Suzanne Mercury

Artist's Statement

Glass Broadsides: 7 Pw(o’er)mds

It all started with glass, and fascination with materials and handwriting. I'm a poet, and my partner is a glass blower. One day, I came upon some glass and mirror scraps, finagled access to a high speed laser cutter at MIT (usually in the very late hours since “official” MIT work came first), and a new visual obsession was born. I began to chisel my shorter poem pieces into glass. 

I love the fragmentary nature of it all, the play of reflections and light, the layering of clear glass pieces. Some were made from phrases from my poems, some were letters or asemic writing, arranged in such a way as to become a purely visual experience. The ones I include here are all pw(o’er)mds (one word stand alone poems). 

The word “pw(o’er)md,” a term originally coined by poet Geof Huth, is itself a portmanteau, a folding together of the words “poem” and “word.” It is usually spelled without the parentheses or apostrophe. I spell it this way because it’s what I like, with the “(o’er)” acting as sort of textual and visual bridge, set apart within the word. I love the word within the word, its playfulness. For me, the pw(o’er)md’s power lies in its speed, energy and spontaneity, its ability to invite collaboration and response, to carry over the seed of meaning within the word, in the space of and in the reflection in the space around the word. 

Suzanne Mercury