On December 8, we hosted the VoiceCatcher 6 launch at the Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic, which takes place every second Thursday at Cover to Cover Books in Vancouver, WA. One of the participants was Vancouver’s own April Bullard, who has recently enjoyed success as a visual artist and a poet. April’s photographs are included in the latest edition of the anthology, co-edited by Printed Matter Vancouver co-founder Toni Partington.
I was very moved and inspired by what April had to say that evening. She had some very kind things to say about the Ghost Town poetry Open Mic and the work that Toni and I have been doing in the community. So I asked April if I could post her speech here. She informed me that VoiceCatcher already had plans to feature it on their website, but that Printed Matter Vancouver could repost it.
April also asked me to include the following as an introduction to the repost:
“My most sincere thanks to Christopher Luna and Toni Partington for hosting the Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic, and to Mel Sanders of Cover to Cover Books & Espresso for housing this collection of written word dreamers, observers, movers and shakers. I also want to thank the Ghost Town Poetry community and the Vancouver Arts community for their encouragement and support, for what I hope will be a successful, multi-faceted career in the arts. ”
Here is what April had to say. Please also visit the VoiceCatcher website, which features other material not included in the text below: http://voicecatcher.org/2011/12/25/meet-april-bullard-the-magician-of-the-columbia-river/
April Bullard’s remarks at Cover to Cover Books, December 8, 2011
Thanks to Voicecatcher.org for this opportunity to submit work for publication, Toni Partington for organizing this Voicecatcher 6 reading and presentation, Christopher Luna for hosting the Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic, and Mel Sanders for housing this collection of written word – dreamers, observers, movers and shakers.
Talk about your artwork in VC6. Hmm… where to begin? How about keeping it simple, what do I do, and why do I do it?
My photography tends to be abstract. A visual display of colors that create shapes that trigger an emotional response. That sounds pretty high falootin’ , but it all comes down to taking a photograph that makes you see what I see, feel what I feel, and makes unusual ideas cross your mind the way they crossed mine. I am one of those people that never grew out of finding pictures in the clouds, monsters in shadows, and the mythical in the mundane. I turned my eyes and camera to the river that I live on, and found a whole new magical world. Water is always moving, and always changing, by definition – fluid. It is a fun challenge to find sharp, distinct pictures in the water that strike a primal, instinctive chord, that hopefully, forces you to stop and take another look.
“Random Thoughts” is a photo of a micro moment of water reflections. The human-like profile spewing random bits and pieces from its mouth, tickled me. How much talk, talk, talk is constantly ‘streaming’ around us (all puns intended!), and yet, you still don’t get a clear picture of the speaker. There is an ‘undercurrent’ that suggests the speaker has opposite, more, and stronger thoughts and intentions. How much of what we say is a true ‘reflection’ of what we mean? If a few of those and other ideas, swirl around and gather ‘eddies’ of thought in your mind, or pluck a heart string that sends a tiny ‘ripple’ through your soul, I feel the work has been successful.
“Water Angel 5” is a split second that captured an angel in the trailing wake from my boat. Can you see the angel silhouetted in the emerging sun, rising from the whirling darkness? Can you see the angel’s shadow or counterpart? Are the bubble rings prayers sent into the ether? Why are they dark? Is the angel helping or escaping the chaos? Is the chaos the angel’s own duality of thought and desires or the earthly chaos of humanity? Once you get started, there are many possible interpretations. if I made you find something near any of these ideas, the art worked.
These pieces are for sale, and I have a portfolio of work available for browsing. I have photography in rotation with Drew-Jones Studio Art, 4 pieces in the current show at Starting Grounds Church Gallery in Battleground. I’m one of the 100 artists in Gallery 360’s January show “The Collective.” I’ll be part of more Voicecatcher 6 presentations in January and into 2012.
My paintings have a wonderful home, here, at Cover to Cover Books & Espresso. My thanks to Mel! Three of the pieces are now book covers, check out the original paintings, and the paperbacks. “The Witch of Gator-Tail Slough” is the cover of “Aoife’s Kiss Dec 2011” a sci-fi/fantasy magazine from Sam’s Dot Publishing. Mel will have a few copies available, and she can order them online for you as well, or you can order them directly from the publisher through my website as paperbacks or e-books.
My third published poem, “River Fog”, is in “Shelter of Daylight Autumn 2011” a softer sided fantasy/horror anthology from Sam’s Dot Publishing. Again, Cover to Cover will have a few copies available, or it can be ordered online.
I have more cover art coming out in January, gallery showings, and poetry contracted for publication in 2012.
I want to thank the Ghost Town Poetry community, the Vancouver Art community, and Voicatcher.org for the start of what I hope will be a successful, multi-faceted career in the arts.
April Bullard will be a featured reader at the Coaster Poetry Contest Winners reading at Niche Wine and Art Bar (1013 Main Street, Vancouver) on January 18 at 7pm and at the William Stafford Reading at Cover to Cover Books (6300 NE St. James Rd., Suite 104B) on January 21 at 4pm.