featuresPoetry For Art
Monday, November 9th, 2009

Cry Stall Gaze: A Collaboration with Pat Steir

POETRY FOR ART – Editorial Advisor, Bill Berkson, presents newly published poetry, or poetry posted to the web for the first time, that relates to visual art. It can be poetry that responds, like criticism, to work on view at the time of posting. Or, as is the case here, it can represent a collaboration between artist and poet.

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Cry Stall Gaze, poetry by Anne Waldman and artwork by Pat Steir, will be published by The Judith K. and David J. Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The poem and artwork take the form of a scroll, or more properly, two scrolls. The poem is printed on translucent paper through which the image by Pat Steir registers as a palimpsest. The printed image, meanwhile, can also be viewed independently of the poem. Translating this project from this intended printed format (it is not yet published) to the web has presented the challenge of finding an equivalent to the intimacy of image and text in the coupled scrolls. Our solution has been to offer two views, in their entirety, of these scrolls: one in which the image is viewed alone, the other in which the obscured image and superimposed poem are viewed together. To read the poem, the viewer needs to click on the relevant segment of text, within the second scroll, to be taken to a blow-up of that segment in which the words are legible. From there the viewer can return to the scroll, or move on to the next segment of text.

Poet Anne Waldman is the author of over 40 books of poetry including Kill or Cure, (Penguin, 1994), Marriage: A Sentence, (Penguin, 2000), Structure of the World Compared to a Bubble (Penguin, 2004), and the poetic text: Outrider (La Alameda Press, 2006) which includes an interview with Ernesto Cardenal, and essays on Lorine Niedecker and Charles Olson. Manatee/Humanity (Penguin Poets 2009) is Waldman’s most recent book. She has also the author of the legendary Fast Speaking Woman (City Lights, San Francisco), now translated into Italian, Czech and French, as well as the 800 page epic Iovis trilogy (Coffee House Press), forthcoming in 2011. She is editor of The Beat Book (Shambhala Publications) and co-editor of The Angel Hair Anthology (Granary Books), Civil Disobediences: Poetics and Politics in Action (Coffee House) and Beats at Naropa (Coffee House, 2009), with previously unpublished work by Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, and William Burroughs, among others. She has worked actively for social change, and has been involved with the Rocky Flats Truth Force and was arrested in the 1970s with Daniel Ellsberg & Allen Ginsberg protesting the site of Rocky Flats, Col. which was bringing plutonium onto property 10 miles from Boulder for the manufacture of “triggers” for nuclear warheads. She has been involved with clean-up issues and also with Poets Against the War, organizing protests in New York and Washington, D.C. , and with the Poetry Is News events, co-curated with Ammiel Alcalay. She helped found and direct The Poetry Project at St Mark’s Church In-the-Bowery where she worked as first assistant director and then director for a decade. She currently serves on the Board of the Bowery Poetry Club and Issue Project Room in New York City. She has been an editor of several small press venues over the years, including Angel Hair Magazine and Books, Full Court Press, Rocky Ledge, Erudite Fangs and Thuggery & Grace.

Pat Steir is an artist internationally renowned for works that lyrically and dramatically exploit chance effects to evoke such natural phenomena as waterfalls, works that she views in the tradition of Zen painting.  Born in Newark, New Jersey and based in New York City, she has lived and worked in Italy, Holland, and California.  She studied at Pratt Institute, where she now holds an honorary doctorate, and at Boston University, and has taught at the California Institute of Arts, Parsons School of Design, Princeton University and Hunter College. Steir has been the subject of solo museum exhibitions at The Corcoran Gallery, the Brooklyn Museum, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines; Los Angeles County Museum, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, as well as museums in Dublin, Lyon, Geneva, Berlin, Rome, and Reykavik. She is represented by Cheim & Read, New York, and has also shown at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago; Harley Baldwin Gallery, Aspen; and Locks Gallery, Philadelphia.  Her work is represented in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Tate Gallery, London; Steir was a founding board member of Printed Matter bookshop and of Heresies magazine, and has served on the editorial board of Semiotext.  Steir achieved renown in the 1980s for her wall drawing installations, one of which was remade in November 2009 at the New York Studio School.