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Collage, Poet-Portraits, Fragments & Words, Words, Words

January 6, 2020

Sara Biggs Chaney and I have been busily working with papery word fragments, piecing them together, layer upon layer, until greeting a face.

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Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lucille Clifton, Elizabeth Bishop, and HD. These are poets we admire. Their words forge textures on the page. Each one is an 8×10 artwork collage ready to brighten any room. The beauty of words and faces, of fragments and figures, shines through the glue in each portrait.

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Gwendolyn Brooks

You’ll notice how the titles of the books in the re-worked photo above are comprised of more lines from Brooks’ poetry…. And by the way, for now, our favorite adhesive is liquitex matte  glaze.


Lucille Clifton

There are stiffer papers used in the Clifton collage above. Collage challenges the camera and our eyes to see things normally perceived through touch–like contour, edge, weight.

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We selected our subjects for the force of their original poetry. And we wanted to memorialize great poets.


Elizabeth Bishop

We prefer mod podge and home made mixtures for other projects, but these were perfect for the matte glaze. The paper and words are the focus of these portraits.

We hope you like them.

m a s

Michael and Sara

To purchase one of these portraits or to see more,  visit the shop




  1. I found your site while I was deep in the labyrinth-internet, signed up for blog post notification, and glad I did. I love the work you and Sara do, and I am grateful to you for doing it and for sharing it. I love the images of these poets, whose work I’ve been reading and enjoying for years. And I’ve always been drawn to visual art that incorporates written art. And I appreciate the fact that the two of you collaborate–two distinct minds creating a singular expression. I’ll be spending more time browsing your site for inspiration. I am not a visual artist–I write fiction–but art inspires art, and if nothing else, I will go about my day influenced by your images, thinking of that ampersand, that Ampersand!! and being more aware of what I see out my windows. Thank you so much.

    • What a thoughtful response! We are so moved to hear from you, and to know that our tiny signals into the ethers have found a receiver. Thank you for your response. We were moved by it very much.

  2. I think you should have a fan club. I’ve been sharing your site with friends. You DO make a difference.

  3. Wow, I find these so inspiring! I love creating art with words and making collages, but this makes me want to take it to the next level. Great, great work!

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