meanwhile, in Tucson

June 25, 2019

If you happen to find yourself in Tucson any time between now and November 23, 2019, pop in to the University of Arizona Center for Creative Photography to see A Portrait of Poetry. For the exhibit, photographer B.A. Van Sise created portraits of poets that were inspired by poems written by the poet in the portrait. In addition to about 80 photographs, the show, co-sponsored by the University of Arizona Poetry Center, also includes a video portrait of Sharon Olds.

If you can’t make it to Tucson, you can view the portraits and the poems here. The work will be published as Children of Grass: A Portrait of American Poetry (Schaffner Press/IPG) in September 2019.


See poets! Hear poets!

February 10, 2019

photography by Dean Davis

In April 2018, at the wonderful Inland Poetry Prowl in Ellensburg, Washington, the photographer Dean Davis quietly set up shop and proceeded to photograph and record many of the poets in attendance. Now you can see the results of this ambitious, unheralded, and unpaid project at Pictures of Poets. Click on ALL POETS and you will see many familiar faces. Mouse over the photos to see the poets’ names. Click on a poet’s photo and you will be taken to a page with a short bio and Davis’s recording of the poet.

A selection of 12 large-scale prints from this collection will be exhibited at the Burgin Center for the Arts in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, from March 21 through April 14, 2019, and selection of 25 of them will be exhibited at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture in Spokane, Washington, in fall 2019, dates TBA.

picturing regional history

November 12, 2018

If you’re inspired by history or looking for some visual prompts for your poetry, pay an online visit to the Washington Rural Heritage Collections of the Washington State Library. The Collections provide free access to digitized primary sources documenting the early culture, industry, and community life of Washington State. 152 cultural institutions have participated in the project and there’s a link to the archive for each one on this page. It’s a fascinating and surprisingly personal collection.

. . . . .
photo: U.S.S. Constitution “Old Ironsides anchored outside of Jim Crow Creek on the Columbia River. She is a three-masted sailing ship build in 1797 at the Edmund Hartt’s Shipyard in Boston, Massachusetts. Said to have never lost a battle, she can currently be seen in Boston at the Constitution Museum. Masts were 200 feet high, wooden hull. Jim Crow Creek is located in Section 4, Township 9N, Range 7W and is upstream from the mouth of the Columbia River. The ship went from Longview, Washington on August 24 to San Francisco, California on August 31, 1933; this period is likely when this photograph was taken.”

picturing poetry

November 9, 2016

Kim Addonizio-by-B.A. Van Sise

Today might be a good day to look at pictures. Here are two suggestions:

On PBS NewsHour, view a selection of photographs of poets by B.A. Van Sise. The photographer, who is a descendant of Walt Whitman, has created a series of portraits, Whitman’s Descendants, each based on a poem by the individual portrayed. The collection is apparently slated for publication.

At the University of Arizona Poetry Center, the LaVerne Harrell Clark Photographic Collection now offers more than a thousand previously unpublished photographs of poets, taken between 1960 and 2007. Clark was a photographer and the original director of the Poetry Center. After her death, her collection of some 12,000 negatives and prints of poet portraits were donated to the Poetry Center.

. . . . .
Kim Addonizio appears in a portrait based on her poem “First Poem for You.” Photo by B.A. Van Sise.
Read “First Poem for You”

Just for fun…

July 25, 2014

Washington State Library: book cover face

The Washington State Library invites you to play with your books: find a literary face on your bookshelf (or the library), snap a photo and submit it More on the Library Facebook page.

a book of prompts…

April 5, 2013

REJackson - The Seduction of Color

National Poetry Month is rich with prompts (see here, for example). But if you’re seeking something unique, some unintentional prompts, you’d do well to lay hands on The Seduction of Color: Photographs from the Collection of Robert E. Jackson, published by Marquand Books | Paper Hammer, 2013.

Jackson is clearly obsessed with snapshots (he has more than 11,000 in his collection). What draws him, one sees, is not the scrapbook-perfect image, but the suggestion of a story untold, a poem unwritten. These are people we almost know, places we could have been, things we might have seen. These are images shoved into a shoebox, a paper bag, a drawer, found in the bottom of a carton at a garage sale — their meaning lost, their mystery intact.

This is an artist’s book, carefully curated by Jackson himself and exquisitely printed and hand-bound by Paper Hammer Studios in Tieton, Washington. If you’re in Seattle (or Tieton), see (buy!) the book at Paper Hammer. Meanwhile, learn more here.

And then go write a poem.

View other posts tagged poetry prompts.

visualize poetry…

January 25, 2013

Heaney - I was all hers - visualized by jik
The Ferndale Arts Commission invites you to visualize a poem, take a photo and submit it to the Free Verse Photo Project. Select a few words or lines from a favorite poem and present them off the page in a non-traditional way. For examples and inspiration, see the Academy of American Poets Free Verse Project.

  • Open to all ages.
  • Photographs must be at least 8″ x 10″ and must be mounted for display.
  • Entries will be accepted at Ferndale City Hall (2095 Main Street, Ferndale, WA 98248) in person or by mail between February 1, 2013 and March 20, 2013. Online entries cannot be accepted.
  • Entries will be displayed in participating Ferndale businesses during National Poetry Month (April) and prizes will be awarded to three selected entries.

For additional information, contact Marla Morrow at 360-384-0050 or
. . . . .
photo: Seamus Heaney words visualized by J.I. Kleinberg

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