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Contributions by Helen Beckman Kaplan:

“Drone Confessional”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem?  Poet Kim Garcia: Looking at Helen’s work I knew the broadside would be beautiful and intelligent. What surprised me is that I thought there might be more obvious fear in the image, but Helen is a much more subtle thinker and I love the way the fear in her image creeps up on me. What inspires you in this poem? …

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“From a Lighthouse Keeper”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Poet Karen Llagas: …I wrote this poem out of disappointment that modern technology has made lighthouse keepers completely unnecessary, and this poem may have romanticized them somewhat—I think that she may also have picked up on this, and on the speaker’s longing and sense of obsolescence. Artist Helen Beckman Kaplan: I love the mood, which is both suggestive and dreamy but within a framework of practicality.

Poet Karen Llagas was raised in the Philippines and currently lives in San Francisco where she works as a teacher and an interpreter. Artist Helen Beckman Kaplan is a painter from Brooklyn who was educated at Rhode Island School of Design, Tyler School of Art, Indiana University and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

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“Empire”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Artist Helen Beckman Kaplan: My romantic nature usually brings me around to visiting the figure in landscape, often as an over-the-shoulder view. I am drawn to a transmogrified pastoral space, and within that space to the tangling of the relationship between physicality of paint and what is represented. Poet Kathleen Lynch: I think the poem and art are in dialogue with each other in a way that is more intuitional than literal. I appreciate that the image is so “open,” and invites varied contemplation.

Artist Helen Beckman Kaplan is a painter from Brooklyn who was educated at Rhode Island School of Design, Tyler School of Art, Indiana University and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Poet Kathleen Lynch is the author of Hinge (Black Zinnias national poetry prize). She conducts workshops and is a freelance editor.

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“Mayflies”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Poet Roy Seeger: I think “refract” is an appropriate word to describe Helen Kaplan’s work here; it captures one instant of the mayfly’s iridescent wings, as if in amber. The collaboration better captures the moment before a physical act (whatever that may be) a moment of stasis, full of potential energy—even the physical poem hovers over the wings, a thing suspended mid-air as if by the humidity… Artist Helen Beckman Kaplan: I think that just about any descriptive narrative results in a very specific image for me in the same way that places in a dream have a specific sense of layout and detail. So I thought about trying to express that, in a line or tone drawing, but I was ultimately drawn to the idea of the delicacy of mayfly wings.

Poet Roy Seeger received his MA in poetry from Ohio University and his MFA (also in poetry) from Western Michigan University where he teaches part-time. “Mayflies” was first published in The Southeast Review. Artist Helen Beckman Kaplan is a painter from Brooklyn who was educated at Rhode Island School of Design, Tyler School of Art, Indiana University and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

 

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