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Tag: Pastoral / Anti-Pastoral


“Thistle”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Jennifer Jean: This poem is noun heavy, so I thought it’d be interesting to a visual artist. The primary noun is the thistle, of course, so I thought it likely an artist would highlight that item and maybe do so exclusively.  What inspires you in this poem? What drew you to it? Artist David Bernardy: I enjoy how this …

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“Backyard”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What surprises you about Melissa’s poem in conversation with your art? Artist Amy Meissner: I’m less surprised than pleased that she sensed the barrenness of the work. The woman who originally made this crazy quilt never had children, never finished the quilt. The robin’s nest blew from the tree before the female had a chance to lay her eggs. This poem was chosen in response to Amy Meissner’s artwork, “The Fragile Domestic”—can you …

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“Overheard at the Zoo”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Jessica Johnson: Always hoping for surprise, I tried not to pre-conceive any ideas about what an artist might do with my poem. What inspires you in this poem? Artist Se Thut Quon: I am inspired by the poem’s humor and its sadness. I appreciated how incompleteness opens up the imagination. Did the visual artist refract any element of the poem …

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“Morning Pastoral”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Miller Oberman: Well, the poem is much more visually striking, in terms of its form on the page, than my work usually is, and so I thought a visual artist would probably be interested in that. I think form and function in poetry should always go together, and it’s something I strive for, but it doesn’t always come through …

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“Burn Barrel”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What inspires you in this poem? Artist Sarah Van Sanden: I was inspired by how the poem evokes a scene of utter bleakness and contrasts it with such a rich description of the fire. What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Todd Davis: The color of the flames as the trash burns. The syringes. The barrel itself and the encroaching night. When you began this piece, …

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“The State of Deseret”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Jennifer Martelli: I thought the artist would pick up on the sharp elements that open the poem—the cacti, the snakes, etc., and obviously the bridge. What inspires you in this poem? Artist Caleb Brown: It’s a bright poem, it has sun, grit, and an evocative sense of place. I also get the feeling the protagonist crosses this desert or Deseret …

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“Beginning Moon”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What surprises you about Markie’s poem in conversation with your art? Artist Michele L’Heureux: I am surprised by how “right on” the spirit and mood of the poem are to me—how akin to the painting the words seem. While Markie’s narrative for the painting isn’t my own, she captures the quiet and slightly mysterious atmosphere of the piece so beautifully. This poem was chosen in response to Michele L’Heureux’s painting, “Daisy’s Garden”—can you …

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“Wyoming”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Jill Osier: I hadn’t thought about that…but now I might say the tone…? Or maybe more the title, for what that word conjures…or what that place might mean to someone… What inspires you in this poem? Artist Kara Searcy: When I read the poem what struck me was how surreal the poem seemed to be; a sort of “things are …

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“Dear Atom Bomb”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Catherine Pierce: I imagined there might be a mushroom cloud, and there is, but it’s so jarring, the way we see it rising above the whole earth, the way it’s so angular and brightly colored…I really appreciate the in-your-face surprise of that. What inspires you in this poem? Artist Ira Joel Haber: I liked the bluntness of it, and the shortness …

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“The Second Fallacy”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet C. Dale Young: I assumed the image of the bougainvillea would make an appearance, but I also assumed the image of the wings would as well. So, it was interesting to see that the wings didn’t make the cut. What inspires you in this poem? Artist Amy Meissner: I was inspired by the visual imagery but also the emotional quality—it …

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“It Is”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Suzanne Marie Hopcroft: I think I hoped and felt that an artist would pick up on the sense of movement and energy in the poem—that it would be communicable even in an ostensibly static image—and I was right! All of the fundamental concrete elements of the poem are there in Douglas’s piece: the train, the red glove, the blueness of …

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“Confession Concerning the Ocean”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Elizabeth Langemark: I think I expected images of the ocean itself or maybe some sort of image evoking dissatisfaction. There’s a lot of room within both of those things, so I was looking forward to being surprised in terms of specifics. What inspires you in this poem? Artist Anya Ermak-Bower: The author’s spirit. The strength to stand up against the mainstream perception …

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“Where bushes periodically burn, children fear other children: girls”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Camille Dungy: I probably assumed there would be some flame in the image. Possibly a girl. Perhaps a magnifying glass or a beetle. What inspires you in this poem? Artist Caleb Brown: The poem very quickly triggered memories of being an “untended” boy, burning words into logs with a magnifying glass pilfered from my classroom’s science area. I wanted to work …

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“Spring Is Here”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What inspires you in this poem? Artist Kat Clancy: It was truly a description of spring in Moscow and the verbal images were very recognizable. I know the “Goth boy in is black greatcoat.” And we hear the bells of the bell tower every day. What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Robert Wrigley: The Jesus over Rio seemed a good possibility, as it was for Stacy. Ditto …

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“Spring Is Here”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What inspires you in this poem? Artist Stacy Isenbarger: I find the atmosphere of the poem most inspiring. I feel like I’m stepping into a glorious/inglorious moment of nature’s potential fury when reading it. It reminds you of those moments when you know you are insignificant, life’s quirky, and nature is grand in its command over you. What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Robert Wrigley: The …

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“Delivering to the Client”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Paul Dickey: Some type of visual suggestion of a computer screen dripping rain and river, mud and fields, beavers, driftwood, a boy going fishing. What inspires you in this poem? Artist Ira Joel Haber: Well, I guess it worked very well for me, as I was inspired to do a series of new collages that came from what I took from the …

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“In the Company of Weeds”

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Collaborators’ Q&A This poem was chosen in response to Ira Joel Haber’s art—can you talk about the experience of finding words that were in conversation with the image? Poet Catherine Swanson: When I look at the colorful boldness of Ira Joel Haber’s pastel and the cluttered side-of-the-roadness of my poem, I can believe that opposites attract. “The Company of Weeds” began as a moment of fascination recorded in my journal. Because I’m an urbanite who doesn’t …

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“Botanical Garden”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet J.D. Smith: I’m frankly stumped on this one. Since the poem is based on an actual event, I have my own vivid and disturbing memory, and it has crowded out any specific sense of how the poem would be illustrated. Under these circumstances I am pleased and not a little relieved to let my work end and the visual artist’s work …

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“Replying to the SubPrefect Zhang”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from this poem? Translator Dawn McGuire: I was completely open to any visual interpretation—but I imagined an artist picking up on the amused serenity of the poet in some way. What inspires you in this poem? Artist Yuko Adachi: Tone, emotions and mood in the poem, which stimulated my choice of materials and color choices. Did the visual artist refract any element of the …

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“Some Things I Know Without the Field Guide”

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Collaborators Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Suzanne Helfman: I had no idea what to expect; it was a complete mystery to me. What inspires you in this poem? Artist Gabe Travis: During a Vermont Studio Center residency last winter, I started a series of mixed media collage work with “Field Guide” as a springboard. So I was immediately drawn to the poem because of this connection. As I …

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“Yard Work”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Ryan J Browne: I imagined the activities in the poem, of the officers, the dogs, and the inmates, would be the focus of the artwork, because those are what most people—myself included—find provocative about prisons. The bifurcation of the world inside, and the resulting interactions, isolations, and overlaps, are fascinating, terrifying, humanizing. What inspires you in this poem? Artist …

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“In Livingston Parish, Dreaming of Li Po”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Alison Pelegrin: I can tell you what I feared—Southern Gothic Junkyard. What inspires you in this poem? Artist Cheryl Gross: What inspired me the most was the fact that I was able to apply artwork [I’d created before ever reading the poem] and have it fit perfectly. Did the visual artist refract any element of the poem that made you see …

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“Snowshoe to Otter Creek”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Stacie Cassarino: a landscape that reflects the internal state of the speaker; the capture of loss What inspires you in this poem? Artist Caleb Brown: This poem just grabbed me right away, or I felt myself grabbing toward it. It has a blank, bright all-over illumination like a winter day with wan sun, and there’s a lot of space around. The …

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“Bird’s Eye”

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Collaborators’ Q&A Did the poem refract any element of the art that made you see your piece differently? Artist Kate Baird: I had been thinking of a “bird’s eye view” as a figure of speech referring to a particular perspective, but I never gave much thought to actual birds. Reading the poem made me consider the birds (whose point of view I’d lifted) in a very visceral way. This poem was published (and I assume …

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“The Car Covenant”

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Collaborators’ Q&A In what sense did the poem first present itself as a collaboration with a visual medium? Did it come to you first as image? As an idea? Music? Narrative? Artist Lisa Sette: A narrative. Because of the pace of it, the rhythm. It’s like a song to me, actually, more than anything else. If the broadside collaboration were a land formation, what would it be? Poet Robert Strong: Color. The color in this …

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“Snow Over Shavers Fork”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What inspired you to “dibs” this poem? Artist Elizabeth Terhune: I’ve collaborated on two broadsides, “Mahogany” by Leslie LeChance was the first, “Snow Over Shavers’ Fork” is the second. Both “Snow Over Shavers’ Fork” and “Mahogany” appealed to me because there were images that I related to. Each poem has as a focus the visual creation of place that is in deep relationship to the interior world of the poet. The sense of …

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“The Gift”

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Poet Lynn Stanley is a visual artist and a writer. She is the recipient of 2002 grants for poetry from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Provincetown Cultural Council. A chapbook of her poems, “Gravity Claims Us,” was published by Folly Cove Press. She works as a freelance writer and is the Curator of Education at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum. Artist Amy Meissner is an artist and writer who makes her living illustrating …

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