In this lambent collaboration, visual artist Marina Adams echoes the spareness of Norma Cole’s language with delicate lines that contour muscular negative spaces, sometimes stark and densely foreboding, sometimes luxuriant with color. Norma Cole dialogues with Marina Adams with syncopated poems concerned with fragmentation, transformation, love, precarity, and the tenuousness of kinship between places, things, and being. In Actualities, poet and artist meditate in tandem, moving between anxiety and reconciliation, in a call and response with one another, and with a cosmos that continuously thwarts knowing, refusing to sit still.
Praise for Actualities
Actualities opens a charged space between beauty and volatility. This marvelous collaboration between a poet and a painter traces the vital and sometimes liberating complexities of our moment in history’s debris field. Together lines and images carry a reader’s eye out, as if to sea, then fold back on each other like waves.
— Susan Howe
“How could I have missed it?” writes Norma Cole. And the answer is: Easy, because things go by so fast—or at least they do in this nimble collection of mutually illuminating words, colors, and (in all senses of the word) lines, all of which readily lend themselves to transformations and leave in their wake “the / reality of / a laugh.” These Actualities are, I think, what the French call actualités—and (updating Ezra Pound’s dictum) Cole the poet and Marina Adams the painter deliver all news, all the time.
— Barry Schwabsky