An intimate collaboration between poet and photographer, husband and wife
Lawrence Gregory's poems are clean, clear, and honest. Birgit Gutsche's photographs are quiet and contemplative, providing inspiration and counterpoint to her husband's poetry. Together they offer an authentic exploration of the ordinary human experience as a consequence of the ongoing conversation between lovers and friends.
Gregory noted that the book did not start out as a collaborative project. Having had individual poems published in various literary outlets, he felt it was time to put together a collection of his poetry, but he had no intention of including any artwork. As he went through the process of choosing and re-working poems, he increasingly flashed on Gutsche's images. At the time, she was doing a lot of work to get herself established in the art scene in and around Taos, New Mexico, so there was a lot of artistic energy flowing in the household.
More significantly, Gregory says that many of the poems trace their origins to the couple's extensive travels together: experiences he explored in his journals and she explored with her camera. The collaboration was one of living their lives together, and eventually, it seemed natural to produce the book in that vein. "And of course," Gregory says, "Birgit is my muse."
Gregory describes himself as a writer and businessman, educator and adventurer, father and humanitarian. His poems, including a few from this book, have been published in numerous literary journals. Gutsche, a Canadian with an extensive travel industry resume, is a devoted mother and an award-winning photographer whose work has appeared in numerous galleries throughout the Rocky Mountain West. Through her lens, she strives to establish and nurture an intimate affinity with her subject, one that communicates and celebrates the beauty, poignancy and oft-times ironic nature of our chaotic world.
The couple currently live in the rarefied air and revelatory light of northern New Mexico. This is their first book collaboration.
Due out May 1, Stretching Silver Through Blue Haze is published by Shanti Arts Publishing.