Viva la Difference: Poetry Inspired by the Painting of Peter Saul

Viva book covers

Off the Park Press just released Viva la Difference: Poetry Inspired by the Painting of Peter Saul (2011), ed. John Yau, and I’m extremely excited to be a contributor.  Here’s the description from SPD‘s website:

VIVA LA DIFFERENCE is the second in a series of anthologies devtoed to the work of a single artist, the first being NEW SMOKE (2009), which took the painting of Neo Rauch as its starting point.  Contributors to this new anthology of poems inspired by the painting of Peter Saul include John Yau, Ronna Lebo, Catherine Shainberg, Judson Evans, Susan Berger-Jones, Claudia LaRocco, Eileen Hennessey, and Boni Joi.  As editor John Yau writes in his introduction: “Our intention was different; we wanted something that resisted being colonized by language, something that could not be encapsulated.  Our intention was not to be an impressionist or to tell a story.  Those are well-known solutions, and, frankly, we wanted something else.”

Saul’s work — in its vibrant fluidity, in the way it playfully engages with the gross corporeality of the human body — reminds me so much of the Garbage Pail Kids cards I used to collect as a little boy (in a review in the most recent issue of The Brooklyn Rail, Yau says, “in contrast to Roy Lichtenstein, who preferred the wholesome, antiseptic side of comic strips, Saul loved comics for their vulgarity and tastelessness).  Here’s a bigger image of Saul’s “Viva La Difference” (2008):

And here are a couple of Garbage Pail Kids:


Click here to read Matty Byloos’s recent reflection on Garbage Pail Kids and a “Grosser than Gross” logic @ We Who Are About To Die.  It seems certainly a kind of logic that Saul takes to new limits in his painting.

For those in the NYC area, there will be a book party in two weeks…come on by, hear some poetry, have a drink, and pick up an anthology!  Info below…

Please join Off the Park Press and the David Nolan Gallery for a celebration of the publication of “Viva la Difference: Poetry Inspired by the Painting of Peter Saul.”

We will have readings by poets in the anthology: Susan Berger-Jones, Todd Colby, Lorraine Doran, Judson Evans, Eileen B. Hennessy, Jennifer Hayashida, Boni Joi, Bill Kushner, Claudia LaRocco, Ronna Lebo, Michael Leong, Sharon Mesmer, Tom Obrzut, Thaddeus Rutkowski, Catherine Shainberg, Tara Skurtu, Sally Van Doren, Paul Violi, John Yau and Scott Zieher and live music loops by Tobi Joi.

Saturday January 22, 2011 3-5pm
David Nolan Gallery
529 West 29th Street, NY, NY
(between 10th & 11th Ave.)

*Free copy of the anthology with a $5 purchase of white wine, beer or sparkling water*

~ by Michael Leong on January 8, 2011.

2 Responses to “Viva la Difference: Poetry Inspired by the Painting of Peter Saul

  1. Thanks for the mention — and if you get some writing out of the “grosser than gross” exercise, send it my way and I can put it up on WWAATD or something!

  2. Sure thing, Matty — I’ll keep you posted…

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