Sunday, April 12, 2009
(For copies, contact Painted Leaves, P.O. Box 2332, Cashiers, NC 28717)
Joyce Foster's Painted Leaves, with art by Jane Smithers, is one of the most beautiful books I've ever seen, if not THE most beautiful. I met Joyce several years back in a workshop. She had just begun to write poetry, and I could tell that she had the gift for it. Her "Imprimatur for Pleasure" was one of the first poems she showed me, so you can see why I was impressed. As she says in the Afterword, "I was in my mid-60's and looking for the courage to make a profound change in my life. Poetry, or perhaps I should say the Muse of poetry, found me. ...Now I can't imagine life without it."
Joyce was born in Oklahoma of Cherokee, English, and German stock. She graduated from Emory University with a degree in Nursing and has worked for years in Public Health, as well as training and showing Morgan horses. She also worked for awhile as a model when she lived in Florida! She lives in Cashiers, NC, with her dog Wynston.
The artist whose work illuminates these pages is Jane Smithers (www.janesmithers.com). A self-taught artist, having chosen art "relatively late in life," she has lived in New York, London, Houston, and now in Cashiers, where she paints and teaches. Visiting Jane's website is like stepping into a world vibrating with image and color.
If you go to my ncpoetlaureate blog, you will find a display of the pages from PAINTED LEAVES. I hope you enjoy the visual feast. This would make a lovely Mother's Day gift, by the way. I'm giving a copy to my own mother.