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Inside Out: Poems


In her June 11 post, former Inside Out contributor Katrina Umber posted images of books that have shaped her artistic thinking.

It’s a beautiful post, and such a treat to have a window into the creative thinking of someone else.

I was inspired and decided to post my own version. Artists often turn to other categories of art to find influence, and I have always been very much drawn to poetry. There’s something about the capacity for language to stir up a visual mind-space that informs my work like nothing else.

E. E. Cummings has been my reigning favorite for many years.

The strangeness of Richard Brautigan stirs the same kind of strangeness I wish to convey with some of my work, like the drawings I posted about last week.

Lucille Clifton, who speaks of the exact intricacies of being a woman in a way that opens up new worlds. I love to see how other artists express subjects like feminism and domesticity, and try to take lessons into my own feminist work.

Louise Glück. I saw her give a reading once; she is as powerful in person as she is on paper. Her style is spare, elegant and strong. I strive for the same effect in my work.

Sappho’s fragments let me daydream about what is missing.

Naomi Shihab Nye. I am about to move to San Francisco to complete my graduate degree. Things are hectic and stressful, and finding housing in the city is more competitive and expensive than anything I’ve ever seen before.

Nye reminds me why I am doing this.

About Author

Katherine Vetne is BR&S artist in residence for July 2013.

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