written by Amanda Berg
The poetic acrobatics of Richard Stevenson’s haiku and hakai poetry combined with the photography of Ellen MacArthur makes for an obvious yet unique collaboration as found within the pages of Fruit Wedge Moon. Capturing the imagism of nature juxtaposed with the relationships and interruptions of urban life, this collection encapsulates the extraordinary and minutia of everyday marvels.
We meet interesting characters, from the poet’s lazy golden retriever, to his Coltrane-appreciative cat. There are tributes to family, friends, and those whose lives and deaths touched the writer’s and he acknowledges them by name in italicized script. We meet unfortunate characters, like the sunburnt festival folkie, affectionately referred to as lobster boy. We laugh at the plight of the french fry sparrows or the robin vs. the Cessna.
To appreciate the artistry of haiku, Richard begins the book with a thoughtful preface introducing the reader to the delicacies and histories of this ancient Japanese medium. What emerges on the pages that follow is a picture book of sorts, with both visual photographic interpretations and bold textual imagery, leaving no question as to the sights, sounds and smells that have inspired the composition.
From the scenes at the end of his driveway to the lineups waiting for flu shots, to the onomatopoeic and percussive styles of jazz-meets-haiku, the reader need not be from Southern Alberta to understand what its like to be southern Albertan.
Fruit Wedge Moon by Richard Stevenson, 138 pages, soft cover, was published by Hidden Book Press in October 2015.
Richard Stevenson will be at The Word On The Street Lethbridge on September 24, 2016.