The Cardiologist's Daughter Cover is Born: Four Rooms (paper cut out) by Michael McDevitt and design by Kelli Russell Agodon
On this India Independence Day, I'd like to share the cover to my first full-length collection of poems. Notice the Hanuman in the top room as rendered by the talented, Michael McDevitt. For the nineteen years in which I've known the artist, I have been awaiting the day when I could see his work on the cover of my book. In college, I called him up asking if he would illustrate my children's book project for a child development class I was taking to fulfill my major. He did this on the fly because that's the kind of guy and artist that Michael McDevitt is--always at the ready to dive into some collaboration, go hiking for potential elk antlers, or engage in a lengthy conversation of the pros/cons to having a half-goat/half-human child (something, I believe we discussed at least once in a former Virginia life). So many thanks to you, Mr. McDevitt for listening to my ideas about the cover and for proposing we select an image from each section of my book to place in each chamber. Brilliant!
Tremendous thanks to Kelli Russell Agodon, the graphic designer and co-editor for Two Sylvias Press, who let me take much more time than we anticipated with generating ideas. In between her adventures and the promotion of her own new beautiful book, Hourglass Museum, she gave me space while going through the end of a particularly rough quarter and Boards, to breathe and regroup. During this time, the thought of using red pulled from Michael's art as the color of the title popped into my mind. Kelli added to this by playing with my name in white to make it appear as a cloud above the sea. When we started, I had no idea how my book would look and I can say that I am over the moon thrilled with the way this turned out. Also, the wrap-around sea just tickles me.
Enormous thanks to the other Sylvia, Annette Spaulding-Convy, who has been reading and re-reading my book with the attention that only a former Latin/English teacher can. Annette is the kind of editor/writer who notices the small details. If there's a comma out of place or a word that might better suit my meaning, Annette is going to help me find it. Annette is also one of my favorite contemporary poets. Her first book, In Broken Latin, placed in the Miller Williams Poetry Prize by the University of Arkansas Press. So, when she asked me this January (on my birthday) if I'd ever consider having my work published by Two Sylvias, it was an emphatic, "Yes!"
Together this group of artists has helped me achieve something I have dreamed of, but never knew quite how to realize. There are more to thank…but that shall come in further posts. For today, I'd like to concentrate on this trio. What a thrill to have these three literary and visual artists, whom I deeply respect, infusing my first collection with such thoughtfulness, creativity, and attention. Thank you!
Natasha Kochicheril Moni is a writer and a licensed naturopath in WA State. Enjoying this blog? Feel free to put a little coffee in Natasha's cup, right here.