Each Tuesday we feature audio or video of an SR Contributor reading their work. Today we’re proud to feature this podcast by John M. Anderson.
John M. Anderson teaches at Boston College. Featured in both Poetry Daily and Verse Daily, he has new poems in Poetry Northwest, Spillway, Tuesday: An Art Project, and Crazyhorse–plus a canyonland chapbook, Dictionary Quilt (Pudding House, 2007). His manuscript Alamos: A Chain Reaction is a ghost story in verse about J. Robert Oppenheimer and the landscape of the American Southwest.
You can read along with his poems in Issue 9 of Superstition Review.
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Phoenix-based photographer Christopher Vialpando’s work is diverse. His website is divided into sections titled “People,” “Places,” and “Things,” which sums up his artistic approach. His work is straightforward, yet his photos seem to reveal the essential truth behind the objects. For example, one photo from “Things” shows a torn cowboy hat obscuring the face of a weathered, two-dimensional wooden figure. The setting is obscure; there is a wire fence in the background and a worn Lone Star flag, as well as various objects that suggest an unconventional yard sale or a junk yard. Though this piece is a barefaced reproduction of the scene, the angle and the indirect lighting prompt the viewer to consider the object with greater care, bringing to mind nostalgia for the old West and hints of the border conflict that often seems to define Southwestern life. In fact, if there is one theme that consistently appears in Vialpando’s work, it is that of the Southwest. His “Places” are mountains, long stretches of road leading into the desert, and Ponderosa pine forests; even the portraits in his “People” segment are lit by the harsh Arizona sun, posing in front of old train cars and vintage automobiles with palm trees in the distance. It’s clear from his work that Vialpando knows where his strengths lie. In his biography on his website, he states “Truth is, I won’t appeal to every client, and not every client will appeal to me. Ergo, this time around is about the truth. I don’t take pictures. I create photographs.” His focus on the truth permeates his work.