(photo by Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon)
The Haiku Foundation honors the work of contemporary masters of the dual art of haiga: visual image wedded to haiku. This month’s featured artist is Melanie Alberts.
At times between wakefulness and sleep, or during daydreams, images may arise in our awareness. Faces form, or scenes may play out appearing as if from the depths. As a child, Melanie Alberts drew the faces she saw in her mind’s eye to bring them to light. She wrote haiku, lyric poetry, and short stories, eventually majoring in creative writing at Emerson College where she was awarded the Ellen LaForge Poetry Prize. During her college years, she created greeting cards for family and friends, using vintage magazine clippings, the images of which often deeply resonated with the recipient. Melanie won several more prizes for her lyric poetry, including two first places in the Writer’s Eye competition, hosted by the University of Virginia’s museum of art.
In the mid-2000s, Melanie was reacquainted with Japanese short form poetry while studying Zen Buddhism. She led ginkgos through the wooded paths at the holistic conference center where she worked in northwest Austin. To make sense of her life-long psychic awareness, Melanie focused on mediumship development in 2012 and discovered that the faces she drew, combined with the facts she received about them, corresponded to people who had passed into spirit. She experimented with psychic artwork readings and today, similar abstract watercolors combined with photo transfers form the basis of her haiga art.
Melanie works at the University of Texas at Austin. Her writing and art have or will appear in Drifting Sands, Failed Haiku, Cold Moon Journal, Sleet Magazine, Texas Poetry Assignment, Ransom Center Magazine, Just This, The Austin Chronicle, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, bottle rockets, Wisteria, and others.
Follow Melanie on Instagram @clair.circles.spirit.art