This broadside was done by my wife and me and is a combination of her lovely digital drawing of flowers and my verse. Her drawing has this lovely graceful impressionistic feel to it and reveals her Master Gardener flair for color and form. My poem attempts to capture the rhythm and feel of old romantic verse. We hope you like it.
[Click on the broadside to enlarge the image.]
Another in my series of collaborations with artists as part of April Pameticky’s 2017 Wichita Broadside Project. This one, “The Moon Rose,” comprises a poem I wrote in response to Melissa Smith’s delightful pen and ink drawing. It brought to mind children’s book depictions of the man in the moon, and the tree that disappears into the sky high overhead seemed to represent every tree I had ever climbed or wanted to climb as a kid.
~ Roy Beckemeyer
Broadside art and text copyright by Melissa Smith and Roy J. Beckemeyer. Original 12 by 18 inches with 11 by 17-inch crop lines.
Here’s another of my collaborations with Malissa Long Wilson. Malissa did this textile piece in response to my poem, so it is an ekphrastic work in reverse. I think she captured the soul of the poem here.
[Note: for a larger view of the broadside, click on the image.]
Broadside art and text copyright by Malissa Long Wilson and Roy J. Beckemeyer. Original 18 by 12 inches with 17 by 11-inch crop lines.
The Wichita Broadside Project sponsored by HarvesterArts, River City Poetry, and the Wichita Arts Council, was the brainchild of April Pameticky. Final results were held as the opening event of Poetry Rendezvoux 2017. This collaborative effort, in which I wrote a poem inspired by Malissa Long Wilson’s great piece of art, is titled “Solar Flair,” and it was one of the broadsides chosen for distribution. We hope you enjoy this.
[If you google “squaring the circle,” you will find it is an ancient geometry problem – constructing a square with the same area as a circle using nothing but a geometer’s compass and a straightedge.]
Broadside art and text copyright by Malissa Long Wilson and Roy J. Beckemeyer. Original 12 by 18 inches with 11 by 17-inch crop lines.
Proud to be the featured writer in Kansas Poet Laureate Emerita Caryn Mirriam Goldberg’s “The Writing Life.”
She has writing prompts, tips, and alerts of new books and workshops.
Check it out, please.
Thought I would post a second “unchosen” broadside I submitted to the Wichita Broadside Project for which I did both the poem and the art – in this case a photograph of our cat, Dusty, who is a fair purrer and a great ham when it comes to having his picture taken. Here, then, is “The Yellow Cat Purrs.”
~ Roy Beckemeyer, Oct. 4, 2017
Back in April (appropriately) of this year, April Pameticky initiated a joint art/written word project: The Wichita Broadside Project. A series of monthly mixers were held to bring poets and artists together to see if anything clicked, then a call was made for submissions of 11 by 17 “broadsides.” A broadside here is a digital representation of graphics and text bringing together art and words into a whole more complete and meaningful than either might be on its own. Submittals would be evaluated by folks from Harvester Arts and River City Poetry; winners would be chosen by the jury would be printed and the prints provided to the artist/poet collaborators to distribute for posting around Wichita. The aim: to promote poetry and art for public consumption.
The project was successful; more entries were received than expected. All entries will be displayed at Harvester Arts’ venue during Wichita’s monthly Final Friday Arts event on October 27th; that exhibit will also be the opening event of the 2017 Poetry Rendezvous. Seventeen entries were chosen for mass production and distribution. The teams whose work was chosen will each receive prints of all the winning entries, and ten copies each of their winner for distribution. I was lucky enough to be a team member on four of the chosen pieces: one with Malissa Long Wilson entitled “Solar Flair,” one with Pat Beckemeyer (my talented wife) titled “If She Came to Me with Flowers,” and two with artist/poet Skyler Lovelace: “Early Onset,” and “The Mystery of Disappearing Bees.”
The piece I am showing here today was one I put together myself with a drawing I had done on a walk through Wichita’s Pawnee Prairie Park of some Indian Grass; I added to it my poem “Tallgrass in the Fall.” Not one chosen for distribution but it will be on display on the 27th, and I hope it inspires you to attend the event. Much great poetry and art singing together in harmony.
~Roy Beckemeyer, 3 October, 2017, 07:06, Revised 13:56.
Last Saturday was a lovely late September day. Sunny, pleasant, with a promise of a cool evening. A perfect day for football and family. I don’t get to my grandson Will’s games often enough, so the visit of his older brother Daniel and family (Daniel’s wife Kayley and almost three-year-old son–my great-grandson–Daxx) from Texas was a perfect opportunity. My daughter Lori, son-in-law Chris, and grandson Hank (who played with Will for the Butler Grizzlies last year but who is at K-State now) picked me up a little before 5:00. Half an hour later we were tailgating (in style) with friends and relatives. Great grandson Daxx was a bundle of energy, tearing around, meeting (and fist-bumping with) his dad’s old football teammates, watching for his uncle Will and the team enter the stadium, and slapping hands with them as they did.
The game was intense, and Butler lost to Garden City in the end. Linebacker Will had a quarterback sack and four tackles. We all funneled down from the bleachers onto the field to mingle with the players. Shook hands, gave hugs, thanked them for their hard work and effort. Took pictures.
As things wound down, Daxx found his energy reserves and took to running down the field. Uncle Will joined him. At one point they stopped and stood, seemed to be having a discussion. I shot a couple of quick iPhone pictures, nothing very well-framed or carefully exposed. But the image seemed to me to hold a lot of emotion, of depth. Probably much of it because these two are very dear to me personally, but also, I think, meaningful in a larger more general sense.
There are a lot of lines in this image. The field markers, the tall light pole. Will looking so tall, towering above Daxx, but also looking down, head bent, so that he doesn’t seem to loom over Daxx, but to be guarding him, watching over him, protecting him. Daxx, with his legs crossed nonchalantly, seems to me to be basking in his uncle’s attention. And Daxx’s shadows, several of them from the artificial suns of the stadium lights, pointing in so many different directions, but his shadow the strongest where it parallels that of his uncle. Almost as if the shadow is already showing how the influence of uncles, father, grandfathers, is gently nudging him down the path they all found so rewarding.
It was a lovely fall evening in late September. I will remember it in great detail every time I look at this picture. I will recall the picture every time Daxx takes another turn down the pathways of his life. I am too old to hope to see his life to its end, but I rest assured that with this family will be there for him, helping him find the right line to follow, the right shadow to lean into. Uncles and nephew, father and son, grandfathers and grandson–all the connections, all the love. It was, and always will be, a lovely day.
–Roy Beckemeyer, October 2, 2017
The 2017 issue of the Kansas Area Watershed (KAW) Council annual publication, Konza Journal, is now online. I was fortunate to be asked by editors Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and Ken Lassman to participate as a contributing editor and also as a featured photographer (photo essays on Birds, Insects, South Africa, the Changing Faces of Water, and Landscapes). Please check it out. Essays on Climate Change by Ken Lassman, the Cretaceous oceans of Kansas by Mike Everhart, poems by Annette Hope Billings, April Pameticky, Dennis Etzel, Jr., Victoria Sherry, and Janet Jenkins-Stotts, Olive Sullivan, and Kansas Poets Laureate Kevin Rabas, Denise Low, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Eric McHenry, and Wyatt Townley. Videos by Stephen Locke, and a marvelous essay on language and sense of place as it relates to the prairie by Cindy Crosby.
There is so much more I can’t fit all the links here, so just go to the Konza Journal page, browse, and enjoy.
-Roy Beckemeyer, September 28, 2017