Close reading of poetry comics / visual poems published in Poetry Northwest!

I'm dipping my toes into the world of critical writing on poetry comics and visual poems! Check it out for close readings of new work by personal heroes Catherine Bresner, Colleen Louise Barry, and Bianca Stone.

Click to read "A Distrust of the Art: Close Reading a Visual Poem & Two Poetry Comics" over at Poetry Northwest online.

A FEW EXCERPTS

On Catherine Bresner's "American Sentence":

Minimalist as blueprints, the sentence diagrams’ shapely notations evoke the etymological roots of “stanza” as “room”—reminding us, even while abstracting language to its orders and parts of speech, that poetry is something we navigate as a body navigates a physical structure. We are moved from room to room, vulnerable to what the creator has in store. To me, the structure of a poem has a lot in common with that of a haunted house, and Catherine Bresner’s hand-written, hand-drawn diagrams encourage us to see “American Sentence” as a haunted house in its early stages of construction.

On Colleen Louise Barry's "Bye":

In her work, Barry often blurs boundaries—not just between text and image—but between reality and dream, inner and outer, human and inhuman, we and I. The only noticeable difference, in fact, between “Bye” and other work of Barry’s I’ve had the pleasure to see is in its lack of color. The unshaded black-and-white drawings in “Bye” have a flattening and equalizing effect, allowing for the intentional affront of this comic’s surreal world.

On Bianca Stone's "Possible Pig / Breakfast":

Where once her palette was dark, her images smeared with black ink, populated with human nudes and exploding heads against precarious and debaucherous backdrops, we find here muted pastel colors, neat lines, clean domestic settings, and a marked absence of the human.

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