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Contributions by Lisa Sette:

“Malångu I Maga’håga” / “The Woman Chief is Ill”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Why this poem? Artist Lisa Sette: “Ready the outrigger.” I feel the same way.  I wasn’t born buried.  I didn’t sprout from the earth, I was born from water. I love the repetition and pace of this poem. When you consider all 3 broadsides of this folio together, what comes to mind? Poet Jay Baza Pascua: One poem spoke of nature and the other of death. My poem included these two subjects. It was as though we were meant to be featured together. It’s amazing that we did not collaborate.

Poet Jay Baza Pascua is Chamorro—an indigenous person of Guam. He is a storyteller. Artist Lisa Sette lives on Cape Cod.

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“Pink”

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What surprised you about this collaborative piece?
Poet Terese Svoboda: I hadn’t imagined the neuron-like background, nor the tightness of the image which contributes to its intensity.
Artist Lisa Sette: The way the poem ends. Like the movement in a snake’s coil, the poem has that movement.  It moves like a snake.  It’s intense.  Because it feels like it’s still alive.

Describe the collaboration in one word.
Poet Terese Svoboda: Expanding
Artist Lisa Sette:
Spiraled

Collaborators: A recent Guggenheim Fellow, Terese Svoboda’s seventh book of poetry is Professor Harriman’s Steam Air-Ship (Eyewear). Artist Lisa Sette lives on Cape Cod.

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“My History of Lead”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Artist Lisa Sette: I think art is an expression of one’s social, mental and spiritual state. What is happening in the world gets filtered into your art. Poet Jill McDonough: Art helps us think about hard things. If it helps its maker solve a problem, think through something hard, or if it helps a viewer approach something in a new way, that’s success.

Poet Jill McDonough’s books of poems include Habeas Corpus (Salt, 2008), and Where You Live (Salt, 2012). Artist Lisa Sette lives and works on Cape Cod.

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“The Doll (A Pretend Person)” / “Mammaraq (Innuŋŋuuraq)”

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Collaborator’s Q&A: Poet Joan Naviyuk Kane: The visual image could be the photographic negative of topography from the air, a cell, or the detail from a larger work.
Artist Lisa Sette: 
The poem carried me to unusual strands of memories.

Poet Joan Naviyuk Kane is author of The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife, for which she received a 2009 Whiting Writers’ Award, and Hypboreal (Pitt Poetry Series), winner of the 2012 Donald Hall Prize from AWP. Artist Lisa Sette is a biologist living on Cape Cod who loves the intersection of art and science.

 

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“Ghazal 17” (English)

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Translator Roger Sedarat: So often when those unfamiliar with the practice of translation speak about a text rendered into another language, they tend to zero in on fidelity to the original. That’s a natural and completely valid response. Literary translators know, however, getting close to meaning is the barest beginning of re-creating the spirit of the text. Artist Lisa Sette: I feel like both visual responses are elemental—air and fire. Both feel like they generate energy or heat that go towards the sky or heavens.

Poet Hafez, one of the classical masters of Persian poetry, was born in Shiraz, Iran, in the early 14th century. Translator Roger Sedarat is the author of two poetry collections, Dear Regime: Letters to the Islamic Republic (Ohio UP, 2007) and Ghazal Games (Ohio UP, 2011). Artist Lisa Sette is a biologist who works on Cape Cod.

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“At the Christmas Party for the Infectious Diseases”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Poet Christina Olson: I don’t think a poem that imagines infectious diseases getting together for a holiday party should take itself too seriously, and I think that Lisa hit just the right note. It’s joyful and a little sinister. That, and I love the palate of colors: the red, and the green, and the blue. Artist Lisa Sette: …The image and poem had more points of intersection than I thought they would. When I read the poem, I instantly thought of this image, but it surprised to see how often moments in the poem were also in the image. There are visual links to the poem that anchor it.

Poet Christina Olson’s first book of poems, Before I Came Home Naked, will be published by Spire Press. She is currently a visiting professor of writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. Artist Lisa Sette holds a BFA in photography and a master’s degree in biology.

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“Late”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Artist Lisa Sette: …I like the idea of night coming on and chasing you down. Night does weird things to people. It changes their behavior. That’s when anxiety hits you. That’s when you see how people respond to stress and loneliness and heartache. Poet Jon Ballard: The biggest surprise for me is the feeling (I may be wrong) that the artist senses the idea of dislocation I hoped to convey in the poem. The woman in the poem is stranded to a degree, if not physically than certainly emotionally, and the night “coming on fast” is no friend. The artist, I think, captures that.

Poet Jon Ballard received his MA in English from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, and has taught writing and literature at Oakland Community College in Royal Oak, Michigan. Artist Lisa Sette holds a BFA in photography and a master’s degree in biology.

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“The Car Covenant”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: If the poem were a weather pattern, what would it be?
Poet Robert Strong: First the dust comes up, then the rain washes it off and out to the side—small twister in the radio AM distance. Artist Lisa Sette: I feel like it’s meditating on the idea of the collision of consumption and humanity… and we’re losing. It’s a really bright sunny day. No clouds. It hurts.

Poet Robert Strong lives north of the Adirondack park and bikes to work year round. He is the editor of Joyful Noise: An Anthology of American Spiritual Poetry and author of Puritan Spectacle, from which “The Car Covenant” is adapted. Artist Lisa Sette holds a BFA in photography and a master’s degree in biology.

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“Last Meal: Photographs”

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Poet Jonathan Fink was born in Lubbock, TX in 1975. He received his BA from Trinity University and his MFA from Syracuse University. From 2003-2005 he was the Creative Writing Fellow in Poetry at Emory University. Currently he is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Poetry at Emory. His poems have appeared in Poetry, New England Review, TriQuarterly, Slate, and Virginia Quarterly Review, among other publications.

Artist Lisa Sette holds a BFA in photography and a master’s degree in biology.

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