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Contributions by Cheryl Gross:

“Catalogue of Damages”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: What inspires you in this poem? What drew you to it? Artist Cheryl Gross:  I am involved in a project called: Commit to Memory: The Precipice of Extinction. The poem talks about the past and mentions two aspects of elephant history, which are extinct. Then it goes onto talk about a relationship that is past, but not necessarily in the forefront.  Read any good books lately? Poet Christina Olson: If this broadside is your jam, you need to go read Elena Passarello’s Animals Strike Curious Poses. Or Lucia Perillo.

Poet Christina Olson‘s most recent chapbook, The Last Mastodon, was a winner of the Rattle 2019 Chapbook Contest. Artist Cheryl Gross is an animator and artist who teaches at the Pratt Institute in New York.

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“fold”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Poet Piotr Gwiazda: Cheryl has taken “Fold” to another level. Or, rather, she has externalized some deep, primal concerns that, I suspect, lie hidden under the surface of bilingual play. Artist Cheryl Gross: To me polyphonic is being in sync with the universe.

Born in Poland, poet Piotr Gwiazda has lived in the U.S. since the age of 17. He is the author of three books of poems. Artist Cheryl Gross was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York.

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“Niece”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: What inspires you in this poem? Artist Cheryl Gross: “Niece” reminded me of my childhood, growing up as a tomboy. Split gender, not quite fitting in.  What surprised you when you saw the poem and art together? Poet Jennifer Gravley: The halved people–which really shouldn’t have been surprising, but there you go.

Poet Jennifer Gravley makes her way in Columbia, Missouri. Her work has recently appeared in Sou’wester, New Delta Review, and The Fourth River. Artist Cheryl Gross, who was recently awarded Winner Best Poetry Film at the Ó bháal Film Competition.

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“My Father’s Hearing Aid”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: 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! Artist Cheryl Gross: I was influenced by the description of the father’s ear. I particularly like to incorporate faucets and industrial oddities into my work.

Poet Adam Chiles’s first collection, Evening Land, was nominated for the 2009 Gerald Lampert Memorial award for best first book in Canada. Artist Cheryl Gross, who was recently awarded Winner Best Poetry Film at the Ó bháal Film Competition, INDIE CORK 2015 for “In The Circus Of You,” has an MFA in New Forms from Pratt and her work has often been compared to Dr. Seuss on crack.

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“After a Fight”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Poet Jeff Walt: I can see the room. And beyond. I feel mired with the couple as they sink deeper into melancholy and hate. Artist Cheryl Gross: My work is very narrative. Always telling a story of some kind. It’s a nice break to assist/illustrate someone else’s story.

Jeff Walt’s chapbook, Soot, was awarded co-winner of the Keystone Chapbook Prize and published in 2010 by Seven Kitchens Press. Cheryl Gross has an MFA in New Forms from Pratt, where she teaches now.

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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.

Artist Cheryl Gross has an MFA in New Forms from Pratt. Poet Matthew Caretti is influenced in equal parts by his study of German language and literature, by his Zen training in the East, and by the approach of the Beat writers.

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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: 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 right, and I like the illegible language on the bottom. I’m a great fan of illegible things. Artist Cheryl Gross: Her interpretation of the drawing is much different from what I intended it to be. I find this interesting and enlightening to get another person’s take on my work.

Artist Cheryl Gross is a painter, illustrator, mini-documentarian, and motion graphics animator. Poet Lisa Allen Ortiz is currently an MFA candidate at Pacific University.

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“The Red House, Indiana”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: 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. Artist Cheryl Gross: When I read the poem I envisioned the illustration immediately. First thing that came to mind was the snake wrapped around the barrel of the gun in the person’s mouth.

Artist Cheryl Gross has an MFA in New Forms from Pratt. Writer Renee K. Nelson recently received her M.F.A. in Creative writing from San Francisco State University.

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“Minamisanriku Child”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Poet Susan Cohen: I found “Children at Play” [Cheryl’s drawing] 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 ashore, so I’m especially haunted by the idea of children in the waves.

Artist Cheryl Gross has an MFA in New Forms from Pratt. Poet Susan Cohen is author of the forthcoming book of poems, Throat Singing, and two chapbooks.

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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: Artist Cheryl Gross: I found the poem to be deliciously disturbing. I was able to pull out the creepiness and subdue it. This to me is how the ugliness in life operates, on a more restrained level. Writer Nicelle Davis: Cheryl Gross’s illustration validates the experience of the poem completely. I love the child’s head attached to the manly Adam’s apple; he is such a lovable haunt.

Writer Nicelle Davis lives in Southern California with her husband James and their son J.J. Artist Cheryl Gross has an MFA in New Forms from Pratt.

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“In Livingston Parish, Dreaming of Li Po”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Poet Alison Pelegrin: I have always thought of this poem as flippant and mildly humorous. The artist’s image allows me to reflect on the serious elements in the 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.

Poet Alison Pelegrin is the author of Big Muddy River of Stars (University of Akron Press 2007) and The Zydeco Tablets (Word Press 2002). Artist Cheryl Gross has an MFA in New Forms from Pratt.

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