“eyes closed as they bend clay
knees, floppy porcelain hats tip
toward their cerulean base etched
with thick letters reading Holland.”
— Jessica Patapoff
Can I just point out that when I got to Jessica’s poem, Souvenir, I accidentally said out loud (to everybody at the car wash), “I have those figurines too!” This could be the perfect summary to this week’s #tbt because there lingered such a deep sense of familiarity in this book that I ended up having a vivid reaction to each poem.
Color has been on my mind a lot lately and it must have subconsciously manifested in the universe. Though I did not participate in "30 for 30" this year, I noticed that the few poems I did write each had one or two color words in them. Brown, pink, green, orange, red. This gave me an idea: Start a collection of poems prompted purely by a color and it’s been such a fun challenge. (There’s a free prompt for y’all!) So when I saw the cover of the Pop Art Anthology, I was immediately intrigued.
As a fan of pop art and comic books, this book felt like the perfect touch of timelessness and nostalgia. Even my brother, almost a decade younger than I—who did not grow up in the same world of pop art or comics—was engaged by the cover. So let me go ahead and say, judge this book by its cover because what’s on the inside is just as colorful.
For starters, each poet’s collection is preceded by an individualized foreword from an esteemed poet and they were such a pleasure to indulge in. Personally, I knew more of the foreword writers than I did the poets in the anthology, and being able to read what many peers had to say about the contributors made it all the more exciting to dive into. Heads up, they are all positively encouraging remarks!
Every poem transports you to a time and space of vibrancy, and undoubtedly leaves you with at least one line as a keepsake. To get a taste of what Pop Art offers, relish in the following two excerpts and make sure to dig in to Artichoke by Danielle Mitchell, which was an absolutely delicious piece to devour (no pun intended).