James Morehead’s debut collection of poetry, “canvas”, is available now for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. In his debut collection, Morehead paints powerful images through the thoughtful selection and careful placement of words. “canvas” features the extraordinary art of Kari Byron and Alla Tsank, and was designed by Zoe Norvell.
The year 2020 and its pandemic-induced solitude inspired the poems that lead this collection. Most are autobiographical, in particular the title poem “canvas,” and collectively form a fragmented memoir of memories and melancholy. Some are fanciful, like “tethered,” inspired by a fleeting image seen while hiking the Pacific coastline. All strive to paint images in the reader’s mind through the power of poetry.
“James Morehead’s ‘canvas’ opens itself to the poetry of everyday life, where stanzas are etched in sand, and poems end in sunset. Combining micro-narratives of Boston bullies cornering a young boy, with minute descriptions of time in quarantine, it draws us into moving tableaus of tenacious attention to what went down, what might come up, and where we might find ourselves. These are poems to be savored, re-read, kept handy for those times when only poetry will do.”W. J. T. Mitchell, Senior Editor of Critical Inquiry and Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor, English and Art History, University of Chicago
The distinct cover art for “canvas” was created by former MythBusters star and current host of Crash Test World Kari Byron. While Byron is known primarily as a Curiosity Communicator, she is a trained and accomplished artist and sculptor. The original art for “canvas” was created using a black powder technique that infuses the art with detritus. Kari’s art also complements several poems in the book, and inspired the poems “powder” and “carved”.
Morehead’s seeks to create poems that are accessible to all readers and beautiful in form. Morehead is documenting his journey as a first-time author in a series of articles (start here).
“James creates an enchanting melody of poetic sound for the reader page after page. He notices life’s details with a tender yet precise eye, down to the ‘streets glistening with midnight rain’ and ‘summer bursting outwards / fierce from its slumber.’ Using this keen observation, James breaks past life’s routines to uncover gems of beauty. To read Canvas is to be transported to a world infused with meaning and memory.”Morgan Liphart, author of Barefoot and Running
Pre-order “canvas” today: