Monday, August 11, 2008

Progress report

The images in our new poetry collection, Prisoner's Dilemma, are in the editing stages. The poems have been edited by a wonderful editor, Don Zirilli, who has a chap with Lopside Press. A reader wanted to know a little more about the book, so here goes:

The title comes from the prisoner's dilemma in math. The question of who will rat on whom is borne out in Janet's group of eccentric abstract-expressionist heads. The poems and drawings are sequenced with the opening three poems illustrating emotional wounds--Tear,Cut,and Split, followed by a series of flight or fight responses, finally circling around again to a reconciliation in The Persistence of Holes. The poems, though mostly in a narrative style, do not tell the story of the drawings, but rather use them as a jumping off point to extend the meaning.

What does it mean for a poet to collaborate with a visual artist? Poet Anne Waldman said in this article that “To conjure a particular knowledge you visualize an architectural structure and then you walk around and see the details that then bring back the words or the poetry or the line of thought”.

As an illustration, Kristin Prevallet offers the story from the Bhagavata Purana in which Krishna opens his mouth to show his mother the universe. “She wonders, is this a delusion of my own perception? She sees that her entire world is constructed with false beliefs. She questions her ego, and she suddenly sees herself as one among a series of cosmic particulars...The mother Ysoda, a poet in her own right, looked into a space and then filled it with the vastness of her mind. In doing this she altered the boundaries of herself in relation to the world."

That's worth thinking about.

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