“I really do believe that artistic expression, and our responses to it, help keep us civilized,” Robitaille said. “I wanted to produce something that crossed years, places, and emotional divides and look at ways that we’re all connected.”
The collection of poems, each with an accompanying original painting, is organized by sensitivity to shape, color and texture of the art, rather than by any traditional structure of the poetry.
The array of poems unfolds in a refreshingly unorthodox manner: Happy poems give way to sad or angry ones; a poem about birth comes up next to one about death; a mood poem about Sicily appears next to one about a high school memory. The 50 full-color illustrations, mostly abstract and impressionistic, appear next to each poem.
She teaches in the Department of English and Languages and has responsibilities related to Tarleton’s study abroad program. She has a long-time association as co-editor for Tarleton’s Anthology: A Student Publication of Prose, Poetry, and the Visual Arts. She also co-edits the journal Langdon Review of the Arts Texas and co-hosts the related annual arts festival, Langdon Review Weekend.
The formal release of Not by Design: Fifty Poems and Images is set for Saturday, Oct. 6. The book is available through Amazon. For more information, call 254-986-9281.
Robitaille will read excerpts of her book at Dora Lee Langdon Center’s Gordon House in Granbury at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at the gallery opening. Selected illustrations and accompanying poems will remain on display throughout the month. A reception will follow.