Would you heed the advice of alien messengers, were it offered to you? Breed the Messenger opens as the story of a species called Ceruleans, who are tasked with colonizing Earth after Humans are wiped out by planetary catastrophe. Seeking to prevent the disasters that befell the Humans from destroying the Ceruleans, an intergalactic presence called the Messengers transmit words of advice to the new Earth population. Alas, the Ceruleans refused the guidance of the Messengers, and are themselves soon replaced by the Lerts, who bring a radically different worldview to living on the third planet from the sun. Breed the Messenger is an inventive tale of evolution and devolution told in illustrated one-hundred word chapters.
At Home in the Pen juxtaposes images of homelessness and the imprisoned with surprising results. By turns surreal, melancholy, and humorous, these paintings and short poems are always thought-provoking. Artwork by Roger Doyle features sketches of individuals branded by context in startling ways—some bearing corporate logos on clothing, others in prison jumpsuits. The often clipped poems supplied by Maria Mazzenga tease out possible meanings of the artwork in thoughtful and occasionally amusing ways. The works in At Home in the Pen seek fresh insights into life in twenty-first century America.
Artist Roger Doyle’s charcoal on paper images feature people in impossible situations—a man chained to an anvil, a being impossibly enmeshed in barbed wire—comically interspersed with surreal sketches of authority that evoke the pathos of human suffering. Maria Mazzenga’s poems explore the parameters of the visual artwork in ways that highlight the contradictions and humor in adversity, social control, and addiction.
For his cunning and trickery, King Sisyphus drew the wrath of the gods of Greek mythology. Forever condemned to an underworld where he was forced to roll an enormous rock up a hill, only to have it roll back down for him to begin again, we recall the king more for his punishment than for his deeds. The works in The Lot of Sisyphus explore extraordinary punishments and the conditions leading to them with curiosity, compassion, and humor.
The swing between seasons is always fertile territory for viewing the world in fresh ways. Maria Mazzenga’s poems explore both physical and mental shifts triggered by the move from winter into spring in the Washington, D.C. area. Roger Doyle’s artwork personifies the poems in faces holding the color themes of yellow and gray, colors which themselves might characterize the drama of the seasons. Works of Yellow in Gray features faces in clouds, explorations of how seasonal change shapes urban spaces, and novel perspectives on often overlooked streets and corners of the authors’ native city and its suburbs.