“To Be Alive” by Gregory Orr and Trisha Orr

Gregory Orr & Trisha Orr


from Rattle #29, Summer 2008
Tribute to Visual Poetry


Trisha Orr: “These paintings were generated in response to an invitation to collaborate with my husband, the poet Gregory Orr, for an exhibit entitled ‘Love Letter Invitational’ at the Second Street Gallery in Charlottesville, Virginia. The exhibit consisted of collaborative works done by writers and artists on the subject of ‘love.’ Greg and I had been asked to work in collaboration twice before, and each time he’d written poems based on my still life paintings. This time, we decided to reverse the process, so I would make paintings in response to his poems. I decided to incorporate the text of the poem or portions of the text into the painting. I used loosely constructed grids and tried to find the color and light and weight of the words in each poem. I wanted the language to be legible, but I reconfigured the line breaks to make compositions that were visually balanced. The texts of the paintings come from Greg’s two most recent books, Concerning the Book That Is the Body of the Beloved and How Beautiful the Beloved.”

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