Recent, Visual Poetry

KAREN GREEN: Fix’d Habitation

Those eyes! In this new work by acclaimed word-image artist, Karen Green, the eyes transmit a beguiling fusion of fear, steeliness, and empathy, asserting a self acutely alive behind its mask. In this series, the selfie happens as flash self-portraiture. Might a masked face actually unmask another version of self?

We lean in. The words open us to a kind of timelessness. Eighteenth-Century English meets the dialect of 2020. Words from hymns meet the teachings of Brahmins. The NOW is barely a heartbeat in history’s long continuum.

The eyes + the masks = a confronting. “Continue,” says a mouth replacing the “real” one. Continue inwards if you dare. Continue . . . not as you were, but as you are. What faces us is the face that is IN one’s face. Brave but vulnerable. Asking us to be the same.

—Nance Van Winckel, Features Editor

Karen Green is an artist and writer whose inventive hybrid image-text works have won her a devoted readership. She’s the author of Bough Down (Siglio, 2013), winner of the Believer Poetry Award, and Frail Sister (Siglio, 2018), a fictional archive of a missing woman. Her visual work is collected by individuals as well as institutions, including the Yale Beinecke Library, San Francisco MOMA, and the Whitney Museum of American Art special collections. She lives in Northern California and New York.