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"Every Second Feels Like Theft"

poetry and visual art collaboration
by Sarah Kain Gutowski and Meredith Starr

a conversation in poems and cyanotypes created while living through

the pandemic year and exploring its intimate effects

 

"Every Second Feels Like Theft"

poems by Sarah Kain Gutowski
cyanotypes by Meredith Starr

For some, the pandemic and ensuing lockdown of public life didn't bring about drastic change so much as it did a particular cloying sameness. Restricted to the same rooms, the same screens, the same faces, and the same voices, we had to reinvent our daily practices so that we again feel something akin to wonder and surprise.

 

For others, the world shifted and stayed askew: the pandemic tore enormous fault lines through our roles, our identities, our friendships, and our loves. For nearly two years, we've rebuilt our sense of ourselves, as well as our relationships with those around us, on a foundation that still shudders with the aftershock of so many people gone, and so many irrevocably changed.

"Every Second Feels Like Theft," an extended conversation in cyanotypes and poems, explores the initial pandemic year and the months that followed, uncovering and scrutinizing its effects on the most intimate and vulnerable parts of our lives. Through alternating images and text, the artists examine how a global tragedy brought with it smaller domestic and interpersonal tragedies; how stasis and isolation forced us to confront new and old demons; how coping mechanisms saved or failed us; and how we emerged from our homes wiser and more resilient than before, cautiously optimistic, with new perspectives and new priorities for the years to come.

Poems and cyanotypes from "Every Second Feels Like Theft" have been:

  • published in The Gettysburg Review, Volume 32, Issue 3

  • exhibited as a broadside in the USPS Art Project: Mail Art Collaboration to Support the United States Postal Service in October 2020

  • published in Tahoma Literary Review, Issue 20

  • published online in Statorec, June 23, 2021

  • exhibited at the 10th Annual New York City Poetry Festival on Governors Island, NYC, on June 24 & 25 of 2021

  • published in Bear Review, Volume 8, Issue 1

  • as part of the RAISE digital exhibition through Stay Home Gallery in December 2021

  • as an exhibit at the Flagpole Gallery in St. Petersburg, FL in March 2022

  • as part of the Whose Story Is It? exhibition at the Spilt Milk Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland

  • in CALYX, A Journal of Art and Literature by Women, Vol. 33, No. 1

  • as part of the group exhibition, "Failings," at the Ejecta Projects gallery in Carlisle, PA, Apr 2 - May 22

 

The poems and cyanotypes are assembled in manuscript form and the artists are currently seeking a publisher. If you are interested in following the progress of the collaboration and wish to receive updates about future exhibitions, individually published poems or cyanotypes, or future publication of the book, please complete and submit the form below.

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