Written by Eric Low
Blaine Greenwood’s newest book of poetry, Black Cat in the Shadows, is the poet’s tribute to the art and lives of artists, mostly in Paris, in the late 19th century.
In a series of poems and imagined dialogues between Henri Toulouse Lautrec and Aubrey Beardsley, Greenwood takes readers to Paris and the Chat-Noir, a real café/cabaret in Paris that was frequented by many artists of the time.
Descriptions of the city, the café, the entertainment, and the characters, the artists and their paintings and drawings provide many points of view from which to see this time in history. Beardsley’s sensuous and erotic pen and ink works come alive as do Toulouse Lautrec’s flat planes of colour depicting the night life and the rich characters he encountered. And of course, there is much mention of the debauchery, the excesses, and their consequences.
In another section of the book, Vincent Van Gogh is the main character, and Greenwood offers imagined insights into his thoughts along with detailed descriptions of many of that painter’s famous works.
Names drop and allusions abound in Black Cat in the Shadows.
According to the biography included in the book, “Blaine Greenwood, born in Viking Alberta 1951, is an educator by profession – with a career spanning from classroom teacher to museum educator and event planner. It is from this foundation that Blaine’s poetry has come to reflect his interest in psychology, history and spirituality. His verse has been described as ‘dark, homespun, sensual, rich with images.'”
“The title of Blaine’s first chapbook Walking Naked Down the Street describes the experience of a writer baring his soul to the public. A selection of his poems have been published in the Interpscan Journal (Canada), in Our Journey (Oregon, USA), and in Mudlark Press’ Rags: Journal of Creative Writing.”
“Blaine was one of the Coordinators of MOST VOCAL Poets Society. He is currently one of the artistic directors of Lotos Land spoken word / poetry venue at Fort Macleod Alberta’s South Country Fair and DJ for CKXU’s Not Your Mother’s Poetry.”
Black Cat in the Shadows by Blaine Greenwood, 84 pages, soft cover, was published by Ekstasis Editions in 2015.
Blaine Greenwood will be at The Word on the Street Lethbridge on September 24, 2016.