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Contributions by Jim Benning:

“Lake George, 1922”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Jessica Jacobs: I grew up beside a lake in Central Florida and, to train for triathlons, my father and I would often swim across it. To keep ski boats from running us over, we’d tow a jon boat along behind us, then row back home, often into the wind, etching into me the actions and images of those oars straining …

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“No Diving”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Gabriel Welsch: I wasn’t sure, given how much of the piece is menace implied. The action happens offstage. But when it was chosen, I knew the colors at the beginning might give an artist an anchor, and in this case, the “red-letter scowl” forms the dominant image. I do like how the rest of the action of the poem is implied …

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“Interview: Antique Iron Bed”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Landon Godfrey: I love what Jim has done. And I’m completely surprised by it. I didn’t realize that I was not participating in an expectation, or a series of expectations, until I actually saw Jim’s version of the poem; then because I was indeed surprised—and pleased—I understood that I hadn’t been expecting anything in particular. This is a rare moment …

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“Canned Food Drive”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What inspired you to “dibs” this poem? Artist Jim Benning: I read the poem and it conjured up a bunch of visual ideas. What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Kathleen Lynch: Possibly moonlight on kids’ bicycles, sycamores as guards, shrub as fort, “big bellied planes,” maybe a can or pile of cans. But I thought of round cans, not rectangular. Artist Jim Benning gave me a good …

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“Collected Fragments Detailing Your Journey”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What inspired you to “dibs” this poem? Artist Jim Benning: The idea of a search, movement. All the things/places and associations that come to mind when one awareness of seeing is attended to. It’s a process I try to assess each time I make images; what have I seen, what am I looking for, does what I see have meaning to what I feel and want to say. Did the visual artist refract …

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“Insurance Man, 1946”

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A native of Milledgeville, Georgia, Poet Sean Hill earned an M.F.A. from the University of Houston Creative Writing Program, where he was awarded the 2003 Michener Fellowship for poetry. His other awards include the Academy of American Poets Prize, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference working scholarships in 2000 and 2001, an Individual Artist grant from the Region 2 Art Council of Minnesota in 2004, and a 2005 Bush Artist Fellowship. Hill is a Cave Canem Fellow. …

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