The Girl Who Talked to Paintings (Glass Lyre Press, 2021)

The Girl Who Talks to Paintings is an ekphrastic collection that conceives of ekphrasis as a type of translation: as a movement between images and words, as well as between lived and imagined experience. These poems dramatize visual art personas who come alive and become confidants for speakers who are too timid to express themselves otherwise. In some poems, painted figures walk out of the canvas to talk to the speaker (“The Girl Who Talked to Paintings”), in others speakers imagine themselves within the painting (“The Lines”), and in others paintings serve as catalysts’ for the speaker’s fantasy (“Weston’s Cabbage Always Makes Me Cry”). All of the poems, therefore, conceive of the boundaries between art and the speaker as porous, dynamic, and constantly shifting. While this collection features many different speakers, the poems focus on young women and their desires to subvert social norms, especially related to sexuality and traditional family structures. At its core, The Girl Who Talks to Paintings dramatizes the difficulty for women to express themselves and, in keeping with this theme, this collection also features a series of poems that grapple with self-expression and the allusiveness of language.