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Bazzett, DeniseŚNewPages.com
Bazzett, Denise. "Review of Drawn & Quartered." NewPages.com (April 4, 2002).

For those not familiar with the talents of Creely and Rand, this particular cooperative venture is a marvelous opportunity to sample their combined works. Creely, avant-garde poet, has more than 60 books of poetry to his name. He has held a keen interest in collaborative works for the past 40 years, working with singers, jazz musicians, dancers and painters. Rand, a Guggenheim Award recipient, has also established himself as an artist with more than 80 solo and 200 group shows. Drawn & Quartered is a collection of 54 drawings by Rand matched with a quatrain by Creely. Rand attributes his inspiration for this work to French lithographer Paul Colin, whose poster art of the 1920's and 30's combined a balance of image and words.

The most interesting story of this venture's conception and fruition is recounted on the back of the book. Creely tells of meeting with Rand at the Castellani Museum in Niagara University. Raind carried the 54 lithos with him, and presenting each to Creely one by one, asked Creely to create his quatrains on the spot. At the close of the day-long session, each poem was copied onto the corresponding illustration. In the book itself, the original handwriting has been printed with its respective image on the right page, the typed text on the left.

Truly each image must have evoked a fresh response from Creely as the quatrains span a vast chasm of human emotion and experience. From the humor of the quatrain accompanying  the drawing of a cherub, "Angel holding up/ the roof top—/ else would fall/ and kill us all" (19), to a serene meditation of a couple gazing upon a boat on the water, "We sat like this/ the night we went away—/ just us two, in this same place, / and the boat on the ocean blue" (13). Creely gives Rand's dark but youthful portrait a quatrain in contemplation, perhaps lament: 'Image of self at earlier age—/ When thoughts had gone inward,/ and life became and emptying page—/ myself moving toward nothing" (7).

Each page reveals a complimentary adventure in the talents of Creely and Rand, there being no specific thread which binds them all together, except that which joins artist to poet in their exploration of each other's worlds. The pictures alone or the poems alone could be appreciated, but together their effect is a delightful treat, haunting at times; something most definitely out of the ordinary, and clearly a bridge across which each reader can sit back and enjoy traveling time and again.

Granary Books 168 Mercer Street, 2nd floor New York, NY 10012 USAtel 212 337 9979fax 212 337 9774info@granarybooks.com

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