Saturday, April 16, 2011

National Poetry Month/William Carlos Williams

Here's a wonderful biography of William Carlos Williams for children. It focuses on his love of poetry and his decision to make a life of being both a poet and a doctor. Many of Williams' poems are integrated into the book.

The evocative illustrations by Melissa Sweet are a combination of watercolor, collage, and mixed media. She gives us a welcome window on her creative process in the Illustrator's Note.

The artwork for every book calls for a different interpretation. These pictures needed to convey his era and the modern art of his time that was so influential to Williams. There were a lot of false starts—nothing I did seemed powerful enough to match his poems. Then I looked to a big box of discarded books I had from a library sale. One of the books had beautiful endpapers and I did a small painting on it. Then I took a book cover, ripped it off, and painted more. The book covers became my canvas, and any ephemera I had been saving for one day became fodder for the collages.

Every project furthers an artists, but this book was a true gift.

You can view the poem The Uses of Poetry at with text flow. I love watching the words slowly appear and disappear.

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