New Photographs by Isabel Winson-Sagan

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Elysian Fields

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Jacob’s Ladder

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Ark of the Fractures

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Looks like 2017 is designated here in my world as the year of mother-daughter collaboration. I can’t wait! Isabel is setting up a dedicated studio space–large scale printer, diy print press. We’re working out our schedule and list of projects. In the past year we’ve had two wonderful residencies–Wildacres, NC and Herekeke, NM. Now we’re going to start to work together several days a week as a routine here in Santa Fe–God willing & the creek don’t rise.

3 Questions for Alison Carb Sussman

What is your personal/aesthetic relationship to the poetic line? How do you understand it? Use it?

My poems can be prose poems, or they can be in verse with rhythm and line breaks. When I break my poem into lines it is usually because I want the reader to read it slowly and to concentrate on each line as a separate unit. When I write a poem in block text I want the reader to concentrate on the poem as a whole. Which one I use, prose poem or verse, depends on what I hear when I begin writing. I usually know by hearing where a line is going to break. I try hard not to have too many end-stopped lines in a single poem because they can shut it down rhythmically but sometimes the poem just dictates what it wants to be. I like using enjambment because each line runs over to the next and creates a forward flowing rhythm which pushes the poem along but again that type of poem will often dictate itself. I follow where a poem takes me, kind of like a worm feeling its way along in the dirt.

Do you find a relationship between words and writing and the human body? Or between your writing and your body?

I notice that in my writing body parts always appear. They either appear as the central focus of the poem or are mentioned in it. Bodies seem to dance through my poems, naked or clothed, bodies collide, run, faint, shake their heads. Large feet and toes do the foxtrot. Hands draw themselves. Shoulder blades sink, arms fold, and so on. Like some children I didn’t have a whole lot of control over my body, and I think using the body in my poetry is one way of taking back some of that control.

Is there anything you dislike about being a poet?

There’s really nothing I dislike about being a poet. I went into it with my eyes open. I knew I was going to be both ecstatic and miserable for the rest of my life.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 2016
After Patrick Kavanagh

To Them he would always be brown, never golden
brown skin and eyes and teeth,
to Them he would never be summer,
always winter,
his future, pore by anguished pore,
his hair, a thistle-wild grave,
to Them he was beneath soot,
less than rot,
hit for hampering the way,
a maturing shoot rising stifled
in Their spray—

Alison Carb Sussman’s poems “Acting Like a Woman” and “Reuniting With Mother at the Zoo” won the Abroad Writers’ Conference/Finishing Line Press Authors Poetry Contest. She was awarded a conference registration and stay at the Butlers Townhouse in Dublin from December 12th to 19th, 2015. Her poem “Anhedonia” was a finalist in the 49th Parallel Award for Poetry in Bellingham Review’s 2016 Literary Contests. Her chapbook, On the Edge, a semi-finalist in Finishing Line’s New Women’s Voices Chapbook Competition 2012, was published by Finishing Line in May 2013. Her poems have appeared in Gargoyle, Levure litteraire, Emory University’s Lullwater Review, The New York Times, and Southword Journal. Other poems are forthcoming in Atlanta Review and Rattle. Alison was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015. She lives and writes in New York City.

Sea Urchin?

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http://cornellsun.com/2016/09/14/arts-quad-urchin-challenges-human-perception-of-everyday-objects/

“Like a real Urchin, you can look at it, but it’s best not to touch it,” said director of the Masters of Architecture Program Prof. Caroline O’Donnell, on her new Arts Quad exhibit.
O’Donnell created the exhibit, “Urchin (Impossible Circus), with the help of Christopher Morse ’17 and John Lai ’17 as a part of the Cornell Council of the Arts’ 2016 Biennial celebration. The exhibit — installed on the arts quad this past weekend — attempts to transform 500 plastic lawn chairs into a living organism.
“The idea is that when you see it from afar, it seems like a designed object,” O’Donnell said. “As you get closer, at some point you realize that it’s just a plastic chair that you’ve already sat in 100 times. You have to resolve these two different perceptions in your mind.”

My own tiny Jackson Pollock by Miriam Sagan

green dripped
down the page
my own tiny
Jackson Pollock,
I threw acrylic
on water
in the dusk and incipient
rain storm,
pink startled me
on the surface
of vision
hollyhock, polka dot, a shade of color
born in the 1960’s
when I emerged
from a girl
dressed in my mother’s plaids and navy
into purple paisley and magenta madras.

to print
is to know
I’ve lived,
my body
leaves an indent
in the bed
and will the grave,
I drop gobs of yellow
drizzle argentine
spotted red and orange
pull pages
of color
from the water’s surface
capture
Venus on the horizon,
your salt and pepper hair,
my best
my worst
impulse,
there are no words
on this speechless paper,
red finches, and gray clouds
rising out of the mountain
to disturb the suminagashi basin
with rain.

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Suminagashi Around the Equinox

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Almost a year since I learned to do this from Isabel Winson-Sagan. And probably less than two months since I started worked more consistently. Still using the outdoor set-up, even though it is getting cold. I hope to work straight through the winter outdoors if I can.

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Have been experimenting. There is acrylic ink from Japan that is for marbling, but it acts more like a monoprint at times.

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I love it, but the medium is difficult to manipulate, I’ve lost the tiny bit of control I had with the more traditional ink.

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They say a suminagashi master has 5% or maybe 2% control. I’m down below that!

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