Washington State Magazine has a story about Nature Twice, the poetry exhibit that we have presented this fall in the Conner Museum of Natural History. The story, written by DL, a friend and co-curator of the exhibit, focuses on our collaborations over the years that have bridged the divide in our university between the sciences and the arts.
We had great fun at the photo-shoot for the article. Designer John Paxson had picked up on Wallace Stevens’s poem “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” and especially the poem “Thirteen Blackbirds Look at a Man” by R. S. Thomas as a set-up for photographs. The two poems are among my favorites.
Bob Hubner, the photographer, shot images of DL and me seated at a table in the museum, while I read from the exhibit guide. Later we unscrewed the glass front of a museum case to remove some of the blackbirds. Bob put the blackbirds on the table to make photographs of them. The result, after some Photoshop work by John Paxson, was the photograph above, in which blackbirds look at DL and me reading about poetry.
The photograph is delightful, and its narrative (punning? poetic?) sense helps me to feel even more involved in two of my favorite poems.