Joseph Trombatore, My Master's Palette
Sunday, April 9, 2017, 2:00-4:00 pm.
About Joseph Trombatore:
Bio: Joseph R. Trombatore is an artist and poet whose work has appeared in: Travois: An Anthology of Texas Poetry, Right Hand Pointing (online), Journal of the American Studies Association of Texas, and elsewhere. His poetry collection, Screaming at Adam, was awarded the Wings Press Chapbook Prize in 2007, and one of his poems received the 2011 Larry D. Thomas Poetry Prize (REAL, Regarding Arts & Letters). Other honors include two Pushcart Prize nominations and a Best of the Net Anthology nomination. Former Poetry Editor of: The Houston Literary Review (online) and Founder/Publisher of the defunct online journal, Radiant Turnstile, he now resides in San Antonio.
About My Master's Palette:
Joseph Trombatore’s poems about paintings tend to tell stories that begin with the colors on canvases, but then fly off in fascinating ways. He has taken ekphrastic poetry — a concept relying on the verbal adherence to artworks — in fresh directions.
Three poems based on Van Gogh paintings move differently. The first, which opens the book, is based on “Red Vineyards of Arles,” taking Van Gogh’s point of view. “I’m the skilled craftsman/whose head is shaded/by Poplars; a straw hat./My heart is wrapped/in the canvas//of my colors.”
This precise portrait of the painter suddenly takes off: “I’m the man in the/background with a/shotgun, wading/in & out of your dreams.” If we look closely at this painting, we can see a figure who may have a shotgun, but this perception is pure Trombatore.
The second (“Ladies of Arles”) harkens back to Van Gogh’s Dutch background, while under Gauguin’s influence; it is a magnificent painting and a wild, prize-winning poem. The third (“Sunset at Montmajour”) reveals the collection’s title and moves adroitly between the views of artist and poet. “Crafted in love, his brush/strokes caressed the folds/of my fabric, my flesh,/stretched taut as a mainsail/on a warm Summer’s breeze.”