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Crosfield & Purvis – February 2013

Linda Crosfield and Meredith Purvis traded art and writing. Meredith shared this image of a book she made, entitled “Junk,” with Linda:

Junk_1In response, Linda wrote this poem:


keeper of stories
     page turns; a quickening

consolation on a cold night
     up-past-bedtime friend

in Kerala, a book of healing
     written a thousand years ago

a book has eyes that watch
     the one who holds it

a book is never owned
     but safe-kept for a time

a place to hide a social note
     its tenebrous reply

the way a Coptic book lies flat
     remarkable, this outstretched hand

space nudges script nudges space
     the promise of an empty page

* * * *

Linda shared this poem with Meredith:

What’s Best For Us

Chrysotile sounds like
     a semi-precious stone
     an island off the coast of South America
     the name of an exotic dancer
and in a way it is
     the way it skips
     on the edge of breath
     to unsuspecting lungs
     where it clings like a pole dancer
     in tights adorned with feathers
while suits in the audience
     quaff drinks, count money
     convinced they know
     what’s best for us

In response, Meredith made this “Lung Book” with a scroll of the poem housed in a lung “wrapper” sculpted from moldable latex. (See more photos here.)

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23 Comments leave one →
  1. Heather Moss permalink
    February 22, 2013 1:27 pm

    Incredibly beautiful work, Meredith and Linda.

  2. February 22, 2013 3:39 pm

    Thanks, Heather! I’m so thrilled to read the wonderful poem that Linda created using my little book as inspiration. This was such a fun pairing. 🙂 Long live bookiness!

  3. February 22, 2013 7:19 pm

    Meredith! I LOVE it! Thank you, thank you for “getting” my poem. And I loved working on the one that goes with your book. This was an incredible experience in more ways than I could have imagined.

  4. February 22, 2013 7:27 pm


  5. February 22, 2013 7:38 pm

    Great pairing! Loved the poem, loved the two books. The lungs look almost like wings. As if the book were poised to fly.

    • meredithpurvis permalink
      February 22, 2013 8:19 pm

      Thank you so much! It was so wonderful to work from Linda’s words.

  6. February 22, 2013 7:51 pm

    Tremendous marriage of images and verse.
    Kudos for the brilliant work, Linda & Meredith!

  7. George Bowering permalink
    February 22, 2013 9:23 pm

    You two are having too much damned fun! Don’t you realize that art-making is all about suffering?

    • February 23, 2013 5:16 pm

      You know there was suffering; you were around when I was wrestling with the poem I ended up ditching!

  8. Shirley Bockstruck permalink
    February 23, 2013 5:00 pm

    Loved the Creativity of the book and the Poem.

  9. February 23, 2013 5:14 pm

    The lungs/book is so cool, Meredith! And the inspiring poem is wonderful, too!

    • February 24, 2013 4:34 pm

      Thank you, Mia!

    • Leanne Boschman permalink
      February 24, 2013 5:11 pm

      Hardly seems enough, but “so cool” is what came to mind for me too. Love the inspiring collaboration of words & images.

  10. Lynne Blume permalink
    February 24, 2013 9:52 am

    OK, I had to look up Coptic…an all but dead language, Kerala…a state in India, and even Chrysotile – Ick. But there’s no such word as Ekphrastic, light or otherwise, so I guess you guys are going to have to try harder.

    • February 24, 2013 4:34 pm

      Bloomers…Coptic is also a form of binding. The earliest bibles were held together that way. They allow the book to lie flat when open. And Ekphrastic needs to be Googled, not dictionaried!

  11. Martin Oets permalink
    February 26, 2013 2:17 am

    Well done Linda and Meredith !!!

  12. Sandra Donohue permalink
    February 26, 2013 6:32 am

    Congratulations on a perfect collaboration!

  13. Rita Moir permalink
    March 7, 2013 9:47 pm

    Thank you Linda and Meredith,
    I loved the work, and the collaboration on What’s Best for Us/Lung Book, especially hit me. I hope a union or an international organization dealing with asbestos and workers’ health will negotiate with you to feature this on the front of a magazine, or make beautiful deadly posters/broadsheets and display them everywhere.
    Rita Moir
    Vallican, BC


  1. February 2013 – Issue 13 « the light ekphrastic
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  3. Taking A Chance | UpDown Press and Bindery

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