Poems Just as artists Cezanne, van Gogh, Matisse, and Monet influenced Mitchell’s work, so did poetry. Growing up in Chicago, her mother, Marion Strobel, was a poet and an associate publisher of the influential Poetry magazine. Exposed to first-rate poets like T.S. Elliott, Ezra Pound, and Wallace Stevens and their work, poetry continued to inspire Mitchell throughout her life. Later, while living in New York as part of the Cedar Bar crowd, she befriended poets John Ashberry, Frank O’Hara, and James Schuyler and she frequently illustrated poems. Beginning in 1991 Mitchell worked with Ken Tyler and poet Nathan Kernan to produce Poems, a portfolio of eight illustrated poems. According to Kernan, he wrote a number of the poems in response to their mutual friend James Schuyler’s death in April of 1991 which Joan then composed artwork for. (Joan Mitchell: Selected Paintings 1956-1992. Essay by Nathan Kernan. New York: Cheim & Read, 2002, n.p.). The expressive colors and compositions in this artist book are so successful because they express Mitchell’s complex, deep and vibrant persona and perhaps most importantly showcase her incredible sense of color.