By Norma Cole

Art by Marina Adams


Litmus Press
Original Language(s)
Additional Credits
Cover art by Marina Adams
Design by HR Hegnauer
Art, Collaboration, Poetry
Edition, Year
First Edition, 2015
In Print

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.

Norma Cole
Norma Cole is a poet, visual artist and translator. Her most recent book of poetry is FATE NEWS. Other books include Win These Posters and Other Unrelated Prizes Inside, Where Shadows Will: Selected Poems 1988—2008, Spinoza in ... Read More
Marina Adams
Marina Adams is a painter based in both NYC and Parma Italy. She earned degrees from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA and Columbia University, New York, NY. Upcoming solo exhibitions include the ... Read More

[O]ne reason the pairings [in Actualities] work so well is because of the airiness in both text and image — there is, in both mediums, a sense of space, or expanse… Ultimately, Norma Cole and Marina Adams have created a thing of beauty, a space for meditation… and a work in which, and at which, I marvel.

Eileen Tabios, Galatea Resurrects


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

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