Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May Broadsided Collaboration for Your Vectorizing

Picnic is a "virtual vector" although we often broadside on other blogs and Facebook pages ~ not to carry coals to Newcastle and all that. Read more about poetry broadsiding, Broadsided Press and the history of broadsiding. Think of poetry Broadsiding as combining  public art and publishing (the way it used to be done). Simply put, Broadsided wants to put poetry and art out on the streets... and Picnic wants its readers to become vectors and do the same. Vector on!
Dear Vectors  and Friends of Broadsided,
Hope you had a Happy May Day. Whether or not marching or dancing around a pole with ribbons, we hope you have been using vertical surfaces to hang Broadsided. Our new favorite Vectorizing location, thanks to our Post-A-Thon winner Catherine Swanson, is the grocery store cart.  Those poor wire cages in the parking lot, those lost hours wandering the aisles or standing in line at checkout, where, of course they can be brightened by Broadsided.

Broadsided just finished a busy month. April 22, Poets James Arthur ("Omnivore"), Susan Rich ("Ghazal for the Woman from Vitez"), Alexandra Teague (editor), and Elizabeth Bradfield (editor) read work in response to art by Caleb Brown (5 Broadsided collaborations) and Stacy Isenbarger (a new Broadsided artist). Then the poets read new work and the artists responded in real time with ink, paper, cloth, astro-turf, and more. Glorious chaos!

What resulted was a dimensional response, a collaborative and sculptural piece, a representation of the surprise of inspiration and a jumping-off-point for deeper exploration and creativity. We hope to do more of these performative experiences in the future. And we have some other tricks up our sleeves...

We also did a little exhibition of Broadsided in "Appearances," a Green Arts Festival coordinated with Earth Day on Cape Cod. It was a simple affiar: a clotheline pinned with Broadsided that invited people to take a page and, via notepad and pen left on the line, leave a poem of their own if they were so inspired. If you have an art event in your community, we invite you to do something with Broadsided. Why not? Print some out, make a conversation of art and poetry fluttering in the world. Then tell us about it!

With Thanks and in Co-conspiratorial Art-Infusing Spirit, Elizabeth Bradfield, Alexandra Teague and Sean Hill

"Cost Benefit" Poem by Lisa Allen Ortiz, Art by Cheryl Gross

Readers, this is the ninth Broadsided Switcheroo. We posted Cheryl's art and asked writers to respond. There was an amazing range of subjects, styles, and responses that came in. In the final editorial meeting, Lisa Allen Ortiz's wonderful leaping-off from the minutiae of accounting and memory-keeping felt fresh, real, and a wonderful expansion upon the emotion in Gross's art. We hope you enjoy it. We thank those who sent in work for the Switcheroo, and we'll have another next year.

Writer Lisa Allen Ortiz is currently an MFA candidate at Pacific University. Her poems have appeared in Zyzzyva, The Literary Review and Crab Orchard Review, and her chapbook Turns Out was published last year by Main Street Publishing Company. She lives in Santa Cruz, California.

Artist Cheryl Gross Cheryl Gross has an MFA in New Forms from Pratt. She writes: "When asked about my work, I always equate it with creating an environment transforming my inner thoughts into reality. Much like an architect or urban planner, that reality and humor becomes the foundation of the work. Beginning with the physical process, I work in layers. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, my urban influence has indeed added an "edge" to my work. Coming from a totally vertical and intense environment, I now live in Jersey City, NJ."

Collaborators' Q&A:
...I had been mourning the loss of our home movies (accidentally put in a good will bag while cleaning), and the odd figures reminded me of distorted children's toys and thus of memories and what we lose with time. The receipt made me think about what memories are worth...

Read more of what the writer and artist had to say about their Broadsided experience. Visit to get the full broadside.

April 15 - 25, in honor of National Poetry Month, we asked you to get creative in your Broadsided posting and vectorization, and to enter pictures of your efforts. See the winning entries here.

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