I am very excited to have a poem on The Poetry Dress at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival in Salem from May 12 – 14. Read below for more information, including my poem. Maybe you’d like to RSVP on the Facebook event? The poetry festival looks fantastic and I’m sorry to miss it.
The Poetry Dress is a collaborative art project featuring work by established and emerging poets as a way to showcase the layers of female voices in contemporary poetry. It will be on display during the Massachusetts Poetry Festival in downtown Salem. Thank you to Danielle Jones-Pruett for putting this together.
Participants include: Liz Abrams-Morley, Diane Averill, Naomi Ayala, Hannah Baker-Siroty, Catherine Bancroft, Julie Batten, Judith Baumel, Adrian Blevins, Rosalind Brenner, Pamela Haskew Brunson, Sage Cohen, Suzanne Coker, Martha Collins, Erika Dreifus, Mary Gilman, Betsy Gomez, Danielle Goncalves, Michele Harris, Andra Hibbert, Alison Hicks, Krysten Hill, Lisa Hiton, Jennifer Jean, Danielle Jones-Pruett, Tosha Jupiter, Pamela Kallimanis, Paula Hardy Kangelos, Meg Kearney, Molly Sutton Kiefer, Suji Kwock Kim, Crystal Koe, Cindy Veach, Irene Latham, Jacquelyn Malone, Amy Marengo, Jennifer Martelli, Jill McDonough, Molly McGuire, Colleen Michaels, Chloe Yelena Miller, Jean Monahan, Nadia Nurhussein, Lisa Olstein, January O’Neil, Catherine Parnell, Dawn Paul, Barbara Perez, Joyce Peseroff, Kay Peters, Kathleen Raddatz, Hila Ratzabi, Betsy Retallack, Karen Rigby, Lynn Roberts, Bonnie Roberts, Rachel Roberts, Maxine Scates, Tara Skurtu, Amy Small-McKinney, Janet Spangler, Lindsay Steuber, Tess Taylor, Kim Triedman, Lesley Valdes, Melissa Varnavas, Angela Voras-Hills, Ingrid Wendt, Joleen Westerdale, Leslie Williams, Margaret Young, Jessica Young, and Rachel Zucker.
I wrote Duccio’s Gold five years ago after visiting the MFA in Boston. I spent some time looking closely at the gold in this Italian triptych from the early 1300s. Like many of my poems, this one considers the power of art as a means to understand the world and my aunt, who passed this year.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
is sky and earth, but not sea.
Punched, tugged with tools, it suspends
angels. They are here, also everywhere.
I mimic that thin gold with oil; the brush
spreads color unevenly. Three pears
exist in this heaven of brushstrokes and platter.
Italians still lives: natura morta.
The fruit seeds rest for repotting.
My ninety-eight year old aunt sits back in her chair.
I want to reanimate her—
paint her blond hair pushed to one side by the Atlantic wind,
dye the dress she wore at her mother’s funeral.
Don’t wear mourner’s black for me, her mother said.
These stories are here,
Stay tuned for pictures of the dress from the festival!