Teaching Writer George Franklin: I simply asked my students to write a pantoum, and I gave them A.E. Stallings’ “Another Lullaby for Insomniacs” as an example. We had been discussing repetition…Prison life is incredibly repetitive. The routine rarely varies. Mark’s poem captures the “[r]obotic regimen” prison imposes on human beings.
Artist Bailey Bob Bailey: I want my niece to see it. I want her to post it at the School of Theology where she works. I want people to see and think about the lives of people in prison.
Collaborators’ Q&A: Poet Jeni De La O: Interrogation of language is important. The idea of multi-culturalism or multi-racial/ethnic identity feels flat when presented in one language. Artist Bailey Bob Bailey: Originally, purree was the bright orange yellow substance used to make Indian Yellow, the color of the center of the painting.
Jeni De La O is an Afro-Cuban poet and storyteller living in Detroit. She founded Relato:Detroit, the nation’s first bilingual community storytelling event. Artist Bailey Bob Bailey is represented by Ethan Cohan Gallery in NYC and Beacon, NY and at The Schoolhouse Gallery in Provincetown, MA. He lives year round in Truro, MA.
Collaborators’ Q&A: Artist Bailey Bob Bailey: I’ve been dealing a lot lately with my aging father and dog, the poem felt like a television episode in which I’d been living. Poet Robin Becker: Bailey used repeating design elements in a way I hadn’t envisioned! And then, by doubling the image and turning it upside down, he emphasized a sense of fracture within wholeness.
Artist Bailey Bob Bailey recently had a survey exhibition at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum titled CAVE ORE BRIDGE. Bailey is represented by Ethan Cohan Gallery in NYC. Poet Robin Becker‘s newest collection of poems is The Black Bear Inside Me, forthcoming in March, 2018. It includes this poem.
Collaborators’ Q&A: Poet Miller Oberman: … I think form and function in poetry should always go together, and it’s something I strive for, but it doesn’t always come through as clearly as it does here. Artist Bailey Bob Bailey: …The shape was primarily based on material I had had for some time. Color followed. The idea was to make 2 dimensional lines and bend then into 3D space.
Poet Miller Oberman’s first book, a collection of poems and translations called The Unstill Ones, is due out in 2017 from Princeton University Press. Artist Bailey Bob Bailey studied sculpture at Virginia Commonwealth University, He recently had a survey exhibition at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum titled CAVE ORE BRIDGE.
Collaborators’ Q&A: What surprised you about this collaborative piece? Poet Chloe Honum: The colors surprised me, especially the reds. The floorboards at the base also surprised me. That floor seems to bring the poem indoors, into the house perhaps that the sisters in the poem have fled. The “I love U” below the title surprised me, too (I guess the whole thing surprised me!). To me, that tag feels fraught with the urge to say something simple, and yet it’s backward and inky. I love that. Artist Bailey Bob Bailey: It just seems to make the piece more of a vessel, a reaction to this familial drama. The poem kind of filled the boxes.
Poet Chloe Honum’s first collection, The Tulip-Flame(Cleveland State University, 2014) won Foreword Review’s Book of the Year Award and was a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award. Artist Bailey Bob Bailey studied sculpture at Virginia Commonwealth University, attended Skowhegan and was twice a fellow at The Fine Arts Work Center of Provincetown.