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Contributions by JoAnne McFarland:

“Bats”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Does the artist’s response make you see the poem differently? Poet Rose Strode: The stark quality of the black and white, the expression and posture of the figure really touched the heart of my poem. It is wordless, yet eloquent. I feel so lucky that you, JoAnne, were the one to respond to my poem. Thank you. The poem discusses motion, but at its heart it is really about being stuck—in an emotion, or because of an emotion—which the figure in the corner emphasizes. I didn’t quite see that myself, and I have you and your art to thank for that insight. What drew you to create a visual response to this poem, in particular? Artist JoAnne McFarland: I love the way the poem goes straight to the heart of something most of us have felt—an inability to connect. We are such social beings, but trying to connect can be excruciating for some. The poem is cinematic in the way it describes the mental chasms that can inhabit tiny physical spaces, and the interior gulfs we can create through our fear of rejection.

JoAnne McFarland is an artist, poet, and curator, and is the Artistic Director of Artpoetica Project Space in Brooklyn which exhibits work that focuses on the intersection of language and visual representation. Rose Strode is a poet and essayist whose recent work appears in  New Ohio Review, The Florida Review, Dewdrop, and “Beautiful Things” at River Teeth.

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“The Road to Rehab is Paved”

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Collaborators’ Q&A

Artist JoAnne McFarland: I love the way the poem reels! I knew right away it was about a journey between life and death. The mother is the North Star, the one pinpoint of light remaining in this child’s life—a daughter who cannot bear the future, either literally or emotionally. Poet Adele Elise Williams: From social media to alcohol to hard drugs, someone is, or knows someone who is, battling addiction. It must be treated as the disease it is and as not a choice or a defect or an impossibility. 

Poet Adele Elise Williams serves as Nonfiction Editor for Gulf Coast. Adele is the winner of the 2019 Emily Morrison Poetry Prize ; selected work can be found or is forthcoming in Guernica, Cream City Review, The Adroit Journal, Quarterly West, Beloit Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. adeleelisewilliams.com. JoAnne McFarland is an artist, poet, and curator, and is the Artistic Director of  Artpoetica Project Space in Brooklyn which exhibits works that focus on the intersection  of language and visual representation. McFarland has artwork in the permanent  collections of The Library of Congress, The Columbus Museum of Art, and The  Department of State, among many others. McFarland’s traveling  curatorial project SALLY will be at The Brickbottom Gallery in Somerville, MA  this September. www.joannemcfarland.com

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