From the explosion in creative writing programs and workshops to the poetry slams and open mikes in every city to the reading groups venturing beyond prose for the first time, poetry is suddenly everywhere. This vibrant anthology showcases unforgettable poems and photographic portraits of leading writers in the United States, together with a CD that features many of the poets reading from their work. From Aleida Rodriguez to Ishmael Reed to Maxine Hong Kingston to John Ashbery, the poets gathered here represent a cross section of poetic styles, geographic regions, and ethnic identities. Together they express the amazing exuberance and diversity of contemporary poetry.
Margaretta K. Mitchell conceived the volume after attending the celebrated Lunch Poems Reading Series at the University of California, Berkeley. Her desire to capture the faces of all of the poets who participated in the series led to the creation of this book. Her essay explores the importance of portraiture and describes her studio sessions with these poets.
"These portraits speak to each other and to us with the voice of poetry. Margaretta's mastery of the language of photography gives us insight into the poetic personae. The gestures bring meaning to the idea of poetry as originally spoken. What a fascinating series of faces!" —Ruth Bernhard
"The Face of Poetry is the ideal companion for any and every reader of contemporary poetry. The brilliant selections by Zack Rogow are consistently wise, eclectic, and diverse—both stylistically and ethnically—and Margaretta K. Mitchell's masterly photographs of the poets are simply revelations. The Face of Poetry offers a luminous and complex portrait of American poetry at the height of its powers." —David St. John, author of The Face: A Novella in Verse.
"...Margaretta Mitchell's photographs give faces to, make a serial portrait of, the social facts, and give us also a series of portraits of individual artists to set against the poems, where at best an interesting space might grow up between the poems and the faces looking out from the photographs, in the conversation between the two art forms. The face of poetry is, finally, in the poems themselves, which returns us to the fact of reading. Finally, it is the poems that matter, and when the poems matter, so does the culture that produces them and the social history of this art form in a given time and place, which the photographs convey. The poems matter if they come to life inside readers."—Robert Hass from The Face of Poetry 2005
A limited edition print is available that showcases all the poets in their collective splendor. The edition was printed by Joshua Partridge, an accomplished printer who has developed a digital printing technique to resemble the platinum process. Grandson of Imogen Cunningham, Mr. Partridge prints for the Imogen Cunningham Trust.
The edition consists of 300 prints on 22x30 inch acid-free 100% rag Arches watercolor paper from France that meets the highest archival standards.
Prints are available for $130 each. (Prices may rise as the edition sells.) Tax and shipping costs via UPS ground within the U.S. included.
To order a print contact Margaretta to arrange to pay by check or download this order form.
Margaretta K. Mitchell • 280 Hillcrest Road • Berkeley, California 94705
510.655.4920 • email: firstname.lastname@example.org