Anatomy for the Artist by Jessica Hiemstra-Van der Horst

Anatomy for the ArtistHorst, Jessica Hiemstra-van der. Anatomy for the Artist. Vernon: Greenboathouse Press, 2009.

Completed: 13 September 2010

One of my interests is in Letterpress books.  With the passing of Jim Rimmer* earlier this year, the Greenboathouse Press was brought to my attention.  Jason Dewinetz, the founder, editor and printer of Greenboathouse Press has acquired Mr. Rimmer’s type cutting and casting equipment.  This must therefore be someone who is serious about Letterpress printing.  So, I decided to acquire a few of Greenboathouse Press’s works and to keep an eye on the press for the future.

One of the first items that I read was Ms. Horst’s collection of poems, Anatomy for the Artist.  Ms. Horst is a poet and artist living in Surrey B.C. or Australia (Her web site gives Australian contact information)

From the Greenboathouse Press web site:

Jessica Hiemstra-van der Horst’s Anatomy for the Artist is many things at once. A suite of poems with accompanying illustrations, it follows the tradition of ut pictura poesis. As meditations on the relationship between art and poetry, they are sophisticated and yet these poems do much more as well. They consider the ingredients of our lives: phone calls to mothers, a love affair, line-ups, cooking. The suppleness of bodies, how we imagine them, how we depict them, how we desire others, how this becomes an art: this is the meat of Hiemstra-van der Horst’s suite.

What can I say?  Sometimes poetry works for me and some times it doesn’t.  By in large this time it didn’t work for me.  The ut pictura poesis or poetic paintings, did not resonate with me.  As meditations they did not work for me. Its not that I disliked the poems, it’s just that they did nothing for me.  They left me indifferent.

Jessica Hiemstra-van der Horst is my third Canadian poet and counts as my B.C. poet.

* Jim Rimmer was Canada’s premier type designer and a top notch letterpress printer.  He was one of the last to still create new typefaces in metal for hand composition.

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One Response to Anatomy for the Artist by Jessica Hiemstra-Van der Horst

  1. The spiel from Greenboathouse Press would be enough to sell it to me, and I hardly ever read poetry! It sounds intriguing. It’s a shame it didn’t live up to its potential for you though. Great review.

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