i’m jealous of hannah stephenson

Ah, poetry & art… a perfect combination! This is a beautiful book of poetry, written by American poet Hannah Stephenson. She is an amazing writer/editor/teacher, with a great love for visual art. In fact, a lot of her poems are inspired by art… sometimes even work that she finds here! For example, after seeing the ceramics of Caroline Slotte, Hannah wrote this:

Great Migration

Patterns on china have begun

to show evidence of a great migration.

Waves roll out to a plate’s edges,

drop off, are absorbed into carpet.

In the stock-still water, feeling no wind,

cranes panic and launch, beat their wings

with such force that nearby villagers

mistake them for dragons.

Smaller birds leave their nests in the trees,

head for the dark, unporcelain woods.

Lovers no longer come here

to sit on the grass together,

discovering speechless ways to speak.

They stay away from this place.

The land here isn’t fed by any source.

Parents shield their children’s eyes,

pull them close when passing the pond.

Someone should do something, they mutter

and leave the land to its calm disintegration.

Whoa. Her newly released book, In the Kettle, The Shriek, is filled with beautiful poem after beautiful poem… but I also wanted to share something that isn’t in this book. Now, you know I realllllly don’t like showing my own work, but… last year I had a show at Seattle’s Assemble Gallery. Hannah saw one of the pieces, wrote a poem, and sent it to me. I almost cried. I could not be more honored… and I love the poem so, so, so much… I love it so much in fact, that I’ll even show you my work that went with it, titled “Jeremy Brown jumped over this at a bush party.”

Living Daylights

To find that part of me
still flickering,

to chew and exhale flames,
a dragon with a mouth
crammed with Bazooka Joe,

to use my heart
as a flashlight,

to meet my ghost
as a dance partner,
spinning away from me,
and back toward me,

to sift out the glowing shards
with unshaking hands
and swallow them back down,

to greet my fiery shadow,
saying, here is our bed,
our mirror, we can learn
one another again.

LOVE! Thank you so much to Hannah for this amazingly creative gift. Ok, now let’s all go buy this book : )

{cover art by Aron Wiesenfeld}

comments (8)

  1. Jessica /// 07.31.2013 /// 8:04am

    Swoon. Sigh. I can think of nothing I love more than words and art. I’m buying this book!! I also love that poem she wrote for your painting. love love love. xo

  2. danielle (aka the jealous curator) /// 07.31.2013 /// 9:10am

    isn’t it so good?! there are dozens of poems in this book – all of them are so amazing.

  3. shelley /// 07.31.2013 /// 10:09am

    i LOVE the Jeremy Brown piece!

  4. danielle (aka the jealous curator) /// 07.31.2013 /// 10:12am

    oh, thanks shelley : )

  5. Leah Florence /// 08.01.2013 /// 9:47pm

    I wish you showed your work more often, I was really drawn to that piece and of course the poem goes so perfectly. What a nice post:)

  6. the jealous curator /// 08.02.2013 /// 8:32am

    isn’t it perfect? i just love it! {i find it really embarrassing to show my own work, but when it’s appropriate i’ll do it… but thanks for the lovely words of encouragement!}

  7. Deanne Gertner /// 09.27.2013 /// 3:05pm

    Hi Danielle,

    Is “Jeremy Brown jumped over this at a bush party” still available?

  8. the jealous curator /// 09.28.2013 /// 10:09am

    no, it’s been sold… but i could make a similar piece for you if you like? it was originally listed at $300, but i could do a smaller version for $200 : )