Not too long ago I published a collection called Picture Making. It was a year of poems written in response to photographs I took. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction explaining the idea:
One day in August, 2015, I had the idea of snapping a trio of off-the-cuff photos and seeing if the group gave me any ideas to write about. I can’t say why I had this thought – it was just one of those things floating by in the air, maybe, and my mind reached out and grabbed it.
Anyway, it seemed like fun and so I pulled out my camera and took three pictures. Not quite at random, but almost – the first three things that had enough presence to get me to notice them, well – those were the photos that I took.
I went home, looked them over, and wrote. I didn’t study the images, puzzle out a theme, consider their merits. I just started writing. I arranged the photos in an order, wrote about one image, went to the next, connected it in writing to the first, and so on to the third. I looked the resulting poem over quickly, made a couple of changes, and set it aside. I figured I’d come back later and do something with it in the vague future.
But the photo poem idea had gotten a good hold on me. So, I tried it again. And again. I realized I wanted to keep going, so I decided to see if I could keep it up for a year. The result is this collection of poetry, written over that year, August 2015 to August 2016.
I’m going to post all the poems, on their birthdays (determined by the date of the photos), over the next year. When you finish, you’ll have read the whole book! It starts on August 27.