Beautiful mutants, vagabond scuba divers, lovers with disordered gorilla hearts: These poetry comics place the lyric and the grotesque, the elegant and the despondent, side by side in one emotionally intense panel after another. At the vanguard of a movement that embraces our increasingly visual culture and believes poetry has an essential place therein, Bianca Stone redefines how we think about poetry, what we expect from comics, and how we interpret our own lives.
Although reminiscent of illuminations by William Blake, Thomas Phillips’s A Humument, and more recent visual-poetic hybrids by Mary Ruefle and Matthea Harvey, Stone’s comics feature a mixture of dreamy expression and absurdist wit that is entirely her own. Her watercolor panels are filled with anthropomorphic horses and baffled ballerinas that guide the reader through the poet’s graphic dreamscape: “I was moving like a monsoon through a forest. I was thinking about where I saw myself in two thousand years . . . And where I saw myself was a tiny subspace ripple sliding through the corridors with a plastic horse in my hand.” This book, its own small universe, erases genre distinctions between the visual and the literary, and offers readers a poetic vision of artistic possibilities.
Bianca Stone’s books include the poetry collection Someone Else’s Wedding Vows and Antigonick, a collaboration with Anne Carson. She pens an ongoing poetry comic-book series from Factory Hollow Press and is the co-founder and editor of Monk Books. Stone also runs the Ruth Stone Foundation in Vermont and Brooklyn.
Praise for Poetry Comics from the Book of Hours
“At times grotesque and surreal, the work is nevertheless tender and expresses great emotional intelligence. . . . Full of both tilted and full-bleed panels in mixed media—some black and white, others color or selective color—this is a collection which quickly shifts from one startling page to the next. . . . It remains tethered to a deeply human center, grappling with friendship, love, loss, and a remarkable reclamation of sentiment.”—Up the Staircase Quarterly