New poetry from Sharon Tracey, a book about singer-songwriter Elliott Smith, and a publishing company based in Somerville that makes children’s books celebrating South Asian culture.
Art in verse
In her new collection of poetry “Chroma” (Shanti), Sharon Tracey responds to 47 works of art by women artists whose work spans five centuries and 25 countries. In these ekphrastic poems, she is an astute and sensitive reader of paintings. She acts as a sort of visual translator, creating atmosphere and image, making us alert to the relationships at play: viewer with viewed, poet with painting with painter. Her language is fresh and lush. She writes of “paper-flat fields, pearled”; a waterfall is a “lithological myth-maker.” And it’s beautiful to the ear. Listen: “the shapes I love: / ligulate, spikelet, awn. / On the kitchen wall I hang / the sheath and blade.” The collection is broken into four “galleries” which move through time and place, with responses to Agnes Martin and Etel Adnan, and a number of lesser known artists, some of whom are