Last week, we hosted the first-ever meeting between The Poem Forest author and Merwin Conservancy writer-in-residence Carrie Fountain and the book’s illustrator, Chris Turnham. During the several-year process of making the book, the two artists only communicated with their common editor at the publishing house and never connected directly. This, we learned, is by design and common in the making of children’s books.
When The Merwin Conservancy staff learned that Chris was planning to arrive for a Maui vacation the day after Carrie’s scheduled departure as writer-in-residence, we made sure they could finally meet in the place that inspired the book, a place that they both – separately – had grown to love.
Sara Tekula, our Director of Programs and Communications, organized a lunch in the house and a hike through the palm forest, and what resulted was fast friendship, hours over a meal, and a shared experience of pride in what they had accomplished together.
Here are a few photos from that delightful day in the garden:
Photos by Ian Samuels and Chris Turnham