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Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:POETRY
  • SubGenre:General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:168
  • eBook ISBN:9781883551094

Brush with Reality

Poems and Drawings

by Kath Howell

Book Image Not Available
Overview
BRUSH WITH REALITY is a collection of poems and drawings about ordinary wonders and extraordinary routines. The delights of daily living are celebrated by poet/artist Kath Howell. The doubts of the faithful honored. The fearful hopes that make our world go round affirmed. Between the lines of words and pictures, hopeful fears are acknowledged, black and white sometimes relieved in color. The delightfully creative book includes more than 100 original drawings, including a special eight-page "Color Gallery."
Description
Highly praised by other poets and artists, BRUSH WITH REALITY is a collection of poems and drawings about ordinary wonders and extraordinary routines. The delights of daily living are celebrated by poet/artist Kath Howell. The doubts of the faithful honored. The fearful hopes that make our world go round affirmed. Between the lines of words and pictures, hopeful fears are acknowledged, black and white sometimes relieved in color. The delightfully creative book includes more than 100 original drawings, including a special eight-page "Color Gallery." “Real poetry,” says one contemporary critic, “contains that nearly impossible combination of poetry as a game—a game we play with words, where we put them together and create sounds, and resonance, and evocations, and rhythms, and tunes—and, simultaneously, poetry as a spiritual calling. It is a way of exploring the great (and maybe not so great) mysteries of our own existence. A real poem operates simultaneously on both levels. It satisfies the pattern-making, game-making side of our imagination, and it also feeds our souls.” Yes, BRUSH WITH REALITY is real poetry. The poems in this wide-ranging collection were written (and rewritten) by Kath Howell between 1962 and 2002. They arose from the poet's concerns with prevailing currents in America during those years: rural and urban sprawling toward suburbia; the inclusion of TV as neighbor as well as icon; the image as advertised, graven or not. References to theater, art, the Middle Ages and the Bible are the common ground -- the public space -- for personal events: growing up, and old; going to school, to war, to work. The drawings and paintings illustrate the challenge to perspective of these juxtapositions.
About the author
Kath Howell's "Self-Portrait": Born in Poughkeepsie, NY, I grew up in what was then rural Dutchess County. I attended local public schools through ninth grade, until I became a boarder at the Emma Willard School in Troy, NY, graduating in 1958. I entered Vassar College that fall, withdrew and was hospitalized for treatment for a nervous breakdown. I reentered Vassar and graduated in 1964. Graduate work at the University of Minnesota fell short of a degree but included the 1964-65 season at the Tyrone Guthrie Theater, as a McKnight Fellow in Playwriting. Thus formally educated, I compiled a checkered résumé of gainful and ungainful employment, including a stint as buyer at the Vassar Cooperative Bookshop, teaching at Emma Willard, volunteering with the Vassar Office of Off-Campus Studies, at Emma Willard, local schools, and the Northern Dutchess Hospital. I’ve had the chance to travel in Europe and Africa, and live on a Caribbean Island. Vassar Experimental Theater, Tyrone Guthrie Theater, Emma Willard School and the Rensselaer County Community players let me work in and write for their stages. I started to draw “seriously” during a season of political involvement—doodles eventually developed into cartoon minutes of meetings, comments on life and times. I have on occasion dreamed my characters were drawing me. Since the poems are drawn from real lives—some of them mine—some context is in order: Despite preferring hands-on responsibility, I’ve found service on boards and committees—even fundraising—surprisingly satisfying. Brought up a Methodist, I’m now at home in the Episcopal tradition...although I still miss certain rousing if politically incorrect hymns. I’ve been hospitalized off and on for myasthenia gravis—it’s a chronic disease and we’re learning to live with each other, helped by firm and friendly medical assistance. I gave up the Dodgers when they gave up Brooklyn, but the Red Sox keep me waiting for next year. I have an away from home base in Marion, MA, but live mostly in Rhinebeck, NY, not far from where I began.
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