Traveling to You: A Collaboration of Poetry and Printmaking
Featuring poems by Gloucester Poet Laureate Rufus Collinson and Linoleum, Lithograph, and Monotype Prints by Gloucester Printmaker, Coco Berkman
Four years ago when I approached our then new Poet Laureate, Rufus Collinson, to ask her if she would be open to the idea of having a collaborative show of our work; her poems-my imagery, I had read only a few of her poems. She readily agreed, giving me license to choose whichever poems from her collection that I felt moved to use. I carried her poetry books [Turning the Stones ; Traveling to You  ] with me over the past four years.
Hugged up against my own sketchbooks in my bag, they traveled with me to New York City, where I studied stone lithography at the Art Students League, and where I transformed my drawing “Grocery Shopping”, inspired by her poem, “Friday Nights at the A&P” into a lithograph; to Martha’s Vineyard in the dead of winter, where I drew the composition, “Deer and Wolf”, inspired in large part by Rufus’s poem, “Adagio”; on the State Fish Pier on Parker Street, where I sat in my car and drew; on walks through Stage Fort Park, drives to Connecticut and Maine. I’ve lived with her poems.
My favorites kept changing. Poems that at first held little interest would suddenly capture my attention. They would sink in, take me away … into the natural world, into another
person’s emotional world, into another Gloucester. Most importantly, into a Poet’s mind. A mind whose priority is to search for the extraordinary layers in things, put those insights into words in an honest and eloquent way and then share them with the world. Thank you Rufus, for relentlessly doing the Poet’s work and then sending it out here. It
has touched me deeply forever.