Riverrun

How We Came to Make this Book

For a long time, Donna and I talked about doing a book together. But how to
start? How would it work if I wrote poems to go with her art? If she made art
to go with my poetry? Either way, one of us would be “illustrating” the work
of the other. What changed was a trip Donna took to the Sierras, where she
found herself immersed in a project of sketching the movement of water as it
ran its course. Eighty line drawings reflecting moods of that water in motion.
When I saw them, I felt at once how the dilemma of “illustration” had
vanished, and how it was not only possible but even imperative for me to
write a parallel set of poems on the theme of water, so fundamental an
element in our lives. The first poem in the book was inspired by the drawing
that precedes it, but the inclusion of particular poems, particular drawings, is
the result of our combined sense of visual compatibility and an arc of
meaning that resulted in the order of both in these pages.

Anne Barrows