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Corona/Crown, Kim Roberts and Robert Revere

“Corona” is Italian for crown. This series of prose poems and photographs borrows from the formal tradition of heroic crowns of sonnets, in which each section is connected to the last by a repeated line or phrase. The coronavirus was named for its shape: the series of spikes radiating outward from a sphere-like core resemble the sun’s rays, or the crowns worn by royalty. Each spike is a club-shaped peplomer, consisting of a helix of protein with a single-stranded RNA contained within.

Excerpts from Corona/Crown

“The writing and images in this many-layered book make me see my world in new ways. They bring together the most personal and the abstract, interacting and making me more and more curious as I turn each page, excited to discover what will come next. What new relationship will unfold between word and image, between self and other, between what is seen and what is perceived? This treasure of a book speaks on many levels about why and how art matters, what beauty is, and where we find it. Each time I reread it, I find something new. This is a book to be savored.”—Vaughn Sills, photographer and author of Places for the Spirit, Traditional African American Gardens, and One Family

“‘The lines, the sweet curves. The way light hits the surface of a face’ observes the speaker, referencing her long-standing love affair with the art of sculpture (—all the while playing the instrument of assonant rhyme). But as this gorgeous marriage of text (prose poem) and image (photographs) is revealed, one senses that something else is in play. Yes, these pieces ‘tremble, they vibrate—’ But why? Because although the backdrop of this dual artistic journey is a global pandemic, one can’t (I couldn’t) escape that what is unfolding before our eyes and ears is a portrait of an artist (falling) in love: ‘[T]he way, when you smile, you always lift your chin, as if pleasure starts at the neck and travels upward to the mouth. Upward to your eyes.’ But what also felt true is that these photographic images were very deliberately placed, often offering this viewer an example of the visual experience depicted in the preceding text. As if, in the face of our mortalities, art and the possibility of love is what kept us going: ‘This is how we map our loss. All those beautiful curves.’”—Francisco Aragón, author of After Rubén and Glow of Our Sweat

Robert Revere is a fine art photographer based in Washington, DC. He has exhibited regionally at Touchstone Gallery, the Art League Gallery, the Spectrum Gallery; nationally at Studio 4 West in New York and the Middle East Café and the Art Institute of Boston in Massachusetts. Revere has been an artist in residence at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and Ireland’s Burren College of Art. Revere studied at the Corcoran School of Art and the Art Institute of Boston, and taught photography at Maryland College of Art and Design. He is also a career foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State. https://revererobert.wixsite.com/home/

Kim Roberts is the editor of the anthology By Broad Potomac’s Shore: Great Poems from the Early Days of our Nation’s Capital (University of Virginia Press, 2020), selected by the East Coast Centers for the Book for the 2021 Route 1 Reads program as the book that “best illuminates important aspects” of the culture of Washington, DC. She is the author of A Literary Guide to Washington, DC: Walking in the Footsteps of American Writers from Francis Scott Key to Zora Neale Hurston (University of Virginia Press, 2018), and five other books of poems, including The Scientific Method (WordTech Editions, 2017). http://www.kimroberts.org

Robert and Kim have known each other since 1994, and in that time have worked together in arts administration, lived together (twice, briefly, when their lives were in transition—the first time Kim moving into Robert’s house, and the second time the reverse), and developed a deep friendship. Robert introduced Kim to her fiancée, and until recently he maintained a photography darkroom in Kim’s basement. Over the years, they have supported and influenced one another’s artistic development.

ISBN 978-1625494436, 44 pages

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Also by Kim Roberts: The Scientific Method

Mini-book review from OutSFL for National Poetry Month April 2024