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Collaborators’ Q&A

What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem?
Poet Terese Svoboda: The sinuous pink curve of the flayed still-alive snake suspended over the coals.

What inspires you in this poem?
Artist Lisa Sette: There’s something about the coils of a snake that has such inspiring visual movement.

Did the visual artist refract any element of the poem that made you see the poem differently?
Poet Terese Svoboda: Pain screams the green!

What surprised you about this collaborative piece?
Poet Terese Svoboda: I hadn’t imagined the neuron-like background, nor the tightness of the image which contributes to its intensity.
Artist Lisa Sette: The way the poem ends. Like the movement in a snake’s coil, the poem has that movement.  It moves like a snake.  It’s intense.  Because it feels like it’s still alive.

When you began this piece, was it color, shape, or some other aspect that you followed? Did that change?
Artist Lisa Sette: Shapes, movement.

Have you ever written work that has been inspired by visual art? What was that experience like for you? Why were you inspired to do so?
Poet Terese Svoboda: Deborah Koenker, a Canadian printmaker/installation artist, was fascinated with Giotto’s various miracles, especially the Annunciation. She proposed a collaboration based on viewing his various “miracle” paintings but alas, I was the only one who carried it out. I was grateful, though, because the poem led me further into the exploration of tragedy than I’d managed ever before.

Describe the collaboration in one word.
Poet Terese Svoboda: Expanding
Artist Lisa Sette:

Read any good books lately?
Poet Terese Svoboda: Lynn Lurie’s Quick Kills.
Artist Lisa Sette:
A Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians (one of the Stokes Nature Guides).  I’m not kidding!  Actually, I was just visiting an island off of Maine and there were an unusual amount of snakes, so I had been reading about them before I saw this poem.  It’s been fascinating.  In the Stokes Guides, all the chapters on different species are based on experiences in the field looking for particular snakes or frogs.  I love it.

Seen any good art lately?
Poet Terese Svoboda: Elizabeth Condon
Artist Lisa Sette: Childe Hassam

Anything else?
Poet Terese Svoboda: More collaboration: I write filial, and the artist paints yellow, I write wing, the artist paints an aircraft carrier, etc.

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