SWITCHEROO: APRIL, 2008
Turnabout is fair play. The best way we can think to repay the pool of artists who have been creating work for Broadsided is to offer them an opportunity to see how writers might respond to their work.
In a Switcheroo, we invite writers to submit poetry and prose in response to a piece of visual work created by one of the Broasdided artists.
Click below to see former Switcheroos.
"Homeless," published May, 2016 with art by Jennifer Bevill & poetry by Sheila Kelly.
"Rules for Cave Diving," published May, 2016 with art by Jennifer Bevill & poetry by Maureen Seaton.
"Beginning Moon," published May, 2015 with art by Michele L'Heureux & poetry by Markie Babbott.
"Disappear," published May, 2014 with art by Maura Cunningham & poetry by Philip Schaefer.
"Matthew 7," published May, 2013 with art by Kara Searcy & poetry by Catherine R Cryan.
"Mixed Media," published May, 2013 with art by Gabriel Travis & poetry by Laura Lee Washburn.
"Cost Benefit," published April, 2012 with art by Cheryl Gross & poetry by Lisa Allen Ortiz.
"The Company of Weeds," published April, 2011 with art by Ira Joel Haber & poetry by Catherine Swanson.
"Ex Ovo Omnia," published April, 2010 with art by Julie Evanoff & poetry by Jennifer Perrine.
"Interstate," published November, 2009 with art by Kate Baird & poetry by Brian Hendrickson.
"Collective Origins as Ulysses/Uxoria," published April, 2009 with art by Kevin Morrow & poetry by Pamela Johnson Parker.
"Empire," published November, 2008 with art by Helen Beckman Kaplan & poetry by KA Lynch.
"Among Trees (or) The Heart is a Bee Hive," published April, 2008 with art by Elizabeth Terhune & poetry by Cindy St. John.
"Bird's Eye," published November, 2007 with art by Kate Baird & poetry by Amanda Warren.
"Dishes," published April, 2007 with art by Anya Ermak-Bower & prose by Anna Mueller.
Get involved! Become a Vector and put literature & art on the streets. Easy, fun, and cheap... we promise.
It shouldn't be a surprise to find that a piece of art elicits from writers a vast range of responses. Yet we found ourselves, reading through submissions to this third Switcheroo, newly-astonished at the variety of styles, subjects, and stances that Elizabeth Terhune's many-winged image inspired.
Terhune's sepia-toned bister ink work is at once chaotic and simple. It can be read as fanciful (an abundance of legs and wings!) or as dire (the dark, dark bodies). Writers sent us poems and stories about love gone wrong, decay, the erotics of bees, strange-winged angels, and even a piece that referenced the recent terrifying die-offs of honeybees that have been in the news in the past few years. Terhune's work seemed to evoke, in poets in particular, wild excesses of startling imagery—no doubt in response to the work's own excesses.
In the end, two poems spoke strongest when put in conversation with the art. "The Heart is a Bee Hive" by Cindy St. John and "Among Trees" by Tammy Trendle. We wrestled. We discussed. We called in outside opinions. The two poems were so different in style, and each cast a different light on Terhune's art. In the end, the dark emotion of St. John's "The Heart is a Bee Hive" won the day. What a surprise to have the subject be not erotic love but familial love, not the pastoral but the inscape of the diseased body.
Because we lingered so long over both poems, we'd like to print below Tammy Trendle's "Among Trees." The quick leaps of viewpoint in this well-made poem resonated with the chaos in Terhune's image. We hope you enjoy both poems and the final Broadsided publication.
You can read what St. John and Terhune thought about their Switcheroo experience in the Collaborator's Q&A.
We look forward to seeing what art and literature come into conversation in our next Switcheroo.
Liz Bradfield and Mark Temelko
"Among Trees" by Tammy Trendle
When trees are bare they look like
they want the sky more. He says
the difference is automatic
transmissions need fluid. I wear
too many clothes to notice. If you hold
your head at a right angle, a tree
will turn on its side for you. Sometimes
a bird gets caught in the engine
of my mouth. Words become
insects too small to see. He buzzes
inside an open hood. I worry over
oil stains on the driveway, too many
potholes in the road. He says
the problem is in the alignment
of branches. Among trees
there are two types
of color: with wings
Tammy Foster Trendle resides in Atlanta, Georgia where she works as a litigation paralegal and is mom to an amazing 4-year-old son. Her poems have appeared in several print and online publications including: storySouth, MiPOesias, Thieves Jargon, and Concelebratory Shoehorn Review. She is co-author with Pris Campbell of the chapbook, Interchangeable Goddesses (Rose of Sharon/3 Virgins Press).
Notes on Process
All Broadsided artists were invited to submit up to three pieces of work for the Switcheroo. We then asked an outside judge, Lynn Stanley, to review the submissions, choosing two that she thought would be open to literary response and would work in the Broadsided format.
One, "bird's eye," was used in our November, 2007 Switcheroo. Of "Among Trees," Stanley had this to say:
The work I've settled on was chosen for its ability to hold my gaze. I like the watery spontaneity of "Among Trees," and the feeling of humor in the nonsensical insects with their many legs and wings. Are there two faces touching, nose to nose among the bird size bugs? I like to think so. I also like that the image could swing from intimations of a summer idyll to a killer bees menace the landscape/townspeople narrative.
Lynn Stanley is an artist and a writer. She attended the School of Visual Arts and Queens College, where her focus was in painting. In 1997 she received her BA in studio Art at Smith College as an Ada Comstock Scholar, where she produced letter press books, broadsides, and non-conventional book forms. Stanley was a Colby Fellow at the University of Michigan, where she received an MFA in Creative Writing in 2000. She has taught creative writing at the University of Michigan and Cape Cod Community College.
As the Curator of Education at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM), her current position, Lynn has facilitated numerous creative writing sessions, in relation to works of art, for children and adults. She is a grant recipient for poetry from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Provincetown Cultural Council. A chapbook of her poetry, Gravity Claims Us, is available from Folly Cover Press. Her visual work is represented at the School House Galleries in Provincetown, MA. Examples of her poetry and artwork can be seen at www.lynn-stanley.com.
"Among Trees" (6" h x 8 ½" w, Bister ink on paper) by Elizabeth Terhune
[ Download "Among Trees (or) The Heart is a Bee Hive" (256kb pdf file). Back to the Archives. ]