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Anne Gorrick's Artistic Flow

 

Anne Gorrick's Artistic Flow - Featured in the Hudson Valley's publication, Chronogram!!


Widow Jane Mine in Rosendale - FRANCO VOGT
  • by Nina Shengold

The front walk to Anne Gorrick's door has been reclaimed by flowers. As metaphors go, it's a bit obvious, but it does seem delightfully apt that you enter the poet's great rambling ship of a house from the side.

A visual artist as well as a poet, Gorrick's latest collection A's Visuality (BlazeVOX, 2015) cross-pollinates these foci, with two suites of art-themed poems ("FOLIOS" transcribes the texts of 28 artist's books she made from found-object fragments of art criticism; "Chromatic Sweep" riffs on color descriptions from Kingston's R&F Handmade Paints) and encaustic monotypes. Her previous books include the densely brilliant language collages Kyotologic (Shearsman Books, 2008), I-Formation, Book 1 (Shearsman, 2010) and I-Formation, Book 2 (Shearsman 2012); she co-curates the electronic journal Peep/Show with Lynn Behrendt. If this body of work suggests an avant-garde wraith in SoHo black layers and high-concept shoes, think again.

Gorrick opens the door in a loose-weave sweater and blue jeans, trying to corral an exuberant black lab named Einstein, more often called Tiny (he isn't). Her eyes are hyacinth blue, her smile infectious. After a high-exclamation point tour of the home she shares with husband Peter Genovese, she sits in the kitchen, popping up almost immediately to pour Cup of Joy chocolate-mint tea. The fragrant steam blends with the heady scent of home-tapped maple sap evaporating on the stove. 

It's one of those Hudson Valley households: Wherever you look, something creative is happening. It might be a partially restored vintage rosewood piano, an antique barber chair, a glass-front cabinet of perfume ingredients next to a writing desk made from a motor-repair bench. There are framed prints on the walls (Cynthia Winika's as well as Gorrick's), work boots next to the woodstove. Two stacks of books line the table: Cassandra Danz's Mrs. Greenthumbs series ("kick-ass gardening books") and several volumes on Greek mythology. 

One of Gorrick's new projects involves googling Greek gods and goddesses for pop culture and home product namesakes to plunder for poems. "There's an Aphrodite II double-wide mobile home," she exults. "I'm just entranced. I'm beside myself with how much fun this is." 

Gorrick is a frequent flyer in cyberspace, often using the "terrible Internet translator" BabelFish to "pour text back and forth into about 20 different languages." The results are a springboard for high-diving poetics. 

Does she worry about accessibility? "I think it's okay for people not to be interested in my work," she says. "There's a million other flavors out there." She's a fervent believer in "doing work to please your best, highest self instead of the marketplace;" her nine-to-five job as a college administrator pays the bills so her art doesn't have to. 

Gorrick was born in Poughkeepsie. Her parents moved there from northeastern Pennsylvania when the local coal economy collapsed. Gorrick's father was hired by IBM (which ironically also collapsed); her mother taught science. Gorrick attended Spackenkill High School, where she played competitive tennis and studied classical piano. She describes her love of the arts as a "switched at birth" fluke in her science-prone family. "It was not a household with a lot of poetry books," she says drily. 

The gateway drug was Sylvia Plath's Ariel, which she read in junior high. "I didn't even know what she was talking about, but it was so powerful," Gorrick recalls. "I didn't know you could do that with language. It gets into your skin like a scar." Then she discovered Tristan Tzara's Dada poems, which opened a door to experimental poetics. She pursued a traditional English degree at SUNY New Paltz, but had "the nagging sensation there must be something else." She found it in Clayton Eshleman's seminal periodical Sulfur: A Literary Tri-Annual of the Whole Art. "I thought, this is the community I want to be writing in."

It seems safe to say that she got her wish. Gorrick and poet Sam Truitt just edited In|Filtration: An Anthology of Innovative Poetry from the Hudson River Valley (Station Hill of Barrytown, 2015). Featuring 64 area poets and spanning nearly 400 pages, it's a mighty watershed of a book. 

Even at a glance, it's clear we're not in Kansas anymore. The first offerings are three documentary poems by Mark Nowak, a photo-and-text excerpt from Carolee Schneemann "ABC—We Print Anything—In the Cards," and a 10-word poem by Sparrow; the last, L. S. Asekoff's "Yangshuo in a Drizzle," consists entirely of punctuation. There are poems written sideways, shaped into spirals, spaced across pages or printed in side-by-side columns. "Station Hill's Susan Quasha did a great job with the design—that's a lot of disparate work to fit under two covers," Gorrick says. In a preface, she and Truitt explain that they sought "poets whose work either shows originality of form or makes use of poetic conventions in new ways: old bottle/new wine; new bottle/old wine; and, sometimes, new bottle/new wine."

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As Visuality by Anne Gorrick Now Available!

In Anne Gorrick’s richly-faceted collection A’s Visuality, found texts are held up to the light and transformed into energies that can’t be contained by convention: “Origin and then form conforms to our interest.” This is the work of a highly-engaged intelligence, and Gorrick has made her own system by moving through the world with the given that this, too, is poetry. Here, it is color— not darkness— that surrounds us. What a beautiful place she has made.

—Carolyn Guinzio


In her fourth book, Anne Gorrick explores words related to painting: phrases from art criticism and the names of paint colors. In the first section, FOLIOs, we see an unusual transformation: Writing about painting turns into writing about people (which suggests that writing about people could turn into writing about painting). In the second section, Chromatic Sweep, we enter a realm of pure abstraction, the names of colors. Colors. Gorrick, also a visual artist, shows us how much can be done with the name of a color, how many words can grow from that single seed, how many images, how many statements, how many narratives. Does every color imply all the rest, a world of colors? They do here, in “R&F Reds” and other poems:

Red truth. It calls. It satisfies.

When a red situation looks like putty

When she is thin as a blue color and exits

These violent forms of announcement

a pink greenhouse as if you were angry

—Michael Ruby


Some poems are written slant. They surfaced because their poets didn’t have an idea they imposed on the poem to develop. They surfaced because the poets respected the raw material — words — enough to get out of the way to let the words speak for themselves. When the approach works, language becomes poetry by, in part, transcending the limits of the poets’ conscious imaginations. Such has resulted from Anne Gorrick’s A’s Visuality which presents a section of poems translated from prior positionings as visual art and a second section of poems taking off from the found language of a website’s description of paint colors. The first section, Folios, is rife with surfaced wisdom: “a map / as small as / astronauts” where guidance (map) is not the astronaut’s limits (knowledge) but the astronauts’ task (and desire) to explore or expand the limits of what’s known. In the second section Chromatic Sweep, never has color become so palpable (at times even edible or radioactive): “when black and white mix, there is a lower sound” or “red play back our own choking.” Gorrick trusted the words (“No editorial / preoccupied with”) and their reciprocation are lush poems that thoughtfully invite.

—Eileen Tabios

Anne Gorrick is the author of: I-Formation (Book 2) (Shearsman Books, Bristol, UK,2012), I-Formation (Book 1) (Shearsman, 2010), and Kyotologic (Shearsman, 2008). She has also co-edited (with Sam Truitt) In|Filtration: An Anthology of Innovative Poetry from the Hudson River Valley (Station Hill Press, Barrytown, NY, forthcoming in 2015). She has collaborated with artist Cynthia Winika to produce a limited edition artists’ book called “Swans, the ice,” she said with grants through the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She has also collaborated on large textual and/or visual projects with John Bloomberg-Rissman and Scott Helmes. She curates the reading series, Cadmium Text ( www.cadmiumtextseries.blogspot.com ) and co-curates (with Lynn Behrendt), the electronic journal Peep/Show at  www.peepshowpoetry.blogspot.com Her visual art can be seen at: www.theropedanceraccompaniesherself.blogspot.com

Anne Gorrick lives in West Park, New York.


Book Information:

· Paperback: 120 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-182-5

FULL COLOR 

$28

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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