Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How to Catch a Wild Rabbit

This is one of my favourite spreads in How to Prepare for Flooding.

The design for this poem was highly collaborative. Julia and I sat at our respective computers, six blocks apart, doing simultaneous google image searches: "cat" "angry cat" "cat with open mouth"

We'd email each other images when we found something promising:"How about this?" "Or this?" "THIS ONE!"

I remember finding this yawning cat. And I just knew that Julia could 'drown' it, by which I mean two things. One, that it was big enough to survive being converted to an illustration, that it could handle all the black and white and red. And two, that it had visual punch in spades.

Which is sort of how I write, come to think of it. My goal is always to come up with punchy images/phrases that work in the context of the longer poem.

I forget whose idea it was to put the last stanza of the poem in the cat's mouth, but that idea quickly followed. I mean, how could you NOT?

(The poems were laid out in spreads, which we then chopped up to make into facing pages. I'm sharing the chop-chop version, if only because the spreads are so long and narrow that blogger can't display them properly...)

* * *

The Winnipeg launch of How to Prepare for Flooding is Nov 2 at Aqua Books and features Julia Michaud, Jennifer Still, and Matthew TenBruggencate.