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Contributions by Stacy Isenbarger:

“The Fox”

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Did the visual artist refract any element of the poem that made you see the poem differently? Poet Amy Newman: After salivating over the image of the fox, who is everything one could hope for (his ghost-y shape and his manner, his susceptibility, his interest in the wildness of that space in the floor, and his vulnerability as well), I became very interested in the hand and string images….

When you began this piece, was it color, shape, or some other aspect that you followed? Did that change? Artist Stacy Isenbarger: My first sketches explored teeth and fur, but this response seemed to literal. As I began blind contour drawings of my hands offering and receiving, I felt like I was better connecting to the gesture of the poem…

Collaborators: Amy Newman is the author of five poetry collections, most recently On This Day in Poetry History. She teaches at Northern Illinois University. Stacy Isenbarger creates mixed-media drawings, sculpture, and installations. She teaches at the University of Idaho.

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“Be Aware”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What is behind your choice of this piece of art in response to Flint, Michigan’s contaminated drinking water? Artist Stacy Isenbarger: Being Michigan born & having family in the area, the idea of a place no longer being “Home, Sweet, Home” struck me. The idea of being stuck made the material collision of concrete and embroidery a necessary response. Why did this piece of art resonate for you or seem like it would …

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“Another Elegy”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Jericho Brown: The nun. What inspires you in this poem? Artist Stacy Isenbarger: I was struck by the rigor and weight of both letting go & holding on. While responding I considered a stain in reflection of a used vessel waiting in expectation. In my sketches this manifested itself in the form of a cloaked figure with open hands in …

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“Spring Is Here”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What inspires you in this poem? Artist Stacy Isenbarger: I find the atmosphere of the poem most inspiring. I feel like I’m stepping into a glorious/inglorious moment of nature’s potential fury when reading it. It reminds you of those moments when you know you are insignificant, life’s quirky, and nature is grand in its command over you. What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Robert Wrigley: The …

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“Landing Under Water, I See Roots”

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Collaborators’ Q&A What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Poet Annie Finch: I thought they’d pick up on the imagery of trees and roots. What inspires you in this poem? Artist Stacy Isenbarger: I am inspired (and I’m going to find awkward words here—this is why I tend to communicate visually) by the tone of quiet hope for rebuilding along side the strange embrace of neglect that just happens with valued …

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