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Contributions by Emilio C. Fernandez:

“Firm Hands”

Posted on • Words by • Art by

Teaching Writer George Franklin: I just want people to know how important it is to writers on the inside that their poems are out there being read, each one a communication from one person to another. On the outside, we take this for granted; people on the inside do not.

Artist Stacy Isenbarger: I connected quickly with that Wilson mitt and the feel of it encasing my left hand. I learned how to catch, awkwardly, from my dad when I was younger. There were always shapes to remember in the strategy of learning the game. The C formation of where to put my glove and all the places among the lines of the diamond that were best for fielding; these visual lessons stick with me. He was a good coach. In regards to catching a football, that diamond shape you make with your hands, I understood it conceptually but never quite connected with it. Reading how Emilio did while crashing into water triggered a visual of hands opening and waiting. His words are both refreshing and bittersweet due to the connections he makes, and I wanted to create a piece highlighting some back and forth tensions and connections with the diamond form—both seen through hands straining to catch and from someone viewing a neighborhood ball field who is maybe just outside the fence line.

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