One marvelous thing about hosting the Spoken Word Series is that I get a chance to meet some extraordinary artists and to have them play for a moment in my sandbox (they bring their own sand, of course, and take it with them when they leave, but now I've completely shattered what was once a promising metaphor).
Anyway, there have been a couple times - just a couple - when the series has been a small part of a truly remarkable artistic moment, and I heard recently from visual artist Nancy Tobin of the continuing momentum of one of those moments.
Last year, due to that magical combination of serendipity and familial obligation (just kidding!), we were able to host a collaboration between Nancy and the great Jerome Rothenberg as part of the Visible Word, an annual event at which we select visual artists and solicit new ekphrastic (sp?) poetry in response to their art. That collaboration is now available in a beautiful edition through SPD, and their joint work is also part of an exciting anthology called "Viz Inter-arts Event A Trans-genre Anthology".
By the way, not only are these terrific pieces of verbal and visual art for to have on my shelf. Also, for me, these books will be reminders of having had the chance to meet and work with Nancy and Jerome, who were just phenomenally friendly and accommodating throughout the process. I don't mean to imply that my offer of a stage and some wall space was essential to their creations. But I respect the legacy of the Really Big Shoeman enough to know how special it is to be there at those great moments in the arts. Even if all you do is recite the names and step to the left.