Thursday, April 4, 2019

Intersections of Poetry and Visual Art

A week ago, I'd be waking up in Portland, eating a hearty breakfast, getting ready to figure out the mass transit system to make my way to the Convention Center.  As I think back over all the AWP sessions I attended, the one that made me want to ditch the rest of the conference to approach my writing in a new way was the one on Intersections of Poetry and Visual Art at 10:30 on Thursday.

My brain had already been thinking about this possibility (see this blog post from December, for example).   I had even been wondering if this character, which seemed to be emerging over multiple sketches, might be a book-length exploration of something:

The above is from December, and the below is from January:

I hadn't returned to these ideas, in the terms of this female figure and ideas about her.  But the AWP session made me think that it might be interesting to see these sketches with words as individual poems that could make an interesting collection.

It made me want to return to some poems and see if parts of them might make good sketching prompts.  I was interested in the process of the poets at the AWP session.  As you might expect, they approached the intersection of visual art and poetry from a variety of angles:  some of the poets and artists worked in true collaboration, in some the words came first and then images, and then one woman worked more as a collage artist. 

Naoko Fujimoto read a poem while showing a visual work that incorporated the poem, and it was clear that she didn't use the whole poem:

That, too, made me think about possible approaches with poems I'd already written.

I was interested in this artist's collaging approach:  she uses words, papers, images, cut out shapes, and perhaps some graphic approaches like stamping (hard to tell from the slide):

My grad school friend went to this session too, and we both agreed that we wanted to go back to our hotel and play with our limited art supplies that we'd brought with us.  Instead, we went to a coffee shop to digest (I didn't even mean to make that pun).

I yearn for time to return to my sketchbooks and to create more materials.  I also want to record another thought I've had.  I've been doing some photo essay/poem kinds of things--this blog post, for example, seems like a poem in a different form.  I had been thinking of making a book of those, but now I'm wondering about a combination.

I also worry about following this road--are these books so expensive to create that there won't be much market?  Do I even care about markets anymore?

And then around my edges this morning, the despair at having these inspirations and not feeling like I have time and space to explore.  Perhaps at the Create in Me conference that starts in 3 weeks, perhaps then I can have some time and supplies and table space to have this kind of joy!

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