CMCA Biennial - November 3

So excited and honored to be included, together with Anneli Skaar in this year’s biennial in the fabulous CMCA space. Anneli and I are doing an installation piece entitled “A Part of The Maine” comprising a painted screen by Anneli together my photographs, curated in vintage frames behind it. It’s a culmination of a year long project and it is truly exciting to see it come to fruition.

For more info about the project and our journey, visit A Part of The Maine

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Winterhaven

Thank you to everyone who came out for to see the show this summer on North Haven. So thankful for the support from this amazing community and to my extraordinarily talented partner in crime Anneli Skaar! The work from the show is now up on the website too for those of you who missed it.

Pool Mornings

The woman to my right wears a pink swimming cap, goggles and big yellow flippers on her hands. They make me think of ducks and waddling, but she is smooth in the water, efficient and undaunted. The man on my right wears a weathered swim cap complete with stars and stripes,  faded and clearly past its prime.  As I make my way slowly past him, he pauses, looks at me a beat before turning.  I look away too, swimming on, gamely eyeing the clock and making promises.  When done, stars and stripes rises up exhaling, taking up space, expanding. He shakes the water from his body like an old bear after fishing in the river.  Flipper lady has done three lengths to my every one, miraculously I am undeterred.  For now this is my solace. It clears my head and I feel the fog of morning shifting, the dirty business of breakfast's chaotic squabbling recedes in my rear view. For now there is only cool water and rhythmic observation. 

 

THE CROSSING

Arms hug across our chests
Like chilly birds we flap
to warm ourselves
against the wind
whipping at our faces

The ferry groans and shifts
Like an old lady
making her way across the bay
begrudging and proud
altogether

We sit on benches
watery eyes squinting at the cold
Like hardy parishioners
embattled and determined
hopeful

Across the water
the island sleeps
Waiting out winter's
crisp embrace
a haven of God's own making

Finding respite from
the cacophony of summer voices
their lives go on
tethered by
this crossing
of the sea.

 

The Easter Eggs

You had hidden the eggs.
Tiny orbs of sweetness
wrapped in shiny plastic
with silver twinkling
at the edges
blue and pink

You were so delighted when I found them.
Suddenly we were young again
and you had hidden them
just for me

That was us, then
promises wrapped in fancy paper
hidden and hard to find

New Book, The Call, Now Available for PreOrder

I'm excited to announce that my new book The Call is now available for preorder. I began working on the idea for The Call during my MFA at Maine Media. It is a book about relationships and connection, how we feel ourselves to be known, or not, as the case may be, with those considered closest to us. The poem is broken up throughout the book and at the end of the book there is a photograph of the artist as a young girl, printed on vellum, that hides the last line of the poem.  
 

Stonington, Deer Isle

Deer Isle holds a special place in my heart. My husband's family, our children's family, come from this rugged outcrop on the coast. Almost an island, once an island, it still feels like one. The people here are quick to assess your character, but once deemed acceptable they'll do anything for you. When I first came here my husband's Uncle, a formidable lobsterman and epic pie baker,  gripped my hand in his huge one and told me:  "You talk funny!", to which I responded "So do you!" He roared with laughter and that was that.  I love these people dearly and so it was such a treat to take Anneli there as part of our Island Project and share with her one of the island's treasures,  The Church of the Morning After.

Night Cat

She smells of the night,
dashing in
fur flying
eyes wild
high on mouse
or some such.

On her paws
she brings the dirt
deep and rich
with secrets
I am not privy to.

I hold her to me
and feel her bones
like twigs in cotton wool
and feel her tiny heart
exploding stars within her.

In daytime she lies languid
vanquished of urgency
She watches me
her sleepy eyes indifferent,
mostly.
 

North Haven

As part of our project around the islands of Penobscot Bay in Maine, I have been writing poems and photographing the islands together with fellow artist and painter Anneli Skaar.

North Haven was our latest adventure. We took the ferry across from Rockland the day after one of the heaviest snowstorms of the season. The ferry ride over there left quite an impression on me. We were one of a few handful of passengers, so different from the summertime. It was bitterly cold on deck and most of the seats were deserted. Just a few lone souls huddled in the bright light and cold wind. 

 

The Island Project

I recently visited Matinicus island with my good friend Anneli Skaar. Anneli is a painter and had approached me about collaborating on a project around the islands of Penobscot Bay here in Maine.

The islands have always been dear to my heart. The first one I ever went to was Matinicus, which I visited many years ago with my uncle where I had the opportunity to visit the house of one of the island's favorite residents - Sue Rankin. Her house is full of curiosities and fascinated me even then, so much so that I have never forgotten it. I was excited at the prospect of returning.

I was intrigued by the prospect of exploring some of these islands when they are not filled with the bustle of summer, but in the quieter times where you can hear you breath in the wind and feel their history in the quiet of a fog-bound winter's day.

My husband's family are from Deer Isle and we have spent every summer there since I've known him. For us it is a home from home and where I count some of my dearest friends. For my children it provides a touchstone for our family, a place of connection and renewal.

Here's a little bit more about The Island Project.

 

NEST

It is a thing of beauty
Of paper, finely-wrought
it nestles, woven, there
amongst the branches
solitary yet
peopled by industry

A study in contrasts
it moves me for
I too have sought haven
in fragile places
and like the nest
hold fast

OF GRACKLES

The grackles were not
made of flesh
and bone
They had no feathers
nor silvered tips
They were made
of wood and
splinters

In my fitful sleep I
saw through them
My eyelids flickering
I watched them
cackling and snapping
bickering around the
open fire

Fearsome gossips
scratching at the dirt
waiting for their
meat