GEORGE PEARL HALL — A "Death Self" poetry reading and art display at the University of New Mexico highlighted the works of longtime UNM Honors College faculty member Vincent Barrett (V.B.) Price and Rini Price on March 9.
The event was held in memory of Rini Price on what would have been her birthday and celebrated her various paintings in collaboration with her husband V.B.’s poetry.
Paintings by Rini were projected at the exhibit while V.B. read poems from "Death Self" along with additional readers at George Pearl Hall. The print edition of "Death Self" was handed out for free at the event.
"'Art is not who I am. It's what I do with who I am,'" V.B. Price said, recounting a quote by Rini Price.
The collaboration of "Death Self" is about life and death.
"There's nothing morbid about it," V.B. Price said. "It's about coming to terms with being mortal."
Amaris Ketcham, a University of New Mexico associate professor in the Honors College, recited a poem along with others at the event. Ketcham read "Outer Spaces" from "Death Self."
"The human figure is so present," Ketcham said about Rini's art. "It's interesting — Rini's work in complement to (Price's poetry)."
Ketcham said she has known V.B. Price for many years through the Honors College, as well as writing editorials for Price's online digest "New Mexico Mercury" in the past.
"I think (V.B.) just has a really good ear for sound, and he writes lovely lines," Ketcham said.
She described the event as celebratory, overall.
"It's a way to honor Rini and honor Barrett," Ketcham said.
Additional readers chose poetry selections from "Death Self" to recite, including Don McIver, Margaret Randall, Levi Romero and Mikaela Renz-Whitmore.
Randall said she had known V.B. and Rini for about fifteen years and read "Sympathetic Rapture" from "Death Self."
"I'm honored and privileged to take part," Randall said.
Randall, a poet herself, collaborated with her wife's art in a very similar way to V.B. and Rini.
"I don't think a person's poetry is defined by their topics as much as their attitude about the topic," Randall said.
V.B. himself had not planned the other presenters at the event. Renz-Whitmore, the organizer of the event, chose readers that V.B. Price knew.
"I'm terribly touched and moved by it," V.B. said. "I'm really blessed — I'm rich in friends and family."
The event was sponsored by the UNM Honors College, the School of Architecture and Planning and the Department of English Language and Literature.
Megan Gleason is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @fabflutist2716