Art Speaks

Poet and painter collaborate on new book

Many people have noted to poet Elizabeth Kerlikowske that she has the same sort of “skewed sense of humor” as painter and fellow Kalamazoo resident Mary Hatch. So, when they met at a party several years ago, Kerlikowske proposed an artistic partnership involving poems and paintings.

The result of that partnership, Art Speaks, a book featuring Hatch’s art and Kerlikowske’s writing inspired by those works, will be published this month by Celery City Books.

The paintings featured in the book span nearly 40 years of Hatch’s artistic life. Kerlikowske says it took two years for the pair to marry art and poetry together.

Art Speaks, priced at $30, will be available at Kazoo Books and at maryhatch.com. It will also be for sale at Kalamazoo’s June Art Hop (click here for more information)

Flying Lessons
I know an immodest duck roosts on my head
But, admit it, you can’t believe your eyes.
Her webbed feet wrap my skull in a way I
can only describe as artichoke. You pretend
That’s a comfort. She always accompanies
me in public, sez me. Her plumage bends,
light to reflect my mood, and my plumage,
like a recessive gene, picks up the nuance
and recapitulates today’s theme of renewal.
Keep trying to ignore my duck, who cocks
her head and looks at you because you can’t
imagine her, she’s right in front of you, oh,
You are the rut ruts were named after, but
my duck is fantastic and green as if spring-
new, and I am too.
— Elizabeth Kerlikowske


Meet Mary Hatch and Elizabeth Kerlikowske

June Art Hop Featured Artists

  • Who: Visual artist Mary Hatch and poet Elizabeth Kerlikowske
  • What: Art Hop exhibition
  • When: 5–8 p.m. June 1
  • Where: Mercantile Bank, 107 W. Michigan Ave.