Fredericton poet laureate Jordan Trethewey’s new book Unexpected Mergers was created in collaboration with Dutch painter Marcel Herms.
Fredericton’s poet laureate Jordan Trethewey will celebrate the release of his new book this Sunday with a public reading at the Tipsy Muse Café starting at 2:30 p.m. His new book, Unexpected Mergers, is his second created in collaboration with contemporary Dutch painter Marcel Herms.
“I met Marcel online through Open Arts Forum, a writer and artist forum. I am an editor at this journal/forum hybrid site. I was struck by his self-taught and stark Art Brut style,” said Trethewey.
Unexpected Mergers features 40 poems directly inspired by Herms’ paintings and marks the second collaboration between these two artists.
“This is our second collaboration. Our first was, Spirits for Sale in 2019. We did the opposite with that one. He interpreted my poetry based on supposedly haunted items for sale on eBay,” he said.
“Before meeting Marcel, I collaborated with UK renaissance woman, Jen Zed, on many one-off pieces, but our big project has been a sci-fi series we call SyncWorld. In it, I have created multiple storylines and characters that inhabit this universe. All of the writing is inspired by Jenn Zed’s vast and intense catalogue of multimedia visuals depicting gynoids, androids and replicants.”
Unexpected Mergers is Trethewey’s fifth book of poetry. For his November 7 launch, Trethewey has planned a different approach to the usual stand-in-front-of-a-room-full-of-people-and-read method and has instead chosen to invite a group of family, friends and fellow artists to read from this latest collection.
“This approach to a book launch is purely selfish,” he said. “It takes some of the pressure off me, and I get to listen and enjoy some of my favourite people reading my words. That doesn’t happen very often, unless you make it happen.”
This is a book that has to be seen to be believed, so take a dive into the strange world of Trethewey and Herms; you’ll relish the experience.
— Danny Shot, author of Works, and head poetry editor at Red Fez
Jordan Trethewey and Marcel Herms merge the literary and the visual, enhancing both parts, transforming them into a single state. Jordan’s narratives vocalize each piece, allowing us to see and read layers of intent and meaning in Marcel’s dynamic paintings.
– Jenn Zed, visual artist, musician, poet
Book Launch: Unexpected Mergers by Jordan Trethewey and Marcel Herms | November 7 | Tipsy Muse Café | 2:30 p.m. | View Event