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Children Of Grass
Children Of Grass

Children Of Grass

A Portrait Of American Poetry

By B.A. Van Sise, Photographs by B.A. Van Sise, Foreword by Mary Louise Parker


176 Pages, 11.25 x 9.5

Formats: Cloth

Cloth, $35.00 (US $35.00) (CA $47.00)

Publication Date: September 2019

ISBN 9781943156825

Rights: WOR

Schaffner Press (Sep 2019)
Schaffner Press, Inc.

Price: $35.00


Internationally renowned photographer and relative of Walt Whitman, Van Sise presents this anthology of eighty contemporary poets and their portraits to honor Whitman's 200th birthday and celebrate American creativity

With this fascinating synthesis of word and image, internationally renowned photographer B.A. Van Sise has given the reader a rare gift. Children of Grass: Portraits of American Poetry is an endlessly enriching and visually stimulating anthology that will enchant and beguile lovers of both poetry and photography. At times whimsical, surreal, challenging, enigmatic, joyful and sobering, these portraits— running adjacent to poems by each of its subjects that they've chosen themselves—comprise some of the most influential and inspirational poets of our time: this is both a celebration of free expression and creativity as only these poets in collaboration with Van Sise could convey, and moreover a virtual pulse-taking of our cultural moment. Children of Grass is also a timely homage to the quintessential American bard Walt Whitman—to whom Van Sise is a living relative—and his masterpiece, "Leaves of Grass," during this, the 200th anniversary of his birth. Children of Grass, will, like the work of its literary grandfather, stand as a lasting tribute to the vitality and creativity that flourishes in our country.


"Van Sise has created a singular and irresistible volume of poetry and collaborative visual lyricism that will enthrall poetry lovers and break down the hesitation of those wary of the form."—Donna Seaman, Booklist

"Among remarkable books of the year none is likely to be more startlingly original than B. A. Van Sise's book of photographs, Children of Grass: A portrait of American poetry." —Joyce Carol Oates

"In Children of Grass, books fly around Alicia Ostriker like birds, Vijay Seshadri stands on a ladder propped against the air itself, and Mark Doty is growing from the forest floor. B.A. Van Sise's photographs of contemporary poets, paired with their poems, are inspired, playful, and absolutely gorgeous. The word for what this book is, what this book gives me, is pleasure." —Maggie Smith, author of Good Bones

"Why do we desperately need books like this? At least for me, it's because we occasionally need to be reminded that there are still mysteries out there, questions that have no answers. It is nice to be re-introduced to wonder." —Arun Venugopal, WNYC

"Van Sise's imaginative, creative, and humorous eye reveals the 'person' of the poet and deeper meanings of their poems in ways that sometimes startle, but always feel truthful. That is the purpose of photography and poetry." —David Hume Kennerly, Pulitzer Prize winner and former chief White House photographer

"This beautifully produced book contains poems that fit into all categories. Among the best are those where the images and beats take root."—Jacqueline Cutler, Newark Star Ledger

"Beautifully is the assorted images that bring the book to life...enticing, sometimes spiritual, sensual or subversive images...beguiling photographs that hold the book together and create a compelling narrative." —Simon Zonenblick, Sabotage Reviews

"Children of Grass: Portraits of American Poetry is an enriching and visually stimulating anthology that will enchant and win over lovers of both poetry and photography." —Cary Benbow, F-Stop: A Photography Magazine

Author Biography

A frequent contributor to the Village Voice and Buzzfeed, B.A.Van Sise is also one of the world's busiest travel and features photographers. In addition to being a Nikon/AFAR travel photography ambassador, Van Sise has been a staffer for Newsday and AOL CityGuide, and his work has been a featured subject on the cover of the New York Times, on PBS "NewsHour," and on NPR . A number of his portraits of notable American poets are in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian. His work has previously appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Daily Mirror of London, Travel + Leisure, Arthur Frommer's Travel Guides, New York Magazine, Time Out New York, the Orlando Sun-Sentinel, and approximately 250 other publications, in addition to exhibitions at the Peabody Essex Museum , the Museum of Jewish Heritage , the Center for Creative Photography and the Whitney Museum of American Art. His wedding work has earned him Editors' Choice Award three years in a row from Two Bright Lights, as well as The Knot's Photographer of the Year. He is a graduate of the prestigious Eddie Adams Workshop and a National Press Photographers' Association award-winner.Mary-Louise Parker (born August 2, 1964) is an American actress and writer. After making her stage debut as Rita in a Broadway production of Craig Lucas's "Prelude to a Kiss" in 1990 (for which she received a Tony Award nomination), Parker came to prominence for film roles in "Grand Canyon" (1991), "Fried Green Tomatoes" (1991), "The Client" (1994), "Bullets over Broadway" (1994), "Boys on the Side" (1995), "The Portrait of a Lady" (1996), and "The Maker" (1997). Among stage and independent film appearances thereafter, Parker received the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her portrayal of Catherine Llewellyn in David Auburn's "Proof: in 2001, among other accolades. Between 2001 and 2006, she recurred as Amy Gardner on the NBC television series "The West Wing," for which she was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2002. She is also the author of the best-selling memoir, Dear Mr. You, and is a frequent contributor to Esquire.