My Own Poetry (below)

I create Illuminated Poetry. These are works in which I give poems (my own and those of others) a certain overall design/depiction  that seems to fit the poem’s spirit. Featured in this collection is a group of Emily Dickinson poems, that inspired me to make visible what I sensed as an underlying structure. I call this group “Dickinson Revisionings.”

I use traditional drawing and painting materials (watercolor, ink, charcoal, etc.) as well as digital imaging software. The finished output is a high-resolution digital print made on archival quality ink jet paper. These prints are meant to be displayed on a wall so that Dickinson's wisdom can infiltrate the room and offer, through daily familiarity, the opportunity of memorization that lets you “own” the poems.

The poem "Failure" is by Kay Ryan (right). Her tightly compressed, rhythmically dense poetry is often compared to that of Emily Dickinson. She was appointed  as U.S. Poet Laureate in 2008 and held the position for two terms, using the appointment to champion community colleges. I love the way the poem encourages me to welcome failure as nutrient, not something to be shunned. I am pleased that many of my friends who are teachers are displaying this picture-poem in their classrooms.

Dickinson Revisionings

This Emily Dickinson poem  “To Make a Prairie” is one of my favorites and one of her most amazingly concise:

27 words total 

18 different words

In my “revisioning” of her poem I strive to make visible her gift for simplicity and structure.

I’ve never read a poem that speaks more concisely of the power of imagination. 

Held Together Arts