Color and Line

by Carole Mertz
42 Poems ~ 73 Pages
Price: $16.00
Publisher: Kelsay Books
ISBN: 978-1-952326-80-6
To Order: Color and Line (9781952326806): Mertz, Carole: Books


“There’s a freedom to writing ekphrastic poetry that appeals to me—one can allow the
artworks to speak directly and in specifics or one can muse on the artist’s intentions and
leave unanswered questions. At times I research the artist’s and introduce a bit of their
history into my writing. Often first impressions work themselves onto my pages and I let
them stand. Sometimes I allow myself free rein to stray into open pastures. Whatever the
case, this volume includes ekphrases on canvases created as early as 1555 and as recent
as 2019. I’ve included free verse, prose poems, and shorter forms, as well.”
—From the author’s preface.


Color and Line is a gorgeous collection of predominantly ekphrastic poetry that reveals
depths below the line and whole worlds beneath the artist’s canvas. The poet writes, she
hopes her works afford us “some entertainment,” but these precisely cut gems offer far
more. Her lines become tightly condensed treatises on metaphor and wordplay, the
wellsprings of poetry in which, “signifiers bounce behind the stag’s eyes.” Color and
is rich in allusions, witty and riveting. Readers will keep this volume nearby to return to
again and again, wondering like Mertz, how Virginia Woolf’s snake got into our
heads, lurking.”
—Nancy Dafoe, author of ten published books and winner of the 2016 William Faulkner-
Wisdom award in poetry.

It has been said that to be an artist is to feel everything more deeply than most people;
this includes the lovely as well as the ugly. Carole Mertz’ new ekphrastic collection, Color
and Line
amply demonstrates this sentiment. Ekphrastic poetry not only “describes” the
art from which the poem is drawn but more importantly, the poet invests herself
emotionally and artistically in the total edifice of the work. Color and Line builds of this
investment a place where readers may safely and sacredly process their own feelings and
responses. Carole Mertz has employed her considerable talent using a variety of poetic
forms and devices to showcase new and fresh ways of knowing and feeling both self and
the world.
—Michael Escoubas is author of Monet in Poetry and Paint.

In Color and Line, Carole Mertz captures the essence of art with the authority of a critic
and skilled poet leaving us breathless.
—Carol Smallwood is an award-winning poet whose latest collection is entitled Main Street Rag.


Carole Mertz is a graduate of Oberlin College with a concentration in music performance and fine
arts. She is Book Review Editor at Dreamers Creative Writing, a Member of the Prize Nominations
Committee at The Ekphrastic Review, and, served as advance reader for Women’s National Book
Association’s 2018 poetry contest. Carole judged (in formal verse) the 2020 Poets and Patrons
Illinois International Poetry Contest.

Carole maintains her appreciation of the fine arts following her attendance at The
Mozarteum Akademie in Salzburg, Austria. She critiques in fiction, poetry, and essay and
has published poems and reviews in literary journals in U.S., Canada, Africa, Great
Britain, and India; among them Arc Poetry, Copperfield Review, CutBank, Into the Void,
With Painted Word,
and World Review and World Literature Today. Carole is both a
contributor to, and reader for Mom Egg Review

Her writing has also appeared in Writing After Retirement, Editors Smallwood and
Redman-Waldeyer, Rowman & Littlefield (2014), Journal VII of the Society of Classical
Poets (2019), and other anthologies. With her husband, she published a series of devotions
in Portals of Prayer, Concordia Publishing House.

Carole is the author of the poetry chapbook Toward a Peeping Sunrise, Prolific Press
(2019). She resides with her husband in Parma, Ohio, where she is organist and member
of Calvary Lutheran Church.


Antediluvian Glimpses

by Carole Mertz

I tell myself I see the ocean
though I haven’t touched its shores
since 1987

A brief glimpse of primordial
matter lies embedded in
my hippocampus

or somewhere in the hills
of memory—long ago

and untouched. But resurgences
ring true; yes, there! I see it,

a self-repeating mandala system—
growing, waning, and rebuilding
in antediluvian soils

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