Verse and Vision

Sat Sep 26, 2009

Poetry Reading and Book Signing for Birds: A Collection of Verse and Vision. Painter Isabelle Scurry Chapman joins poet Jim Blackburn for a reading and discussion of their new book Birds: A Collection of Verse and Vision at Women & Their Work.  The reading is free and signed books will be available for sale.

The book is a collection of Scurry’s art and Blackburn’s poetry about birds and the relationship of humans and the natural system. During the discussion, Blackburn will read from his poetry.

Isabelle Scurry Chapman has been creating Earth-centered art with a strong spiritual core for years. In this book, her portraits of various birds of the Texas coastal region are featured along with Blackburn’s view of the coast from his kayak as well as from his perspective as an environmental lawyer. Together, the poetry and the art focus the reader on the connection between humans and birds and the natural system.

Spirituality is a constant theme of the verse and the vision set out in the book. The concept of the Earth as a church and all living things being related underpins the book and will be a featured part of the reading and discussion.  Chapman and Blackburn will discuss “Brother Redwing”, the red winged blackbird that sings praise to the sun along with the “Pink Bishop” of the coast, the roseate spoonbill, and the “High Priest” of Earth Church, the black vulture that recycles on a daily basis.  The book and the discussion will highlight connectuality, a term Blackburn created for a presentation at the Rothko Chapel in Houston.

Chapman paints out of her studio in Houston where two of her public art pieces are on display downtown. Blackburn has won numerous awards for his work as an environmental lawyer, and teaches at Rice University where he heads the minor in sustainable development.  In 2004, Texas A&M Press published Blackburn’s The Book of Texas Bays.