Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Photopoems by Oneida Morningstar Cramer Sets Off National Poetry Month Celebration at Book Readers Heaven...

Of the 87 full-color pictures in Cramer's book, this picture evoked the greatest personal response--memories of the home in which I grew up, which was directly across from the railroad tracks, where we would spend hours walking the tracks, always looking far ahead to ensure we could get off before a train appeared... Sometimes, we would come home to pie--my mother was an excellent baker and was the type of Mom that always made meal plans based upon what her four children wanted... For me, I would have preferred apple, but there would be plenty for the times when the pastor came for Sunday dinner, or my uncle and aunt would visit, and, in the winter, make homemade ice cream for on top of that pie...

Idealism is an attractive Flower

By Oneida Morningstar Cramer

Anybody who comes to Book Readers Heaven should know by now that I love the merge of words and photos... Then along comes this stunning book that provides it in a perfect-sized coffee table style that will catch everybody's attention as a display item, but is also just the right size to carry with you to enjoy during breaks in your day... Or what better way to provide a hospitality gift to those you visit, sharing your happiness to those who've opened their home to you? 

The book is an attractive orange on black cover with a unique method of sharing the title...Instead of the word Flower, there is an actual flower to visually express it! This flair of the unusual flows throughout the book as each full-page high quality .tif files (CMYK for print) provide a clarity well above your normal picture expectations. You might want to reach out and touch the flower before you turn to read the words...

There were some pictures that had been obscured, creating a somehow mystical picture out of a everyday item, with word placement lending support to the imagined spirit in flight...


Another made me stop, pause and wonder...was it a painting as opposed to a photograph? If so, how did this occur--what was done? The words didn't help:

Brushed across a marshland wood
A phantom bird hit on a tree
As if to say in fractured art,
Nature was unearthed
But will regrow by painting seeds
Phantom feathers will take flight.

I became lost in these words, while all the time my eyes roamed over the photo, wondering if, instead of a phantom, there was really a bird that I had missed seeing...wandering over the picture where the edges were rough, swirled... I wanted to stop and talk to the photographer about this one...

Nature plays a dominant role in the book, but the pictures are not the norm. We see parts, bits of that flower and I realized that I had never actually studied part of that visual loveliness that I merged into the whole...I have missed much...until I saw the skills of a professional...

Another caught my eye and I went to my refrigerator where I pulled out a bunch of white grapes. I saw the beauty of this fruit... Oneida Morningstar Cramer made it into poetic art when she plucked single grapes, placed them one per glass and called it "Genesis of a Date With Wine..." The creative merge between a single grape, a glass and words... Cramer has a talent that sets her apart, merely by adding words to her photos, seeing them with an eye that does not stop at the visual, but must add that poetic flair that sets her work above... Not that every picture exactly matches the verse displayed. Sometimes it is a merge of a poem colorfully coordinated with the simple flowers and butterfly caught so close that you can almost capture what that butterfly will carry away when he flies away...

More samples of Cramer's work will be spotlighted during the month... Do plan on checking out what's happening during the National Poetry Month celebration that's just begun!

I will be reviewing at least two books this month, while throughout the month other new, established, or well-known poets may appear...Or, perhaps, you'd like to participate?

Do check out Oneida Cramer's exciting and fascinating photopoems book. A medium of expression that will fulfill your expectations when words and pictures merge... Highly recommended!


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Oneida Morningstar Cramer was born in Virginia, raised in Maryland, and educated at the University of Maryland, where she earned a doctorate in physiology. A longtime Dallas resident, Cramer has worked as a scientist, homemaker, teacher, journalist, and has held professional and volunteer positions in the field of non-profit arts business. She has been active as a poet and a photographer for many years. This volume is her first published collection of works.