The Photograph



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Current: Danbury, CT, United States
Welcome! A few years ago, I discovered an application that artists employ in their works to bring cultural awareness to their audiences. Having discerned this semiotic theory that applies to literature, music, art, film, and the media, I have devoted the blog, "Theory of Iconic Realism" to explore this theory. The link to the publisher of my book is below. If you or your university would like a copy of this book for your library or if you would like to review it for a scholarly journal, please contact the Edwin Mellen Press at the link listed below. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Thank you for visiting. I hope you will find the information insightful. ~ Dr. Jeanne Iris
To view my page on the Edwin Mellen Press website, please click below:


I have demonstrated or will demonstrate the application of this theory at the following locations:
November, 2016 @ Massachusetts Maritime Academy:
"A Terrible Beauty is Born"...The Semiotic Theory of Iconic Realism and William Butler Yeats' poem, Easter 1916
April, 2016 @ University of Notre Dame:
A 'Daughter of Attila' Speaks: The Semiotic Theory of Iconic Realism in the Cultural Identity of Irish Celts and Magyars
Dates pending: I will present the theory of iconic realism at universities and art institutes which have purchased my book.

24 January, 2010

Maximus Miracle Virtual Book Tour Interview with Liz Gallagher (Click here to go to Liz's site.)

Liz, you have answered so many meaningful questions on this tour. I hope I have read all of the interviews and that my questions will be unique. I added some questions just in case I missed a former interview and have repeated a question. Although we’re in January, we’re experiencing what we call here in Connecticut a ‘January Thaw,’ but it’s still a bit chilly, so I’ll offer you the choice of hot cocoa, Irish coffee, hot buttered rum, or mulled wine...whichever you prefer.

Hi Jeanne, it is very nice to be here...and for sure, your questions have been very, very unique....I had to settle myself quite intently to answer them and enjoyed the challenge of doing so.
I sure do love that list of very tempting drink proposals, I know it is gluttonous of me to say this but could we have a go at sampling each of those, especially the hot buttered rum, here in the Canaries they make rum, plain rum and rum with honey, but I have never heard of the hot-buttered variety and am sorely tempted to try it the' hot-buttered way.' : )

No problem! I’ve included a recipe for this colonial beverage.
Your book reaches into the essence of humanity through experiences with wonder and personal discovery. As we read your poetic descriptions of these epiphanic and epiphenomenal moments, we, the readers are able to reach a clearer understanding of ourselves, and, for that matter, some of those events in our lives that we simply cannot explain, yet somehow end up explaining our human journey.
Therefore, my three questions for you (and believe me, I struggled keeping it to three) will deal with this ongoing process of acknowledging and engaging in the enlightenment of human experience….and here we go:

Jeanne, thanks for your view of the book above...the words epiphanic and epiphenomenal moments have made my day, night and week...I especially love 'epiphenomenal' and will be tempted to pop it into conversations about the yes, ready or not, here goes...(even if I am not feeling too steady on my feet...due to a stomach virus that has me on 7Ups and dry rice! : ))

Stomach viruses are the worst! I thank you for taking the time to answer these questions even when you’re not feeling well. This proves even further how dedicated you are to this profession. I admire your stamina.
Okay, first question: The cover of your book is a beautiful tree, which appears to be at the beginning of spring. Could you please explain this phenomenon of renewal in nature and how it relates to your poetic purpose?

Thanks, Jeanne, the cover is lovely, isn't it....when Chris from Salt first showed it to me, I fell immediately for it...
'Renewal' is such a great word – the essence of what we are about really, I suppose. On writing poetry, I don't have any conscious poetic purpose other than to amuse myself and to make a way to know me/myself better through words, but having said that, I realise that a lot of (my) writing has to do with re-living and trying to re-capture some moments that have impacted on me and made me feel/see things differently. Through this I do see how the poetic process is a form of renewal, the renewal of 'experience' and 'happenings' or assigning to something 'everyday' a new sort of this way it relates to nature, the constant re-making, the cycle of growth....I am thinking of the special status the cherry blossom has in Japan, the short-lived beauty of it, the belief in the now, the moment,....and how difficult it can be to accept the transient...So  yes, I do believe that writing poetry can be a form of renewal, a second chance to re-new – make new again, to oneself and others, what one has experienced or what one is thinking....
Thanks for such a thought-provoking question, Jeanne!   

I love the poem, “A Lady in the Bath with Angels.” How would you interpret the significance of the language of angels and their signs in our everyday experiences?

Jeanne, I have pasted A Lady in the Bath with Angels here below.
I must admit to not being knowledgeable at all about angels apart from what I learnt as a child about there being a 'guardian angel' that stays by our side keeping a watchful eye over us. This was/is fun and quite reassuring to believe in! : )
This poem came from a true experience of hearing this lady talk on TV about angels. Since hearing her say that white feathers are a sign of an angel being about the place, I notice white feathers more....last summer while walking down O'Connell street in Dublin, I saw a woman run after a white feather and pin it down with her stilletoed heel and then pick it up and put it in her pocket, it immediately made me think that she was angel-catching, so to speak.
I think it is in human nature to be on the look-out for signs, be they of the angel variety or not. We like to make associations, to read into things in order to instill some mystery or otherworldliness into our lives...and to maybe help us get clues as to where we are going and why.

A Lady in the Bath with Angels
Ever since that lady on the ‘Late, Late Show’ said
 that an angel makes itself know through the appearance
 of a white feather, every which way I turn I’m seeing
 white feathers. At present a tiny one is sitting on my miniature
 word-jotting-down note book. I have up to ten others in various
 hideaways about the house. The lady said that her first angels
 appeared to her while she was in the bath. They weren’t tiny
 nor floaty but 6 feet tall, hunky and blonde. She said that people
 don’t want to hear about angels being so big and that we’ve got
 to shed pre-conceived notions about angels. The interviewer
 said that people nowadays would fear seeing white feathers
 about the place and only think of bird flu and how risky
 it is to sit around lakes and swan-watch. The Lady thinks
 that angels won’t come unless we ask them to. She says
 they will do anything for us but we have to summons
 them. She says we each have an angel and that they want
 to save the world but they stay quiet until we believe
 in them. I want to believe in angels. But gathering white
 feathers is a possessive act. I’d like to let them go
 but how do I learn to mouth something significant to an angel?

If I were to compare your poetry with an American poet, it would be that of Emily Dickinson. Although your poetry cannot be sung to the song, “The Yellow Rose of Texas” like Ms. Dickinson’s can, there is a certain connection with science and math interwoven with the lyrical elements of human experience. Would you say that your poetry is more of a fractal or a reverberating sound wave?

Jeanne, I love this question and the comparison, thanks! Must admit to feeling totally inadequate to answer the question though but I'm thinking that google might help me with the definitions for  'fractal' and 'reverberating' sound waves and then I may be able to go with some type of answer....! : )

So here goes: if fractal is what wikipedia says below and reverberating is what it says below, then Jeanne, believe me, it's all a, but seriously, I think that my poetry, sound-wise, is probably a mix of both the fractal and the reverberating....if fractal is a tendancy to stop-and-start, to appear broken, reduced, ….my poetry can certainly contain those elements, both literally and metaphorically ...and also, as I said before, sound-wise, due to the mix of long lined poems  interchanging with much-shorter-lined ones....(sorry for wavering here but finding it hard to pin down what I most probably should be pinning down....). I do think my poetry can also appear to have  'long successions of echoes'  too ( adding in to say:  one can feel as if one is conversing with oneself when composing poetry ….maybe this links to the echo-effect? )....I'm also thinking of the 'echoing-in-the-dark' line that Seamus Heaney refers to in relation to what poetry can be (“I rhyme,
to see myself, to set the darkness echoing.”) yes, the 'long succession of echoes' does ring bells for me (no pun intended! ; )) and the whole carfuffle of what poetry can be...I think the echo-effect might also be related to the 'renewal ' question....the re-making of the original experience in poetry to be able to zone in on it from different angles and to see what is behind it.  When I am writing poetry, I always hear in my head very clearly, the words and thoughts that I am about to I do depend very much on sound and allow the sounds to dictate where the poem should go...even though I don't actually read my work aloud until it is finished.

(Jeanne, hope I haven't messed up the original intention of the question!)
(A fractal is "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole,"[1] a property called self-similarity

Reverberating a succession of echoes, a prolonged or continued effect....  )

Jeanne, thanks again for having me here. This is the last Virtual Tour stop and being hosted on your very interesting Blog has been a high note to end on....thanks for your questions which certainly got me thinking in an academic way about my work, something which I  had not really done up until working life is very academic but my poetry has always been, for me, something a little 'rebellious' and 'out-on-a-wing', or 'offside', so to speak, therefore  it seems both strange and exciting to assign anything academic-sounding to it, this is probably naive of me to think like this...but either way, it's been a good experience....! ; )

Liz, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here and for providing such fascinating insight to your poetry. I really appreciate your spending time here and wish for you the very best in health and spirit!

Go raibh míle maith agat! Agus go n-eirí an bóthar leat!  And here is the Irish Blessing that this comes from as a wee 'thank you' to you and  to all the Host Bloggers (Arlene, Brenda, TFE, Nuala, Rachel, Serena, Michelle, Jim) who have been wonderful, thanks for the experience and the memories! : ) Xxx