For those of you who enjoyed finding out about mythic artists via the old JoMA/Endicott Studio blog: I hope you're following Pam Grossman's Phantasmaphile. Kristin Bjornerud (above), a Canadian artist who often draws upon dream and animal-myth imagery, is just one of the many artists profiled by Grossman -- along with many, many other creators of mythic, phantastic and surrealistic works.
And for you New York readers: This weekend is the last chance to see Fata Morgana: The New Female Fantasists, curated by Grossman for Dabora Gallery, featuring the work of several artists previously featured on the Endicott blog: Fay Ku (below), Carrie Ann Baade, Lori Field, Karena Karras, Alexis Mackenzie, Amy Ross, and Madeline von Foerster (among others). What a line-up!
Oh, how I wish I could be there....
The new issue of the Goblin Fruit poetry webzine is now online, with a special feature on poet Jennifer Crow and other delights. The webzine is created by the young, absurdly talented team of Amal El-Mohtar (Cornwall), Jessica Wick (California), and Oliver Hunter (Australia). This is their third anniversary issue (congratulations!), and it is gorgeous, so please do check it out. (And don't miss the new Mischief section of the site.)
Speaking of gorgeous, the Goblin Fruit video above features the magical, magical art of Oliver Hunter. The music is by Oliver too, with lyrics drawn from a poem of mine. (Thank you, Oliver, for that honor.)
There's some wonderfully witchey and myth-soaked music being made these days -- some of it by young women who must surely have books like Mythago Wood and Someplace to be Flying on their shelves. Here are two of my favorites at the moment: "When I Grow Up" by Swedish electronic artist Karin Dreijer Andersson, who records under the name Fever Ray (above), and "Daniel" by the amazing Natasha Khan of the English band Bat for Lashes (below).
These two videos are a bit over the top...both magical and absurd in equal measure...but that's precisely what I love about them. There's something so wonderful about the work of creative artists still young enough that they're not overly worried about embarrassing themselves. We often become more self-critical, and therefore more self-conscious, as we grow older and our art matures...and if we're not careful we can lose some of the raw passion that fuelled our most interesting work when we were young.
In that spirit, I've put up a new note over my desk today: Dare to be ridiculous!
(More Bat for Lashes here and here. More Fever Ray here.)
I've just been introduced to An Awfully Big Blog Adventure, a terrific multi-author blog created by a group of British children's books writers. Running since July 2008, the blog features regular posts on fiction, storytelling, the book publishing world, the creative process and the writing life by authors such as Katherine Langrish, Susan Price, Charles Butler, and many others. If you're a fan of children's books, or a writer of such tales, I highly recommend it.
It's well worth taking the time to peruse the older posts on the blog, for there are some treasures here. Joan Lennon, for example, discusses what has to be the very best William Morris quote ever: "If a chap can't compose an epic poem while he's weaving tapestry he had better shut up."
Lennon comments: "It's the sheer, outrageous, well-of-course-we're-creative-don't-make-a-fuss-just-get-on-with-it-ness of it that makes me want to cheer. Yes - we are meant to be creative - it's the way we're built - stop talking about it and getting doing it!"
I'm back at the office after another unscheduled trip away (the Trickster gods still working overtime), and I can't believe it's April already. Did we actually have a March? If so, it seems to have passed in a blurr....
The best thing about April is that it's National Poetry Month, so there are many fine poetry offerings to be found on the web. Check out National Poetry Month With the Pre-Raphaelites, over on the Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood blog. Or sign up to have a poem emailed to you each day this month from the American Academy of Poets (which is also sponsoring a Poem in Your Pocket event on April 30th). If it's mythic poetry you're after, check out the marvelous Goblin Fruit webzine, the poetry archives of The Journal of Mythic Arts, and a year's worth of "Sunday Poem" selections archived on the JoMA "News & Reviews" blog (there are some real treasures here).
Prefer your poetry on the printed page? I recommend books and chapbooks by Endicott Studio poets Jane Yolen (Among Angels), Carolyn Dunn (Outfoxing Coyote), Jeannine Hall Gailey (Becoming the Villainess), Joseph Stanton (The Imaginary Museum), Mario Milosevic (Animal Life, Fantasy Life, Love Life), and Howard Gayton (Poems to the Desert). And don't miss the latest offerings from Laurie Kutchins (Slope of the Child Everlasting, with art by the amazing Jeannie Tomanek); from Catherynne Valente (A Guide to Folktales in Fragile Dialects, with an introduction by Midori Snyder); and from Lawrence Schimel's A Midsummer Night's Press.
You can send someone a poem a day through the Endicott E-Postcards site, featuring a month's worth of mythic poetry and art. On the card above: my painting "The Muse" (from the Animal Tales series) paired with text from Charles de Lint's poem Tapu'at House. Below: lovely art by Oliver Hunter, with a snippet from John Donne's Elygy 10.