Shortly after the publication of my first poetry collection, “Love Life,” (XOXOX Press, 2008), I met the artist who had been commissioned by publisher Jerry Kelly to paint the covers for the book.
The artist is Karen Snouffer, an Associate Professor of Art at Kenyon College. We met at the Kenyon Review Literary Festival in the fall of 2008. Karen surprised me by telling me that she was very much drawn to my poems and that she wanted to create a series of paintings based on them. She asked me if she could have my permission to begin the project. It didn’t take more than a split second for me to tell her that, far beyond the mere giving of permission, I was flattered and delighted that she was interested.
Over the next two and a half years, Karen painted eighteen wonderful images based on my poems. Upon their completion, I contacted the Ohio State University Humanities Institute, where I’m an Associate, and asked about a possible exhibition. They were immediately supportive.
The exhibition was a great success, and Karen and I went on to hold three more Columbus area exhibitions, at the McConnell Arts Center in Worthington, the Grandview Library, and Ohio Wesleyan University.
Our exhibition — entitled Love Life: Nature and Memory at Play – was most recently on view at the Ohio State University. I’ll alert you in the events section of this website when a new exhibit is scheduled.
XOXOX Press published a book containing all eighteen paintings and associated poems: Love Life: Nature and Memory at Play. You can order a copy directly from me by e-mailing me from the contact page on this website. Cost: $15, including mailing. You can see some of the images of Karen’s paintings below. You can see all of Karen’s “Love Life” collages and more of her extraordinary work at karensnouffer.com