Review: MirrorRealms by Anthony Pritchard
MirrorRealms, the collaborative work by poet Anthony Pritchard, and surreal artist Karena A. Karras, hovers on the line between stark fantasy and our own grim realites. Pritchard's poem "Sylvia Blue" perhaps says it best:
Things are either dark, or they glow
and do not last;
they choke and sputter gracious in the bedraggled blacks
like chimney sweep heads detached,
while the sky has its back to the world.
Pritchard's words and Karras' art could both easily stand alone. The fact that they are showcased together only heightens the intensity of both works and creates a unique world that is both beautiful and frightening. Karras' paintings feature many colorful and usually feminine creatures that are composed with elements of nature. Many of the characters hold animalistic qualities with fantastic hair, exquisite eyes, and enthralling scenes that depict hovering on the brink of reality. These works accentuate the strangers and strange characters in Pritchard's work:
Strangers are notes in a silent
un-punctuated jazz, then noticing me;
fall into deep contemplation,
as though trying to place me from somewhere;
another dream perhaps. I don’t even know
what my own eyes are hiding.
(from "A Silent Movie in Black and Blue")
In MirrorRealms, Pritchard strikes a curious balance between ordinary and extraordinary. His poems feel fragile, but not from lack of poetic confidence, but because of the crystalline and dream-like scenes he creates. Pritchard's voice seems to tiptoe in and out of this world with an even and flowing stride. His readers never feel lost or betrayed by his words, but rather trust his judgement and believe in the vividness of his world.
MirrorRealms contains almost 200 pages of surreal poetry and art. The intimacy of Pritchard's lines, matched with the honesty and boldness of Karras' paintings should not be missed by any fan of fantasy.
MirrorRealms is Anthony Pritchard's fifth book. His other books are titled Embrace, Ephemerealms, Don't Become A Poet Like I Did, and Dreaming Inside of Streetlights. All of Pritchard's books can be found on Lulu.com.
Ephemerealms is available in all bookstores via store order and most online retailers.