Sunday, August 4, 2013

July 21, 2013 Hugh and Mary Behm-Steinberg live!

We had the great pleasure to welcome Hugh and Mary Behm-Steinberg in the studio to discuss their beautiful book The Opposite of Work (JackLeg Press 2013). The book is very formally interesting; the poetry was provided by Hugh and the illustrations by Mary. The poems occupy the odd numbered pages and the pictures the even numbered pages. The illustrations (which were created based on a poem that is not in the book) comprise a flip book; these visuals create a narrative of a serpent that becomes a tree with a knot and a child running up a staircase. There are also lovers and a winged woman. The visuals are dreamlike and gorgeous and need to be seen. The poems deal with spirituality and love. They are arranged in a way that slows the reader down; they are centered on the page and the lines are spaced so that they are not read with the breath. The content deals with both the fantastic and surreal and the mundane. Hugh discussed his 'mosiac I' and how different sources and registers find way into the poetic content. There is a mystical tradition that informs this work, mapping experience through language. There is also a political element as some of the pieces were written during our war with Iraq. Throughout our talk we witnessed Mary and Hugh's loving relationship made manifest on the page.
Click Here to Listen

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