No one knows who the 12th-century sculptor called the Master of Cabestany really was
, or whether the capitals, friezes, and columns attributed to him — at Romanesque churches throughout Catalonia, Languedoc, and Tuscany — were by one hand or by many.
Several years ago, I became fascinated by the distinctive style of his carvings, and when I was at the University of Toulouse on a Fulbright grant, I was able to visit all the extraordinarily beautiful sites where his work has been identified. I’m working on a sequence of poems related to the Master of Cabestany’s images, to the architecture and landscapes that contain them, and to my imagined version of the character and life of the sculptor himself. While it may be a stretch to deal with imagery over 800 years old, I’ve often written ekphrastic poetry and this project seems like a natural extension of that interest.