This 40-page chapbook with 13 color plates is a collection of “ekphrastic poetry” based on work produced by members of the Avon Arts Association and hung in the Association’s annual spring show at the Simsbury Public Library. The poets were members of a workshop sponsored by the Library and led by Rennie McQuilkin on April 4, 2006. Each of the fifteen poets in the workshop chose one work on display in the Library’s gallery and began work on a poetic interpretation during the workshop, finishing the poem during the following week, often working closely with McQuilkin. Before a gala reception to honor the poets and the artists, Antrim House produced Painting to Poem in conjunction with the Library. At the reception each poet and artist was presented with a complimentary copy of the book and either read her poem or discussed the artwork which led to that poem.

The cover painting is by Elizabeth J. Maniatty, and those represented in the book are the following, first the fifteen poets, then the artists: Polly Laszlo Brody, Virginia Buck, Charlotte Crowe, Anna Guarco, Janet Henderson, Chana Kaplan, Sharon Kapustinski, Laura Mazza-Dixon, Georgia McInnis, Julia McNiven, Geri Radacsi, Anne Sheffield, Carolyn Tertes, Kaaren Whitney, Alice Ahrens Williams, Jean Brault, Carole Day, Claire E. Fish, Robert Godin, Nancy Hoffman, Jacie Jakubowski, Carla Niehaus, Lee Ora, Julia Parker Post, Greg Reynolds, Helmi Russ, Judy Swanson, and Andi Thorne.

The following poem opens the book:

The paintings are numbered
and hang next to each other
on the library walls.

Six harbors, a stone wall,
three horses — one with a girl,
two dogs, an old couple seen from behind,
a baby, a field of red poppies, and a bowl of lilacs.

On Tuesday evening,
the ladies of the poetry workshop
come to study the paintings and to write.

“Jump off from here,” he says.
“Go where the poems lead you.”
I guess we trust him; he says he has been there.
So, as a group, we go. We jump.

Some of us prowl. Others stake a claim.
Attracted to the falling light here
and bold splash of color there,
we eye every shadow and the line of each horizon.

We are no longer spectators. We are at risk.
The artists are gone. They have distilled

their vision here. Now it is our turn.
We must go further.

Restless and wary, we ignore each other,
staring pointedly into the distance,
as though the room has grown too small.

We bend our heads over our notebooks.
The room fills with a deepening silence
while night gathers outside the windows.

When we read, the silence breaks
with the shock of grief and loss.
Life comes welling up in the cracks.

At nine-thirty, we leave the room,
realizing how little we understand
about each other, how alike we are.

These landscapes are within, inviolate,
the journey just begun.

The paintings hang untouched.
At least they appear that way.

Laura Mazza-Dixon

Length: 40 pages
Binding: 5.5" x 8.5" chapbook style


$12.50US per book

Shipping and Handling (First Class/Priority): $5.00 for 1-4 books, $7.00 for 5-8 books,
$9 for 9-12 books, and $12 for 13 or more books

Tax for CT residents: 6%


International Shipping and Handling: $10.00US for 1-2 books, $15.00US for 3 or more

 To order, send check payable to Antrim House for book/s, sales tax (CT only) and shipping:

Antrim House, PO Box 111, Tariffville, CT 06070


or buy with PayPal

return to top of page