A Behind-the-Scenes Look at ‘Seizing the Bygone Light:
PoArtMo Collective started as FPoint Collective, a group of photographers. When we recently relaunched, we decided that it was time to welcome a larger diversity of artists. Our passion for photography is still there, though. And while some of us are professional digital photographers, we are all indebted to the pioneering days of the art form, a time when documenting the minutiae of everyday life was the norm. In 2020, we wondered how we could pay tribute to those old days through a multimedia project involving three artists, digital images, and poetry. The concept would be challenging, but we knew we could achieve something unique.
Meet my guests: Cendrine Marrouat is a French-born Canadian photographer, poet, and the multi-genre author of more than 30 books. In 2019, she co-founded the PoArtMo Collective with Isabel Nolasco, and Auroras & Blossoms with David Ellis. A year later, Ellis and she launched PoArtMo (Positive Art Month and Positive Art Moves) and created the Kindku / Pareiku, two forms of poetry. Cendrine is also the creator of another poetry form (the Sixku) and a type of digital image (the Reminigram). Cendrine writes both in French and English and has worked in many different fields in her 17-year career, including translation, language instruction, journalism, art reviews, and social media.
David Ellis lives in Tunbridge Wells, Kent in the UK. He is an award-winning poet, author of poetry, marketing workbooks/journals, humorous fiction and music lyrics. He is also a co-author and co-founder of Auroras & Blossoms, and the co-creator of PoArtMo (Positive Art Month and Positive Art Moves) and the Kindku / Pareiku. David’s debut poetry collection (Life, Sex & Death) won an International Award in the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards 2016 for Inspirational Poetry Books. David is extremely fond of tea, classic and contemporary poetry, cats, and dogs but not snakes. Indiana Jones is his spirit animal. He has a very different background from Cendrine, working in the Financial Services Sector for seventeen years, in Sales, Marketing & Operations. He loves writing song lyrics, and has many inspirational publications co-authored with Cendrine. He has also published multiple poetry collections and even a 50 Shades of Grey spoof.
My third guest is Hadiya Ali a 19-year-old Pakistan-born artist who now lives in Oman. A keen observer of people, she noticed at a very young age how talented market workers were at what they did – but that they seemed unaware of their own talent. So she decided to capture their stories with her camera. Before she knew it, her project had attracted attention and she had been booked for her first professional photoshoots, suddenly realizing that she, too, had been unaware of her own talent all this time. Hadiya works on projects that capture unique stories and themes. Currently, she is studying to become a professional photographer and pursue a passion that started when she was seven. In the past three years, involvement with diverse projects has allowed her to streamline her work, adding both reading and painting to the portfolio of skills. Her photography has been featured on several blogs and in The Auroras & Blossoms PoArtMo Anthology: 2020 Edition.
Curiouser and Curiouser – are lines from Alice in Wonderland and they definitely apply here – because for me this is a voyage of exploration. Read on and as Cendrine, David and Hadiya answer my questions more will be revealed.
What inspires you to write poetry / take photographs?
Cendrine: It has always been my life. I love sharing my experiences and the lessons I have learnt through my writing. My images are an invitation to look around you and enjoy the little things.
David: My experiences are a lot of what feeds into my freeform poetry collections. I could not have written them without the trials and tribulations I have faced throughout my life but that builds character, especially if you are resourceful and resilient. I have a natural desire to write at all times and I don’t feel right, unless I have got something to write about. A few years ago, I discovered the joy of writing found poetry/blackout poetry and to be honest, I’ve never been happier in my entire life, as I feel like there is infinite inspiration in the world available to me now. I don’t think I will have enough time in my own lifetime to write and publish all of the poetry books I have planned but suffice to say that when you find something that motivates you, you answer its call without fail!
Hadiya: The world around me is a source of unique inspiration in my photogtaphy. I have always been complimented on how well I can capture a scene. I believe that I have an “eye” for capturing and portraying the beauty of what I see. And this in itself is a huge motivation for me.
Why do you choose to work in the combined medium of poetry and photography?
Cendrine & David: Because these are the mediums that make the most sense for us. Their lure is a siren call that speaks directly to our souls. We believe that we are conduits for engaging stories and the best way to tell these tales is to express ourselves using these creative tools. We can lead you to treasure that is in front of your own eyes. We interpret it through our own particular lens and give you the opportunity to share the beauty and passion that we encounter. Whether it be poetry, photography or any kind of artistic endeavour, it belongs out there to bring us all together, with it we can all find common ground with each other.
Your choice of career, was that a conscious decision?
Cendrine: I always joke about the fact that every passion I have ever had has stalked me until I was ready to embrace it. So, I can definitely say that it was a conscious decision.
David: I actually wanted to be a singer/songwriter initially but I fell into poetry because my song structures could not handle the volume of words that I was writing. I have always had an extremely strong passion for English Language as a subject, which is what I excelled in back when I was in school half a lifetime ago. I suppressed that urge to follow a Financial Services career but now things have come full circle. I believe that I am making a conscious decision to follow the true passions that have come to light in my heart, the way of the creative writer.
How do you link photography and poetry?
Cendrine & David: Poetry and photography speak more or less the same language. They thrive on meaning and purpose, and require attention to subject matter and the right kind of framing to be taken seriously. Poetry and photography are great at telling stories with minimal amounts of words. They connect instantly with our souls and move us, just like beautiful music.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Cendrine: Life and the world around me are excellent sources of inspiration.
David: Nature, animals, relationships, movies, books, song lyrics, TV shows and parodies of things that I invent in my head.
Hadiya: In the little things of everyday life—from the freckles on a person’s face to the artwork on my cappuccino.
Favourite poems or photographers whose work you admire?
Cendrine: My favorite poets are Kahlil Gibran and Alphonse de Lamartine. I read them very often. Photographers that make my heart skip a beat include Ansel Adams and Gustave Le Gray.
David: I would say as a starting point, all of the romantic poets of the 1800’s. I have a huge fondness for female poets and poetry too, inspirational, romantic women really make my heart sing. I could try to list all of my influences (both historical and contemporary) but since I write so much found poetry now and I’m finding new poetic heroes all the time, it would take multiple interviews to list them all!
Hadiya Ali: I recently started following Marina Williams, a creative portrait photographer based in Salt Lake city, Utah. Her way of educating others is unique and simple. I enjoy her work and have learnt a lot from her videos in the past year. I look forward to reading her books someday.
Do you also read?
Cendrine: Writers should be readers. I am a fan of non-fiction, mostly history books.
David: My favourite fiction is Fantasy and Sci-Fi. I enjoy the books of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman as my top favourites. I am also like Cendrine in that I enjoy reading Non-Fiction books to expand my knowledge of subjects I am not so familiar with and give me inspiration for more philosophical poetry.
Hadiya: I absolutely love reading! Books based on real-life stories attract me a lot more than fiction like Sci-Fi.
For the layman among us, or in my case a philistine, where should a newcomer in your world begin? With modern poets or those of centuries past?
Cendrine & David : Always with classic poets. As far as photographers are concerned, we recommend the pioneers of the 19th century and early 20th century. That’s actually the reason why we decided to release Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography. The book is an invitation to revel in the timelessness of old photography — with a twist.
Have you been successful in publishing your work in magazines?
Cendrine & David : We used to submit our work to magazines. Since we now publish our own books, we prefer to keep hold of our newer poems and publish them regularly in our own collections or in jointly co-authored volumes where we have projects that allow us to collaborate together.
Do you also write for magazines or write short stories?
Cendrine & David: We are the co-founders of Auroras & Blossoms, which we launched in 2019. Auroras & Blossoms was created to promote family-friendly, positive, uplifting, and inspirational art. Our ultimate goal is to give artists (ages 13 and over) of all levels a platform where they can showcase their work and build their publishing credits. We are a paying market. We run a magazine, regular submission calls for anthologies, a monthly show, an artistic movement (PoArtMo), an artist collective (PoArtMo Collective), and a series of guides for authors and artists. We have also created several poetry forms. Link: https://abpoetryjournal.com
Do you have a favourite poem?
Cendrine: “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop.
David : “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou.
Hadiya: “Your life” by Lang Lee.
If I was to attempt to read one of your poems or describe one of your photos on Facebook video which one would you suggest? We would pick the images we used on the cover of Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography. The poem would have to be “Vivid Essence”, of which an extract also appears on the cover. According to many people, these three pieces complement one another well and make the cover appealing.
Anything else you want to share? We thank you for the opportunity and hope that your readers will enjoy perusing our latest.
The medium of limitless possibilities that is photography has been with us for almost 200 years. Despite its great advancements, its early days still influence and dazzle a majority of professional photographers and artists. Such is the case of Cendrine Marrouat, Hadiya Ali and David Ellis, three members of the PoArtMo Collective.
The result? Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography. This unique collection of artistic styles brings together different innovative concepts of both gripping writing and stunning visual imagery.
In the first part of the book, photographer and painter Ali introduces us to two of her favorite photographers by reimagining and recreating images in the nature of her photographic idols — Irving Penn and Karl Blossfeldt.
In the second part, photographer, poet, and author Marrouat shares a selection of her reminigrams, a digital style that she personally created to honor and pay homage to the early days of photography.
Author and poet Ellis rounds things off with a series of pareiku poems (the poetry form he co-created with Marrouat), offering fresh outlooks for his sincere, heartfelt adoration of photography of the past. A fascinating and compelling book, Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography will leave you with a deep sense of appreciation and a greater understanding of photography.
Natalie Brown – Musician, Branding & Marketing Strategist and Lifestyle Blogger : A must read for photography and poetry lovers.
Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography is a lovely journey through three artists’ interpretations and integration of photography pioneers’ works into their own art.
Hadiya Ali’s photos, which pull inspiration from Irving Penn and Karl Blossfeldt, give the reader much to explore and examine, seeing something new with each pass of the human lens.
Cendrine Marrouat’s Reminigrams artfully incorporate her homage to old photography and the magic of layers in modern photography processing. Delightful texture plays upon Cendrine’s personal images which adds more intrigue and another layer of story to the resultant images.
Finally, David Ellis’ contribution of Pareiku and Haibun poetry, which is inspired by archival images, brings word and language together in a delightful, thoughtful rendering of expression.
The book is a gratifying visual and prose experience for those who appreciate photography and poetry.”
Baby Steps Extract : Image credits:
Right – Unknown French Artist – Untitled Postcard (Woman with Boy on Stand) (1873) / The Art Institute of Chicago
“And Who are you?” The caterpillar Alice in Wonderland
The find out more about our guests: Their latest books:
Cendrine Marrouat:- Rhythm Flourishing: A Collection of Kindku and Sixku – When the Mind Travels: A Poetic Journey
– The Heart of Space – Bad. Pitches. Period. 30 Flavors of Spammy Emails – Songs in Our Paths: Haiku & Photography (Volume 1)
– Walks: A Collection of Haiku (All the Volumes and More!) – Blog Your Way to Success: 35+ No-Nonsense Tips for Authors and Writers – The Little Big eBook on Social Media Audiences: Build Yours, Keep It, and Win (Second edition)
David Ellis – Rhythm Flourishing: A Collection of Kindku and Sixku – 50 Shapes of Cakes: A Fifty Shades of Erotic Bakery Parody – A Little Bit Of What You Fancy: A Short Story Collection (Vol 1) – Appearing With Majesty: Found Poetry Inspired by William Shakespeare’s Sonnets – Lemons, Vinegar & Unvarnished Truths – Life, Sex & Death: A Poetry Collection – Positive Belief – A Better You Awaits – See A Dream Within: Found ‘Poe’try Based On The Collected Poetry Works Of Edgar Allan Poe – Soul Music The Colour Of Magic
Hadiya Ali: Some of her photography is featured in The Auroras & Blossoms PoArtMo Anthology: 2020 Edition.
Cendrine and David co-founded Auroras & Blossoms in 2019. This platform is dedicated to promoting positive, uplifting and inspirational art; and giving artists of all levels a platform where they can showcase their work and build their publishing credits. Auroras & Blossoms features a magazine (Auroras & Blossoms Creative Literary Journal), an artistic movement (PoArtMo), a monthly show, and marketing/promotional books to help writers and authors at every level of their careers.
– The Auroras & Blossoms PoArtMo Anthology: 2020 Edition
– The Auroras & Blossoms NaPoWriMo Anthology: 2020 Edition
– 30 Creative Prompts to Take Your Art to the Next Level
– My Positivity Journal: 100 Action Verbs and Affirmations for Daily Inspiration
– My Twitter Workbook: 20 Tips to Get Noticed and Followed
– My Poetry Workbook: 20 Tips to Write Great Poems
– My Creative Journal: 40 Prompts to Take Your Writing to the Next Level!
– My Marketing Workbook: Promotional Tips For Poets Together
Cendrine, David, and Hadiya comprise PoArtMo Collective, an artist collective dedicated to creating and releasing inspirational and positive projects.
Latest Book: – Photography of Life and Living: The Black and White Book (Cendrine Marrouat and Isabel Nolasco)
Media inquiries: Cendrine Marrouat / David Ellis – firstname.lastname@example.org
Title: Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography
Format: ebook – Release date: March 16, 2021
Availability: All major online bookstores, including Amazon, Kobo, Apple, and Barnes & Noble.
Purchase link: https://books2read.com/seizing-bygone-light
“One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.
—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
“Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou.
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dreamand the hope of the slave.
Hadiya Ali: “Your life” by Lang Lee.