The Heart Is a Drowning Object

Saturday, March 14 from 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Katherine Vaz, Isabel Pavão, and Katherine McNamara share their artist’s e-book, The Heart Is a Drowning Object.

This event has been postponed. Please check back soon for a rescheduled date.

Join us for an afternoon with Katherine Vaz, Isabel Pavão, and Katherine McNamara as they share their artist’s e-book, The Heart Is a Drowning Object. Limited edition broadsides and prints will also be for sale. This event is co-sponsored by the Virginia Center for the Book and will be free and open to the public.

About the e-book: The Heart Is A Drowning Object, a collaboration by Katherine Vaz and Isabel Pavão, was born from a female solitude that living through grief might bring. Vaz’s poems begin with an actual damaged heart—a husband with a sudden affliction, a wife who tends to him. Pavão’s collages share and explore the colorations of grief. Their words and images grow, joyfully, into a recognition of late love amid the real possibility of loss.

Artist’s Proof Editions offers this multimedia artist’s book with audio files and galleries. In an opening video poem, the voices of poet and artist are twinned with imagery, in their evocation of longing and reunion. The e-book is available here.

Katherine Vaz, a Briggs-Copeland Fellow in Fiction at Harvard, a Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute, and a National Endowment for the Arts recipient, has published two novels, Saudade and Mariana, which appeared in six languages and was selected by the Library of Congress as one of the Top Thirty International Books of 1998. Her collection Fado & Other Stories won the Drue Heinz Literature Prize and Our Lady of the Artichokes won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize. The Love Life of an Assistant Animator & Other Stories was published by Tailwinds in 2017. She has published many short stories, including some in anthologies for children, and lives in New York City with her husband, the composer, writer, and TV producer Christopher Cerf. For more information, visit

Isabel Pavão has lived and worked in New York since 1990. She exhibits in New York City, and in international museums and galleries, in solo and group shows. She has been an invited artist or guest professor at universities, art schools, and museums, and is the subject of a number of critical studies; she has also produced several books of art and thinking about art. She presents on contemporary art, on art projects dealing with her own work, and on pedagogical issues and aesthetics. Isabel Pavão earned a PhD from New York University, an MA from the University of Paris VIII, and a BFA from the Academy of Fine Arts. Her website is

Katherine McNamara is the author of Narrow Road to the Deep North, A Journey into the Interior of Alaska and co-translator and editor of From the First Beginning, When the Animals Were Talking and From the Believing Time, When They Tested for the Truth, with the late Dena’ina Athabaskan author Peter Kalifornsky. She is founding editor and publisher (1996–2007) of Archipelago, an early web journal of literature, the arts, and opinion, and now directs Artist’s Proof Editions, an imprint of Archipelago Publishers, Inc., where she is also an iBooks producer and makes video poems. She is a non-residential fellow at Virginia Humanities and a member of the Virginia Center for the Book.