Hard Rain, Hard Wind: A Memoir and Confessional in Found Poetry

Two-volume set, each book is 8″ x 10″, slipcase dimensions are 8.5″ x 10.5″ x 3.25″, edition of two box sets (second edition forthcoming), 2014

The family wanted my grandfather to be a dentist, like his father. Everyone called him Joe, but his birth name was Clyde Painless Frame, so that when it came time to hang his shingle outside his dental office, his name would also be his slogan: “C. Painless Frame for Your Dental Needs.” They had high hopes, but things fell apart. Joe’s father left his mother Anna for another woman, and Anna hung herself when Joe was five. Joe was raised by his grandmother Lou and grew up poor in rural Appalachia; he became a farmer, a veteran, a boilermaker, and an alcoholic.

Hard Rain, Hard Wind is a found poetry project using my family’s letters, diaries, and photographs as source material to create an artist book that facilitates a dialogue about familial dysfunction and reconciliation between myself as poet, my alcoholic grandfather Joe, and several generations of women who suffered because of Joe’s destructive behavior. The letters and diaries were written between the 1930’s and 1960’s by female members of my family and female friends of Joe, and the found poems are written by me in the voice of my grandfather. The original family documents appear alongside the found poems and artifacts from Joe’s life, creating a conversation among all of the voices.

I’d like to offer special thanks to Michelle Citron and Jenny Magnus for advising me as this project developed, and to CBAA for generous financial support through a project assistant grant.

 

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