Collaborators’ Q&A: Does the artist’s response make you see the poem differently? Poet Rose Strode: The stark quality of the black and white, the expression and posture of the figure really touched the heart of my poem. It is wordless, yet eloquent. I feel so lucky that you, JoAnne, were the one to respond to my poem. Thank you. The poem discusses motion, but at its heart it is really about being stuck—in an emotion, or because of an emotion—which the figure in the corner emphasizes. I didn’t quite see that myself, and I have you and your art to thank for that insight. What drew you to create a visual response to this poem, in particular? Artist JoAnne McFarland: I love the way the poem goes straight to the heart of something most of us have felt—an inability to connect. We are such social beings, but trying to connect can be excruciating for some. The poem is cinematic in the way it describes the mental chasms that can inhabit tiny physical spaces, and the interior gulfs we can create through our fear of rejection.
JoAnne McFarland is an artist, poet, and curator, and is the Artistic Director of Artpoetica Project Space in Brooklyn which exhibits work that focuses on the intersection of language and visual representation. Rose Strode is a poet and essayist whose recent work appears in New Ohio Review, The Florida Review, Dewdrop, and “Beautiful Things” at River Teeth.