“At the Cottage of Messer Violi,” in The Hazards of Imagery.



Paul Violi (1944–2011).


“At the Cottage of Messer Violi,” in The Hazards of Imagery.


[England:] Dale Devereux Barker,




Silkscreen print on Stockwell cartridge paper, 20 x 14⅞ in. No. 5/12 portfolios.

This print is included in a portfolio made up of thirty-six prints—seventeen with poems and nineteen without text. They were created by British printmaker Dale Devereux Barker using a variety of techniques, including etching, silkscreen, linocut, wood-block and photogravure.

Paul Violi was a significant figure in the New York School of Poets, often anthologized (see, e.g., The Oxford Book of American Poetry), and a friend of mine. He taught poetry and poetry writing at the New School, Columbia University and elsewhere.

This work is a reminder to me, as one who is intensely text-driven and serious about my collecting, to not forget the powerful relation of art to language: “We whose hearts have been gripped / by life, scoff at the idea of art / as mere ornamentation …” But the playfulness in Paul’s poetry also says to me: enjoy everything art, literature and life offer, but let's not take ourselves too seriously. For this reminder I thank him often, even now.


James J. Periconi