Writer Kathleen Williamson’s work was featured in issue #12 of Newtown Literary. Below, she reflects on the process of completing her pieces for the journal.
Newtown Literary was kind enough to publish all three of the poems I submitted (and placed them at the beginning of the journal!) so I'll mention each one in turn.
GLOSSY IBIS - Jamaica Bay is an extraordinary place for birdwatching. The juxtaposition of the waste on Cross Bay Boulevard (broken glass, blown tires) and the magic of peering through a blind at the otherworldly vision of a tree filled with glossy ibis is striking. I often include birds in my poems but have (to my surprise) mentioned ibis more than any other. When I did a little research I was struck that the ancient Egyptians worshiped them, too. Here is an exquisite photo of one:
PLUCK - I was completely taken with this homeless woman standing off the curb on a crowded street in midtown Manhattan. She had such dignity and spirit that I was in awe.
GALLERY 825: THE MET - The difference between seeing an image of a Van Gogh painting and seeing the original is amazing. I'll never forget the first time I saw Starry Night at MoMA—it dazzled me. Gallery 825 at The Met is dazzling too, and I was so sure that my fellow museumgoers were equally struck by the Van Gogh masterpieces; I was saddened to see that they just appreciated the celebrity of the painting and not the artwork at all. It reminded me of an observation made by Obama. He said that when people meet him and only have his attention for a minute they take a selfie with him instead of actually speaking with him.