I came to poetry from the visual arts and I remain interested in how the sound and sense of a poem shifts according to how the words are arrayed on the page. For this set of poems, I wanted to try “surrounding” my words within a frame of sorts, to work with the pressure exerted by a justified right margin. Could I use the margin to squeeze and contain these poems whose listing was inclined to list toward entropy? I see the page more as a window than a box, a translucence that shapes and makes possible perception, while above my desk, the actual window, filled with tree branches, becomes the scrawled-upon page.
Barbara Tomash is the author of three books of poetry, including Arboreal, forthcoming from Apogee Press this fall. Her first book, Flying in Water, won the 2005 Winnow First Poetry Award and was finalist for the Autumn House Press Book Prize and semi-finalist for the Slope Editions Prize and the Nightboat Poetry Prize. The Secret of White was published by Spuyten Duyvil (2009). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Colorado Review, New American Writing, Verse, Bateau, VOLT, Witness, and numerous other journals. She lives in Berkeley, California and teaches in the Creative Writing Department at San Francisco State.