Intro to the Postcard Poem:
In March 2013, visual artist Laura Young and poet Michael G. Smith converged at Franz Dolp’s Shotpouch Cabin in the Oregon Coastal Cascade Mountains. Artist residents of the Spring Creek Project (Oregon State University), their goal was to immerse themselves in the historically important logging environment and creatively document perspectives of two artists unfamiliar with the wet Coastal Cascades forested landscape.
Dolp purchased the Shotpouch Creek land with the goals of restoring its old-growth forest and creating a place for artists on retreat. In order to understand the ecological processes at work in its young forest, Smith and Young also spent time in nearby clear-cuts. Totem, composed of a haibun and a katagami, is one snippet of their work exemplifying the continual interplay of life and death in the forested/de-forested landscape. A book-length series of haibun interspersed with katagami, The Dippers Do Their Part, will be published by Miriam’s Well in early summer 2015.
Michael G. Smith is a poet and a semi-retired chemist who lives in Santa Fe, NM. He notes that there isn’t much difference between chemistry and poetry. In the former the Periodic Table is his palette; in the latter, the dictionary and life. His poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Cider Press Review, Nimrod, The Santa Fe Literary Review, Sulphur River Literary Review, Superstition Review and other journals and anthologies. The Dark is Different in Reverse, a chapbook, was published by Bitterzoet Press in 2013. No Small Things, a full-length book of poetry published by Tres Chicas Books in the spring of 2014, was a finalist for the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award in Poetry. Read his work and contact him at http://michaelgsmithpoetry.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/michaelgsmithpoetry.
Laura Young is a photographer and artist living in Nashville, TN. She has never settled on one artistic medium and she usually experiments with way too many techniques in her search for the perfect way to capture her travels and experiences in nature. Her recent residency at Oregon State University’s Spring Creek Project in the Coastal Range inspired her to try ephemeral artwork created on site, relief printmaking and the katagami style stencil included here. She has exhibited nationally and is included in the Art Photo Index, Photo Eye’s online visual database of photographers. See her work at http://www.laurayoung.net/.