In 1982, I exhibited a group of stark, almost monochromatic paintings at Foster-White Gallery in Seattle. The following year I moved to Port Townsend, Washington and had the good fortune to meet and befriend the American poet Sam Hamill. Sam is a poet, essayist, and an important translator of ancient Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Latin, and Estonian poetry as well as co-founder of Copper Canyon Press. Sam saw the paintings and asked for slides, which I sent over to him. Within a week and for every week for the next several months I received a poem he had written based on one of these images. This extraordinary cross-pollination of creative mediums produced the book Passport in 1987, published by Broken Moon Press. It was this event that ignited my interest in working with poets and writers in some collaborative way, most often spontaneous and always exciting. Sam and I followed up Passport with Mandala published by Milkweed Editions in 1992. Around this time, collaborative adventures occurred with poet and filmmaker James Broughton. By now, the seed was well watered.

In 1997 I had a discussion with my friend Merch Pease in Seattle. He asked me if I’d like to design and help publish Richard Svare’s book, MORRIS GRAVES, His House, His Gardens. Graves, legendary mystic painter of the Pacific Northwest, and Svare had been close friends for decades. This is essentially when Marrowstone Press sprouted and Merch and I set about producing what turned out be a magnificent book, well written with historical photographs, including many by the renown Northwest photographer, Mary Randlett.

The book projects that have since come forth are ones for which I’m very proud to have been part of: Peter Weltner’s poems in The One Winged Body and Where Everything Is Water As Far As He Can See are paired to paintings and photographs I had completed over the last decade. In the limited edition art book MAENAM, Of Water, Of light, I was honored with the participation of some of our most important American poets: Marvin Bell, James Broughton, Linda Gregg, Sam Hamill, Jeanne Morel, William O’Daly, Emily Warn, and Peter Weltner; their poems accompanied a series of photographs entitled ‘The Maenam Series.’ In 2015, Peter Weltner and I completed another book entitled Water’s Eye and I released an art catalogue of the Dream Sea Photographs. And yet another extraordinary Marrowstone Press publication, Late Summer Storm in Early Winter, by Peter Weltner, is celebrated and celebrates the launch of this new web site. In 2016, we added Peter Weltner’s Water’s Eye, and Joanna MacLean‘s Two Eggs And A Lemon.

What evolves here grows unmistakably out of love of both word and image.


Galen Garwood