

✭ The Savannah College of Art and Design's Lacoste, in Lacoste, France, is presenting at La Galerie Pfriem through September 1 "Streaming Spirits: New Prints by Kiki Smith and Valerie Hammond". The show features 12 prints by the renowned artists that were created with the help of undergraduate and graduate printmaking students at SCAD Atlanta. The techniques used to create these marvelous prints include lithography, photogravure, and letterpress. Among the prints are Smith's Color Noise, an accordion-fold lithograph of self-portraits, and Hammond's apports, a four-color photogravure of Smith's back. An illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

The image of Hammond's stunning apports is included in the press release, which also includes brief biographical information about both artists.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A 'Metta' Meditation

. . . [T]hink in your mind a blessing for yourself. . . .
~ Sylvia Boorstein

The following is a guided metta ("lovingkindness") meditation led by Sylvia Boorstein during a  conversation she had with Krista Tippett of On Being before a live audience in Detroit. Boorstein teaches at California's Spirit Rock Meditation Center.

I was drawn to how Boorstein framed this meditation as a blessing for oneself. Try the meditation and share your experience of lovingkindness. May it leave you feeling at peace.

Boorstein's Website includes instructions for a "do-it-yourself mindfulness retreat". It also includes a "Metta Sutta" ("The Buddha's Sermon on Unconditional Love").

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Amy Sillman: Paint Meets Word

The ArtForum, an arts magazine to which I subscribe, recently spotlighted the first solo exhibition in Paris of New York City-based artist Amy Sillman. Included in the Castillo/Corrales exhibition is Sillman's video Draft of a Voice-Over for Split-Screen Video Loop (2012).

The video, which can be viewed here on Sillman's Website, comprises some 2,000 iPad drawings and animations by Sillman and a voice-over of a poem by Lisa Robertson; the text is spoken by the artist. The evocative, six-minute looping video is a fascinating artistic collaboration, giving Robertson's words a simultaneously visual and aural representation. Sillman has said that painting is "a physical thinking process to continue an interior dialogue"; she brings that concept to realization in this project and others with poets.

On the same Website page you'll find Pinky's Rule (2011), a seven-minute video collaboration with poet Charles Bernstein that Sillman made on an iPhone. The video also can be seen on BOMB Magazine. Sillman, who made several thousand images for the video, reads Bernstein's poem.


Amy Sillman at Crown Point Press, Museum of Modern ArtSaatchi Gallery, Sikkema Jenkins Co., and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects; Interview at The Brooklyn Rail; Feature at Paris Review (2010); Feature at Hyperallergic (2012)

Color Walk by Amy Sillman

Charles Bernstein at Academy of American PoetsJacket2, and PennSound

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gernika Remembered (Poem)

Gernika Remembered

Surrealists did not dream the Condor Legion
    gruffly rumbling through a cloudless April
        afternoon. It was 4:30 when the humming

tongues in market stalls wagged numbed amid showers
    of sunflowers and smoke, the nerve-slashing flash
        not Halley's tail cutting its arc through a phantom

sky but Gernika blanket-bombed and blazing below Lumo,
    a horse run through with lance, a grit of red laid down
        on blistered Basque pavement. Picasso, the unmasked

and charging bull, sketched what Spain could not long view,
    his jumble of brushes manic to paint the mad man's vision
        vying with outstretched hands, flayed fingers, in-turned palms.

© 2012 Maureen E. Doallas

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Muse: Georgia's Poet Laureate

Making nonsense sound turns out to be the first step
toward making poetry, because when you make poetry 
you have to first sing before you make sense. You sing
and you make sense eventually at the same time. But
if you just make sense and don't sing, then you're 
writing something else, something flat. . . . 
~ Judson Mitcham on Forum Network

The Poet Laureate of Georgia is Judson Mitcham, who began his term this past May. Mitcham succeeded David Bottoms, who served from May 2000 until May 2012.

Information about the uncompensated state-established position is included in my earlier post about Bottoms. Mitcham told an interviewer that in addition to participating in readings and other literary events throughout the state, he aim to "make people aware of the many accomplished poets who live in Georgia."

* * * * *

Poet and novelist Judson Mitcham, Ph.D., has published, most recently, A Little Salvation: Poems Old and New (University of Georgia Press, 2007) and This April Day (Anhinga Press, 2002). His first poetry collection Somewhere in Ecclesiastes (University of Missouri Press, 1991) was honored with a Devins Award. Mitcham's novels The Sweet Everlasting and Sabbath Creek made him a two-time winner of the Townsend Prize for Fiction (1998 and 2006), which is awarded by the Writers Institute at Georgia Perimeter College, co-sponored by Georgia Center for the Book. The former was a finalist for the Southern Book Critics Circle Award.

Perkolater Press in 2007 published Heart of All Greatness in a letterpress edition of 65. Illustrations are by book artist and letterpress printer Amy Pirkle. The poems, whose subject is fathers and their relationships to their sons, are reprinted from This April Day. Perkolater Press also published in an edition of 25 a broadside of The Sweet Everlasting.

Family relationships, identity and place (Mitcham grew up in Monroe, Georgia), Southern culture, time's passage, memory, change, death and loss, and futility are among Mitcham's themes. Spirituality, as reflected in the treatment of issues such as redemption, also is present in Mitcham's poems, which tend toward the ruminative and philosophical and sometimes have a decidedly elegiac tone, especially if written in first person. Both a narrative and lyric poet, Mitcham mixes it up; even quick perusals of his collections reveal that he follows no set style or form, sometimes writing in couplets, tercets or quatrains, other times employing poetry as prose; some poems are short, others dozens of stanzas long.

An inattentive reader can be caught off-guard. For example, "Body" begins with the lines "Let no one explain / the parable of the hot dog gobbled at the ball game." Those lines do not hint at what is the real, and tragic, subject of the poem, revealed in section 2:

Not shaped like an apple or pear
or anything that would go soft and rot; not like any
accoutrement of sport—Titleist or tennis ball—

this knot of cells, calcified, building itself
for years, like a thoughtless practical joke—
outrageous, with no one to witness it—

in the cerebellum. [. . .]

Mitcham leaves us at the end of this moving poem with the shattering knowledge that "Our mother had a twitch in her eye, nothing more / when I took her to the doctor, // eleven years ago, this September." We need no more detail.

Here are several other excerpts that give a sense of Mitcham's fine writing:

I had seen the earth open and close, the golden ash
of pollen wash away, each thin copper spine
of broomsage bending in the dawn,

as if burdened by the shining of the sun;
[. . . .]
~ From "In the Sweet By and By"

What if every prayer for rain brought it down?
What is prayer made drunks quit the bars, numbers hit,
the right girl smile, shirts tumle from the dryer
fully ironed? What if God

required no more than a word? [. . . .]
~ From "History of Rain"

Poetry by Mitcham has appeared in such highly regarded literary journals and periodicals as Chattahoochee Review, Georgia Review, The Gettysburg ReviewHarper'sPoetry, Poetry Daily, and Southern Poetry Review.

In addition to being named Georgia Author of the Year by Georgia Writers Association, Mitcham has been awarded a Pushcart Prize (1989, for the poem "Explanations") and fellowships from Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Georgia Council for the Arts

Mitcham has taught poetry and fiction workshops at Mercer University, Macon, and creative writing at University of Georgia and Emory University.


All Poetry Quotations © Judson Mitcham

Press Release on Appointment of Mitcham from the Office of the Governor Nathan Deal, May 4, 2012

Judson Mitcham Poetry Online: "The Question", "In the Sweet By and By", "History of Rain", and "An Introduction", All at Poetry Net; "Risen", "Praise", "Forever", "Night", and "Wrong", All at Contemporary American Voices; "Rocking Anna to Sleep" (Video) at 13WMAZ; "The Foolishness of God Is Wiser Than Men" (Video) at 13WMAZ; "Delilah" (Video); "Explanations" at The Gettysburg Review (Pushcart Prize-winning Poem Reprinted in The Pushcart Prize XIV: The Best of the Small Presses 1989-1990)

Judson Mitcham reads "An Introduction", "Lyric", "Night", and "Forever" from A Little Salvation on YouTube.

Judson Mitcham on Forum Network Lectures: March 29, 2007 (Mitcham talks about and reads from his work in this podcast.) and April 21, 2004 (Mitcham reads from his work in this video.)

Judson Mitcham on FaceBook

Joe Kovac Jr., "A Conversation with Judson Mitcham, Georgia's New Poet Laureate", The Telegraph, May 13, 2012

Stephen Milligan, "State Poet Laureate Has Local Ties", WaltonTribune, May 13, 2012

Review of A Little Salvation at Old Smiley (September 2007)

Review of This April Day at Via Negativa (April 2010)

A Little Salvation: Poems Old and New on Googlebooks (Selected Pages Available) 

This April Day at GoogleBooks (Selected Pages Available)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Thought for the Day

[Poems] teach not how to live, but how to learn
about living. Great poems are all fables
about what the best literature does. . . .
~ John Hollander, Poet and Critic

Quoted from J.D. McClatchy, "John Hollander, The Art of Poetry No. 35", The Paris Review, Fall 1985

Paul Devlin, "A Conversation with John Hollander", St. John's University Humanities Review, Vol. 1.2, April 2003

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday Sharing (My Finds Are Yours)

Today's finds include a garden of LEGO® sculptures, the Internet Hall of Fame, a directory of "green" blogs, and a living art project in Italy in which anyone with a gardener's thumb may participate.

✦ Recorded interviews with more than 200 music industry professionals, singers, and musicians, from Ella Fitzgerald and Tony Bennett to Little Richard and Tina Turner, have been donated to the collections of the Library of Congress. The LOC plans to house the trove, called the Joe Smith Collection, at the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Virginia, and stream some of the recordings on the LOC Website later this year. News Release

Library of Congress on FaceBookTwitter, and YouTube

✦ The Internet Hall of Fame is now 20 years old. Here's the latest list of inductees.

✦ Looking for "green" blogs? Try Best Green Blogs, a directory of blogs from around the world that are themed to sustainability, ecology, environmentalism, and other "green" subjects. 

Best Green Blogs on Twitter

✦ Who knew?! Kansas ranks third in the United States in the number of grassroots art sites. See Grassroots Art to learn more.

Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University in Ames is the first public garden in the United States to display sculptures made of LEGO® bricks. On view now through October 28, "Nature Connects" comprises 27 larger-than-life sculptures in 14 displays. The work, requiring almost a half-million bricks, is the creation of New York-based artist Sean Kenny. Among the sculptures are a bison and calf, a bumblebee, a moth orchid, goldfinches, a tiger swallowtail butterfly, koi, a fox, a rose, and a lawn mower. Images

✦ The Garden Map living art project at Cassano d'Adda is getting a lot of attention. It's a very creative way to think about maps and their uses. You don't have to live in Italy to participate.

Friday, July 20, 2012

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ This survey aims to clear up any doubt you might have about why persons of high net worth own art. Survey Report

✦ Pages from Keith Haring's journals from 1971 to 1989 are posted at this Tumblr site. A large exhibition of Haring's work recently was mounted at Brooklyn Museum.

✦ The trailer for a documentary about Marina Abramovic, The Artist Is Present, may be viewed here.

✦ This 15:52-minute film by Eric Minh Swenson present the marvelous paintings and works on paper of Los Angeles figurative artist Ruth Weisberg. The exhibition "Ruth Weisberg: Now & Then", at Jack Rutberg Fine Arts (the exhibition closed June 30), was part of the highly praised J. Paul Getty Museum initiative "Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980".

Jack Rutberg Fine Arts on FaceBook

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ The University of Chicago's Smart Museum of Art continues through August 26 "Drawing Inward: German Surrealist Richard Oelze". Included in the exhibition are drawings and sketches of "imaginary landscapes, fantastic objects, and figures" that the Bauhaus-trained artist drew post-World War II. Included in the 1936 exhibition "Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism" at the Museum of Modern Art, Oelze subsequently fell into obscurity. 

Richard Oelze, Untitled, 1925
Graphic, Black and White Chalk on Wove Paper
Anonymous Gift in Memory of W.A. Peterhans
Smart Museum of Art

Smart Museum of Art on FaceBook and Twitter

Richard Oelze at History of Art at Art of the 20th Century

Valery Oisteanu, "Richard Oelze: Paintings & Drawings form the 1950s and 1960s", The Brooklyn Rail, 2007 (This exhibition also was reviewed in The New York Times.)

✭ In New York, the Queens Museum of Art has partnered with El Museo del Barrio and The Studio Museum in Harlem to present "Caribbean: Crossroads of the World". On view at all three museums, the exhibition, divided into six themes, features hundreds of paintings, sculpture, prints, books, photographs, and historic artifacts, as well as films and videos, highlighting, in particular, rarely seen works from the Haitian Revolution (c. 1804) to the present. Among the many artists whose work is represented in the show are Janine Antoni, John James Audubon, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Paul Gauguin, Enrique Grau, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Wilfredo Lam, Ana Mendieta, Camille Pissarro, Francisco Oller, Arnaldo Roche-Rabell, and Ernesto Salmeron. Caribbean Crossroads Website

Rigaud Benoit, Sea Goddess/Sirene, 1962
El Museo del Barrio,
Gift of Drs. Roslyn and Lloyd Siegel

Press Release (pdf)

Queens Museum of Art ("Fluid Motions" and "Kingdoms of This World" On View Through January 6, 2013)

"Caribbean" at El Museo del Barrio ("Counterpoints" and "Patriot Acts" On View Through January 6, 2013)

"Caribbean" at The Studio Museum ("Shades of History" and "Land of the Outlaw" On View Through October 21, 2012)

Queens Museum of Art on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ In Rockford, Illinois, Rockford Art Museum joins many other institutions in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Studio Glass Movement with "Into the Light: Illinois Glass", on view through October 21. The exhibition showcases the exceptional work and examines the influence of eight contemporary glass artists: Nicolas Africano, William Carlson, Jose Chardiet, Katja Fritzsche, Jon Kuhn, Joel Philip Myers, Thomas Scoon, and Janusz Walentynowicz. Also included is glass from RAM's permanent collection. 

In this video, presented during the Corning Museum of Glass exhibition "Voices of Contemporary Glass", Joel Philip Myers talks about the evolution of the Studio Glass Movement:

Rockford Art Museum on FaceBookTwitter, and Pinterest

Notable Exhibits Abroad

✭ Billed as "the largest and most ambitious selection of works by the U.S. artist ever to be shown in Europe", "Hopper" at Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum includes loans of Edward Hopper paintings from major museums, including New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art. The exhibition, in Madrid, Spain, where it is on view through September 16, comprises 73 paintings, drawings, prints, and watercolors; one section focuses on Hopper's time in Robert Henri's studio at the New York School of Art and his training; a second, arranged thematically, displays mature work by Hopper alongside work of other artists of the time, including Felix Vallotton, Walter Sickert, and Edgar Degas. According to information on the museum's Website, the last room of the exhibition is set up as a film set where American filmmaker Ed Lachman has re-created as a 3D installation Hopper's Morning Sun (1952) with the aim of creating a "dialogue between Hopper's influence on film and its influence on his work."

Edward Hopper, Hotel Room, 1931
Oil on Canvas, 152.4 cm x 165.7 cm
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid

A catalogue in Spanish accompanies the exhibition.

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum owns the most significant collection of Hopper's work outside the United States.

Thyssen-Bornemisza on FaceBookTwitter, and Vimeo

Edward Hopper Scrapbook at Smithsonian American Art Museum

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hear the Words You Wear

Yesterday I came across an article about "poetry-reading dresses". Part of the Lace Sensor collection by designers Anja Hertenberger and Meg Grant, the clothing "speaks" its embedded prerecorded poems when triggered by a touch. 

Read the article and watch the video below to understand the technology behind the creations, which debuted this month in Vienna, Austria, at the TechnoSensual Exhibition

Lace Sensor Project Blog

Museum de Kantfabriek (Lace Factory Museum)

Be sure to visit the designers' Websites and blog to learn more about Lace Sensor (in-process photos are provided) and to view other interesting projects, including "TK 730", which involves the use of a manual knitting machine.

My thanks to Harriet Poetry blog for the article link.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Single Sentence Animation

In this terrific trailer for the novel Us by Michael Kimball, a single sentence is animated beautifully by Luca Dipierro

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Palm Reading (Poem)

Palm Reading
    for Michelle Rummel

She counts her blessings
      within the lines of her palm.

Length, she'd heard once, has
      nothing to do with living close

to the edge. Her heart's line
      ends in a thick knot of branches,

and her head line, extending far
      beyond the middle of her painter's

palm, pays a ransom to ambition.
      She quarrels with all the tiny nicks

the reader finds, some indivisible
      number she discovered could be

used to retrace the ground already
      covered in that wide smooth stretch

between thumb and index finger.
      Her life line starts high enough

but just before the gentle curve
      above the wrist she spies the chains

invisible to others whose own
      break at the forks on their hands

or double up like devoted soul
      mates. Deep in the center of her

self unseen lies fate's sinuous slant,
      and there, on the side underneath

the pinky, two long love marks.
      Intuition's prominence tells her

nothing more about the three
      bracelets her reader sees, or

the many places she'll travel,
      where a crescent moon lingers —

her lover's shield, her Girdle of Venus.

© 2012 Maureen E. Doallas

This poem varies somewhat from a draft I left in the comments section of a recent post at TweetSpeakPoetry. I used as my prompt the phrase "within the lines of her", part of the poem that accompanied the lovely watercolor She Breathes Cerulean by Michelle ("Shell") Rummel of Shell Artistree.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Muse: West Virginia's Poet Laureate

I've had a desire to give back, with stories and poems.
~ Marc Harshman

Poet, children's book writer, and professional storyteller Marc Harshman is West Virginia's Poet Laureate. He succeeds Irene McKinney, who served the state for some 18 years, until her death in February of this year. In announcing the appointment May 18, 2012, governor Earl Ray Tomblin singled out Harshman's creativity, which he said "serves as a reminder of the immeasurable talent of West Virginia's authors."

Harshman has noted in interviews that one objective as Poet Laureate will be "seeing what I can do to support the life of writers here in the state of West Virginia," where, he adds, there is "a very vibrant, healthy community of writers of all genres."

Information about the position of state poet, who serves at the will of the governor and receives a $2,000 stipend annually, is included in my post about McKinney.

* * * * *
My poems are frequently narrations springing from specific
and local geographies. . .  I believe the poems reveal perceptions of 
value gleaned from the bleaker aspects of lives lived either alone or
in communal isolation from the mainstream. The free verse in which
I compose is intended to be voiced, to be heard, and is informed 
by the harmonies and rhythms of traditional verse.*

Crediting a "language-rich household" with making him a writer, Wheeling resident Marc Harshman has published a number of chapbooks: Local Journeys: A Collection of Poems (Finishing Line Press, 2004; 2006), Three Poems (Costmary Press, 1987), and Turning Out the Stones (State Street Press, 1983).  His Rose of Sharon: Poems was published by Mad River Press in 1999. Some of his work has appeared as limited-edition broadsides. 

Though he also is the author of 11 children's books (more are under contract), some of which he describes as "extended poems", Harshman has remarked that poetry is his "first love". In a statement about his work, he says:

An artist's manipulation of words through rhythms, images,
and countless other figures is high calling. . . .*

Themes including community, relationships, nature, addiction, time's passage, and the spiritual characterize Harshman's prose and poetry. Place — his childhood in Indiana, his long residency in West Virginia, and his travels abroad — exerts a strong influence in Harshman's work and roots it. His three decades in West Virginia, he says, are "a singular blessing" to his writer's life. 

Here's an excerpt from Harshman's poem "Winter Into Spring", which gives a good sense of Harshman's fine ear for language and imagery (note the assonance and alliteration, as well as rhythm):

[. . .]
One split and rotting log is furred
with a spidery moss along which runs
a three foot snake of red bramble:
even days under the pounding pressure
of the waters' pull to ocean
have not robbed it of its tiny thorns—
grass-blade thin and sharp they remain.
[. . . .]

Strikingly different in feeling and is this contemplative excerpt from the fourth section of the poem "Four Movements After Carl Ruggles":

[. . .]
Had I not been small once and tucked
into darkness once a day, week after week,
once upon a time? Had I not seen dark mount
the bedroom walls larger than the space between
all I knew, a sky high with lightlessness,
and know then that this would be a part of me,
and nothing to do with fear this, that place before,
where the repetition of nights upon night
practiced a way back into the welcome dark. [. . .]

Harshman has published poems in dozens of  journals, including Atlanta Review, BluelineCider Press Review, The Bitter Oleander, EquinoxThe Georgia Review, Southern Humanities Review, Shenandoah, Poetry NorthwestThe Progressive, The Innisfree Poetry JournalSycamore ReviewTipton Poetry Journal, and Tusculum Review. He is anthologized in Wild Sweet Notes: Fifty Years of West Virginia Poetry 1950-1999 (Publishers Place, 2000; the poems from Harshman are "Them", "There Will Be Dancing", "Oxford", "Checking the Spring", and "Clark Hill"), Wild Song: Poems of the Natural World (University of Georgia Press, 1998; "Byng Inlet, Ontario"), and The Anthology of Appalachian Writers (Shepherd University, 2012), among other collections.

In addition to receiving a poetry fellowship (2000) and a fellowship in children's literature (2008) from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, as well as a fellowship from the University of Minnesota (1994), which he used to research Scandinavian myth and folklore, Harshman has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has won a Literal Latte Journal award for his prose poems. Other honors include a 1995 Smithsonian Notable Book for Children prize (for The Storm) and a Parent's Choice Award. He was 1995 West Virginia English Teacher of the Year. His prose poem "In the Company of Heaven" won a Newport Review flash fiction contest.

In addition to a master's degree in English from University of Pittsburgh, Harshman holds a master's degree in religion from Yale University Divinity School. 


Photo Credit: West Virginia Living Magazine

Poetry Quotations © Marc Harshman

Marc Harshman Profiles at Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, West Virginia Wesleyan College (out-of-date); Something About the AuthorCenter for the Book, West Virginia Library Commission; West Virginia Folklife Center; West Virginia Department of Commerce (West Virginia Authors Series)

Marc Harshman Poetry Online: "There Will Be Dancing", "Junco", "Just  Like That", "Red Accordian", All at Marc Harshman Website; Four Movements After Carl Ruggles", "Pieta", and "The Open Borders", All at The Innisfree Poetry Journal; "Seven League Boots", "Even the Tin Man Had a Heart", "Just Like That", "What We Don't Know", and "Cards", All at Hamilton Stone Review; "Seven League Boots" at Tipton Poetry Review; "Even the Tin Man Had a Heart" at The Progressive; "Not Quite the Marryat Code but Decipherable, Nonetheless" and "Crickets Wearing Wristwatches", Both at La Petite Zine; "Winter Into Spring" at Appalachian Heritage; "Wild Cousins"and "As If", Both at Weber: The Contemporary West; "With Shakespeare in the Admissions Room at Yale" and "The Catafalques Are All Empty" at Literal Latte (Short Fiction); "Only One" at The More the Merrier (Blog); "Homily" at Project MUSE, Johns Hopkins (Excerpt); "Skipping Time - Part One" at Prime Number Magazine

Belinda Anderson, "Marc Harshman and Cheryl Ryan: Writing West Virginia", Art Works, Winter 2005-2006 (pdf)

Laura Treacy Bentley, "Conversations with Marc Harshman", WV Living, Fall 2011 (Also see: "Seven: March Harshman", 2010.)

Glynis Board, "New Poet Laureate Muses" (Webcast), West Virginia Public Broadcasting, May 24, 2012

Mackenzie Mays, "Harshman Named W.Va. Poet Laureate", The Charleston Gazette, May 18, 2012

* Quoted from Something About the Author Marc Harshman (This information comprises a biographical sketch, statements by Harshman about his poetry, teaching experience, and the sense of place that pervades his poetry, book information, and a student interview with the writer.)

"Tomblin Taps Wheeling Writer as WV's Poet Laureate", WowKTV.com, May 18, 2012 (This article also is reproduced in The State Journal.)

Finishing Line Press, Powell's Books, and West Virginia Book Company carry several Harshman titles.

Wild Song: Poems of the Natural World on GoogleBooks

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Thought for the Day

Doubt is not
a pleasant condition,
but certainty is absurd.*
~ Voltaire

* Letter to Frederick II of Prussia

Voltaire (Francois-Marie D'Arouet), 1694-1778, French Writer, Philosopher, and Activist

Voltaire Foundation, University of Oxford

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Saturday Sharing (My Finds Are Yours)

Today's edition of Saturday Sharing will take you below the New York Public Library, show you where to find images of war, let you listen to poetry, and lead you to a place devoted to books. You'll also be linked to the video selection Crow Moon and be introduced to "Little Sun" by Olafur Eliasson.

✦ Here's a wonderful site to explore: Underground New York Public Library.

✦ More than 350 war images from collections of The National Archives, United Kingdom, have been uploaded and are available to view here. Eventually, several thousand images will become accessible online.

✦ Some of the great poets are finding new life; er, at least their voices are coming to life again. Thanks to Poetry Reincarnations, we get to hear the likes of Sylvia Plath, William Blake, Ezra Pound, Walt Whitman, Rudyard Kipling, and many others. What can't computer animation do?!

✦ Go here to listen to readings by poet Jorie Graham. For a list of audio recordings in Woodberry Poetry Room's "The Listening Booth", go here.

✦ Try Books on the Nightstand for book recommendations, news about forthcoming books, podcasts, book group resources, and behind-the-scenes conversations about book publishing.

✦ Enjoy Crow Moon, a short made in 2006. It is entirely hand-drawn.

✦ Artist Olafur Eliasson is ingenious. Watch the video below then go to the Little Sun Website to learn more.

Little Sun from Studio Olafur Eliasson on Vimeo.

Roslyn Sulcas, "Olafur Eliasson Brings Sunlight Back to Tate Modern", ArtsBeat Blog, The New York Times, July 12, 2012

Little Sun at Tate Modern

Friday, July 13, 2012

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

Julian Koschwitz's "On Journalism #1 News" and "On Journalism # 2 Typewriter" address the subject of press freedoms and journalists killed worldwide in the last 20 years. The second installation, Koschwitz explains, "writes generatively constructed stories about all journalists who have been killed worldwide. . . based on the existing data of their lives as well as their published work. . . ." A brief video of the typewriter installation is here. (My thanks to The New Yorker's Page Turner blog for the link.)

✦ Fans of Frank Lloyd Wright will be pleased to learn that S.C. Johnson, Racine, Wisconsin, has opened The S.C. Johnson Gallery: At Home with Frank Lloyd Wright, showcasing rarely seen designs and artifacts. Objects on display are on loan from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. The company also has amassed a significant collection of documents, blueprints, books, and DVDs related to Wright's contributions to Racine; the collection is housed in the Frank Lloyd Wright Research Library. Wright designed the Administration Building and Research Tower on the S.C. Johnson campus; brief information about Wright's buildings is here.


Alice Simpson is a sculptor and the creator of one-of-a-kind and limited-edition, hand-made, hand-painted artist books. You'll find a selection here, beginning with Simpson's most recent, The Dancing Chancellor. Her dancing-inspired artist books are delightful, and collectible; so is her sculpture.

✦ If you happen to be in New York City any time before the end of September, trek over to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza to see Magdalena Abakanowicz's "Walking Figures" (2009). The magnificent sculptures, a group of 10 headless and armless bronze figures, each more than eight feet tall and each unique, are on view courtesy of Marlborough Gallery and the city's Department of Parks & Recreation.

Magdalena Abakanowic, Walking Figures, 2009
Bronz, Variable (98"-103" x 33"-35" x 35"-49" 
Installation View, Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, New York City
Photo Courtesy Marlborough Gallery

✦ Collectors take note! San Francisco's Crown Point Press has published Pat Steir's "Mountain in Rain", a beautiful color direct gravure. The new release is printed in an edition of 20. 

Pat Steir at Crown Point Press

In this video, Steir addresses the issue of paintings and prints as conceptual art, and her 2008 project at Crown Point:

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Crown Point is presenting until September 1 "Summer Choices", a show of work by Robert Bechtle, Pia Fries, Per Kirkeby, Sol LeWitt, David Nash, Laura Owens, Wayne Thiebaud, Richard Tuttle, and Fred Wilson. "Crossing Into the Eighties", an exhibition that included Steir's work and that of other Crown Point artists, closed June 30.

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ Work by Dale Chihuly, William Morris, Joey Kirkpatrick, Flora Mace, Ben Moore, Italo Scanga, and Lino Tagliapietra, among other masters of glass, will be on view in "Pilchuk: IDEAS" through January 1, 2013, at Museum of Northwest Art, La Conner, Washington. Early examples of studio glass are shown with mature work. The exhibition is part of a celebration marking 50 years of studio glass and the important role of the Pilchuck Glass School in the studio glass movement.

The American Studio Glass Movement (Corning Museum of Glass)

Museum of Northwest Art on FaceBook

This brief video shows the great Lino Tagliapietra at work:

✭ In Madison, Wisconsin, Chazen Museum of Art, on the University of Wisconsin campus, also is presenting a show of studio glass: "Spark and Flame: 50 Years of Art Glass and the University of Wisconsin-Madison". The exhibition, on view through August 5, is in two parts, one focusing on the influence of Harvey Littleton, who began his career, as a ceramist, at UW in 1951, and created the first university hot-glass program in the United States; and a second showing nearly 160 works by more than 100 nationally and internationally prominent glass artists.  Among Littleton's UW students were Dale Chihuly, Fritz Dreisbach, and Marvin Lipofsky, each of whom has created stunning work over a long creative, innovative career.

William Morris, Raft, 1998
Handblown and Sculpted Glass
18" x 18" x 9"
Simona and Jerome Chazen Collection

Chazen Museum of Art on FaceBook

Diane Rosenstein Fine Art, Beverly Hills, California, is exhibiting "The Washington Color School" through August 25. Included in the show are works by Thomas Downing, Kenneth Noland, Gene Davis, Howard Mehring, and Leon Berkowitz.

Washington Color School Project

Zane Bennett, Santa Fe, opens a show of Latin American art, including paintings, sculpture, and digital prints, on July 27. Among the artists represented are Chile's Roberto Matta and Mexico's Rufino Tamayo.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Domino Van Gogh

Eleven hours and 7,000 dominoes later, Canadian "FlippyCat" completes his version of Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Starry Night:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Donna Ferrato's 'I Am Unbeatable'

Last week, the New York Time's Lens blog brought to my attention the "I Am Unbeatable" campaign of photographer, producer, videographer, writer, and activist Donna Ferrato, who for several decades has focused her camera on domestic violence and sought to use her photography to raise public awareness and inspire much-needed changes in public policy. Ferrato's multimedia "I Am Unbeatable" project seeks to "document and celebrate stories of self-empowerment" among women across America who have found the courage to rebuild the lives their batterers shattered. 

In the video below, which also appears at Indiegogo, Ferrato explains the project for which she is seeking funding. She has until the end of the day Friday, July 27, to realize her financial goal. If you have ever known even one woman who has suffered at the hands of an abuser — sadly, I know the details of stories of at least six women, two of whom were murdered — you know just how important Ferrato's project is.

I have contributed to "I Am Unbeatable". I hope you will, too. 

I Am Unbeatable from donna ferrato on Vimeo.

Donna Ferrato, Hedda Nussbaum: A Battered Woman (Video)

Donna Ferrato, Living With the Enemy (A new edition of Ferrato's book, first published in 1991, is to be released through Aperture and will include stories and photographs collected during the "I Am Unbeatable project.)

James Estrin, "Leaving Abuse Behind", July 6, 2012, and "Helping the People Beyond the Pain", The New York Times, Lens Blog, November 9, 2011

"I Am Unbeatable" on FaceBook and Twitter