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Posts from the ‘Lavinia Greenlaw’ Category

Railroad Conversations – part 1

audio-obscuraAt first glance, Audio Obscura (Full Circle Editions, 2011) looks like a rather well-produced chapbook that pairs poems by Lavinia Greenlaw and photographs by Julian Abrams.  And on one level that is exactly what it is, a beautifully designed volume, handsomely printed on lush paper, bound in sturdy French wrappers, with twenty-four double spreads that each have a text on the left page and a photograph on the right.  The stark black and white images that dominate each spread depict scenes within railway stations and powerfully convey both the intimacy and the anonymity of public spaces. The sentences or phrases that make up the matching poems or prose poems suggest voices overheard or the thought fragments that might occur while waiting for a train – prayers, lists, remembered conversations, pangs of guilt.  The brief texts, sometimes shorter than a haiku, have the flavor of authentic voices, although Greenlaw makes it clear that these are not found texts, but carefully shaped texts that, in her words, are meant to “hover between speech and thought.” Read more