"Between Sprout and Rot," silk screen print, 24"x18"
Much of my work involves themes of growth and decay, and I was moved to respond to similar themes present in Francesca Abbate's prose poems. Woven into thoughts on Montaigne, infatuation, the thawing of bodies, and the publicity and privacy of the self-- there are creeping, living elements in these poems. Roots. Rhizomes. Beasts. Creatures. The speaker of the poem stumbles upon her adolescent marginalia in her copy of De Rerum Natura, or The Nature of Things; evidence of wrestling with the question of mortality in response to Lucretius's talk of bodies mouldering in graves or falling prey to "the jaws of predatory beasts." Similar meditations appear in more subtle passages, when the speaker walks through a muddy forest, observing "trees half-rooted in the river" and "soft maples budding." These flashes of life and hints of death, along with words like "moor" and "weed" and "muck," led me to create a print which communicated the juxtaposition of sprouting and rotting. Skulls mingle with songbirds in my print, "Between Sprout and Rot."
Frances Cannon is a writer and artist currently pursuing a master’s degree in nonfiction and book arts at Iowa Writers Workshop, teaching literature and creative writing at the University of Iowa, and working as an editorial assistant to The Iowa Review. She was born in Utah and since then has bounced around living, making artwork, and writing, in Oregon, Maine, Montana, Vermont, California, France, Italy, and Guatemala. She received her bachelor's in poetry and printmaking at the University of Vermont, where she self-published several chapbooks of silkscreened prints and poems. She has also worked as an editorial intern and contributor at McSweeney's quarterly, The Believer, and The Lucky Peach. She has recently been published in Vice, The Examined Life Journal, Edible magazine, Electric Lit, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn.To see more of her work visit https://frankyfrancescannon.com