Welcome to the online home of Iowa poet and artist, Joseph S. Plum. Here you can find links to Joe’s nine books of poetry, galleries of artwork samples, and info about his upcoming poetry performances.
(Update – performances are currently on hold due to COVID.)
Since Joe lives off-the-grid, his daughter, Emily Lupita, maintains this webpage for him.
Thank you for visiting!
“Traveler + Poet”
Joseph S. Plum is a poet in the bardic tradition and an acrylic artist. He lives off-the-grid in rural Iowa. Joseph’s poetry has been influenced by a lifetime in the timber, his extensive travels to natural parks and places, and his Welsh American heritage. He’s published nine books and continues to travel to perform his spoken poetry to groups and at conferences. Joseph has also started showing and selling his artwork at gatherings and festivals.
Artist Statement – Artwork
My artwork is acrylic on canvas with multimedia elements like colored pencil and ink. I see the paintings as lyric art of refracted dream images, meaning I paint my dreams…changed as they may be as they encounter the surface. The figures in the paintings are created as vague images, so as to connect with unformed forces at the border of our archaic self. The words added to the paintings are like cultured visitors, there to view the canvas along with us.
My art has been labeled as folk art and I embrace this. The flat figures, references to the cardinal directions, and depictions of the natural environment are all part of folk art around the world. It remains vital to show interpretations of reality in this fundamental way so that we may see ourselves reflected back from a distance, like blackbirds through standing trees.
-Joseph S. Plum
[photo by Asa Plum]
Artist Statement – Poetry
The poems written in my books were transcribed from the original oral poetry that was crafted in the bardic tradition of dreaming and living a lifetime in connection with nature. With spoken word comes a variety of exchanges. Often the word, “I” formats an expression. This “I” may be likened to the rush of air passing through a wooden flute during a skilled performance; at once proclaiming existence of instrument, sound, and atmosphere channeled.
The hope is that by writing down the poems and collecting them into books, they may travel widely and be shared with the world. If you have a chance, please say the poems aloud. In this way, the beauty and power of traditional bardic poetry will live on through your voice.
-Joseph S. Plum
New Poetry + Art Book
I Believe in Seeds: Affirmations for Rewildling is Joe’s new book. It’s a collaboration with his daughter, Iowa artist, Emily Lupita. The poems and paintings speak to our deep connection with nature and promote adding more natural moments to our modern life. This book was made possible by a grant from the BeWildReWild Fund at Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation.
Included are 20 full-color watercolor paintings by Emily Lupita and 20 poems by Joseph S. Plum. 52 pages / full-color / 8.5 x 8.5 inch / soft cover
New Artwork Samples
Books by Joseph S. Plum
Star Sight Gathering
Landmass and Other Poems
Book of Shadows
I Believe in Seeds:
Affirmations for Rewilding
CV / Resume
i believe in seeds– Joseph S. Plum