Shore ArtsHeather Harvey at the Academy Art Museum

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One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Or in this case another woman’s treasure. If you live in Easton and you happen to check out one of the three new shows at the Academy Art Museum you just might recognize some of your trash featured in the Heather Harvey exhibit “The Thin Place.”

Harvey, a Washington College associate art professor, prowls the streets, alleyways and parking lots of Easton on what she calls “urban beachcombing” expeditions. She searches for debris that comprise her installations, three of which hang at the museum through Sept. 30.

Belonging by Heather Harvey

At the Academy museum, her installations are accompanied by about a dozen paintings, watercolor and acrylic, that reflect a different side of Harvey’s exploration of “areas where we don’t have everything figured out, re-inculcating childlike enchantment and wonder.” These are “thin places,” a Celtic expression for permeable divides between living and dead, sacred and profane, commonplace and extraordinary—even extraterrestrial. The science part of that enchantment, she says, are “invisible ordering systems” that define our life on this planet—astronomy, gravity and weather, including wind (“we only see its effects”) as well as magnetic fields. Other paintings are metaphors for certain effects on our lives, such as emotions, or even more defining biological or sociological realities, including gender, race and class.

Among the most personal of her paintings is “Hope Sound,” the name of the place in Florida where her friend, poet Mary Oliver, passed away. Painted on the day Oliver died, it expresses, Harvey says, her grieving, her thanks for having known her friend and “a sense of ascension.” By contrast, another painting derives from scientific curiosity, inspired by her trip with her husband two years ago to South Carolina to experience a total solar eclipse.

“There’s a little bit of Baroque in my pieces,” Harvey says, referring to a suggestion of exaggerated motion and detail to produce drama and a sense of exuberance. But she also goes for the sublime. “That’s beauty mixed with awe that borders on terror. An eclipse is like that,” she says. “An unsettling tension between the two.”

As for the trash you may or may not recognize, Harvey on her nocturnal sojourns seeks surprise in whatever she finds. “I’m not looking for anything in particular,” she says. “I don’t get the idea first and then go out and look for something to complete it. The objects themselves inform my work.”

Not all the objects are recognizable. Twisted pieces of metal. Shards of plastic or rubber. Others we can guess at, such as a bit of green-and-red ribbon. A discarded piece of Christmas wrapping? Maybe a tree decoration. Still others are unmistakable. A child’s sandal missing its mate.

Whatever, Harvey endeavors to create aesthetic treasure out of it.

For Heather Harvey, who has exhibited from New York City to Los Angeles, this is her first show in the hometown where she gathers most of her material. The other two shows coinciding with Harvey’s at the Academy Art Museum are Amze Emmons’ “Pattern Drift” and James Turrell’s “Mapping Spaces.”

Steve Parks is a retired journalist, arts writer and editor now living in Easton.

Delmarva Review: My Dad Just Died After All by Michelle Berberet

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Author’s note: “Puzzled, intrigued, and a bit embarrassed by my reaction to my dad’s death, I wrote about it to make sense of it. Through this process, I discovered some of the mysteries and miracles of grief. I found some peace.”

I didn’t think when Dad’s time came, he’d really die; I figured he’d bully God like he bullied everyone else and continue to live, forever. So even though my dad was ninety and suffering from serious congestive heart failure as well as various infections, his death was a shock.

“He’s gone,” my brother said from California after my husband, Bill, handed me the kitchen phone. It was the Sunday after Thanksgiving 2009. Thick autumn sunlight shone through the window over the sink.

“Hmmm. When?” I asked from Virginia. I had no idea how I felt, what to do. I wished tears had sprung to my eyes, but they didn’t. I didn’t even choke up. I nodded my head. Dad was a difficult man to love. Grieving him wasn’t turning out to be any easier.

With Bill watching me, I hung up the phone and said, “Dad died,” though I was sure he already knew. He nodded in silence. Bill stepped closer with his arms open to hug me, but I stepped back and wrapped my own arms around my torso. Undeterred, he took another step and hugged me as best he could.

Once released, my feet moved me step by step out of the kitchen toward the dining room where I could sit down. I didn’t make it. Instead, I had to settle for the doorjamb between the two rooms to prop me up. I repeated the details to Bill, such as they were. The caregiver was turning Dad to prevent bedsores when his heart stopped. My brother was upset because he had been on his way to the house, but he was running late and wasn’t there when Dad died. Bill and I exchanged a glance and small smiles at this. My brother was usually late.

Then I was silent. I didn’t know what to do. Dad was the first of our parents to die. I wanted to go about doing whatever task I had been doing, as if the call had never come, but feared that wasn’t appropriate. Apparently, my silence disturbed my husband, who was accustomed to me being more talkative and active.

“Anything I can do? Anything I can get you?”

I shook my head “no” out of habit. But the offer took root. What I really wanted was a nice glass of spicy red zinfandel. I hesitated. Was this a polite offer I was supposed to decline? Would he really go get me a bottle? I might have been numb, but my brain was still able to analyze⎯hyperanalyze, actually. I felt like I was observing myself as a stranger.

Now, you have to realize my husband is a wonderful, generous man. That said, he is not a “Can I pick anything up for you from the grocery store on my way home?” sort of guy, like my dad in that regard, now that I think about it. I tried to convince myself that I could do without the wine, or I could go get it myself or go with him, but the harder I tried, the more I wanted the wine and the more I wanted my husband to go get it for me. My dad had just died after all.

“I’d really like some wine.”

“OK, what kind?”

“Zinfandel.”

“Where should I go?”

“Safeway or Fern Street, I suppose.” Both stores were less than two miles from our house. Fern Street, a small wine shop, was closer.

“I’ll be right back. Anything else?”

I shook my head. After he left, I realized I hadn’t said red zinfandel. I dismissed my concern. Surely, after twenty-six years of marriage he knew that.

And then I was alone, still propped up by the doorjamb. I wanted to cry, tried to cry. I even hugged myself, dropped my head and pretended to cry, hoping this would stimulate real tears. But I had the crying equivalent of the dry heaves. No tears came.

Something else did. It felt as if two unseen hands reached into my stomach, my whole abdomen, and probed for something. I tightened my arms, which were already wrapped around me and bent over in pain to resist this force, but those hands continued to search. The pain intensified. The invisible hands dug deeper. Even in my distress, I was pretty sure whatever the hands were after needed to come out. But still, some part of me resisted. Did I not want to lose what those probing hands were after? Was I just resisting because of the pain? Either way, whatever the reason, part of me wasn’t giving up without a struggle.

I continued to hug myself and rocked slightly, trying to breathe. I was powerless, and I could only wait this thing out. I realize now, I still didn’t cry.
Who knows how much time passed? It felt like a long time and an instant all at once before those hands, with a final tug, left with their prize. I gasped. I remained bent over, my hands on my knees, trying to make each breath a little deeper.

I felt my aching abdomen with my hands. No blood, no particularly sensitive areas. With each breath, a bit of calm entered my body, my mind. Finally, on an inhale, I stood up slowly as if I were in a yoga class. I exhaled, put my hair behind my ears, and looked around the dining room and kitchen. The sun was now blasting in the kitchen window, one last show before descending below the horizon for the night. I was relieved to see everything was the same, no evidence of the attack. Was it possible for an emotional experience to feel so physical?

I made my wobbly way to the dining room table, planted both hands on its surface before sitting down. I shook my head. A ridiculous smile spread across my lips. I must have looked like an idiot. I felt like one. My dad had just died, and I couldn’t cry and now I couldn’t stop smiling.

I didn’t know why I was smiling then, but I think I do now. I wish I could say that I was smiling because those hands had ripped out all my fear of Dad and anger toward him, but that wouldn’t be true. It took me years to replace those feelings with compassion and forgiveness. But I like to think those hands at least started the process. I was glad he was out of pain. I was glad he couldn’t hurt me anymore. And I was glad I had survived his death and those hands ripping from me something deep within. Perhaps I was smiling at the irony that it wasn’t easy for me to let go of the man I’d kept at arm’s length for so long.

There were good reasons I kept Dad at a distance. I think back to the evening of the Fourth of July when we had just arrived home from a long trip. I must have been in my late teens. We hadn’t unpacked when my best friend, Meg, came up the driveway.

“Do you want to go to the beach and see the fireworks?”

“Yeah, but I’d better stay and help unpack.” I didn’t even want to ask Dad if I could. I knew better than to ask.

Meg and I were looking out at the ocean. The moist air felt, smelled, and even tasted good, a welcome change from the desert we’d returned from. We didn’t see or hear Dad come up from behind, a beer in one hand.

“Hi Meg. What’s this about fireworks?” Dad asked with a cheeriness he reserved for nonfamily members.

“Oh, Meg’s going to the beach to see the fireworks and wants me to come. I told her I couldn’t. That we just got here. Need to unpack.”

“Go ahead,” Dad batted his hand at us. “We can unpack tomorrow.”

“Are you sure?”

“Sure.”

“I’ll be back right after the fireworks,” I assured him.

“Have fun, don’t rush.” I gave Dad a quick hug and a peck on his cheek without his usual prompting.

A few hours later, after saying goodbye to Meg, I walked up the driveway to the front door and found a very different father waiting for me.

“Where have you been? You left your old dad here to do all the work…”

He ranted on and on. I listened. I knew if I said anything, it would make things worse. It couldn’t go on forever. I waited for him to lose steam while I listened to the waves and repeated to myself over and over in my head: I knew I shouldn’t have gone. I knew I shouldn’t have gone. I just knew I shouldn’t have gone.

By the time Bill came home, the smile was gone, and I was sitting at the dining room table, exhausted. Bill triumphantly pulled a bottle of white zinfandel from a brown bag and offered it to me. My lips flexed into a fake smile, but I didn’t reach for the bottle. I was too numb to be angry.

“What’s wrong?”

“It’s white zinfandel,” I said. He looked at the bottle.

“Yeah, so? Isn’t that what you drink?”

“No, I like red. White is sweet, cloying.” A hint of annoyance made its way into my voice. I knew I couldn’t pull off a thanks anyway sounding the least bit sincere, so I didn’t try.

Bill remained amazingly good tempered given my displeasure. Under different circumstances, he would have been hurt, upset. He would have said, “Well, I’ll drink it,” before putting the bottle in the fridge and going off to read. But he remained and chatted as if I weren’t being totally ungrateful.

“I wondered. I saw the red too. But I thought you liked white. Don’t you like white?”

What did he think? That I was mistaken? I had misspoken? That he knew what I liked better than I did? I knew he was trying to make things better, but I only felt worse.

“I’ve never bought white zinfandel,” I said with a hardness in my voice I instantly regretted. I had no control over my emotions. I felt angry one moment, giddy the next, just not sad. At least not the respectable crying sad I longed for.

Didn’t he know me well enough to know what kind of wine I liked? Still a part of me knew I wasn’t being fair to Bill. I hadn’t said “red,” after all. He’d tried. Plus, he was probably upset too. He and my dad got along fine, each respecting the other, neither wanting more than the other could give.

I didn’t have the energy to fight, but I also didn’t have the energy to say my usual Oh, it’s OK. I said nothing.

Again, my silence spoke for me.

“Do you want me to go back? Get the red?” Bill asked while his eyes pleaded, Please, no, no, no.

Unbidden, a small smile came to my lips, a real one this time. He was so cute, trying so hard to be nice in a way so foreign to him. I desperately wanted to say the usual, “Oh, that’s OK, I’ll be fine.” Or “I’ll go get it.” Or even, “I’ll go with you.” But as the smile grew, I dropped my eyes, and my head made the slightest nod. Bill had offered. I really wanted a glass of red zinfandel, and I really wanted to say what I wanted. After all, my dad had just died, he hadn’t been able to bully God, and I had survived his death and those probing, ripping hands. I braced for his reaction.

“You really want me to go back?” Bill sounded more surprised than annoyed.

I looked into his eyes.

“Yes, I do.” I said as a matter of fact. What he did with this information was up to him.

“OK, I’ll be back.” Bill said with a big smile.

I hadn’t demanded, I hadn’t hinted, I hadn’t begged. I’d spoken clearly. I couldn’t believe how good that felt and how effective it was. I was just glad to tell the truth, to say what I wanted. I had learned not to do that as a child. What I wanted wasn’t important, if it inconvenienced my father, which it did, seemingly, all the time. Apparently, I had learned this lesson so well I was afraid of telling my husband what I wanted.

And soon, he was back. When I heard him come in the front door, I walked from the kitchen that was now in shadows into the dining room to meet him. Once again, he pulled a bottle triumphantly from a brown bag. I gave him a wan smile. I took the bottle, looked at the label, nodded approvingly, and placed it on the table.

Dad had just died. A dull ache was settling in replacing the severe pain of the probing hands and the numbness of the unknown. This was an improvement.

I opened my arms wide, and took the last step to Bill.

Michelle Berberet is an artist-in-residence in the Arts and Humanities Program at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, in Washington, D.C. She writes and creates art with patients, family, and staff. In addition to “Delmarva Review,” her writing has appeared in “America Magazine” and on the Alexandria DASH buses and trolleys. Her mixed media artwork appears on the National Academy of Medicine’s website.

“Delmarva Review” publishes the best of original new poetry, nonfiction, and fiction selected from thousands of submissions annually by authors within the region and beyond. The independent, nonprofit literary journal is supported by individual contributions and a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council. The print edition is available at Mystery Loves Company, in Oxford, and Amazon.com. An electronic edition is also sold at Amazon.com. The website is DelmarvaReview.org.

Spy at the Troika: Raoul Middleman and Wrestling with Art

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Raoul Middleman’s personality is as colorful as his art.

That became vividly apparent in dual appearances at Plein Art Festival events Saturday evening: an interview and reception at the Troika Gallery, where 20 of his paintings are on display through Aug. 3, sandwiched around a film preview and question-and-answer adventure—you could call it performance-art storytelling—at the Avalon Theater.

Crusty Old Dude

Deservedly billed as “Legendary Artist” by the Troika Gallery, which sponsored the Avalon show and has represented him for 23 years, Middleman taught at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore for 58 years until his retirement from teaching last month. His freewheeling, wide-ranging paintings are in the collection of, among others, the Baltimore Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery/National Gallery of Art in Washington, along with the Metropolitan Museum of Art and National Academy of Design in New York.   

Middleman, 84, describes his approach to painting as “a wrestling match. . . . I start out with a vague idea of what I’m going to paint and then the brush, the application, takes over. That’s an exquisite moment. What I come up with is a surprise, even to me.”

“His personality and storytelling are inseparable from his brushstrokes and narrative art,” says one of his thousands of former Maryland Institute students, Liz Parks. (Full disclosure: My wife participated in our interview with Middleman, reminding him when he recalled his youthful days in Montana as a ranch hand (of sorts) that his student, then known as Ms. Goodman, dubbed him “the Sam Shepard of art,” after the late playwright known for his American West vernacular.

In a scene from an in-progress documentary on his career, titled simply “Middleman,” screened at the Avalon, we see the artist shopping at Lexington Market. (He’s Baltimorean through and through.) In the market for scaly models, Middleman chooses four fish to take to his home/studio. Not to be fried, baked or broiled. But they are served up raw in a seafood still life, similar to one in the window of the Troika right now. He arranges them around a couple of lemons, also purchased at Lexington Market, and slathers paint on the canvas as if filleting his catch. Then he changes his mind and reconfigures the scene.

His art has been described by critics as “messy and real,” reflecting the chaos of life and nature. If he has one particular muse, it’s “the super-funky Baltimore atmosphere,” citing filmmaker John Waters as a fellow-minded artist. 

He majored in philosophy at Johns Hopkins University and hoped to become a writer until visiting a girlfriend in New Orleans who gently nudged him in the direction of art. Soon he was studying at Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Academy of Art.

“I could always draw,” he said, adding, “If someone suggests you should do something different and that doesn’t work out, then you have two asses to kick.” 

Like many artists in any field, Middleman declines to be confined to a single genre. Early on, he did Pop Art, which he gave up in pique over a dispute with a New York gallery owner. He turned to landscapes, about as far from Pop Art as you can get, and continued in landscape artistry periodically throughout his career. Several wreckage-of-nature paintings can be seen now at the Troika. For a time, at its height in the 1960s, he favored abstracts and later narrative paintings telling a story that could be re-interpreted by whomever beholds it. 

He likens his progression to Renaissance painter Bellini, whose earlier paintings Middleman calls “linear” in style. Later, Bellini moved closer to the approach of many of his students, among them Titian—more painterly, more sensual. “To some, Bellini’s earlier work is his best,” Middleman says. But time bends fashion and taste. And what once was deemed hip is later dismissed as ho-hum. And vice-versa.

Middleman has ridden that wave throughout his career as a painter, even drawing inspiration from former students, trying new styles.

To his son’s question, Middleman recalled that at one point in his career he was an Abstract Expressionist.

 “ ‘No you’re not, Dad,’ ” Middleman said. “You’re an Argumentative Expressionist.”

Apparently, the father agrees.

“Painting is an open question,” he says. “A good painting is kind of an argument. Whatever the artist may think it means, it may be something completely different to each viewer. So, there is no single right answer. Only questions.”

Steve Parks is a retired journalist, arts writer and editor now living in Easton.

Plein Air Easton: East Meets West with Master Jove Wang

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Given the abundance of local and regional participants in Plein Air Easton, it’s something hard to remember that the Plein Air movement is an international one. And someone who makes that undeniably clear is the presence of one of China’s most celebrated artists, master Jove Wang, on Goldsbrough Street the other day.

Professor, author, and award-winning Plein Air painter, Wang has devoted over thirty years to move his work beyond the technically proficient into a world more associated with the extension of his soul.

In fact, Jove feels that the best metaphor for his work is that of a symphony conductor that delicately alters the impressions of light and color on canvas similar to someone leading an orchestra to bring out the very best performance.

As the invitation of Betty Huang, artist and owner of Studio B in Easton, Jove Wang makes his first appearance at Plein Air Easton with a live demonstration at the Avalon Theater on Friday starting at 9 am followed by a reception at Studio B (where is work is exhibited) on Saturday.

The Spy talked to Jove with the help of Betty’s translation skills to understand his three decade approach to his art and life.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information and events like this with Plein Art Easton 2019 please go here.

Chestertown Music in the Park: “Music from Musicals” Concert to be Held in Sumner Hall, Sat. July 20

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Tred Avon players in 2018 in the cast of “Little Shop of Horrors” Top Row: Ricky Vitanovec, Rachel Elaina, Beth Anne Langrell, Erinne Lewis, Bill Gross, Mike Sousa, Shelby Swann – Middle Row: Ed Langrell  – Bottom Row: Kathy Jones, Sarah Anthony, Matthew Keeler. 

The Tred Avon Players will present an evening of music from Broadway musicals at Chestertown’s next Music in the Park concert. Directed by Marcia Gilliam, this talented group of local singers and actors will bring the magic of Broadway to the stage in Sumner Hall this Saturday, July 20.  The music begins at 7:00 pm and will last approximately 90 minutes. Admission is free and open to the public.

The concert will be indoors due to the extreme heat expected this weekend – in the 90s on Saturday evening with “feels-like” temperatures of over 100. Sumner Hall will be air-conditioned. There is also a lovely little museum there that visitors can enjoy before the concert or during the intermission.  Sumner Hall is located at 206 S. Queen St. in downtown Chestertown.

The concert will feature songs from famous composers such as Irving Berlin, George M. Cohan, Cole Porter, and Stephen Sondheim.  There will also be tunes from more contemporary composers such as Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), and Stephen Schwartz (Wicked).

There will be solos, duets, and trios along with full ensemble numbers. Among the musicals included are It Shoulda Been You, Once Upon This Island, Tick Tick Boom, The Apple Tree, Waitress, A Little Night Music, and Little Shop of Horrors.

Accompanying the singers will be noted pianist Ellen Grunden. Chorus members include Marcia Gilliam, Kathy Jones, Beth Anne Langrell, Ed Langrell, Shelby Swann, and Mike Sousa.

If you’ve enjoyed the classic Broadway musicals as performed at the Church Hill Theatre or in Oxford by the Tred Avon Players, then don’t miss this chance to walk down Broadway again! There will be old favorites as well as some new songs from shows currently on Broadway. And of course, some to sing along with! Please join us at 7:00 pm on Saturday, July 20, at Sumner Hall.

Sumner Hall is located at 206 South Queen St. in Chestertown. It has wheelchair access and an elevator. Seating capacity is limited to 75, so you might want to arrive a little early in order to be sure of getting a seat.

Marcia Gilliam, director and member of Tred Avon Players

Built around 1908, Sumner Hall is one of only two remaining Grand Army of the Republic lodges built by and for African-American soldiers who fought for the Union in the American Civil War. Sumner Hall has been completely restored and modernized and currently serves as a small museum and community center with a full calendar of events, including other concerts. According to their website at http://garpost25.org/, Sumner Hall’s mission is “to preserve Sumner Hall as a place of remembrance, to promote an understanding of the African American experience within the context of American history and culture, to honor the contributions of African American veterans, to promote the pursuit of liberty for all, and to advocate for social justice.”

Music in the Park is a free summer concert series sponsored by the Town of Chestertown with support from The Kent County Arts Council & Community Contributors. To help make these programs possible, please send donations payable to the Town of Chestertown with “Music in the Park” in the notes field of the check. Mail to Chestertown Town Hall, 118 N. Cross Street, Chestertown, MD 21620.

The next bands in the concert series will be Swing City on Saturday, Aug. 3 and Quiet Fire on Legacy Day, Aug. 17.

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Spy 7 Files a Report: Knightly Provides Night to Remember for Plein Air Easton

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The 2019 Plein Air Easton Meet the Artists event over the weekend brought several hundred people to the historic Knightly estate on Leeds Creek off the Miles River. Alice Ryan received a warm standing ovation during dinner for hosting the event at her beautiful 81-acre farm and estate. 

Guests were invited to arrive a few hours early to wander around the estate and engage with the Plein Air artists who were pressed to complete their work by 7 PM. During the reception and dinner, guests were encouraged to purchase the just completed works and well before the evening concluded, the red “sold” tags were abundant.

This week-long annual event organized by the Avalon Foundation provides a remarkable opportunity to view artists at work and, of course, to enjoy art. But, remember, the message: The best way to ensure the future of Plein Air Easton and the Health of your Arts Community is to buy art!

For more information and a complete schedule for the week: www.pleinaireaston.com 

 

Four Poets and a Family Farm: Wendy Ingersoll Perry on “Walking the Sunken Boards”

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For ten years, four Delaware poets, who collectively have had seven books published, and received five Delaware for the Arts grants, five Pushcart nominations, two “Best of the Net” nominations, and one new best poet award, descend on one Wendy Ingersoll Perry’s family farm not to far from Quaker Neck Landing near Chestertown.

During the summer weeks, the poets spend most of their day writing by the Chester River and use their evenings to read some of their day’s labor. It is one of the highlights of the year for these four friends who have formed a unique bond through the power of words and And last year, the four came up with the idea that this decade of material would make a fine book to honor the sense of place they have received from the Ingersoll family farm.

And just recently that book, entitled Walking the Sunken Boards by Linda Blaskey, Gail Braune Comorat, Wendy Elizabeth Ingersoll, and Jane C. Miller, has been published with a book celebration set for the Bookplate in Chestertown on July 12 with an introduction from local writer Amanda Newell.

The Spy couldn’t resist finding out more about this unique project and sat down with Wendy before the kick-off event to get the lowdown and hear one of her poems.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information and to purchase the book please go here

Delmarva Review: Bodrum Hamam By Katherine Gekker

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Author’s note: “During a recent trip to Turkey, I visited a traditional hamam. I wasn’t sure what to expect. The tenderness and intimacy of the visit surprised me and reminded me of having my face washed by my parents, something I had not thought of in decades. It also brought back memories of seeing their arms crossed after their deaths.”

Steam echoes off blue and yellow
tiles, rivulets stream down walls.
Roof’s oculus opens to Turkey’s hot sky.

We have this round room to ourselves.
We dip ladles into heated pools, then tepid,
like a Finnish sauna but inside, in summer.

My feet appear, disappear in clouds,
our red-checkered pestemals like
keffiyeh, like Arafat wore, wet as puddles.

A man enters. I lie down. He folds my hands
over my heart. He washes me with huge
towel-covered hands, suds fly everywhere,

like blowing bubbles. He and I laugh.
Then he washes my face – no one
has ever washed my face except my parents.

I remember crossing my mother’s hands
over her chest after the end, seeing my
father’s hands crossed by someone else.

My bones sharp against the tiles,
all liquids have escaped me. I’ve
never been so thirsty or so clean.

We dress to the muezzin’s afternoon call
to prayer. Outside, I hear seagulls,
smell the Aegean, then the Baltic.

You take photos of me at the hamam entrance.
Later I notice how sunken, how hollow-cheeked
I look, everything sucked out of me.

 

Poet Katherine Gekker is the author of “In Search of Warm Breathing Things” (Glass Lyre Press, 2019). In addition to “Delmarva Review,” her poems have been published in “Little Patuxent Review,” “Broadkill Review,” “Poetry South,” “Apple Valley Review,” and others. She has received nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Some of her poems have been set to music, including a collection “…To Cast a Shadow Again,” by composer Eric Ewazen, and a seasonal cycle of poems, “Chasing the Moon Down,” by composer Carson Cooman. She was born in Washington, D.C. When not writing, she practices piano.

“Delmarva Review” publishes the best of original new poetry, nonfiction, and fiction selected from thousands of submissions annually by authors within the region and beyond. The independent, nonprofit literary journal is supported by individual contributions and a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council. The print edition is available at Mystery Loves Company, in Oxford, and Amazon.com. An electronic edition is also sold at Amazon.com. The website is DelmarvaReview.org.

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RiverArts Curator Cindy Stafford on “Patterns of Eastern Shore Life”

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Residents and visitors to the Eastern Shore love spending their time here because of the quality of life. Much of that joy comes from the patterns found in our natural surroundings.

Artists were challenged to interpret this theme broadly, capturing the beauties, and wonders of rural eastern shore life.  Some artists were inspired by the seasonal rhythms of planting, a bountiful harvest, an early frost, or how light and shadow play across a changing environment.  Some enjoyed capturing the bustle of parades, fairs, summer parties, farmers’ markets.  Others were taken by the wildlife and still others by the water.  Artists were asked to capture the patterns that can be seen all around us in the life on the Eastern Shore.

For more information, please go here.

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