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Issue 19.1, Fall 2023 – Editors’ Note

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Our first biannual folio brings you eight new collaborations, two new lesson plans, a new book review, and two new team members!  Read on for all.

Editors’ Note

Since 2005, we’ve published a single collaboration on the first of each month, and we’ve loved the “slow art” this has fostered. Yet we’ve found that our “Broadsided Responds” features, which offer a chorus of voices and visions on a specific topic, have a different synergy, an energy that bounces not just between the poem and art on a single page, but among the broadsides themselves. We want to offer that dynamism to all the broadsides we publish.

What does “Bats” say to “When I Wasn’t Vanishing?” How do “Bambi is Native” and “Naadą́ą́’ Ch’iiyáán Nitsísiiłkeis / Corn Foods Make Me Think” offer different visions of Indigeneity?

Each collaboration is published alongside a smart, engaging conversation between artist and writer about the origins of their art, creative prompts, books and art that have recently inspired them, insights about the folio as a whole, and more. Here are a few examples:

Poet Alica Mteuzi: The broadsides span a variety of themes from identity and existential concerns to environmentalism and showcase diverse art forms including pencil drawing and collage. The collection also offers different cultural perspectives, enriching the discourse with a global dimension.

Artist Daniel Esquivia Zapata: I have been working on drawings of dandelions and as I read the poem it struck me that they could serve as an image that could have both prolong and light movements, and resonate with the imagery and structure of the poem. It was completely about reacting to the poem.

Poet Rose Strode: I love that the broadsides can stand alone, or together, and there is no right or wrong order to read them. Like the lines of a ghazal! And I notice that most of the poems are told in first person, so the folio is like a crowd of people—strangers at a bus stop, maybe—brought together, each with distinctive perspectives. There’s togetherness, but also a sense of privacy. And in that privacy, a quiet declaration: this is me speaking. But that me is malleable.

Editor Jennifer Elise Foerster: “Corn Foods Make Me Think” is a poem that listens, not just to its writer’s, Michelle Whitsone’s, Diné language and how it shifts, names, and creates meaning, but it also listens to the corn. Michelle Whitstone asks the readers to think alongside her, to consider the language of corn and the language we give to corn as valuable as the corn itself.

Poet Rajiv Mohabir: Prompts that I like involve finding an image and letting the mind find associations related or unrelated to it. So, for example: go outside and look. Collect images that appear to you. Right now I see chicory growing as weeds: the purple-blue flowers dotting the yard. From one of the collected images write in a new line a thought that occurs to you. In my example I’m thinking of the color of the flower—where it takes my mind. After that use the second part of this writing to leap into a new statement of where your mind it. This prompt may not produce a poem, or it may produce an entire field of wildflowers.

Artist Michele L’Heureux: I am rereading Pema Chödrön’s The Places That Scare You:  A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times, a book I go back to again and again. I’m also finishing up Good Faith by Jane Smiley, which had a slow ramp-up for me but has become more compelling as I read. 

Where will these collaborations travel? It’s now up to you to think about who most needs or would appreciate coming upon these broadsides in your communities. Maybe “I Put My Fingers In” needs to be in a place parents wait to pick up their kids from school or daycare. “To Let the Light In” might be a comfort in a therapist’s waiting room, and of course “Will flowers grow if they’re watered with tears or blood?” needs to be in garden centers across the world. The spiritual questions of “The Mud Says to the Potter” need to be asked in places of worship and of clay-based creativity.

Enjoy your Vectorizations—and tag us when you share photos of these broadsides in the world.  We love to see where they go (Instagram: @broadsidedpress, Facebook: @broadsided).

There’s MORE! We have a new book review and fresh, folio-centered lesson plans for you to further engage as readers and teachers. Please also welcome our new team members, Megan and Autumn.

We’ll be back with another folio in the spring…. and this one will include our Annual Switcheroo. Make sure you’ve signed up for our newsletter (we promise to not flood your inbox), and you can follow us on “the socials” (Instagram: @broadsidedpress, Facebook: @broadsided).

Teachers Christine Spillson (left) and Ella Flores (right).

For Teachers

To accompany this first folio, we offer two new Lesson Plans that utilize our entire new collection. Christine Spillson offers an exciting lesson that uses the portfolio to generate flash nonfiction and Ella Flores uses the poetics of image to generate original lyric work from the broadsides. We hope you love them; happy teaching!

Broadsides to Books

Rocket Fantastic
Gabrielle Calvocoressi
(Broadside: Rosary Catholic Church, August, 2010, with art by Alesia F. Norling)
Like a segno, Calvocoressi’s poems transport you beside and inside, other people, animals, and the natural world. You become a mythic witness, engaging and becoming those you watch and those who watch you back. Read the full review by Rachel Dillon.

Other News

Join us for the launch event Friday, October 27, at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine!  We’ll celebrate our first folio and the Broadsided anthology with readings and discussion between contributing artists and poets Elizabeth Bradfield, Jennifer Barber, John Bonanni, Jennifer Jean, Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Jennifer Martelli, and Janice Redman. Update, 10/27/23: EVENT CANCELLED. Due to the ongoing situation in the Portland area, the Portland Museum of Art is closed today.  We will reschedule this event for a future date. We offer this folio on “Bearing Arms: Responding to Guns in American Culture” that we published in 2017 as a way to hold time and space for how art helps us hold time to consider what feels beyond comprehension.

Meet Autumn and Megan! We’re so glad that Autumn Bellan and Megan Tan are part of the Broadsided team. Megan is adding her design vision to the broadsides we publish, and Autumn is taking the helm of our communications on social media and beyond.

Submit: We’ll be reading for our spring issue through the end of the year.  We’d love to consider your writing for publication at Broadsided.  See what an artist will respond to! Get your words out on the streets!

Subscribe! Now that we’re only publishing 2x a year, you really don’t want to let the issue pass you by. We’ll also announce special calls for submission, like for the annual spring Switcheroo, in which we post artwork from our contributing artists and ask writers to submit responses, or the unscheduled occasional “Broadsided Responds” folios that invite work on a specific topic.

With joy,
The Broadsided team–

Elizabeth Bradfield, Michelle Moncayo, Miller Oberman, Alexandra Teague (editorial)
Millian Pham Lien Giang, Megan Tan (art/design)
Andrew Gottleib, Nayoung Kim (reviews)
John Nieves (teaching)
Autumn Bellan (outreach/communications)

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