Poetry Catalog

Making this cover meant solving one difficult problem: Michael's poems are set on Long Island, at a harbor -- but the only waterfront/harbor images I had, or could make, were in Hilo. Typically with palms somewhere in the shot, or massive mountains in the background. I made a few that could have worked but only as long as the reader didn't look closely enough to see that the image couldn't possibly be Long Island.


Then I remembered that a couple of years before, at the height of a tropical storm, I had gone out along the coast, gotten some elevation, and shot down across Hilo Bay and its breakwater (with waves breaking over it). I sent that shot to Michael and said that I'd go out in the early morning and see what I could get.


This shot worked in most ways, but the land and vegetation weren't quite right. So, as I've done with other covers, I moved away from realism and into false color and various other manipulations. The idea was that the eye does not dwell on what suggests we're looking at Hawai'i.


Also, the text placement -- particularly the title -- was meant to distract the viewer from the treeline. This too is one of my favorites.


Michael Collins