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Exquisite Fantastic: Meredith Purvis

November 16, 2019

What is Exquisite Fantastic? See the full collection of Exquisite Fantastic projects here.

Contributor 2: Meredith Purvis, November 16, 2019

Campfires and Canyons

“You’re doing it wrong, dissecting the bird, trying to find the song.” ~John Craigie, Dissect the Bird

Sometimes I feel like we are small, eclipsed by a world of incredible scale. Our edges blur, atoms and impulses pinging into and across one another. Our hearts and lungs and feet are full of birds. They sing our souls. My heart is elastic. It contracts to fill a campfire spark and expands to fill canyons. We are shaped by elements, within and without; changing and changed. We are enormity. Carbon. Hydrogen. Knit together like feathers on a wing. We soar.

a travelogue prose poem written on a journey from baltimore to missouri, las vegas, the grand canyon, bryce canyon, zion national park. and back again.

Campfires and Canyons

Meredith’s Inspiration:  Gina’s painting / America’s spaces both man-made and natural / National Parks, especially Zion, Bryce, and the Grand Canyon / The way you blend into nature when you sit around a campfire.

I created this poem while wandering westward. It’s a travelogue but also a mini exquisite corpse of its own — each day I wrote a new line in as much isolation as I could, although still innately aware of what had come before. I challenged myself to not only take inspiration from the incredible painting Gina created, which is full of the stuff of life and the whisper of bird wings, but also the scenery I was passing through, which included my parent’s farm in rural Missouri, Caesers Palace in Las Vegas, and the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Parks.

Meredith Purvis is a writer, a book artist, and a traveler. Her heart and her writing are happiest when they’re exploring.

New Project – TLE’s Exquisite Fantastic!

November 1, 2019


For many years, we’ve dreamed of using the TLE space to create an original exquisite corpse-inspired collection. So, in honor of our 10th year, we’re doing it! Every two weeks, from November 2019 through March of 2020, through the Exquisite Fantastic project, we’ll feature the work a new Baltimore-area writer or artist has created in response to the one before them.

We asked one of our favorite Baltimore painters and previous TLE contributor, Gina Pierleoni, to create the work that would kick off our project. Her mission: to capture the TLE experience in and of itself — and open the doors of creativity to the writer who will follow her. We’re so pleased to share her gorgeous original work here tonight, and we invite you to follow along here and on our social media channels as we make new work all winter long!

Thank you, Gina!

Artist 1: Gina Pierleoni

Title:  Navigating Tendrils

Gina’s Inspiration:  The stuff of life: hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, beauty  /  The words we say to ourselves and others  /  Birds nesting, fledging, holding on, letting go

Gina Pierleoni is a Baltimore based artist using portraiture to spark conversations about empathy and our common humanity.  Portrait painting demands curiosity, stillness and deep observation. Pierleoni’s mixed media portraits push past label and judgments, attempting to “de-separate” us.  These are real people, alive, changing, genuine and vulnerable.


August 2019 – Issue 39

August 20, 2019


We are pleased to share the work of the following artists and writers in the 39th issue of The Light Ekphrastic:

Melissa Penley Cormierskin; Wanderlust (art)

Edward Doyle-GillespieThe Calculus of Skinwalkers; When Tourists Come (poetry)

Leah Clare MichaelsMourning Dew; Myths & Messages (art)

Timothy NoheUntitled; 7 Sams (art)

Jane Sellman A Stitch in Time; All Winter (poetry)

JC SulzenkoI must bury sorrow; Recessional (poetry)

Contributor Bios – August 2019

May 2019 – Issue 38

May 19, 2019

We are pleased to share the work of the following artists and writers in the 38th issue of The Light Ekphrastic:

Devon Balwit Crawling Back; Feint & Parry (poetry)

Teresa Duggan – Concerned Gargoyle; Karman Line Constellations (art)

Melissa RendlenAfter the Funeral; Fishing on Lake Enterprise (poetry)

Brian A. SalmonsGreen Man; Accommodation Reflex (poetry)

Bonnie Schupp New Years Eve 2018; Memories (art)

Cullen WhisenhuntCrawling Back to Normal; Snapped Trunks, Wider Horizons (art)

Contributor Bios – May 2019

February 2019 – Issue 37

February 25, 2019

We are pleased to share the work of the following artists and writers in the 37th issue of The Light Ekphrastic:

Shirley J. Brewer – Soliloquy; Astronomy Lesson (poetry)

.chisaraokwu.A Blip & A Wrinkle; of adolescent love later in life (the lunar cycle) (poetry)

Edward Doyle-GillespieOn the Merits of a Gleaned Pomegranate; Aerial Act (poetry)

E. N. DuffieldCathedral; Spectre (poetry)

Sanzi KermesCobalt Blue; Si (art)

Katie FeildUltima Kid Mitts; 99tomorrows_loop (animation)

Howard MarkmanAnna; Astronomy Lesson (music)

Heather Moss Wild in the Tiles (poetry)

Nicole OstrowskiExcelancholy; Observation (art)

Simon PerchikUntitled (poetry)

Faith RevellHope Unmoored; In Our Falling Down (art)

Contributor Bios – February 2019

November 2018 – Issue 36

November 21, 2018

We are pleased to share the work of the following artists and writers in the 36th issue of The Light Ekphrastic:

Grace CampbellBreast Effects; Women…Turned into Red Birds (art)

Jack FisherUnderneath the Window; Head of a Girl (writing)

TS HidalgoThat’s a Mirror, Sir; Funeral Parlor (writing)

Bart O’ReillyLook for the Same; Castles we may walk to (art)

Lenett Nef’fahtiti Partlow-MyrickUntitled; Shell in the Nest (art)

Jessica PurdyThread of Memory; Lines Written in the Dark (writing)

Carly RichmondTextured Rain; Verdant Layers (art)

Lynn WhiteRaindrops; Green Dreams (writing)

Contributor Bios – November 2018

August 2018 – Issue 35

August 25, 2018

We are pleased to share the work of the following artists and writers in the 35th issue of The Light Ekphrastic:

Chanan Delivuk — untitled (i feel pretty); untitled (the ship captain) (art)

Teresa Duggan — Morning path at the cemetery; R.E.M Dream: Contrails as Songlines (art)

Cameron Lovejoy — Plane Insignificance; Goodbye Boat (poetry)

Erin Ouslander — Untitled; Dusk Tide (art)

Thomas Piekarski — Preening; The Ship Captain (poetry)

Lito Silva — Nossa Danca; The Roots of Love (art)

Maria Straw-Çinar — Nossa Danca; Roots of Love (poetry)

Patricia Wentzel — Aubade for Carol; Savory Pine, Rushing Water (poetry)

Contributor Bios

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