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Contributions by David Bernardy:

“Ode to Origins”

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Poet Mara Jebsen: The poem is a praise-poem and sort of just lifts its hands and says, “yes.” Artist David Bernardy: Mara’s poem reveals a sense of the scientific that really delighted me—to go from the doubled image to the “bilateral human” and from there to cell division and the connections that exist between us humans and jellyfish an poppies… lovely, lovely.

Collaborators: Mara Jebsen is a poet, performer and essayist. She is a New York Foundations for the Arts fellow in poetry and was raised by folklorists in Philadelphia and in Lome, Togo. Artist David Bernardy is an artist, a writer and a dad. He likes lost things, old things, and dogs. www.davidbernardy.com

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“Thistle”

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What inspires you in this poem? What drew you to it?
Artist David Bernardy: I enjoy how this poem offers a kind of secret history of the thistle plant.  It feels like a poetic etymology.  And it seems to be finding the beautiful in the everyday, in the overlooked. I like how this secret history coupled with the strength, resilience, and tenderness one must find at a place like Thistle Farms. 

What surprised or struck you once you saw the finished broadside?
Poet Jennifer Jean: I was surprised that David was able to visually reflect my archaic references and verbal tics—by including the older seeming photo-triptych, two evidently older map segments, and what seems to be a weathered drawing of a thistle (possibly from a weathered herbarium?).

Collaborators: Jennifer Jean’s debut poetry collection is  The Fool (Big Table 2013). She teaches Free2Write poetry workshops to sex-trafficking survivors. Artist David Bernardy is an artist, a writer and a dad. He likes lost things, old things, and dogs.

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“Nightride”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Brian Clifton: I thought there would be a body/form of a body in the artwork–all three Nightrides feature bodies or hints of bodies. I was super excited to see what elements the artist would focus on. David did a fantastic job blending all the images of the poems together. What inspires you in this poem? Artist David Bernardy: For me, …

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