A Process Note
In the summer of 2017 I went on walks for three poets: Miguel Hernández, Federico García Lorca, and Friedrich Hölderlin. For each I started where they were born and ended where they died, and along the way I took photographs at approximately-regular intervals, timed so that there was one image for each year that the poets had lived. I think of the resulting collections of images as elegies. The walk for Lorca began at his family’s home in Fuente Vaqueros, a town west of Granada, where he was born on June 5, 1898. From there it was about 16 miles, mostly through fields and along farm roads, to a memorial near the road between Alcafar and Viznar, in the vicinity of the place where it is believed he was murdered by fascists on August 19, 1936.
The idea for the walks is mostly indebted to a series of poems called Lullabies by Lynn Xu, my wife, and the practice is also an extension of an interdisciplinary project that we did several years back, Architecture for Travelers, for which I walked from my birthplace on Galveston Island to the lot in West Texas where Lynn and I later built our own home with our family. Perhaps because my mother is a librarian and my father is a photographer, I’m interested in how texts and images can be complimentary, and I’ve tried to use poetry and photography to similar ends. That said, I think of myself as a poet and the photographic work I’ve made is done in the context of poetry. The images themselves are rather incidental. Whenever I take a photograph, I try to do so quickly and with the aims of poetry in mind. During the walk for Lorca I was reading his poems, and I tried to allow my love of Lorca’s work guide my eye.
Joshua Edwards directs Canarium Books. He’s the author of several books of poetry, including Imperial Nostalgias and Castles and Islands, and a photobook, Photographs Taken at One-Hour Intervals During a Walk from Galveston Island to the West Texas Town of Marfa. He also translated of María Baranda’s book-length poem, Ficticia. His photographic projects have been exhibited at Akademie Schloss Solitude, Rice University, Galveston Artist Residency, Pensacola Museum of Art, the University of Arizona Poetry Center, and elsewhere, and selected works can be seen and read at: www.architecturefortravelers.org