Why did this piece of art resonate for you or seem like it would give you an avenue into writing about Typhoon Haiyan?
Poet Wesley Rothman: This piece creates a tone and an atmosphere: clouded, submerged, forceful, luminous. It’s an impression and I felt how relentless a typhoon and its aftermath can be, how there’s a visceral stunning in the devastation and resilience of being human, of dying and surviving at the same time.
What do you think is the role of art in regards to real-world, real-time events? In other words, what makes a “successful” occasional or political piece of writing or art?
Poet Wesley Rothman: I think a successful piece of occasional art provides a strange, almost impossible sort of distance from the event at hand in order to make us feel it more deeply. We may never have felt the winds or the rain or the crackle of gunfire, but that piece of art puts us in the foxhole and disaster’s wake so we might be better able to feel its immediacy and act moving forward.