Kim Addonizio & Charles Jones “Sing” the Blues

 

Award-winning Bay Area poet Kim Addonizio, author or co-author of more than ten poetry collections, novels, guides to writing, anthologies, and musical collaborations (and known to play a mean mouth harp), has joined creative forces with artist, printmaker, writer, and musician Charles Jones on a stunning collection of poems and woodcuts titled My Black Angel, Blues Poems and Portraits.

 

Several of the poems and woodcuts, along with an interview with Addonizio and Jones, will be featured in our upcoming Spring 2014 issue. However, in order to tide our readers over, here is a sneak peek at what’s to come!

 

 

Poet Plays the Harp
Poet plays the harp-1

 

Harmonica

 

 

Traaain goin north, sang Noah

Lewis, father unknown, who’d charm

Satan from a woodpile with his horn.

He could play two harps at once. Cain

and Abel, from his nose and mouth. Play that Iron

Horse, though he never left the south. Cold rain,

cold end: frostbite and gangrene, no choir

to carry him from poverty, the blues gone minor.

Busked, stomped and sang. Couldn’t keep him from harm.

The spirit burns away; what’s left is char,

until someone pulls up a kitchen chair

and starts in on “Chickasaw Special.” No

tears for Noah Lewis. Moan

and sing Take a woman from another man

and bang like holy hell on a coal-oil can.

 

 

When asked how this meeting of minds and arts came about Jones replied, “I started visualizing a pairing of woodcut images of blues musicians when I heard Kim reading her poetry and playing that harmonica [Visiting Writers Series, Stephen F. Austin State University, February 2013]. I’d made a broadside for one of her poems for the reading and had her take a look at some of the work I was doing. I could imagine images and text together that would be as bold as her reading—that we could make something new, make compositions that would really ‘sing.’ Kim and I are thinking of our collaboration as more of a musical duet, than me illustrating her work.”

 

Addonizio shared the following about the source of their inspiration: “I see the blues as an attitude towards life. An awareness of loss and, at the same time, a need to sing, to celebrate. The blues says, ‘This is what’s happening, and this is how I feel about it.’ It’s not intellectual. That’s inspiring to me. I connect to the music and language of the blues on a visceral level…My Black Angel, Blues Poems and Portraits is just a beautiful piece of art that could only have happened through this marvelous synergy, two different artists in love with the same music.”

 

Jones at the press
Jones at the press

One hundred fine art editions of My Black Angel, Blues Poems and Portraits will be released in March, followed by a trade edition that will include a CD. For more information on how to order your copy contact The LaNana Creek Press:

 

Box 13001 SFA Station
Nacogdoches, TX 75962
 
or
 
Charles Jones at cjones@sfasu.edu

 

To read the interview in its entirety and to experience more from this powerful and evocative duet, stay tuned for the release of our Spring 2014 issue!

 

More Kim Addonizio

More Charles Jones

 


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