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With this fascinating synthesis of word and image, internationally renowned photographer B.A. Van Sise offers a visually stimulating anthology that will enchant lovers of both poetry and photography. At times whimsical, surreal, challenging, enigmatic, joyful and sobering, these portraits— running adjacent to poems by each of their subjects—highlight some of the most influential poets of our time and celebrate creativity as only these poets in collaboration with Van Sise could convey. Children of Grass is also a timely homage to Walt Whitman—of whom Van Sise is a relative—and his masterpiece, "Leaves of Grass," during this, the 200th anniversary of his birth. Children of Grass, will, like the work of its literary grandfather, stand as a lasting tribute to the vitality and creativity that flourishes in our country.
About the Author
A frequent contributor to Buzzfeed, B.A. Van Sise is also a travel and features photographers. He has been a staffer for Newsday and AOL CityGuide, and his work has been featured on the cover of the New York Times, on PBS NewsHour, and on NPR. A number of his portraits are in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian. Mary-Louise Parker is an American actress and author of the bestselling memoir Dear Mr. You. She has also written for such publications as Esquire, Riveter,The Bust, and Bullet. Parker is best known for film and television roles in Grand Canyon, the play Proof (for which she won a Tony Award in 2001), and The West Wing (for which she won an Emmy).
“In Children of Grass, books fly around Alicia Ostriker like birds, Vijay Seshadri stands on a ladder propped against the air itself, and Mark Doty is growing from the forest floor. B.A. Van Sise’s photographs of contemporary poets, paired with their poems, are inspired, playful, and absolutely gorgeous. The word for what this book is, what this book gives me, is pleasure.” —Maggie Smith, author of Good Bones
"Van Sise’s imaginative, creative, and humorous eye reveals the ‘person’ of the poet and deeper meanings of their poems in ways that sometimes startle, but always feel truthful. That is the purpose of photography and poetry." —David Hume Kennerly, Pulitzer Prize winner and former chief White House photographer
“Why do we desperately need books like this? At least for me, it’s because we occasionally need to be reminded that there are still mysteries out there, questions that have no answers. It is nice to be re-introduced to wonder.” —Arun Venugopal, WNYC
"This beautifully produced book contains poems that fit into all categories. Among the best are those where the images and beats take root."—Jacqueline Cutler, Newark Star Ledger
"Van Sise has created a singular and irresistible volume of poetry and collaborative visual lyricism that will enthrall poetry lovers and break down the hesitation of those wary of the form."—Donna Seaman, Booklist
"Beautifully presented...it is the assorted images that bring the book to life...enticing, sometimes spiritual, sensual or subversive images...beguiling photographs that hold the book together and create a compelling narrative." —Simon Zonenblick, Sabotage Reviews
"Among remarkable books of the year none is likely to be more startlingly original than B. A. Van Sise’s book of photographs, Children of Grass: A portrait of American poetry." —Joyce Carol Oates