April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 2023

hello sweet so-and-so, wish you were here . . .
Joanna Thomas

So We must meet apart––
You there––I––here––
With just the Door ajar
That Oceans are––and Prayer––
And that White Sustenance––

– Emily Dickinson


PUNCH Projects will present hello sweet so-and-so, wish you were here . . . , the visual poems of collage artist and poet Joanna Thomas, during the month of April.

Viewers might be tempted to compare this exhibition of epistolary poems to the fictional account of Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence, written and illustrated by Nick Bantok; or to the personal postcard collages of American fiber artist Lenore Tawney, sent to real life friends; or to Emily Dickinson’s You there––I––here–– lament of longing for an unnamed beloved. Rather, these poems by Thomas are poems of place, definitely here . . . where we acknowledge that imagination is something heliocentric, and all wings. In these poems, Thomas may be writing to herself, or to her inner child, or to the muse, or to you, dearest so-and-so.

The poems in this exhibition were typed on a vintage 1930s Hermes 2000 typewriter on found paper scraps, which often contained text or graffito of their own. The scraps were then embellished with collage elements torn from 1970s art magazines, along with graphite drawings by the artist.


JOANNA THOMAS is both visual artist and poet, residing in the small university town of Ellensburg, WA. She is the author of the poetry chapbooks blue•bird (blooburd) (Milk & Cake Press, 2021) and [ache] [blur] [cut]: sonnets (Open Country Press, 2023); her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including WA129: Poets of Washington (Sage Hill Press, 2017) selected by Tod Marshal, former Washington State Poet Laureate; and her collages and one-of-a-kind artist books have been exhibited in galleries, museums, and universities across the nation. Her work has received generous support from Washington State Artist Trust, Allied Arts Foundation, and Ellensburg City Arts Commission. Since 2015, Thomas has participated in the annual August Poetry Postcard Festival organized by Paul E. Nelson in Seattle, WA, writing 31 poems in 31 days, and sending them to recipients across the globe.

Find her at www.joannathomas.xyz, Facebook, and YouTube.

p.s. The artist will be present on the opening Saturday, April 1. As a bonus, we will be serving champagne and cake to celebrate Thomas’ diamond jubilee year here on Earth that Saturday. No joke. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it?