Collaborators’ Q&A: Poet Ruby Hansen Murray: Writing poetry in Osage is an expression of joy. Osage words carry the humor of being together, of close relationships in the forms the language takes. The words and expressions carry mystery and power, an old worldview. Elders say, “they put the old ways in there,” and we listen for them. Amy Meissner: This is a vintage embroidery, maker unknown, the piece abandoned. It feels like a scrap from an unrelatable time. Featuring the reverse side is an opportunity to enter into the space of the setting from a different direction, to reimagine not only the way our grandmothers may have been taught but also the opportunity we have to educate our children for the future, a reclaiming of language and home.
Alaska artist Amy Meissner combines traditional handwork, found objects, and abandoned, often valueless textiles to reference the literal, physical, and emotional work of women. Poet Ruby Hansen Murray is a citizen of the Osage Nation living along the lower Columbia River. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Cascadia Field Guide: Art Ecology Poetry, Ecotone, Pleiades, and elsewhere.