Mara Scanlon, Professor of English, served as invited Guest Editor for a special issue of the journal Humanities called “The Sister Arts Since 1900: Poetry and the Visual Arts.” The issue is prompted by the fact that the relation of poetry and visual art to each other, to imitation, mimesis, and the “real,” to pleasure and analysis, to ethics, to the senses, and to craft prompted rich dialogue and debate through at least the 18th century but is oddly flagging in contemporary critical conversation, possibly replaced by or transformed into an emphasis on multimodal and multimedia writing. Inviting essays on ekphrastic poetry and its opposite, photos or art inspired by poems; illuminated text and the art of the book; illustrated poetry for adults and children; the work of artist-poets; collaborations between artists and writers or installations, exhibits, and volumes that combine poetry and photography/visual art; broadsides; concrete and visual poetry; and unique conceptions like the “plastic poetry” of Kansuke Yomomoto or Claudia Rankine’s multigenre and spatially conscious Citizen: An American Lyric, the CFP also asked: Can the two art forms ever be fully collaborative or hybrid, become something greater than the sum of their parts, or is one always secondary or dependent? Is the relationship of poetry and visual art primarily formal, or is it also political, ideological, transgressive, or, as Brian Glavey has suggested, queer? The final collection includes essays by both critics and an artist practitioner, representing universities on three continents.
Humanities is an international scholarly, peer-reviewed, open-access journal that is funded by the academic Knowledge Unlatched initiative.