o, I finally made it out to the Great Plains Art Museum at the Center for Great Plains last week. If you’re a lit connoisseur, then you’re probably an art one as well. Somehow the two seem to intersect in so many ways– take Richard Eckersley, for instance. There’s an excellent tribute to none other than our famed Richard Eckersley, who passed recently. If you think you haven’t seen his work, believe me, you have. Take a look at the UN Press title you’ve got in your hands right now and check the inside cover. Mr. Eckersley, himself, probably designed that handsome cover. It took some time, but I’ve decided that my favorite is the White Spirit cover—the clean lines, piercing eyes, chiaroscuro-like contrast of the book jacket photo colors. And what’s not to love about a monkey? Let’s cross our fingers and hope the tribute is still on, so you can check out his work. But if not, hey, don’t worry. You can buy one of the UN Press titles and take his work home with you!
Remember how I said that visual art and literature seem to have those
funny ways of intersecting? Try this on for size. Our Ted
Kooser—(former) National Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize Winner is
also an artist. That’s right, a
visual artist. My touring group was lucky enough to get VIP treatment
from Reece Summers, the gallery curator, who rushed downstairs in a fit
of excitement to show us one of Mr. Kooser’s own paintings, “Old Snow,”
which also happens to be the cover art for Winter Morning Walks.
Believe me, I don’t know much about poetry (I’m a fiction and film
buff) but I will say that I could
definitely seem some parallels in his
style. There’s a simplicity and precision to his work. I had just
finished reading some of his work from Delights and Shadows before
heading out to the gallery. Each line, if you think about it, is really
a painting. There’s something spare, yet tragic, about the old man with
the bruise-like remnant of rebellion in “Tattoo” and there’s an equally simplistic, yet powerful essence to the snowy landscape scene in the painting.
I’ll be reading Writing Brave and Free, so look for my next post.