How does art inspire art, event/exhibit


L.R. Berger joins several artists and 3 other poets in exploring how art in one medium inspires work in another medium.

This question is interesting, and as most artists understand or appreciate, the possible outcomes enliven an essential creative culture, and there is plenty of evidence of this throughout art history.

As with an “ekphrastic poem” being inspired or stimulated by art, this creative inspiration can expand into or across other disciplines that can go beyond verbal description. What endures, hopefully, is an inherent sense of freedom dealing with ideas, having an abstract non representational quality, figuratively, surrealistically, and realistically, or as any imaginative, metaphorical form that stimulates or emotes.

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2020 – year in books


Here it is November, and a turning point in seasons, and you know the rest – political crisis on top of a world-wide health crisis.

Everyone is finding new ways of living, creating, working, teaching, and many are suffering great loss while struggling to keep their housing and feed families. Deerbrook Editions is fortunate, as many independent presses probably are, continuing to work since most of the work is remote normally. And many businesses, such as the printer/manufacturer that does the press books, found ways to continue while being safe. We are thankful for their still being there. And we are thankful for all the responders in the hospitals, the state CDC, legislators, and everyone ordinary or professional, think of those that work in grocery stores. Everyone is doing their part. And we are thankful for the orders that come in from our Website, through the distributor, and amazon. It all helps.

And while we keep learning and finding ways to keep marketing and keeping engaged with readers, there is nothing like ‘in person’ readings and visits to books stores. We all want to go back to normal.

One of my ‘normal’ things to do that helps me stay sane, is reading. After hours I listen to music and do visual art. I don’t credit myself, but some of my work is on the covers of books I design.

Here are the books from this year. Forthcoming books are being planned for 2021 and will be appearing soon.

These are in the order of appearance, Until They Catch Fire having recently come out October 15th, and is now featured in spdbooks.org handpicked list, so folks out west can order from them. Although we love getting orders on deerbrookeditions.com, individuals can order from spdbooks. And on the press Website I’ve updated the menus to include author names to titles, and just so you know, 2019 was a great year when the press released 11 titles of excellent work

A Rising & Other Poems by DAVID SLOAN

Blues for French Roast by Martina NewberryLove Is Sweeter by HC HsuDaybook II by Toni OrtnerUntil They atch Fire by Deborah Cummins

Erasure poetry – KIN S FUR – & a new translation of a tale from the Brothers Grimm.


cover grab KIN S

Because readers may enjoy this for several reasons, the earlier page is here made a post. There are several things to investigate in this longer than usual post: the book preview; the erasure poem; the scholarly work in translation and process by the author.

ALL KINDS OF FURErasure poems and a new translation of a tale from the Brothers Grimm.

Available from the publisher

Cover art: Painting Bear Girl by Anne Siems.

Erasure is a contemporary poetry-writing practice. Poets begin with a source text of any kind and then “erase” selected words and letters, using one or several methods—such as whiting or blacking out their selections, or “ghosting” them with a gray font. What remains are erasure poems. 

In ALL KINDOF FUR, the source text is shaded gray to reveal the poems in black.

In these poems, Margaret Yocom offers a new vision of Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm’s controversial “Allerleirauh” (“All Kinds of Fur”), a lesser-known version of “Cinderella” that opens with incest. Erasing the Grimms’ words to reveal a young woman’s story of her journey to a new, full life, Yocom asks, What would All Kinds Of Fur say if she could tell her own tale? In ALL KINDS OF FUR , the heroine’s words rise.

In her “Afterword: tale / translation / erasure,” the author explores the history of the tale “All Kinds Of Fur” (and its many, international versions) as well as her translation of the Grimms’ text. She also discusses erasure poetry more fully and mentions other erasure poets and their work.  Here is an excerpt about the author’s own erasure practice:

. . . For me, the process of erasure has not been “What words should I erase?” but rather “What words rise?” Erasure offers me a chance to make visible and concrete a conversation—perhaps, even, an argument— between two texts. Through such a poem, rather than an essay, I can disagree with other interpretations of the tale as well as the assumptions of its translators. I can also create an alternative vision that presents the way a young woman, a survivor of abuse, would tell this tale . . .

Praise for ALL KINDS OF FUR

Open this book and enter a world of danger, transformation, and tactical survival—a multi-layered, multi-voiced telling of “Allerleirauh” / “All Kinds Of Fur,” a Brothers Grimm tale you most likely have not met, a “Cinderella” version with incest. In a new translation, Margaret Yocom first brings us this forgotten tale, stocked, as we’d expect, with kings, rings, beasts, and betrayals. She then, through erasure, lures out of its darkness another voice—the voice of All Kinds Of Fur herself, lying hidden within its words. In keeping with traditions of wonder tales, erasure practice poses riddles and embodies paradoxes—adding by subtracting, listening by looking, redrawing the boundaries of author and reader, teller and told. Enter this forest. Voice what you see. Is it sunlight in shadow, or a sudden shadow cutting through light? 

                                           —Susan Tichy

Some tales—the old ones, the magical ones—wander the borderlands between our inchoate unconscious and the day-lit logic of our lives, not to keep those realms separate, but to ensure something of our dark interiors leaks up into the measured day and, by the trespass, keeps the fathomless open. Margaret Yocom’s book gives us a new translation of one such tale, demonstrating beautifully how it is desire and fear, care and threat, humility and humiliation, love and grief, are entangled in such ways they might be the source of that knot we call the mind. But Yocom does more than give us a tale we’ve always known even if now we’re reading it for the first time. In her erasure of the tale, she shows us that a text, just like our own minds, has its own hidden inner life, and its own unconscious depths, a mind within the mind, a heart within the heart, a hearth within a hearth. It is a magical and necessary vision, one our culture now, in its incessant surfacing, deeply needs—this reminder, that beneath every depth, there is a deeper deep; and beneath every dark, a darker dark. It is in this dark that ALL KINDS OF FUR teaches us to see.     

                                          —Dan Beachy-Quick

These poems are haunted by what Yocom makes invisible by her erasures; what she makes visible has different bones. The incest in the fairy tale variously translated as “All Fur” or “Donkeyskin” shows through the skin without the “s”: kin. I have used these poems in my fairy tale course to introduce students to a tradition whose dark side has been erased, in other ways, by numerous editors and publishers—and which ALL KINDS OF FUR  restores. Are we not all, like these fairy tale beings, humanimals?   

                                          —Katharine Young

About ALL KINDS OF FUR, from the “Afterword: tale / translation / erasure”:

ALL KINDS OF FUR explores the history of the tale “All Kinds Of Fur” and its many, international versions (see summary of the tale, below*):

. . . As a poet, folklorist, and storyteller long interested in “All Kinds Of Fur,” I wondered what happened to the tale in the hands of other editors and collectors, especially those who did not revise their texts as extensively as the Grimms did. So, I searched for the story in folktale collections throughout the world. In these tales, All Kinds Of Fur / Cat-Skin / Sack-cloth / Hanchi (Clay Pot) always dons an unattractive body covering, and she appears to others as male or female, human or spirit-world being, or a living entity whose characteristics cannot be discerned. In Palestine, she wraps herself in sackcloth and appears to be an old man or a jinn. In Sudan, she removes the skin from an old man and covers herself. In Japan, she wears frog’s skin; in Norway, crow’s skin; in Slavic countries, mouse skin. For Romanians living in the Balkans, she turns herself into sea foam. . . . What I learned, above all, through my research was that the young woman uses many creative strategies to save herself and craft a new life. . . .

ALL KINDS OF FUR underscores the importance of making one’s own translation of a source text:

. . . What might I learn if I looked, myself—poet, folklorist, feminist—at the Grimms’ words? Plenty, as it turned out. The several discoveries I made more than surprised me; they unsettled me. They changed forever my vision of the tale. For example, All Kinds Of Fur calls herself “Kind” (“child”) as she hides from men in the woods; yet almost all translators use the female-identified term “girl.” I use “child,” though, to point out how All Kinds Of Fur purposefully un-sexes—and protects—herself through her choice of words. For similar reasons, I use the pronoun “it” to refer to All Kinds Of Fur when the text calls for the neuter pronoun. (Read my 2012 book chapter, here, for more details on the tale and its translation). . . .

New poetry from Deerbrook Editions


cover grab KIN S

In these poems, Margaret Yocom offers a new vision of Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm’s controversial “Allerleirauh” (“All Kinds Of Fur”), a lesser-known version of “Cinderella” that opens with incest. Erasing the Grimms’ words to reveal a young woman’s story of her journey to a new, full life, Yocom asks, What would ‘All Kinds of Fur’ say if she could tell her own tale? In ALL KINDS OF FUR , the heroine’s words rise.

Erasure is a contemporary poetry-writing practice. Poets begin with a source text of any kind and then “erase” selected words and letters, using one or several methods—such as whiting or blacking out their selections, or “ghosting” them with a gray font. What remains are erasure poems.

In her “Afterword: tale / translation / erasure,” the author explores the history of the tale “All Kinds Of Fur” (and its many, international versions) as well as her translation of the Grimms’ text. She also discusses erasure poetry more fully and mentions other erasure poets and their work.  Here is an excerpt about the author’s own erasure practice:

. . . For me, the process of erasure has not been “What words should I erase?” but rather “What words rise?” Erasure offers me a chance to make visible and concrete a conversation—perhaps, even, an argument— between two texts. Through such a poem, rather than an essay, I can disagree with other interpretations of the tale as well as the assumptions of its translators. I can also create an alternative vision that presents the way a young woman, a survivor of abuse, would tell this tale . . .

Available now only on the press site.

  Cover art: Painting Bear Girl by Anne Siems.

Forthcoming title from another Maine author


Available now, only on the site. Where You Happen To Be by Leonore Hildebrandt.

Check out the flip-thru preview and read a few poems.

Poems by Leonore hildebrandt

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Praise for Where You Happen to Be from Dawn Potter:

In Where You Happen to Be , Leonore Hildebrandt writes of “discern[ing] layers / of sound and scent,” of probing “the human dilemma / of purpose and failure.” The poems in this collection assume this task of recognition and discovery. Gently, and with a great and detailed patience, she walks us through physical and emotional landscapes, narrating travels that feel both in and out of time. “The living,” Hildebrandt writes, “inherit the world’s blindness— / so much of it, they get blissfully drunk.” Yet as her poems celebrate and mourn our blindness, they also remind us, again and again, of the power of resilience: “Let one lake rest on another.”

—Dawn Potter

The cover features a painting by Susan Hammond