Using a short story by Jorge Luis Borges as a starting point for her project, my friend Karen Dennison has produced something quite wonderful — and I want to help spread the word about her pamphlet “Book of Sand”.
Here’s a description, from Karen’s own website:
… an alternating sequence of poetry and visual art, where poems inspire art and art inspires poetry. This pamphlet showcases the work of six poets and five artists and is designed, edited and published by Karen Dennison.
The Links in the Chain:
The pamphlet takes its name from, and begins with a poem written in response to, the short story The Book of Sand by Jorge Luis Borges. The poem was given to an artist to respond to with any form of visual art and that artwork was in turn given to a poet to respond to and so on, resulting in a sequential chain of responses. The chain is ongoing and so there will be at least one more edition – to find out more about being involved please contact Karen.
“A unique meeting of visionary poets and artists, who enter into a dialogue that at once informs and heightens their individual works. This small collection is a joy, and once again confirms that we need both the visual and the verbal to understand the world as a whole.” — Tamar Yoseloff
To buy click HERE
One of the artworks (from page 7) in Book of Sand:
Journey into the Woods #2 by Michaela Ridgway (click on image to enlarge) charcoal on white A2 cartridge paper
One of the poems (from page 6) in Book of Sand:
Into the Woods by Anna Kisby
She was such a city girl
that when he wrote bring boots
she packed her calf-skin knee-highs
and thanks to the heel she flew
when she tripped on a root, rose
with a pigeon’s grace, upflipped and caught
the chipped startle of his face
before landing fallen-angel on moss.
Of course he thought her bird-brained
as she bare-foot stones, flapping for balance
across the foil of a stream, and when he bade her
drink she tasted blood.
When night fell she gagged on the leather
of the trees, so he named the stars seren,
tipped back her neck until her thoughts poured out
like tea from a pot and she could only mouth dipity.
She would never go back. She dare not
return to find the place ordinary –
but kept his invitation in her wallet
split along the fold of please come and bring –
its torn edge under her finger, a feather.
And I Ask Karen Two Questions:
ELLY: One of the things I enjoy about your Book of Sand is the overall exphrastic design you’ve chosen – with poets and artists responding to each others works. It seems to me that deliberately creating and showing this chain of responses mirrors the importance of art, storytelling & literature to humans in general . And that the creating of one thing based on what’s gone on before is a necessity, an antidote, a life-line, a way forward… It’s a way to deal with the existential angst& un-mooring, nightmares & isolation of the human condition of Borges’ story where the one character muses about the huge conundrum we are faced with when faced with infinity: “If space is infinite, we are in no particular point in space. If time is infinite, we are in no particular point in time.”
ELLY: Thanks Karen.
And the story will continue… People who are interested in getting involved in future editions can click HERE for more information.