Friday, August 11, 2023

new from above/ground press: Poetic Constructions: Poems written for the Enriched Bread Artists’ 2020 Open Studio, by Grant Wilkins

Poetic Constructions
Poems written for the Enriched Bread Artists’ 2020 Open Studio
Grant Wilkins

      Poem for Marije Bijl

Machiavelli’s thoughts on power,
a collage in ink and acrylic on paper.
Blue hair, red eyes and a lot of orange,
but basically a realistic portrait
of European-ness,
the heretics of doctrine
and western, white identity.

A personal vision of harmony and art,
coloured by cigarettes, Greek helmets,
a collection of Dutch poetry,
and too many winter nights spent in Beijing,
ever on the cusp of enlightenment…
like Catharina de Medici
(who did it for God).

* * * *

Poetic Constructions

In the fall of 2020, with the world in lock-down, the annual EBA Open Studio – a perennial highlight on Ottawa’s arts calendar – had to “go virtual.” This presented a unique opportunity to create a literary component to go along with the EBA artists’ more usual visual focus.

I wrote the resulting poems using texts and artists statements provided by the EBA and artists themselves, as well as the poet’s direct observations of the art on display during the Open Studio, and my own knowledge of the work of many of the artists.

I would like to thank the artists who participated in this project for trusting me with their work: Sarah Anderson, Marije Bijl, Taylor Boileau Davidson, Patricia Kenny, Juliana McDonald, Christos Pantieras, Mana Rouholamini, Daniel Sharp, Svetlana Swinimer and Joyce Westrop.

Thanks to Marije, Mana and Joyce for organizing the project and making it happen. Thanks to Petra Halkes for her interviewing skills, and special thanks to David Westrop for his work in building the webpage for the poetry.

The Enriched Bread Artists website can be found here

The Poetic Constructions website can be found here
published in Ottawa by above/ground press
August 2023
as part of above/ground press’ thirtieth anniversary
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy
[Grant Wilkins will be launching this title in Ottawa as part of the above/ground press 30th anniversary reading/launch/party on August 12!]

Grant Wilkins
is an occasional poet, printer and papermaker from Ottawa who has made a practice of doing strange things to other people’s words. He has degrees in History & Classical Civilization and in English, and he likes ink, metal, paper, letters, sounds and words, in no particular order.

This is Wilkins’ fourth chapbook with above/ground press, after Reading The Great Classics Of Canlit through Book 5 of bpNichol’s The Martyrology (2022), In Which Archibald Lampman / Translates Arthur Rimbaud (2023) and The Baroness and her Ex Read Orgasmic Toast: To Whom It May Concern (2023).

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; in US, add $2; outside North America, add $5) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9. E-transfer or PayPal at rob_mclennan (at) or the PayPal button at

No comments: