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Contributions by Elizabeth Terhune:

“Ghost Mantis”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Artist Elizabeth Terhune: Inspiration. First, mantis.  Drawn up short, abruptly, thought’s space interrupted, invaded, to fixed attention, hearing: mantis.  Synonym: mystery. Ghost Mantis.  Doubles that.  Poet Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello: I’ve always thought of this poem as a bit scrappy, but when I saw the precisely smudged and veined edging of the mantis shape, I couldn’t help thinking of that last line as empowering and beautiful for both the mantis and the reader.

Collaborators:  Poet Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello is the author of Hour of the Ox (University of Pittsburgh, 2016), winner of the AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry. Artist Elizabeth Terhune is a painter. She works in oil and watercolor and makes drawings in ink and pencil.

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“Lighthouse”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Rosalynde Vas Dias: Well, there’s really only one character or dominant image, which is the lighthouse, so I was mostly curious to see how literally the artist would treat the poem. What inspires you in this poem? Artist Elizabeth Terhune: I was immediately drawn into the world of the poem. Did the visual artist refract any element of the poem …

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“Station”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Maria Hummel: To me, the most obvious images would be a train or train tracks. What inspires you in this poem? Artist Elizabeth Terhune: I find I carry this poem with me as one would a stone in the pocket. I am deeply grateful to Maria Hummel for articulating the world and space of this poem. Did the visual …

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“Harvest City”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Andy Stallings: I did have a sense that, whichever artist found themselves inclined toward this poem, they’d be drawn to the lemon. I would have been myself. Both in the poem and in the painting, I feel that the lemon has a tremendous kinetic potential, which is realized by the window breaking in the poem and by the squiggly geometric shapes …


“I never hear the word ‘escape'”

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Why this poem? An answer by artist Elizabeth Terhune Like many people, I respond to Dickinson’s incredible compression, her inventiveness. In this case, I particularly liked how the poem opens up at the end (by quieting down a bit?). Also, her wildly fun sense of image and language. “A quicker blood.” “A flying attitude.” The poem has a resonant interiority to it, but she keeps playful. It is both intensely personal, her vulnerability is felt, …

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“As Any Approaching Might Smile and Stop” (Savich & Terhune)

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Writer Zach Savich: When I read that poem, I see a dark road. It looks wet because of headlights, not rain. What inspires you in this poem? Artist Elizabeth Terhune: I liked the gathering of images. I’m always thinking in terms of visual interpretation. The poem has a straight-forward, direct quality. The language seems plain, quiet actually. Yet it navigates through a …

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“Wreckage: By Sea (i)”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Gretchen E. Henderson: I tried not to form expectations, so my mind wouldn’t wrap and warp around a certain scope of representation. I assumed that cartographic and nautical elements would play some role, given the poem’s slant of historical mapping, but Elizabeth’s rendering took my breath away. What inspires you in this poem? Artist Elizabeth Terhune: Many things. As a visual artist, …

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“In Our Time”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Ilya Kaminsky: My response is: gratitude. I think she did a marvelous job. What inspires you in this poem? Artist Elizabeth Terhune: I liked the head being banged on the ground. It immediately made sense to me (I do that with my own head, in drawings and fairly regularly at other times). And then, the hard and furious laughter. The poem …

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“Among Trees” / “The Heart is a Bee Hive”

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Collaborators’ Q&A This image was created outside of the usual Broadsided “respond to writing” system—can you talk about its origins? Artist Elizabeth Terhune: Well, as a visual artist I spend time drawing or painting—pretty much every day—so this kind of small piece is actually characteristic. It’s how I begin my day, like a diary entry. This particular drawing was loosely based on a song I wrote this summer while sitting by a small pond in …

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“The Prosthetic”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What inspired you to “dibs” this poem? Artist Elizabeth Terhune: Quite honestly, this poem initially felt like it was “too much” for me to handle emotionally—I held off. It brought to mind the many injured soldiers and civilians from the Iraq war and the countless other victims of other wars. I also have a friend, my piano teacher, who has had a prosthetic leg since he was nine due, I believe, to an accident …

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“Snow Over Shavers Fork”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What inspired you to “dibs” this poem? Artist Elizabeth Terhune: I’ve collaborated on two broadsides, “Mahogany” by Leslie LeChance was the first, “Snow Over Shavers’ Fork” is the second. Both “Snow Over Shavers’ Fork” and “Mahogany” appealed to me because there were images that I related to. Each poem has as a focus the visual creation of place that is in deep relationship to the interior world of the poet. The sense of …

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“Mahogany”

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Poet Leslie LaChance lives in West Tennessee, where she spends time admiring how the sky comes down like that over the cotton fields. Her poems and articles have appeared recently in The Birmingham Poetry Review, Iris, Chronogram, Now & Then, Appalachian Journal, and Dance Teacher. Artist Elizabeth Terhune received her MFA from Hunter College and her BA from Oberlin College. She was the recipient of a Yaddo Fellowship in 1998. She has exhibited widely throughout …

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