On a Benediction of Wind partial book cover image

Charles Finn & Barbara Michelman

Poet Charles Finn and photographer Barbara Michelman visit Elk River Books to discuss their new collaborative book, "On a Benediction of Wind."

Poet Charles Finn and photographer Barbara Michelman have joined their art forms to create “a quiet book for noisy times.” They will read, discuss and display images from On a Benediction of Wind on Thursday, Sept. 8, at Elk River Books.

“In this lyrical work, poetry and image are merged to become reflections of one another. With its emphasis on birds, the innate holiness of nature and experiences shared by an unnamed couple, On a Benediction of Wind is an invitation to leave the distractions of the modern world behind and listen once again to ‘the confessions of snow’ and ‘the breathing of stones.’

“Often when poetry is paired with photography, the words and images sit separately, disconnected. In this book, Michelman and Finn set out to create a conversation between their two art forms. Michelman’s photographs, black and white images from the Pacific Northwest and Southwest, are not narrative supports for the poems, while neither are the poems descriptive monikers of the photographs. Rather each act as a reflection of the other, evoking and enhancing the feeling, emotion, and idea investigated by the first.”

CMarie Fuhrman, director of the Elk River Writers Workshop, writes, “There is much to be learned in these pages about seeing and belonging. It has yet to leave my reading table.”

Finn is the former editor of the literary and fine arts magazine High Desert Journal, and author of Wild Delicate Seconds: 29 Wildlife Encounters. His essays, poems and nonfiction have been published in journals, magazines, newspapers and anthologies across the West. He lives in Havre.

Michelman started her career in Hollywood and was one of the first women to work in film lighting. Her photographs have been widely exhibited, with work in public and private collections in the U.S. and abroad. Her recent series on the aftermath of fires in the West, Fire on Every Mountain, was awarded Best of Photography at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in California. She lives in Missoula.

The free event will take place at 7 p.m. at Elk River Books, 122 S. 2nd St. in Livingston.

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