“More News” is taken from various news’ photographs, which I redrew and reconfigured in pencil and oil pastel. It’s my effort to convey my deep kinship with the people and culture of Islam. I could have chosen another medium — poetry, for instance, since I’m primarily a writer -- but there are times when words fail me. This past summer, in particular, words failed me entirely. And so instead of writing, I devoted myself to drawing and painting. I couldn’t find any other way to respond to the blood tide of news coming from the Arab world. All of us have seen the horrific images. It seems that the only response is disgust and outrage. But what I wanted in “More News” was empathy.
I feel like I am all three people in “More News” — the pensive mother, the praying son, the weeping grandchild. If others feel that way, too — feel that kinship with them — then at least I have done my humblest best to go beyond outrage.
Josepha Gutelius is a widely published poet, short story writer and playwright. Her work has appeared in the anthologies Best New Writing 2013, A Slant of Light (2013 USA Best Anthology Award, International Book Award 2014 finalist), TCR (The Committee Room) Story of the Month (best of the web 2013), stageplays.com, and Professional Playscripts. A Pushcart Prize nominee and Eric Hoffer Award finalist, Josepha shares her writings and paintings Josephagutelius.com and josephagutelius-worksontheweb.blogspot.com