illustrated poetry (no, not like rupi kaur’s)

Since/because of our last class, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it is that makes a poem good, but also fundamentally what it is that makes a poem a poem. In my mind, the visual arts and poetry exist in the same spaces, and are therefore sometimes indistinguishable in my work. In the past, this has manifested primarily as either:

  1. Traditional illustrations wherein the poem and the art exist independently from one another on the page but are, in their content, related.
  2. Small illustrations which take the place of the title of the poem.

In both instances, the poem and the art coexist, but the former always takes up at least the same amount of space as the latter, usually more; in other words, the poem has always been the focus of my work, and the art is complimentary.

Recently, though, my work has been a little more art-heavy. I’ve attached two (low quality) images of my most recent pieces to give you a better idea of what I mean. For me, these are poems. My process in making them is nearly identical to the process I go through when writing a poem of just words, and these are concentrated and concise and imagery-dependent in the same way my poems are.

I’ve been having difficulty finding work like this, work wherein the art and the poem blend together in the extreme. As such, this post is just as much a publication of my information as it is an invitation for you to share yours with me. If you are familiar with any visual artists who incorporate poetry in their work, or any poets who incorporate visual art in their work, I’d love to hear about them. I’d very much appreciate some guidance and inspiration in reconciling these two passions of mine.

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