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Contributions by Amy Meissner:

“Backyard”

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The Switcheroo is here!  Artist Jenny Bevill selected this year’s image, “The Fragile Domestic” by Amy Meissner, saying of it, “I could see it inspiring words like spin, turn, revolve but also pulse. The strings in the middle seem to be holding the nest in place in this spinning world.” Poet Melissa Fite Johnson‘s poem “Backyard” sang out from all the entries. It might be because, as she says, “what I found so inspiring about Amy’s work is that it gave me a small shiver of déjà vu. It felt like a visual representation of the themes I can’t stop writing (and reading) about lately.”

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“Close to Each Other With [a / the] Body” / “paq’qatát cilakátk”

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How does translation fit into your creative life?
Michael Wasson: I don’t know if it truly ‘fits’ as much as it has always been a part of my little ‘creative’ life. A hand. Or a shoulder. A jawbone. I never asked how my arm fits to my body. It’s just my arm. But many of our ‘creative’ lives somehow involve language being a conversation between the unsayable and the transformative. I like opening possibilities. So when nimipuutímt blossoms a smidge out from the page, I let it be. Just let it ache and breathe and be alive there in its beautiful little textual and/or sonic breach. For me, maybe that’s how it fits. Like a tiny fracture from a world somewhere inside me. Revealing brief layers to a life I’ve been given. Like the origins of my arm was all my ancestors deciding, okay this is how his arm should be.

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“The Butterfly Farm”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Nicole Callahan: Well, the butterflies were a given. And then I thought: lollipops, a bottle of wine. I thought: concrete nouns! But that’s why I’m not a visual artist. To me, the visual is always the concrete, but to artists, it’s so much more. What inspires you in this poem? Artist Amy Meissner: As a mother, I think I have been in …

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“To Weeping”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What is behind your choice of this piece of art in response to Ebola? Artist Amy Meissner: The “Vein” textile series explores the juxtaposition between the natural world and the body. Veins run through rock, create fissures, weakness, but also immense beauty. Our bodies, too, are fractured in various ways, but still grasp at strength. The rise of illness, of epidemic, speaks to me in relation to this work, for I am always …

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“Monkey”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Dara-Lyn Shrager: I figured the monkey would make his way into the artwork. What inspires you in this poem? Artist Amy Meissner: The images—they remind me of the way I see my own childhood, in bursts and moments, precise objects and total misunderstanding. Did the visual artist refract any element of the poem that made you see the poem differently? Poet …

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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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“April och tystnad”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What is it like to see both visual responses to the poem? Does reading it in English versus Swedish provoke different feelings in you? Artist Amy Meissner: I love how the two images work together emotionally—down to the medium and palette, the two play off one another nicely and evoke two different inner worlds with the same underlying pain. Reading it in Swedish (although my Swedish isn’t very good) automatically places me elsewhere …

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“Stop Doing That”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Writer Christopher Citro: Other than what I’d hope any reader would, I guess some visual possibilities, what it might look like to leave the earth in a DIY sort of way, images of outer space filtered through an earthbound crankiness. Something that would interest a visual imagination. Plus, I really hoped there’d be a spaceship in it. What inspires you in …

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“Paying the Bills”

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Poet Amy Groshek was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin in 1977. According to the Eau Claire Law, written in 1937, the price paid to a United States farmer for milk increases with the farm’s distance from Eau Claire. Amy holds an MFA from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She teaches writing and computer applications at Alaska Pacific University. Her poems have appeared in Bloom, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Ice-Floe. The Eau Claire Law, due to …

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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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