55 • K.S. Ernst & Sheila E. Murphy


2 Juries + 2 Storeys = 4 Stories Toujours

Over a period of several years, we have cultivated a way of working together that feels creatively stimulating, natural, and distinctly different in style and character from our respective solo efforts. Since a couple of years into the 21st Century, we have been creating gallery works on a medium to large scale, in addition to a good number of small-sized pieces with the printed page in mind. Many of these smaller pieces are represented in our book Permutoria (Luna Bisonte Prods Press, 2007), and one of the pieces ("Vortextique") appeared in Poetry magazine as part of a special feature on visual poetry, under the guest editorship of Geof Huth.

mIEKAL's invitation to create a book for Xexoxial arrived at a perfect time for us. Following a burst of creation of gallery pieces that spanned several years, we had taken a breather. Xerolage 55This book represents a re-emergence of our work together. The mode of development for this project led us to examine "double dozens," based upon the 24 inner pages we would create. The design involves dual "story lines," two distinct yet oddly inter-relatable perceptual mechanisms, based upon a framework encompassing the blend of visual and textual work.

We find ourselves increasingly devoted to the shared design of an architecture that seems to us to invite new work. Perhaps the process really amounts to our learning to look at blank areas for a long time, and to stare the pre-existing works into the realm of a life we recognize. In either case, the process seems magical, and we are grateful for it.

—K.S. Ernst & Sheila E. Murphy


In "view points pierce the mise en scene / once words afar farce," each poem has two frames, and each frame has two parts: words superimposed on an image. The clear greyscale shapes echo the architecture of typesetting, reminding the reader of the physicality of the printed page. "'Call on me call on me call on things built up in rectangles' said those words" KSEM's little mirrors are double all the way down, reminding us that although collaborative poetry may desire a unified voice, it is always the effort of at least two distinct individuals.

—Jessica Smith

An invitation to explore a gallery of sedulously built faces, ways of seeing, unfolded structures. Complex forms "chase your imagination" through a collaborative exploration of distinct individuals' negotiations with closely related realities. Each visual and verbal play reaches down into itself to surface the shape itself, hypnotic in its simplicity.

—Mara Patricia Hernandez

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