Seeing a poet in his prints


Ever wonder how it would sound if a painter played the cello? What it would look like if a novelist could sculpt? Now you have a chance to see -- and hear -- one artist's vision in two media: printmaking and poetry.

Prints made by former U.S. Poet Laureate Mark Strand will be on display Saturday through Oct. 21 at the Goya-Girl Press at Baltimore's Mill Center. The poet will also read some of his latest literary works at an opening reception to be held Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (The reading will begin at 6:30 p.m.)

Strand, a professor at the University of Chicago, recently completed a visual arts residency at the Goya-Girl Press. In 1987, he received a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship; from 1994 to 1998, he was a faculty member in the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. His latest book of poetry, "Blizzard of One" (Knopf, 1998), won a Pulitzer Prize.

In his poems, Strand frequently addresses themes of time and its passage. He describes, in a poem titled "A Piece of the Storm," a snowflake that enters a room and melts: "a flowerless funeral."

In his visual art, the poet draws inspiration from forms in nature and urges his viewers to rethink how they look at things. In one 1999 monoprint titled "Not So Stormy Sky," a dark night sky is dotted with a seemingly infinite number of stars. Beneath the pinpricks of light, a blue-gray Earth extends as far as the eye can see. The feeling is one of solitude, but not necessarily of bleakness.

Admission to the Mark Strand reading is free. Goya-Girl Press is in Studio 214 at the Mill Center, 3000 Chestnut Ave. Call 410-366-2001.

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