The drawings of American artist Cy Twombly have served as the inspiration for the words and images of this book. While the work is a collaboration between the poet, Dean Rader and calligrapher, Thomas Ingmire, the book is ultimately their collaboration with the work of Twombly.
DEAN RADER: In 2008, I began an elliptical and somewhat experimental series of short poems in response to specific artworks by Cy Twombly. I am fascinated by the similarities and distinctions between writing and drawing—the dual acts of making marks and meaning on paper to be both read and regarded. In the case of Twombly, is he writing or drawing? Do the distinctions even matter?
THOMAS INGMIRE: In my own calligraphic interpretations of poetry, I grapple with these same issues. It is just that the source is inverted. My works often look like drawing but are writing, while Twombly’s works look like writing but are drawing. In this book I initially created images that attempt to capture the spirit of the Twombly drawings and then have used the drawings and poetry as the foundation for the development of new lettering styles and page compositions. !
Dean’s poems are written in his own handwriting at the end of the book, Also included is a second book of sketches (Re-Writing Twombly:Studies) that were created during development of the project.
Dean Rader was raised in western Oklahoma. He earned a BA at Baylor University and an MA and a PhD in comparative literature at SUNY- Binghamton. Rader is currently a professor who teaches at the University of San Francisco, in the Department of English, where he has also served as Department Chair. In addition to his teaching, Rader is a prolific reviewer, a scholar of film and art, and an award-winning poet. His poem "Hesiod in Oklahoma, 1934" won the Sow's Ear Review poetry prize in 2009, judged by Kelly Cherry. Rader's debut poetry collection, Works and Days, won the 2010 Truman State University T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize, judged by Claudia Keelan. Works & Days was also named a finalist for the Bob Bush Memorial First Book Award, and it won the Writer's League of Texas Book Award for Poetry. He is a recipient of a 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry.