Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mutual Muses VII

Last evening I had the pleasure of attending the potluck dinner for the seventh season of Mutual Muses of Cape Cod.  Every spring there is an exhibit at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in South Yarmouth that pairs artists and poets. This is my third year participating in this creative and inspirational event. 

How it works: In November, artists and poets meet for a light meal, conversation and wine. After the festivities, each poet picks a manila envelope with a copy of the art work which will inspire a poem and each artist draws a white envelope with a poem enclosed from which they will paint (or sculpt) a piece of art. In the past, I have written poems to accompany paintings by Jamie Wolf and Vittoria Sault. This year I drew a beautiful pendant created by local artist Carole Johnson.  In an interesting twist, she received a copy of my poem “The Get Away” last year and made a pin inspired by my poem. Now, it’s my turn to use her art as the impetus for a new poem.

Usually, I place the print of the piece I’ll be working with on the piano in the living room. During the winter months I live with it. Come early spring, it’s time for me to come out of hibernation and write my poem. Once submitted, it’s a short wait until the night of the opening reception and poetry reading. The night is one of magic where poets, artists and friends meet in a mad scramble to view the exhibit and then find seats for the reading. Lauren Wolk, assistant director of the Cultural Center and participating poet, is the emcee for the evening.

Since there are typically fifty artists paired with fifty poets, the reading is a study in organized chaos. Each poet can read one poem and then must introduce the next poet in line. Names are called alphabetically. It’s a whirlwind evening, so I like to go back to the Cultural Center at a quieter time and spend an hour or two savoring the pairing of visual and literary art. Each poem is posted next to the artwork it inspired and vice versa. It is a transformative experience to see all the pieces arranged over four rooms. There is also a fluffy resident cat in attendance for a quick pat or scratch behind the ears.

All in all, it is a wonderful experience and I look forward to living with Carole’s creation and getting ideas for a new poem.

1 comment:

  1. I loved visiting the exhibit with you last year. There were so many beautiful, creative pieces of art, stunning paintings, and moving, emotional poetry.
    Good luck and enjoy the creative process!!