Interview & Poems at Poor Yorick Journal

I’m thrilled to announce that I have a lengthy interview and several poems from my “Wood to Skin” manuscript up at Poor Yorick: A Journal of Rediscovered Objects.

Poor Yorick Journal features contemporary literature inspired by rediscovered objects of material culture, so it was a natural fit to send them my poems based on whaling and the Charles W. Morgan, herself an artifact.

CW-Morgan_1920_MSM-300x235

Charles W. Morgan under sail, 1920.

The interview, by Kevin Hudson, can be found here.

Three poems also appear in the journal; one directly relates to the Morgan, and was inspired by Mrs. Tinkham’s cabin, a small deck house built for Captain Tinkham’s wife after she suffered repeated bouts of seasickness.  Click here to read the poem.

Tinkham-Cabin

Mrs. Tinkham’s cabin, recreated.  Photo courtesy of Mystic Seaport.

What makes Poor Yorick Journal unique is that it doesn’t simply post the poems; it also connects readers to the visual art of material culture through photos and images, and offers essays on the artifacts or topics featured in the poems or prose.  This allows readers to discover more in-depth information about the object in history that inspired the writer.  In the case of the particular poem I wrote, Beth Mann offered a footnoted essay on “Sister Sailors,” or captain’s wives who joined their husbands at sea, and what their lives were like aboard a whaler.  I enjoyed Beth’s essay, and you can too, here.

The final two poems of mine in Poor Yorick Journal are taken from a series of ekphrastic vignettes I wrote inspired by early engravings of whaling.

Capture-of-a-Whale

“The Capture of a Whale Off St. Annaland, Holland, Oct. 7, 1682.” From Whale Ships and Whaling: A Pictorial History.

The titles of the poems are taken from the titles of the engravings and images.  The companion poem to the above artwork can be read here.

View-of-New-Bedford

“[New Bedford from Fairhaven, 1853].” From Whale Ships and Whaling: A Pictorial History.

The engravings can be enlarged and viewed in closer detail on the Poor Yorick Journal website.  They are featured next to each vignette, followed by a short bio.  The above engraving is of New Bedford, the Charles W. Morgan’s original home port, and in my poem I imagine that the vessel in the image is the Morgan herself, as she sailed out of New Bedford in 1853 on her fourth voyage.  Captain Ripley’s son served as cabin boy. This poem can be enjoyed here.

As “Wood to Skin” continues to grow into what I hope is a unique collection of substance, I’m proud to have the support and interest of history-centered literary publications, such as Poor Yorick Journal. 

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