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Contributions by David Bernardy:

“The Minotaur Loves Lucy Most of All”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Artist David Bernardy: …dresses begat more dresses, and eventually dress forms. And I began to see a kind of stylized form of the minotaur within those dresses, as the straps morphed into horns. Now that the poem reads across the dress/torso, I feel like the image reads more immediately as a being, staring out with a kind of owl-like intensity. Poet James Ellenberger: I find myself writing more and more ekphrastic pieces lately. Art is all about choosing your limitation. It’s an alchemical process.

Poet James Ellenberger‘s work has appeared or is forthcoming in River Teeth, Copper Nickel, New South, Third Coast, and Beloit Poetry Journal, among others. He was awarded an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award in 2020. Artist David Bernardy is an artist, a writer and a dad. He likes lost things, old things, and dogs.

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“Cisoria: The Scissors”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Artist David Bernardy: I go through ups and downs as per usual: is this work good, is this work worth doing, etc. And with Covid-19 and the racial unrest, I have had to ask myself, “Is this work (whatever it may be at the time) helping?” I am not sure that I always know, but I know that it helps me, and I suspect that some of my questions stem from a hesitance to start and a fear of failure. So, I have had to tell myself that “helping me” is good enough for now. Hopefully, ultimately, it helps others, too. Poet Jennifer Martelli: This has been a period of revision for me—in the real sense. I’m finishing a collection centered around Geraldine Ferraro, and I’m struck by the repetition of themes and characters, all the silence and cruelty. So, my focus has been to hone that concept in my book.

Artist David Bernardy is an artist, a writer and a dad. He likes lost things, old things, and dogs. Poet Jennifer Martelli is the author of My Tarantella, selected as a “Must Read” by the Massachusetts Center for the Book.

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“Kadushxeet” / “Writing”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Why this poem? Poet Ishmael Hope: CMarie Fuhrman… asked me to write a poem in both my heritage language, Tlingit (the other would be Inupiaq), and in translation. It could have been something previously published, but I wanted to make a whole new piece. It was fruitful. I really saw how you can write a poem in Tlingit—that thoughts form wholly in the language if you learn it well….  Artist David Bernardy: I was attracted by all the physicality of the poem: the coffee, the cottonwood, the mud, the bones. I found all these, paired with the title, irresistible.

Poet Ishmael Hope, an Inupiaq and Tlingit poet, actor and Indigenous scholar, served as the lead writer for the video game, Never Alone (Upper One Games); has published two poetry collections. Artist David Bernardy is an artist, a writer and a dad.

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“Shreveport”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Poet George Franklin: The palette that he used surprised me. The colors—red, yellow, brown, and blue—somehow feel very French to me, how I imagine Provence. Somehow they connote an adolescent longing I confess I still experience. Artist David Bernardy: I grew up in a rapidly developing suburb and saw it go from the edge of farm land to a plastic sprawl… the visual clutter it made came back to me as I read George’s work.

Artist David Bernardy is an artist, a writer and a dad. He likes lost things, old things, and dogs. Poet George Franklin’s collection, Traveling for No Good Reason, won the Sheila-Na-Gig Editions competition.  George practices law in Miami and teaches poetry workshops in Florida state prisons.

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“Ode to Origins”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Poet Mara Jebsen: The poem is a praise-poem and sort of 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, jellyfish, and poppies… lovely, lovely.

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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Collaborators’ Q&A:  Artist David Bernardy: I enjoy how this poem offers a kind of secret history of the thistle plant…. I like how this secret history coupled with the strength, resilience, and tenderness one must find at a place like Thistle Farms. 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?).

Poet Jennifer Jean’s debut 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: Poet Brian Clifton: The figure looks, to me at least, a little Shakespearean… the artwork made me think more about the history of the form I was using and how far back it goes into Western poetics. Artist David Bernardy: I imagine these pieces lit the way night-festivals used to be—torches, and barrels of flame, small pools of flickering light.

Artist David Bernardy is an artist, a writer and a dad. He likes lost things, old things, and dogs. Poet Brian Clifton lived in Kansas City Missouri. His work can be found in Whiskey Island, Juked, CutBank, and other such magazines.

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