FROM KOLAJ 30
Brian Barker’s Artist Portfolio
Denver, Colorado, USA
Well-established as a poet and English professor, a period of creative restlessness led Brian Barker to collage. “I’m not a fast writer, and the images and scraps of language that float up as the source of my poetry take their sweet time to appear. So, I started feeling a deep yearning for some other type of creative outlet that I could work at more steadily,” he recalled. “I knew a lot of other poets who made collage on the side. So, I started looking around and thinking about what kind of collage I might make. It quickly turned into an obsession!”
I cut images, freeing them from their original context, and then move them around until something interesting catches my eye. What results might just be a wonderful chimera. Sometimes a splice of narrative might be suggested, or some strong symbolism or metaphor. If the latter is the case, then I try to follow the thread presented to me. “Let the image lead the way” is a good mantra for both the poet and the collagist.
Brian Barker is a poet and collage artist from Denver, Colorado. His collages were selected for the National Collage Society’s 35th annual juried show and have appeared on the cover of Denver Quarterly. He is the author of three books of poetry, Vanishing Acts (SIU Press, 2019), The Black Ocean (SIU Press, 2011), and The Animal Gospels (Tupelo Press, 2006). His poems have appeared in such journals as Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, American Poetry Review, TriQuarterly, The Washington Post, Indiana Review, The Cincinnati Review, Blackbird, and Pleiades. He teaches at the University of Colorado Denver, where he is a poetry editor of Copper Nickel. Learn more in the Kolaj Magazine Artist Directory and at www.imaginarymaladies.com.