Collaborators’ Q&A: Poet Catherine Swanson: When I look at the colorful boldness of Ira Joel Haber’s pastel and the cluttered side-of-the-roadness of my poem, I can believe that opposites attract. “The Company of Weeds” began as a moment of fascination recorded in my journal. Because I’m an urbanite who doesn’t wander in the woods often enough, the images were laid out unsuccessfully a few times until I saw this visual, and then something clicked.Artist Ira Joel Haber: Well it’s certainly a nice honor to have a poet write a poem inspired by my art, so the whole thing more or less is a surprise. It goes to show how art can inspire.
Artist Ira Joel Haber was born and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Currently he teaches art at the United Federation of Teachers Retiree Program in Brooklyn. Poet Catherine Swanson has had the opportunity to observe human interaction in its diversity and connectedness for many years as a social worker, refugee advocate and ethnographer, her poems have been published in a variety of literary journals in North America and other countries.