KZYX&Z’s Be More Now Features a conversation with the creators of the touring show Heavy Lifting
Tune into KZYX&Z’s Be More Now program at 7pm on Thursday, April 6 when host Blake More interviews artist/printer Felicia Rice, poet Theresa Whitehill and poet Sidney Regelbrugge, the Mendocino County Youth Poet Laureate.
Heavy Lifting, the outcome of a 3 1/2 year collaboration between artist/printer Felicia Rice of Moving Parts Press and poet Theresa Whitehill is part event, part film, part exhibition and part reading, and it is currently touring Mendocino County and beyond. Our discussion will center upon how this project presents an opportunity for dialogue and healing in an historic time of crisis and renewal.
Heavy Lifting is a fierce work that names the darkness in the belief that the first stage of recovery from grief is acknowledgement, and that the precursor to action can be anger. It is a response to a call sounded by artist/educator Paul Soulellis in 2021: “Publishing has always been political, but has it ever felt as urgent as it does right now in the global distress and intersecting crises of the past year? There’s a desperate need for new language to express publishing’s renewed urgency and importance. …let’s turn away from old, legacy publishing models towards something new: an ethics, craft, and politics of urgent making.”
The limited edition artists’ book, Heavy Lifting, is the outcome of a close collaboration between artist/printer Felicia Rice of Moving Parts Press and poet Theresa Whitehill. It began in 2019 with an exchange in which a poem sparked a drawing which sparked a poem which led to a book structure, then spiraled back round again. In 2020, during their early work on the project, Felicia lost her letterpress shop of over 40 years to a devastating megafire in the Santa Cruz Mountains just as the death of George Floyd trained a blazing light on the many deep-seated inequities in this country amid the global pandemic and threat of political totalitarianism. Heavy Lifting took flight in spite of and because of our personal and collective crises of this terrible time and tackles these issues in book form, performance, and dialogue in search of a tenable future. The innovative book structure of nested accordion-fold panels features stunning poems by Theresa Whitehill in compelling conversation with prints by Felicia Rice. Inge Bruggeman writes in the preface to The Heavy Lifting Companion, “Felicia Rice has … an unsurpassed commitment to the book as a unique space for expressing artistic content…. Heavy Lifting not only demonstrates Rice’s innovative use of the artists’ book format, it reveals the unique power of this art form to unfurl within the hands of the individual, thus beautifully connecting the individual’s role to art, poetry, and the world around them.”
Heavy Lifting acknowledges the almost unbearable pace of relentless crises that have unfolded in recent years—covid, climate change, racial injustice, the threat of totalitarianism, immigration crises—and begins to dwell in what might lie beyond these times. Theresa Whitehill’s poems tread a tenuous path at the boundaries between personal and collective reckonings with work that portrays alternating grief, tenderness, defiance, and outrage.
For more informtation on Heavy Lifting, visit: https://movingpartspress.com/publications/heavy-lifting/
This show originally airs at 7pm Thursday April 6, 2023 on KZYX&Z 90.7FM Philo, 88.1FM Fort Bragg, and 91.5FM Willits, as well as streams on the web www.kzyx.org.