Posts Tagged ‘Pamela Hart’

Economy: issue summary

September 2, 2009 Comments off

As the global economy has struggled to find its way to recovery this year, we decided to take a much-used word and ask artists to play around with its meaning and implication so that the word economy could be re-envisioned. We challenged contributors to send us interpretive and imaginative explorations of this one word — and our challenge was met with a rowdy, triumphant and eclectic mix of poems, flash fiction, visual artwork, and video poetry.

As editors, we had the difficult and stimulating task of selecting work we believe depicted the word beyond its stereotypical associations. We sought out submissions that weren’t so much about the news of the word but about its heart and heat. It has been a real honor to read through, select and then present the brave and beautiful work in this issue of qarrtsiluni, which engages its audience to read and think in new and wonderful ways.

Anna Dickie and Pamela Hart, issue editors

Categories: Economy Tags: ,

Zuihitsu: Botanical Traces

March 11, 2009 3 comments

Image by Steve Rago (click to view at larger size)


Perfection wounds the single
leafed beauty pressing
against glass to blot
out a patch of grey light
splintering winter’s work,
its chill, its ice. We peer
through a window to sheen
of jungle bright, study leaf
rib and spine, find worn
symmetry in petiole and blade.
Is this how memory
is found, some unclaimed
thing, a trace of botany
blooming at the vanishing point?

by Pamela Hart

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Process notes

We started with a strategy, but to paraphrase John Lennon, art is what happens when you get busy making other plans. Our idea had been to wander around the New York Botanical Garden, independently and together, with camera and notepad, to dig for content. The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and the 250-acre-garden grounds, seemed, especially in winter, like good locations for capturing germination and mutation. We had planned to spend time looking, photographing and writing on our own. Then we’d find a particular “thing” that called to us and share that beloved treasure (plant, sculpture, architecture, whatever) with the other. Once material was generated, studio work would proceed.

The best-laid plans went awry at the ticket counter when we learned we wouldn’t be able to visit the Conservatory (the place with all the cool plants) due to a holiday show. So we walked around the grounds. Frustrated by the lack of access, we peered from the outside into the beautiful hothouse, looking at the weird and wild plant life that pushed at the paneled glass.

This decision proved fruitful. From the outside looking in, Steve found and photographed leaves and reflections. Pam was intrigued by the way exotic plants seemed to clamor for escape, and by the layering of cityscape and Edenic scenery. Our stumbling block had become a platform for collaboration.

Later, in putting together image and text, both of us let go of brainstorming notions on arrangement to let the words and photographs collide and combine as we played with page layout, stanza and line breaks and even with the title. The Japanese notion of zuihitsu seemed a final important element. Ultimately, the piece — text and image — excerpted here exists as a series of interconnected essays, fragmented and then woven together on the page. These are our contemplations on the rather unnatural environment we discovered one winter afternoon, which turned out to be, quoting from poet Robert Duncan, a place of “first permission, everlasting omen of what is.”

anecdote of air

July 26, 2008 4 comments
Categories: Transformation Tags:

After Joan Mitchell’s La Grande Vallee XIV

April 30, 2008 6 comments

as if your blue black blur of brush
and paint can conjure swamp

or luminous maple bud,
tree frog croon

as if layers of saturation can restore
the vernal pool that was my all in all

as if your calligraphy of oil and wash
can contain jack-in-the-pulpit

early fern or tad pole swirl
as if the colors, oh your colors

Cezanne blue Van Gogh sun
flower yellow raging across three panels

as if for a while my rough
ecstasy hasn’t dulled to insight.

by Pamela Hart

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Categories: Nature in the Cracks Tags:
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