N.A.S.A. In a classic case of opposites attract, steam-powered songwriter Tom…
- Posted on Nov 26th 2010 2:00PM by Jenny Charlesworth
Malcolm Taylor, Getty Images
The book, which is modeled after 1941's 'Let Us Now Praise Famous Men' -- a collaboration between poet James Agee and Walker Evans, who supplied shots of Depression-era farmers -- marks Waits publishing debut and will be released this March.
Publisher University of Texas explains the ethos behind the book as such: "[O'Brien will] create a portrait of homelessness that impels us to look into the eyes of people who live on the hard ground and recognize our common humanity. For Waits, who has spent decades writing about outsiders, this subject is familiar territory."
While musicians playing around with poetry doesn't always produce the most dazzling outcome -- Jewel's 1998 'A Night Without Armor' was about as riveting as an in-flight safety manual, while Wilco's Jeff Tweedy didn't fare much better in parts of his 2004 collection, 'Adult Head' -- Waits is arguably the best candidate to join Leonard Cohen as a double-threat poet and songwriter.
University of Texas
'Hard Ground' is Waits' first collaboration with O'Brien, but the acclaimed photographer has frequently taken pictures of the musician, and also shot the cover of his 2009 album, 'Glitter and Doom Live.'