Hang­ing Ex­hibits

Broken Pencil - - Zine Reviews -

Each of the po­ems in Hang­ing Ex­hibits re­sponds to a work of art (of­ten, but not strictly, paint­ings), but this col­lec­tion goes more than a step be­yond tra­di­tional ekphras­tic po­etry. While Phoebe Wang of­ten makes di­rect ref­er­ence to de­tails in the paint­ings she’s call­ing out (a Google im­age search will fill in the blanks, if you’re no ex­pert), she’s pre­dom­i­nantly us­ing art­work as a launch­ing pad for per­sonal rec­ol­lec­tion.

Fol­low Wang down the rab­bit hole: these art-in­spired po­ems are all about her mother — Josephine Wang, an artist — and of­ten touch on the ways in which mak­ing art has in­ter­twined with their lives and re­la­tion­ship. The length­i­est en­try in this chap­book is writ­ten in re­sponse to Anne Car­son’s poem “The Glass Es­say” which, not co­in­ci­den­tally, is about Car­son’s mother. This is a many-lay­ered and cycli­cal work.

“In the gallery of mem­ory / there are no neu­tral colours,” says Wang, and true to that sen­ti­ment, she has crafted a vi­brant por­trayal of her child­hood and her mother’s place in it. It’s an en­tirely idyl­lic ren­der­ing, mind you, but the choice of which memories to re­call is ul­ti­mately hers, even if they paint an in­com­plete pic­ture. (Scott Bryson)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.