“The Whipping Woman”
Why did you choose to send work to Broadsided Press?
Poet Ellaraine Lockie: Although I didn’t know the word ekphrastic then, I was fascinated by the idea of one art genre inspiring another. And, of course, the idea of my own words being channeled in that way appealed to me.
What did you expect the artist to take away from your poem? Did the art surprise you? How so?
Poet Ellaraine Lockie: I had no expectation, only anticipation.
What were your initial thoughts when you saw the finished broadside?
Poet Ellaraine Lockie: I thought WOW! This artist went straight into the marrow of the poem.
Looking back at the broadside now, what strikes you? What stands out?
Poet Ellaraine Lockie: What impresses me is how the artist captured the mother/daughter relationship in the poem—how it’s really about that relationship and has little to do with the actual whipping woman, except as conduit.
Describe the collaboration in one word.
Poet Ellaraine Lockie: Clarification
If the broadside were a weather pattern, what would it be?
Poet Ellaraine Lockie: Cold with possible black ice.
Had you engaged in creative collaboration before creating this? What was this experience like for you? Have you participated in similar collaborations since?
Poet Ellaraine Lockie: This was my first artistic collaboration of any kind, and it was an electric experience. It lit the path for many ekphrastic projects, ranging from writing poems inspired by paintings and photographs to poems inspired by music and words/phrases from other writers.
How did you decide where to post your broadside?
Poet Ellaraine Lockie: For the years I had a color printer, I posted both my broadside and the current one in places that I naturally went on a regular basis–coffee shops, post office, grocery stores, etc. Because I traveled frequently, so did the broadsides; favorite post sites were inside hotel elevators.
If you had the choice to post your broadside anywhere in the world, where would that be?
Poet Ellaraine Lockie: In therapists’ offices worldwide.
What does it mean for you to have your work out in the world as a broadside?
Poet Ellaraine Lockie: This is a happily loaded question for me. Shortly after the broadside was published, I attended a Summer Literary Seminar in Kenya. After dinner one evening a group of ten or so of us had an informal table reading. After I read “The Whipping Woman,” one of the women burst out with, “I KNOW that poem; I read it every time I use the bathroom at the U of Arizona where I teach. It’s taped on the wall by the toilet!” This experience was so fun and incredulous that it got a short write-up in Poets & Writers Magazine.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Poet Ellaraine Lockie: I’m grateful that this program is still going strong after all these years. Thank you to Elizabeth Bradfield and all the others who make it possible to keep literature and art alive in a time when their value has never been more important.