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From The CriticsPITTSBURGH - What does a photograph of a woman, standing on her front stoop, tell us about her life? What can we learn about a man by looking at his feet? His belt buckle? And what do words tell us that pictures do not? These are questions that Carnegie Mellon University professors Jim Daniels, a writer, and Charlee Brodsky, a photographer, explore in their evocative new book "Street."
"Street" is a collection of photographs shot by Brodsky in the 1980s of people in Pittsburgh's neighborhoods. Each photograph is accompanied by a poem written by Daniels that tells the imagined story of the person pictured. The book is divided into three sections: "The Art of Letting It All Hang Out" features pictures of people's torsos, with their heads cut out of the photograph; "The Invisibility of Doors" comprises environmental portraits; and "Stillness and Sway" features pictures of people's feet. "Isolating a part of the body, what that reveals, as a poet was attractive to me and gave me room to imagine what these people's stories had been," said Daniels, the director of the Creative Writing Program at Carnegie Mellon and the Thomas Stockham Baker Professor of English.