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Contributions by Melissa Fite Johnson:

“Neighbors”

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NOTE: This broadside is one of six published for our “Bearing Arms: Responding to Guns in American Culture” special feature.

Collaborators’ Q&A

What is behind your choice of this piece of art in response to the topic “Guns in American Culture”? Artist David Kamm: “End of the Rainbow” was created in response to the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  A long series of related work has followed.

Why did this piece of art resonate for you or seem like it would give you an avenue into writing about this subject? Poet Melissa Fite Johnson: The ways gun violence affects children is something I think about often. Every day, really—I’m a high school English teacher, my husband is an elementary school teacher.

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“Backyard”

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The Switcheroo is here!  Artist Jenny Bevill selected this year’s image, “The Fragile Domestic” by Amy Meissner, saying of it, “I could see it inspiring words like spin, turn, revolve but also pulse. The strings in the middle seem to be holding the nest in place in this spinning world.” Poet Melissa Fite Johnson‘s poem “Backyard” sang out from all the entries. It might be because, as she says, “what I found so inspiring about Amy’s work is that it gave me a small shiver of déjà vu. It felt like a visual representation of the themes I can’t stop writing (and reading) about lately.”

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“2014 Haiku Year-in-Review”

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The annual Haiku Year-In-Review (HYIR) celebrates, examines, and honors the past year in poetry and art.

Meet the Poets: A group that spans the continent, a group that loves poetry and works as teachers, naturalists, and advocates. We asked them to tell us about themselves, and to also look back on 2014 and share their most memorable moment, be it personal or public.

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