Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

September 16, 2007


Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:51 pm

Zachary C. Bush and I have finished our final proofing of NEXT EXIT: FOUR (where ZCB is paired with Brad Kohler), so that one should be out by September 25th as promised.

My own new chap is now available, a five-poem suite called NORWICH UNVEILED   (KSE #67). As with the most recent two—-IN PERSPECTIVE and LARKSPUR VARIATIONS—-this one grows out of my interest in the visual arts, this time the paintings of Edward Hopper. Everyone knows the common view of Hopper—-paintings of diners at 3 a.m., of women or couples seen through hotel or living room windows, of urban buildings, etc. Once I began to study his work and especially his technique, however, I saw how shallow that common view was. First, his work is completely UN-realistic. He seizes upon a few minor seemingly-unimportant details and exaggerates them until they almost become expressionistic. Also, the way he frames his compositions, one is rarely presented with anything complete. Important sections of the “Scene” are off the canvas–we usually find ourselves inferring and imagining important parts of the “scene”! And the people in his work…well, they are almost as if they’ve walked off the pages of something by Samuel Beckett or Harold Pinter…ciphers with vacant expressions.  Finally, when one looks closely at a typical Hopper painting, it seems to dissolve in front of the eyes…there’s a kind of blur.   It’s an incredibly rich body of work.    As Hopper would take a few details from different settings and use them as seeds for a painting, I used a rainy afternoon I spent in Norwich, Connecticut last month as my “seed” image. I also used a kind of “low angle” perspective, as Hopper often does, and I wove in some allusions to Kerouac’s TRISTESSA….the result is NORWICH UNVEILED, which I hope you enjoy. If anyone’s counting, this is my fourth chapbook set in New England (I think), along with SONNETS FOR BILL DOGGETT (one of the pieces there is set in New Jersey, but what the heck!), FANTASMATA 2007 (set in an abandoned building in Brockton, Massachusetts) and LARKSPUR VARIATIONS (set in Massaschusetts). 75% of my poetry is still set here in Texas (and most of the rest is, as they say about Poe, set “in the mind”), but New England is such a fascinating place, I am sure I will return to it here and there.

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