I am finally out from under the Chestertown Book Festival and am attempting to focus again on my new illuminated chapbook project with Emily Kalwaitis. I don't believe I've talked about my illuminated chapbook concept here before. It's not really anything extremely new and innovative, just a new way of looking at an art form, I guess. My illuminated chapbook is really just a short collection of illustrated poetry. Sleight would have been one. I am designing Pastoral in full consciousness of this idea. It may seem rather simple and insignificant--a short book of illustrated poetry--but I like to think of it as similar to the ancient art of illuminated manuscripts. I feel that the poetry and paintings have a way of working together when placed side by side, that makes them more than what they can be alone. Words and art together are a powerful combination, I think. Illuminating.
And while reading the new book by Fairy Tale Review founder and editor Kate Bernheimer, Horse, Flower, Bird, I happened upon a sentence of hers that would make a beautiful epitaph for Pastoral, in her story "A Cageling Tale:"
"Lying in bed, watching the pale bird toss itself through the pastel scene, the girl felt in the best way--pastoral, nearly."
I think Kate knows what we're talking about. Emily's working on the art for Pastoral now. I can't wait to see what she sees.