Blankness Was Beauty

I am primarily a poet, and my work has always been deeply involved with place and the idea of permanence. This piece is from a sequence called LEAF. Meant to echo lacunae, LEAF is a series of visual and text pieces consisting of macro-photos of disintegrating leaves, layered with handwritten text visible only through the holes in the leaves. The illegibility is meant to acknowledge the challenge of endeavoring to make something lasting. Even if much of what we do sinks back into the earth, traces remain. That the text requires magnification in print or radical zooming-in on a screen is reflective of my desire for a sense of intimacy between viewer/reader, to mitigate the coldness of digitally-created work. A reader, holding the leaves (pages) in their hand, will, I hope, feel as if they are holding the leaves (leaves) in their hand.

Digital photo-collage, 2021

Carolyn Guinzio is the author of seven collections, most recently A Vertigo Book (The Word Works, 2021), winner of the Tenth Gate Prize and current finalist for the Foreword Indies Award. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, Poetry, and many other journals. Among her previous books are Spoke & Dark (Red Hen, 2012), winner of the To The Lighthouse/A Room Of Her Own Prize and the visual poems Ozark Crows (Spuyten-Duyvil, 2018). Her website is



2021 Prose Chapbook Winner
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A Conversation with Sue Mell and Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar, Prose Chapbook Winner and Finalist, Maria S. Picone, Managing Editor

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