September 19, 2009

Melissa Severin Tucks Rossi, Barbato, Heyd, & Olszewska

"Felt Scrap Reliquary"

Artist statement:

When a poem moves me I usually write it down a few times in a special notebook. Later, when a line spins in my head and my memory fails to conjure up book titles and poets' names, I page through the one of the notebooks. But a plain notebook rarely seems to do certain poems justice. I find myself wanting to capture them somehow, create a better space for them to inhabit.

Poems, like songs and stories, help see me through particular seasons or phases in my life; the words become part of my daydreams, I live the stories, hum a line and make it through a day. When I considered the Delirious Hem project, I just kept paging through my notebooks asking how I could respond creatively, without using my own words, to these works.

I am not a visual artist. I can't take a decent photograph. I can barely draw a line on a page. It's only by the coincidence of my sewing box being next to my bookshelves and notebooks that I even thought to make a better place to keep some of the poems. So, is a felt book a response to these poems? Perhaps not. It's more of a reliquary really--a place for poems to be folded and hidden in pockets that only I know about. They exist with images and object sewn alongside them. It's a scrapbook, a place to contextualize the poems with images that spark my own memories

I have many poems I could hide inside a book like this, but this one is devoted to particular poems:

MELISSA SEVERIN graduated from New England College with an MFA in poetry. She currently lives in Chicago whilst unemployed. But she eats her oatmeal everyday and goes jogging and says "in this economy" a lot which keep her positive. Her poems have appeared in MoonLit, 42Opus, Cultural Society, and other journals. Brute Fact, her chapbook, is available from dancing girl press.

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