The idea behind the Poets Series is to paint portraits of living poets and let each poet pick the next as a practice of praco-poesis. More simply put, I hoped to create a round robin of poets. I began this work by crowd sourcing poets to begin each branch. I asked the poets who were picked if I could paint a portrait of them, and if they wouldn’t mind selecting the next poet to add to the series. The response has been astounding. As the beginning poets included other poets, and the archive began to grow, branch by branch into an amazing narrative of contemporary poetry. The Poets Series is a celebration of the complex tangle of living poets that belong to a loose archive.
She has just set up a website with information about the series, images of completed and in-progress paintings, as well as giclee prints for sale. My portrait is based on a photograph that my partner Jenn took while we were in New York City in Spring 2014. I’m really astonished by the whole thing. What a strange thing to have a portrait, and even stranger to see it in the company of the people it is in the company of (I must be the only poet in the bunch without a trade book). Thanks to Melanie, and thanks to Nelson Ball for adding my name to the archive! I can’t wait to see it grow.