12 Winters Blog

Notes on Poets and Painters; some progress on Men of Winter

Posted in October 2010 by Ted Morrissey on October 10, 2010

This past week I had the pleasure of attending Poets and Painters at the H. D. Smith Gallery in the Hoogland Center for the Arts — a collaboration between two Springfield, Illinois-based groups: Springfield Poets and Writers, and Prairie Art Alliance. The poets and writers were invited to select a work from the gallery for which they would compose an original poem, which was then read at the Poets and Painters event October 7. The president of Springfield Poets and Writers, Anita Stienstra, served as the mistress of ceremonies; the inspirational piece of artwork would be displayed near the podium, then Stienstra would introduce the poet, who read the resulting poem; then the artist would be introduced and have an opportunity to speak about her/his piece. It was a great synergy of artistic expression, taking ekphrasis further than its usual mode, wherein a poem may be published alongside a piece of artwork that inspired it, by having the art and poem displayed together, live, via the artist and poet who created them, and adding an enthusiastic audience into the mix as well — a point that was well-articulated during the program by Ethan Lewis, a literature professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield who read his poem based on Jennifer Davis’s black-and-white photograph Welcome to Highgate. As an added bonus, each poet had his/her poem specially printed and framed, turning it into a piece of visual art as well.

I was impressed by all that I heard and saw, but I have to note in particular Anita Stienstra’s heart-wrenchingly beautiful poem that she wrote in association with Felicia Olin’s painting Blue Blooded. (When I first entered the gallery, I took special note of Olin’s gothic-esque portrait and knew that, if I’d been given the task, I would have chosen that piece as well.) This was the second Poets and Painters event, and examples from the first can be viewed at this blogspot. Do yourself a favor and check out the poems and artwork (Olin has two pieces on display on the site, Girl with Blue Hair and Heroine, both of a similar style to Blue Blooded).

On the creative writing front, graphic artist Julie McAnary sent me a proof for the back cover and spine of Men of Winter. I offered a couple of suggestions, but otherwise I’m very, very pleased. Punkin House Press is still looking at a November release as far as I know. Also, the editor of Pisgah Review, Jubal Tiner, sent me the galleys for “The Composure of Death,” which will appear in an upcoming issue. They look great — I’m impressed with the journal’s professional handling of me and my story.

I continue to read and enjoy Adam Braver‘s novel Crows over the Wheatfield — in fact, I’m going to cut this post a bit short so I can take advantage of this beautiful October day and go read on my front porch.

tedmorrissey.com

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