New Brunswick author Kerry-Lee Powell is launching her short story collection, Willem de Kooning’s Paintbrush, this Sunday, April 24, 6:00 pm at Cafe C’est La Vie in Moncton. The book is her first collection of short stories and follows two books of poetry.
The unusual title comes from a consistent miscommunication with a guy she was dating in Los Angeles, who owned an old paintbrush of David Hockney’s. She wrote a story about it but she kept calling it Willem de Kooning’s Paintbrush. “The two artists couldn’t be more different,” she says. “It was driving him crazy.”
Still the name stuck and she sees it as a good fit. Much of de Kooning’s work involved broken figures. “Fractured, figurative but it’s smashed,” Powell says. “It’s not always linear. There is a lot of violence and trauma.”
She describes her own stories as intensely visual with abundant description and mood setting, featuring characters who look at the world as artists do.
The launch will be part of Lee Thompson’s Attic Owl Reading Series and the Frye Festival, and will also feature Michelle Butler Hallett and a musical performance from Thompson. New Brunswick’s Tidewater Books will be on hand selling books.