Even the Least of These is a collaboration between two talented friends—award-winning poet Anita Skeen and renown printmaker Laura B. DeLind. Seeking to navigate the isolation and uncertainty of the covid-19 pandemic, they challenged each other’s ability to see the small things often neglected and unnoticed. The result is a thoughtful and often joyful collection of poetry and prints that celebrate an awareness of the world around us and reflect on past experiences, lessons learned (or not). This collaboration includes a collection of prints that evoke the feeling of the poems, ranging from humorous to heart-rendering.
"A poem restricted to ten lines demands concision, as well as precision. It also requires a narrowing of attention to what is right in front of us: tutelary encounters with chickens or toads, overheard conversations that become meaningful at once, a sudden memory that arises from childhood—moments in the everyday sensorium we often miss and, hence, neglect to cherish. “There was something there I needed to save,” as a friend says in the title poem. Even the Least of These is replete with poems to start the morning, slip into a card, or recite over dinner, each small enough to make a lovely dent in an ordinary day." —Melissa Kwasny, author of Pictograph and Where Outside the Body Is the Soul Today
"Even the Least of These is full of motion. Anita Skeen’s poems and Laura DeLind’s illustrations buzz with activity drawn from the natural world, culled through all of the senses. The collection shows that even little overlooked things are chockablock with vibrancy, and life. Poem titles “On the Move,” “Walking Song,” and “Turn, Turn, Turn” evoke gesture and vitality, while DeLind’s illustrations echo and volley off Skeen’s words with high-contrast shapes, with curlicued lines swirling clockwise and counterclockwise, where clotheslines dance and letters tumble off ladders. The interplay between these two friends and creators takes us on an ever-expansive journey looking at the ordinary." —Mary McDonnell, visual artist
"Some people baked their way through the pandemic. Some hiked. Some Zoomed until their eyes got goggly. Anita Skeen wrote a ten-line poem every day and emailed it to her friend, artist Laura DeLind, who responded by creating linocut prints. Both used that slowed-down, locked-down time for meditation on the wonders of the world around them. The result is Even the Least of These, a gift of deep seeing, of dwelling in nature as part of nature. I love it. I think you will too." —George Ella Lyon, poet laureate of Kentucky 2015–2016, author of Back to the Light