Synopses & Reviews
Providing poetic entry into the visual arts
In Michelangelo's Seizure, Steve Gehrke seizes the lives of several classic and contemporary painters--from Caravaggio and Magritte to Francis Bacon and Jackson Pollock--to demonstrate how these artists transformed physical, psychological, and political suffering into art. Mirroring the brushstrokes in long, metaphor-laden sentences, Gehrke moves freely through the canvas, into and out of the artists' lives, into the public realm, into history, to capture the way the creative mind can transform even the most violent surroundings--a prison cell, a battlefield, a madhouse--into a masterpiece
"Steve Gehrke has delivered up a masterpiece of masterpieces, a book made up entirely of ekphrastic poems which is altogether unsettling, unfamiliar, uncanny, powerful. The secret of Gehrke's method is the force of his gaze, which within the dramatic illusion of such poetry is a stand-in for the mind; in these poems artworks melt under the pressure of the writer's consciousness of them, and products are re-rendered as pure process."
--T. R. Hummer, author of The Infinity Sessions
"The poet manages to create a kind of double-imaging that oscillates between painters and subjects, between lives and painting. . . . Gehrke contributes a verbal resonance, in effect an interior voice . . . to all these reverberating images."--Parnassus