Because I am not married, I have the skin of an orange that has spent its life in the dark. Inside the orange I am blind. I cannot tell when a hand reaches in and breaks the atoms of the blood. Sometimes a blackbird will bring the wind into my hair. Or the yellow clouds falling on the cold floor are animals beginning to fight each other out of their drifting misery. All the women I have known have been ruined by fog and the deer crossing the field at night.
Jason Schinder (MCC FY06 Poetry Fellow)
Catherine Parnell, Mary Carroll-Hackett, and Kerri Cushman, co-curators of the upcoming show Somewhere Far from Habit at the Pierre Menard Gallery, have given us the answer. Ten book artists created artist’s books inspired by ten poets’ work. The show includes work from poets Joy Harjo, Aaron Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Robert Pinsky, Michael Burkard, E. Ethelbert Miller, Tom Sleigh, Lucie Brock-Broido, Liam Rector, and Jason Shinder. The book artists include Buzz Spector, Ben Blount, Kerri Cushman, Audrey Niffenegger, Margot Ecke, Richard Minsky, Shawn Sheehy, Karen Kunc, and Beatrice Coron.
As the exhibition will demonstrate, some artists take a more traditional approach to the poems, using woodcut and letterpress prints to create their responses. Other artists employ non-traditional materials to create their books.
Take, for example, Lucie Brock-Broido’s three poems about suicide and execution. The chair on the left, created by Richard Minsky, is his response to her work.
Opening reception: Friday, November 6 at 7:00 p.m. The exhibition will run through November. The Pierre Menard Gallery is located at 10 Arrow Street, Cambridge, MA. Open daily from 12 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Image credit: Short Time based on a poem by Jason Shinder. The piece (same title) is by book artist Audrey Niffenegger; she’s also the author of The Time Traveler’s Wife. Full-sized electric chair built by Richard Minksy titled Freedom of Choice was created in response to a series of poems by Lucie Brock-Broido.