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Contributions by Derek Sheffield:

“Timid as Any Herd Animal”

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Collaborators’s Q&A: Artist Douglas Culhane: I was first taken by the music of the poem. The rhymes, the consonants crashing into one another, and the way this related to the images that begin piling up. There also is a progression in dynamics—images thin, the volume decreases—a sort of gorgeous diminuendo. All of this in just a dozen lines. Poet Derek Sheffield: I was hoping the artist would especially feel how the musicality and tone work together. I don’t see a refraction so much as I see, amazingly, a kind of transliteration.

Poet Derek Sheffield’s collection Not for Luck was selected by Mark Doty for the Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize. He coedited Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy (Trinity, 2020) and is the poetry editor of Artist Douglas Culhane works in sculpture and drawing. He has exhibited in New York and New England and he teaches art at Amherst College. See more of his work at

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