By Danielle Dubrasky
[Salt Lake City, Utah]: Red Butte Press, 2017.
Standard Edition of 100, Deluxe edition of 25.
5 x 6"; 8 pages. Double-sided accordion. Photography, design, letterpress & digital printing, and binding completed collaboratively by Crane Giamo, Allison Milham, Hailey Rabdau, Marnie Powers-Torrey, Amy Thompson, and Emily Tipps. Numbered. Signed by Dubrasky. Belly band closure. Deluxe version includes a CD of Valley of Enchantment. In slipcase.
Invisible Shores was produced at the Red Butte Press and released at the premier of Valley of Enchantment by Mark Dal Porto, performed by The Orchestra of Southern Utah on February 23, 2017.
Danielle Dubrasky, Red Butte Press blog: "?As a Virginia native but a long-time resident of Southern Utah, I have written many poems layering the southern landscape of my childhood against the high desert of Cedar City outside my front door. When the Orchestra of Southern Utah commissioned composer Mark Dal Porto to write an original composition inspired by the National Parks, he requested that the OSU contact a poet whose work reflected the landscape of the local region. I corresponded with Dal Porto, sending him poems with imagery of the Great Basin that surrounds Cedar City, and he subsequently selected poems he thought would work best. I listened to his composition, pulled short excerpts from my various poems, and matched them to specific moments in the piece.
"The compilation of the poetic fragments that correspond to Valley of Enchantment by Mark Dal Porto is unique to that collaboration. However, I thought it was important to have some of the original key poetry also available – thus, the beautiful artists’ book by Red Butte Press, Invisible Shores. Two poems that Dal Porto selected are published in their entirety in Invisible Shores: 'Great Basin' and 'Metamorphic.' The title of the book refers to the Permian sea that once covered much of the southwest, traces of which exist in the Great Basin through sedimentary rock and fossils. However, it also alludes to my own experience of leaving behind the east coast after my father’s death when I was 18 and moving to the desert. Utah-based artist Marnie Powers-Torrey, another 'transplanted' southerner having grown up in South Carolina, brought her own sense of place to the images. And she unexpectedly documented a moment in Cedar City history – the Shirts Canyon wildfire that burned 1500 acres in October 2016. These poems are part of a larger manuscript that explores the intersections of Utah geology, communal history, and personal narrative. This collaboration of art and poetry has inspired me to expand further the idea of landscape and metaphor – what lost places do we carry in our memory that transform into symbols over time?"
Danielle Beazer Dubrasky is the director of the Grace A. Tanner Center for Human Values as well as an associate professor of Creative Writing at Southern Utah University. She is the poetry editor for Contemporary Rural Social Work and has worked with a research team at Southern Utah University to develop a curriculum for poetry therapy in groups.