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Contributions by Cheryl Gross:

“My Father’s Hearing Aid”

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Seen any good art lately?
Artist Cheryl Gross: Whitney Biennial, of which I am included. I also belong to a community of artists here in Jersey City. I recently was in a group exhibition called “Superwoman at 107” Bowers Gallery, Jersey City.

What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem?
Poet Adam Chiles: I was hoping to see the artist capture both the interior and exterior aspects of the poem; the aching of the ear as it leans towards sound… My wife took one look at the piece and told me I had to have it tattooed on my arm!

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“After a Fight”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Jeff Walt: That gloomy, quiet distance couples often devolve into: frozen, caustic, witch-face—it envelops this couple in the dim space they inhabit together. What inspires you in this poem? Artist Cheryl Gross: It’s dark. I am drawn to dark and spooky things. More fun to illustrate. More of a challenge. Did the visual artist refract any element of the …

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“That Which Binds Us”

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Collaborators’ Q&A Why did this piece of art resonate for you or seem like it would give you an avenue into writing about Typhoon Haiyan? Poet Matthew Caretti: Empathy. Humans are hard-wired to respond when we see others in distress. I connected immediately with the man in Cheryl’s drawing—the anguish of his posture, the troubled prayers of his hands. These images, along with the color blue, guided my process and helped me to contextualize the …

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“2012 Haiku Year-in-Review”

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Collaborators’ Q&A, Season by Season Winter: Greek government bailouts Once you saw the art for your season, did it cause you to see your haiku in a different light? Poet Matthew Caretti: I think Lochlann’s rendering of the Greek flag is the perfect exclamation point for the haiku, which begins with a troubling ancient myth. Her piece then punctuates the dilemma facing modern Greece and several other members of the EU—where do culture and economics intersect? And …

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“Cost Benefit”

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Collaborators’ Q&A This poem was chosen in response to Cheryl Gross’s art—can you talk about the experience of finding words that were in conversation with the image? What leapt out first from Cheryl’s art? A particular image? A mood? A line? Poet Lisa Allen Ortiz: In fact I wrote the poem in response to Gross’ drawing. I am a sucker for text in visual art, and I really liked the receipt she put on the …

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“The Red House, Indiana”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Writer Renee K. Nelson: Perhaps because of the title and the shape of the poem, I figured the artist would focus on the red house and make it the center piece. Besides the house, though, I wasn’t sure how or if he/she would incorporate all of the images/traumas in the poem because there are so many of them. Now that I …

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“Minamisanriku Child”

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Collaborators’ Q&A Why did this piece of art resonate for you or seem like it would give you an avenue into writing about Japan’s earthquake and tsunami? Poet Susan Cohen: I found “Children at Play” wildly imaginative, yet so strange and disturbing. When I made myself address it, that sense of being disturbed turned into a deep grief. I had a nephew who died a few years ago at sea and whose body later washed …

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“2010 Haiku Year-in-Review”

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Collaborators’ Q&A, Season by Season Poem Subject: The earthquakes in Haiti and Chile; Art Subject: The death of J.D. Salinger Once you saw the art for your season, did it cause you to see your haiku in a different light? Poet Anastassia Cafatti Mac-Niven: No, it didn’t do any difference to my haiku. But now that I think about it, the art suits my haiku because it has something to do with death, and the haiku …

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“Composition 101”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Writer Nicelle Davis: I thought that the color red would jump out from between the lines, and to my great joy red came when I called it. What inspires you in this poem? Artist Cheryl Gross: I found the poem to be deliciously disturbing. I was able to pull out the creepiness and make subdue it. This to me is how the …

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“In Livingston Parish, Dreaming of Li Po”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Alison Pelegrin: I can tell you what I feared—Southern Gothic Junkyard. What inspires you in this poem? Artist Cheryl Gross: What inspired me the most was the fact that I was able to apply artwork [I’d created before ever reading the poem] and have it fit perfectly. Did the visual artist refract any element of the poem that made you see …

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