About "Selections from Reciprocity: Paintings and Poems"


During March and April 2004, I was pleased to have a very special exhibition at the Emmanuel d'Alzon Library at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts: twenty-one reciprocally inspired painting/poem sets from a larger group of thirty-five that make up my manuscript, Reciprocity: Selected Paintings and Poems. It was thrilling for me to see poster-sized copies of my poems displayed next to their reciprocal partners.

What sets these works apart from the hundreds of other paintings and poems that I make? There are times when a phenomenon which I call "reciprocity" occurs---I finish a painting, but experience a lack of emotional resolution and satisfaction. The painting itself feels resolved, but I need to write in order to quiet my muse. If the poem should come first, it gives meaning and substance to a subsequent painting. In their mutual relationship, they eventually become a singular and reciprocal way of expressing myself. I understand that reciprocity will happen when it needs to, when the urge to continue becomes insistent. So I listen to the work and let it lead me. I trust that something might be waiting for me on the other side of the process, as it has thirty-five times over the past six years.

I believe I am working within a tradition because there are many renowned poet/artists, such as Jean Arp, William Blake, Marc Chagall, Leonardo da Vinci, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Marsden Hartley, Michelangelo, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and Dorothea Tanning. Edgar Degas composed a sonnet to his "Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen." However, if they experienced a sort of reciprocity, they did not write about it. My manuscript contains a preface and endnotes, in which I explain my experience.
was honored to receive a fellowship in support of this project from the Worcester Cultural Commission/Massachusetts Cultural Council. And, as happy as I was to design the Assumption exhibition and see the manuscript "come to life" on the walls, now it is over, and I continue my search for a publisher who will transform the manuscript into a book. next