Other Places by Greta Blackwell

What happens when feelings and life's difficult experiences are weaved together with images and words? You get a graphic poem like Other Places by Greta Blackwell. Greta's graphic poem perfectly captures her inner thoughts with wonderful inky images that lead you through a narrative that shows the viewer the sensations communicated in language frame by frame in such a way that the video appears inextricably linked to each of the various digital scenes and words on the screen. This graphic poem is marvelous.

Welcome to Sunday Morning Lyricality, featuring a weekly song or poem by a Minnesota writer.

This month, to remind us poetry is often hidden in plain sight all around us, just waiting for us to unpack it, Lyricality’s Founding Director Tracy Rittmueller shares Poems and Poets as Gifts.

This graphic poem can serve to remind us that the holiday season can be a particularly lonely time of year for people who feel lonely, sad, and disconnected from loved ones. One of the best ways to comfort someone who is lonely is simply to listen to them. Share a song or a poem with them and ask them what they think of it, whether it reminds them of anything, and what feelings come up for them when they hear it. To simply be present with another person, noticing and trying to understand their feelings, without offering advice or trying to change them, is one of the greatest gifts we can give anyone. As Greta writes, “The closest you’ll get …  / is this exact moment.” 

I am in awe of every one of this month’s featured writers, all of them younger than I. They approach literature and write differently than I do and differently from each other, but they all bring a similar, passionate commitment to the creation of literary art. All possess an inner wisdom I need to hear. I am grateful for the way their creations open my mind to new, attentive ways of thinking, and my heart to the universal emotions that transcend our differences.

Today’s offering showed up in my emailbox quite literally as a gift from a friend. Greta Blackwell first impressed me with their artistic talents in 2011, when as a first grader they gifted me a crayon drawing of a chrysanthemum. I still have it! My WOW in reaction to their Other Places, which they call a web comic and I read as a graphic poem, inspired my theme for this month–Poems and Poets as Gifts.

–Tracy Rittmuller


Greta Blackwell is a student at University of Prince Edward Island studying history. They attended primary school in Minnesota before moving to Prince Edward Island, Canada, with their parents. They enjoy creating digital art, and write short poems mostly as a way to vent or otherwise express feelings that just wouldn’t make sense out loud.

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