Words + Pictures: On Blurring Genres

 Altering texts to create my own found & blackout prose & poetry began when I discovered a book in a used bookstore on the Upper West Side. It was a terribly misogynistic novel titled Harry, the Rat with Women. I wondered how it ever got published & how it was still around decades later.

So, I bought it, intending to turn it into something else.

And I did. Slowly.

Then I picked up momentum from there, sorting through more shelves, buying other outdated, politically incorrect books: The Story of a Marriage. In a Man’s Time. Tales of Indentured Servants. Beautiful Girlhood.

It was Beautiful Girlhood that sparked the idea for my book, In the Cloakroom of Proper Musings. This series of collages came about as I began cutting apart the pages of that book.

Forming new phrases by rearranging fragments of language has become a way for me to generate larger ideas as well as to focus in on individual words, juxtaposing them beside other unrelated words, that synergy creating a whole new image & inspiring me to keep going.

Altering texts by blacking out words has also allowed me to experiment with new materials & to collage some of my illustrations & photography with language on the page. Having spent years working as a visual artist before becoming a writer, I am happy to have found this place where my creative pursuits can intersect & overlap in such exciting ways.

The energy in my ongoing process now springs from a place where there are no rules or labels, where I can feel free to blur genres, designations, identities.