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  In Memory of Rachel Lisi  

 

Rachel Lisi was a friend who died in 2010. She was talented in many areas but her passion was for photography. The following is how she described herself in 2005, when I asked her for some biographical information that I could put alongside poems by her at The Argotist Online:

I grew up enveloped in the arts. My father read my brother and I ancient stories before slumber and I heard my mother sing arias upon awakening. Music and myth are where much of my inspiration arises. The rest comes from nature and my experiential and emotional well. Writing is a resting place for me. It is also a safe place for me to dream unveiled, placate pins and needles and scream sordid secrets. I share my life with Sitka, one well-named and well-fed cat. I enjoy the works of Neil Young, Kate Bush, Leonor Fini, Edward Gorey, Michael Parkes, Emily Dickinson, John C. Gardner, Carl Theodor Dryer and Terry Gilliam who glimmer among countless others. I enjoy a good red wine, strong coffee and contagious laughter. I am so very happy to be here.

In 2010 she died, a couple of days before her 40th birthday. I had known her since 2003, though only online. However, we developed a friendship via email that lasted until her death. In 2007 she did a marvellously haunting cover photograph for my poetry ebook, Carrier of the Seed; and also two ebook cover designs for Argotist Ebooks, which she did during the last year of her life. She was working on a third cover shortly before her death.

Her website, Kundavega (sadly no longer online), included her photography and poetry. Here is part of her introduction to the site:

My name is Rachel Lisi. This small corner of cyber space allows me to share different things with you. For some time I have been following the crafts of photography and poetry finding many hills and valleys along the way. I am still trying to find the right path, but surrendering to the guidance of the day and night and every turn of my imagination. As always, I continue to evolve and learn within this circle of creating.

For many years she was an active member of the Kate Bush fan forum, Homeground, which is how I came to meet her. There is a thread there noting her passing, which can be seen here. Also, there are two Live Journal blogs she kept that are still online. One for herself and one for a small press she was planning to start. They can be found here and here. Also still online is a Tumblr blog she kept for her photography, which can be found here. And a Facebook tribute group for her can be found here.

Over the years she had been a loyal and supportive friend to me, and I feel privileged to have known her. I will always remember her.

 

Jeffrey Side