Author Archives: Baltimore Museum of Art

Books for Art Lovers

This is a print of a snow scene at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. People dressed in dark clothes carry umbrellas and shoulder against the wind.

Henri Rivière (French, 1864-1951) and Georges Auriol (French, 1863-1938). Thirty-Six Views of the Eiffel Tower. 1888-1902, published 1902. Bound volume of 36 color lithographs. Purchased as the gift of Louis Berman, Glyndon, Maryland, BMA 2001.290

The BMA recently received a grant of $25,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts toward a new exhibition on artists’ books scheduled for the spring of 2017.

Artists’ books, according to a common definition, are “works of art in the form of a book.” The simplicity and broadness of this description encompasses works that are as multifarious, complex, and expressive as art in any other medium.  By nature a collaborative project at the crossroads of bookmaking and art-making, the artist’s book brings artists together with writers, printers, and publishers in a melding of perspectives that can lead to exciting and unexpected outcomes.

The exhibition will feature a selection of approximately 120 artists’ books and related prints by Jasper Johns, Barbara Kruger, Pablo Picasso, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and many others from the BMA’s superlative collection of late 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art.  It will be the capstone of a two-part, collaborative project between the BMA and the Program in Museums and Society at Johns Hopkins University that is funded in part by a grant to JHU from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  This spring, Rena M. Hoisington, BMA Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs, taught the course “Paper Museums: Exhibiting Artists’ Books at The Baltimore Museum of Art” for 11 undergraduates from JHU, Loyola University Maryland, and the Maryland Institute College of Art.  The students met weekly in the BMA’s Samuel H. Kress Foundation Study Room of Prints, Drawings & Photographs, where they had the opportunity to work directly with the artists’ books.  In addition to writing label texts and blog posts for these books, the students helped to determine the checklist and thematic organization of the exhibition.  More than half the works they chose have never been exhibited before at the BMA.

With checklist in hand, Hoisington and her BMA colleagues can now move forward with more detailed planning of the exhibition itself.  The generous funding from NEA and Mellon will help to defray the costs of the installation, digitization, and programming—all three of which are essential to creating a visually stimulating exhibition that will provide access to these rarely seen works while educating audiences about this important artistic medium.

One of the earliest books that will be included in this exhibition is Henri Rivière’s 1902 publication Thirty-Six Views of the Eiffel Tower, which was inspired by a series of color woodcuts entitled Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji by the 19th-century Japanese printmaker Katsushika Hokusai.  With this elegant publication, Rivière sought to equate the importance of the Eiffel Tower, a marvel of modern French industrial design completed in 1889, with the spiritual significance of Japan’s Mount Fuji.  Rivière’s inventive compositions not only document the construction of the tower—based in part on photographs he took from within the heights of the structure itself—but also reveal its impact on the cityscape of Paris.  In the same way that Hokusai had presented Mount Fuji, each page shows the Eiffel Tower from a different vantage point, in varying weather conditions and times of year.

A landscape with leaves in the foreground and clouds and the top of the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Henri Rivière (French, 1864-1951) and Georges Auriol (French, 1863-1938). Thirty-Six Views of the Eiffel Tower
1888-1902, published 1902. Bound volume of 36 color lithographs. Purchased as the gift of Louis Berman, Glyndon, Maryland, BMA 2001.290

This is a print of men working on the Eiffel Tower, perched precariously on wooden planks.

Henri Rivière (French, 1864-1951) and Georges Auriol (French, 1863-1938). Thirty-Six Views of the Eiffel Tower. 1888-1902, published 1902. Bound volume of 36 color lithographs. Purchased as the gift of Louis Berman, Glyndon, Maryland, BMA 2001.290

Introducing The Campaign for Art blog series

The 100th anniversary of The Baltimore Museum of Art in 2014 was cause for celebration on numerous counts including the re-opening of the original entrance to the Museum, the reinstallation of several parts of the collection, and the publication of a new highlights catalogue.  To further honor this centennial, the Museum was fortunate to receive 4000 works of art through the Campaign for Art over the course of the past decade.  These gifts, promised gifts, bequests, and purchases made with recently donated funds would have been unattainable without the extraordinary generosity of many donors who chose to contribute so meaningfully to the Museum.

The acquisition of these works has prompted us to contemplate how the collection, now encompassing 95,000 works of art, has grown and evolved over time.  Because only a selection of these works may be shown in the New Arrivals exhibitions and in the collection galleries, we thought it would be exciting to feature a series of blog posts that demonstrate how some of these new acquisitions build and offer new perspectives on the Museum’s collection.  We hope that you will enjoy reading these posts written by our curatorial staff.

Jay Fisher, Interim Co-Director
Rena Hoisington, Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs

Seeing Color: A Conversation About Race & Art 

Alison Saar. Strange Fruit. 1995. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Contemporary Art Endowment Fund. BMA 1995.122

Alison Saar. Strange Fruit. 1995. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Contemporary Art Endowment Fund. BMA 1995.122

Numerous events throughout the country and in our own city this past spring have challenged our staff to think about race and its representation in art. In Baltimore and other cities we have been prompted to reexamine symbols such as Confederate monuments, while elsewhere confederate flags glorifying the racial injustice advocated by the Confederacy are finally being removed from some public buildings, addressing a painful chapter in history—and a continuing reality—for many Americans. With its important collections of African and African-American art, The Baltimore Museum of Art seeks to bring conversation about this topic through a panel discussion at the Museum on Saturday, November 14 entitled Seeing Color: A Conversation About Race & Art.

It is especially meaningful to convene such a conversation within the context of an art museum. Whether intentionally or less deliberately, artists have frequently addressed challenging topics such as race, identity, and social justice. Artistic expression brings personal interpretation to the consideration of such issues.  Our own points of view are challenged as new interpretations are brought forward challenging our pre-conceptions.   

Rodney Foxworth, advisor for social impact ventures, will moderate a discussion that brings fresh insights to this larger discourse and sheds new light on challenging artworks at the BMA. These include artworks that appear uncritical about racial inequality such as a portrait by John Hesselius of Charles Calvert and His Slave and artworks that confront us by calling attention to racism and social injustice such as Alison Saar’s sculpture Strange Fruit.

The scholars and artists who are participating in the panel will bring a variety of perspectives to the conversation. The panelists are Dr. Sheri Parks, Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities at University of Maryland, Dr. James Smalls, art historian and professor at University of Maryland Baltimore County, Ailish Hopper, poet and professor at Goucher College, and Susan Harbage Page, artist and professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

We hope you will join us for this important conversation on November 14, if not in person, then here on the blog. What would you like to know about these artworks and others at the BMA? 

Jay Fisher
Interim Co-Director

You See Out. No One Sees In.

Angels Over Rowhouse Collington - Anna Pasqualucci

Angels Over Rowhouse Collington – Anna Pasqualucci

Elaine Eff, Maryland State folklorist

Painted screens—a Baltimore icon—first appeared in the city 1913, one year ahead of the Baltimore Museum of Art. Their origin is traced to William Oktavec, a Bohemian grocer who painted the screen doors of his corner store with pictures of the produce and meats he sold. From outside, you could not see beyond his handiwork. From inside, you had a clear view to the street.

The virtue of privacy was not lost on his neighbors, whose homes had no buffer from the sidewalk. Little Bohemia was awash with new rowhomes, taverns, corner stores, churches, schools and every amenity required to secure a new community. Soon “Oktavec the butcher,” became “Oktavec the artist,” opening The Art Shop, where he trained his sons and a few chosen apprentices in the art of screen painting.

As business grew, Oktavec borrowed images from calendars and greeting cards to paint the wire mesh. Soon, the red roofed mill or cottage became synonymous with the painted screens, which were in such demand that by the 1960s dozens of artists and dabblers had completed around 200,000 windows and door screens.

Flash forward to the 1980s.
The Painted Screen Society was founded in 1985 as a guild of screen painters, quickly becoming a community and regional non-profit to promote and preserve rowhouse arts. Painters led demonstrations and workshops. Emerging artists worked alongside masters. The Maryland State Arts Council supported apprenticeships through its folklife program, Maryland Traditions. A new breed of painters emerged, whose subjects – abstracts, portraits, and narrative scenes– would have once been unimaginable.

Screens may have diminished in numbers, but neighborhoods like Highlandtown and Canton have kept the tradition alive. Explore Eastern Avenue below Conkling Street, the Patterson Theater, Highlandtown Gallery and DiPasquale’s Italian Deli/Pompeii area for some real surprises. (Walking tour maps are available from HA! and the Painted Screen Society.)

You are invited to try your hand at painting screens at the BMA’s Imagining Home Opening Celebration on October 25, 11am-5pm. Artists Anna Pasqualucci and John Iampieri, both self-taught, bring their memories of discovering screens as youngsters in old Baltimore to bear in their very contemporary work. They share their skill and enthusiasm, as well as the secrets of screen painting.

Elaine Eff has chronicled Baltimore’s unique folk art since the 1970s when thousands of painted screens covered row house windows and doors throughout the city. She will be eager to listen to your memories, and sign the book The Painted Screens of Baltimore: An Urban Folk Art Revealed at Sunday’s event.

Arabbers - John Iampieri

Arabbers – John Iampieri

Home is Where the Healing Happens

Olivia June Fite, OHerbals

During a workshop I was leading at an International Woman’s Day celebration I asked participants to share “What home remedies do you remember from your childhood?” It was amazing to hear as the woman recalled, sometimes with difficulty and sometimes with joyful certainty, the healing that happened at home.

It is a question that is rarely asked and in today’s modern times more often forgotten. Whether it is gripe water for a colicky baby, onion syrup for a cough, or a good old Epsom salt foot soak, there is a tremendous amount of healing that has happened at the hands of parents, grandparents, friends, and even the neighborhood natural healer.

My work as a community educator and as a wellness clinician often focuses on re-introducing these easy and vital self/family care techniques to folk. It is always a process of excitement & empowerment. I love showing people the medicine that is growing up & out of our city sidewalks and backyards. I live for watching folks make their first vinegar infusion. I am even astonished when I try new remedies that others have passed on to me.

Holding the knowledge & skills of home healing can be money & time savers as well. If you have a spice rack in your house you also have lots of good medicine. Modern science is slowly catching up as papers are published on the healing powers of saffron, turmeric, and garlic. We cannot forget that people have known this for a long time through a different type of wisdom and investigation.

Home remedies also remind us that we are part of a larger matrix, interconnected with nature. We owe it to ourselves, and the future generations, to keep that knowledge alive. When we care for those around us with food, joy & plant medicine, we are practicing the oldest and most tested form of healing, and it can happen right here at home.

Recipe for Onion Syrup

  • In a ½ pint glass Mason jar, layer slices of white onion and sugar until jar is filled. You should be able to fit about 4 layers in the jar.
  • Seal with a clean lid. Give it a good shake to spread the sugar to cover the onion slices.
  • Watch over the next two days as the sugar dissolves the onions.
  • Strain what is left of the onions out of the syrup.
  • Store syrup for 2 months in the fridge.
  • Use 1 teaspoon in hot tea to help with coughs and colds.

You can learn more about Olivia’s work with home remedies at the BMA’s Imagining Home Opening Celebration, Sunday, October 25, 2015. In this free and festive day-long event enjoy creative art-making activities, fascinating demonstrations, lively performances, and intriguing in-gallery conversations that engage with the deep, varied, and complex connections we all have to home.

 

Inflatable Architecture & Imagining – living, breathing, responsive, nomadic – Home

Breastival Vestibule at Transmodern, Rachael Shannon 2013

Breastival Vestibule at Transmodern, Rachael Shannon 2013

Rachael Shannon, artist  

A few years ago I fell in love with Inflatable Sculpture. I didn’t see it coming, but, in retrospect, it made a lot of sense. I’m an artist whose passions have led me to engage with a variety of different media over time, including but not limited to costuming, sculptural ceramics, paint, performance, ritual, rock n roll, stage design and re-building my 1935 pier and beam house in Texas. I had uprooted my life in Texas for a new one in Baltimore to pursue an MFA in Community Arts.

The discovery of inflatable architecture connected patterning skills with spatial construction. I began to understand the process as ‘costuming air’, and appreciated it as a method of building that was adaptive to movement and a change of scenery, while maintaining a sense of place.

Inflatable architecture relies on a steady stream of air flowing through the body of the structure. In this way it is alive. It has anima, it has soul.

My first large inhabitable structures, the Breastival Vestibules (pictured above), attempted to create communal spaces that spoke to specific ways of expanding boundaries about how we interact with and experience our bodies (explore the Breastival Vestibule blog).

The Vestibules’ soft, rounded walls create a robust body, literally busting at its own seams, responsive to the pressure of touch, adapting to the forms that lean into and move around them. The structures are nomadic and inhabit a variety of locations, yet the sense of transformation upon entering these spaces is definitive, and offers an alternate way of experiencing oneself and others in whatever conference, festival, gallery, and dirty parking lot they pop up in. They act as a liminal space, between what is known and what can be imagined.

Breastival Vestibule – Interior, Rachael Shannon 2013

Breastival Vestibule – Interior, Rachael Shannon 2013

I have enjoyed leading others in the process of creating inflatable sculpture in workshops from Nicaragua to Newfoundland, with ages 6 through 65 (limited only by whoever shows up!).

Team of youth at a workshop in Limay, Nicaragua piece together the ‘fabric’ for their inflatable sculpture.

Team of youth at a workshop in Limay, Nicaragua piece together the ‘fabric’ for their inflatable sculpture.

Completed sculpture from the Limay workshop using local plastics and duct & packing tape.

Completed sculpture from the Limay workshop using local plastics and duct & packing tape.

 

On Sunday, October 25, explore Inflatable Architecture with Rachael Shannon. She will lead workshop participants in creating a collaborative inflatable space with a variety of easily found materials at the BMA’s Imagining Home Opening Celebration

Hope to see you there! In the meantime, check out these links to some inspiring applications of inflatable architecture:

Michael Rakowitz – paraSites
Olivia Robinson & The Spectres of Liberty collaboration: The Ghost of the Liberty Street Church
Museo Aero Solar

Collaborative sculpture completed as part of an Art Marathon Festival workshop, St John’s, Newfoundland.

Collaborative sculpture completed as part of an Art Marathon Festival workshop, St John’s, Newfoundland.

Un Caballo Se Llama Llena -  Rachael Shannon, 2014

Un Caballo Se Llama Llena – Rachael Shannon, 2014

 

 

 

Falling in love with home movies

Parmer Leroy Miller – Parmer & Roose Miller’s Family Reunion Trip to Illinois, 1930

Parmer Leroy Miller – Parmer & Roose Miller’s Family Reunion Trip to Illinois, 1930

This Sunday, the BMA will play host to its first Home Movie Day as part of the the Imagining Home Opening Celebration. Dwight Swanson is on the Board of Directors for The Center for Home Movies, and spoke to BMA Museum Educator Jessica Braiterman about his love of home movies.

JB: Why do home movies capture your imagination?
DS: I started falling in love with home movies for two contradictory reasons–first, because of how familiar they are–I could recognize something of myself and my life, or my family’s life, across generations and across cultures, since in a lot of ways people have kind of always been the same no matter where they are from. On the other hand, though, there are moments that completely surprise me, like when a moviemaker comes up with a new way of looking at something, or some event or place that I never would have been able to feel so deeply if someone hadn’t captured it in their camera.

JB: What can they reveal about us, our culture, what we care about?
DS: Some home movies are historically important because they are the best or only documentation of something, and what matters is the content…what is revealed in the frame–the Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination is obvious example here, but it could also be of a long-gone building in our neighborhood. More complicated, though, are the little bits of unspectacular, everyday life, and what we can learn by looking at those. One question that I’m interested in is why people choose to film what they do? Sometimes the answer is obvious–people always bring cameras on vacations, because they are seeing something new. People like me who have watched a lot of home movies tend to get most excited about scenes of everyday life in the past (like shopping, or pumping gas) that were not usually filmed. I was taught a long time ago by someone who had been working with home movies for decades, that what I should look for in the films is gestures. These brief moments, maybe a glance, or a movement, may not teach me about history or culture in any broad sense, but they can be really powerful in showing us bursts of humanity across time.

JB: What is one of your favorite moments from a home movie—perhaps one of the best surprises or a deeply poetic moment?
DS: One of the projects I have been working on for several years now is “Home Grown Movies,” which grew out of Home Movie Day, and shows some of the favorite films discovered by the local Home Movie Day hosts at their events. Last year, one of the contributions was a home movie of a family reunion shot on a farm in Illinois in 1930. There are some wonderful scenes of the family at home and at work on the farm, looking a lot like what I’d imagined a Depression-era farm to look like, but what I wasn’t expecting was when the men playing banjo, guitar and fiddle in a string band were suddenly joined by a bobbed-hair girl (one of the family members) dancing the Charleston with a lot of gusto. Its moments like that show me that I need to forget a lot of my assumptions, and remember that people have always had the ability to surprise us.

JB: Tell me a little about your project Amateur Night: Home Movies from American Archives
DS: Amateur Night is a feature length 35mm compilation of home movies and amateur films compiled from 16 film archives. It was developed as a way of highlighting the wonderful work being done by moving image archivists and preservation laboratories to try to capture our history on film. I picked the films that I did to try to show the diversity that home movie show, which is something that they’re not usually given credit for. The movies come from all across American and cover nearly a century of images. They also range from very typical home scenes to elaborately constructed stories. The goal was really to put together a show that would entertain or intrigue any type of audience.

JB: Are there any special moments in the upcoming screening at the BMA that you are really excited about? Can you give us a little teaser?
DS: One of my favorites is an edited film that is a portrait of a woman named Pucky that tells her story through home movies and videos and friends and family talking about her always perfectly-coiffed hairstyles. I’m really happy that films are from as early as the 1920s and as recent as a few months ago. Not all of them were shot in Baltimore, but the ones that were really capture the people of our city.

Dina Fiasconaro Pucky's Pappagallo

Dina Fiasconaro Pucky’s Pappagallo

Making crazy quilts with artist Susie Brandt

Susie Brandt's 1970's Crazy Quilts

Susie Brandt’s 1970’s Crazy Quilt

Baltimore based artist Susie Brandt will be running a crazy quilt activity from 12pm-3pm at the BMA’s Imagining Home Opening Celebration, Sunday, October 25, 2015. Below, she explains how she fell in love with crazy quilts.

As a kid, I was completely enchanted by a crazy quilt on display at the local historical museum. Made over the course of many years by a woman working out on the front porch of her big Queen Anne house in Glens Falls, NY, it looked a lot like the quilts now on display at the BMA. I loved all the dazzling silk and velvet fabrics, and the gloriously complex feather stitching. Carefully embroidered throughout that quilt were all kinds of flowers, and fans, and spiders.

In the early 1970’s my mother and I started our own interpretation of that crazy quilt using scraps from our own home sewing projects. We made a dozen or so blocks, before we got sidetracked with other things.

Then life happened. I grew up to become an artist and carried those blocks around for decades. Last year, when my older niece was graduating high school, I dug them out and finished one quilt – using family fabrics going back three generations. I also saved some of the original blocks for a second quilt that I’ll give my younger niece when she graduates next year.

For the BMA workshop, we’ll show you how to piece your own block one patch at a time. We’ll use the decorative stitches on the sewing machine and fabrics that reflect the motifs commonly seen in crazy quilts – florals, fans, peacocks, kitties, moons and stars. Perhaps we can launch your own family project.

Imagining Home, the inaugural exhibition for the BMA’s new Center for People & Art, brings together more than 30 works from across the BMA’s collection to explore the universal theme of home. Discover paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, textiles, and works on paper from the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Islands, as well as four miniature rooms, plus a variety of interactive features in three thematic areas.

Susie Brandt's 1970's Crazy Quilts

Baker Artist Awards 2014 & 2015

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Today The Baltimore Museum of Art opens an exhibition of 12 artists who represent the Mary Sawyers Baker and b-grant prize winners from both 2014 and 2015.

Established in 2009 by the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund and managed by the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA), the Baker Artist Awards recognizes the excellence of artists in the Baltimore community. Through significant monetary prizes for winners, the Baker Artist Awards serves artists of all disciplines who live and work in Baltimore City and its five surrounding counties. Area artists nominate themselves by uploading their portfolios onto the Baker Artist Awards website, which has been viewed by hundreds of thousands of art lovers in nearly every country around the globe. The winners are selected by a panel of jurors.

The BMA has hosted exhibitions of the winners since the inception of the Baker Artist Awards. The artworks presented this year embrace a diverse range of media that includes sculpture, photography, video, music, and mixed media installations, some of which reference the difficult issues of our time.

Each of these artists explores a facet of the world in which we live . We know artworks can evoke many reactions and we invite you to share your thoughts in the comments below about how an artwork in the exhibition changed your thoughts or feelings about contemporary life. The Museum will share these comments with the exhibition organizers—the GBCA and the Baker Foundation.

– Jay Fisher

Images, top to bottom:
Installation views of artworks by Chris Bathgate, Paul Rucker, and Brent Crothers at the BMA. Photos by Mitro Hood.

Writing in Response to Gedi Sibony’s All Her Teeth Are Made of Slate

Gedi Sibony (American, born 1973) All Her Teeth Are Made of Slate, 2013 Wood, paint, and screws 96 x 40 3/4 x 8 in. (243.8 x 103.5 x 20.3 cm.) The Baltimore Museum of Art: Frederick R. Weisman Contemporary Art Acquisitions Endowment, BMA 2013.287 Courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali, New York

Gedi Sibony (American, born 1973). All Her Teeth Are Made of Slate, 2013. Wood, paint, and screws, 96 x 40 3/4 x 8 in. (243.8 x 103.5 x 20.3 cm.) The Baltimore Museum of Art: Frederick R. Weisman Contemporary Art Acquisitions Endowment, BMA 2013.287
Courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali, New York


delicately placed
or carelessly misplaced    Wood
made slate    Walls made mouths

 

Danika Myers, poet and recent speaker at the BMA’s Big Table Connections

As a poet, I often find that writing in response to other art helps me to both sort through my thoughts about the work I’m interacting with and takes me writing in new directions. A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to work with Pam Stiles from The Loading Dock and several members of the community to consider and respond to Gedi Sibony’s sculpture All Her Teeth are Made of Slate. The writing exercise we incorporated into the event is a variation on one I often use to begin to respond to something in the world that compels me. If you have a chance to spend some time with Sibony’s sculpture, perhaps this exercise will help you find words to sort through your own responses to the evocative piece.

  1. Spend at least five minutes looking at and thinking about Sibony’s sculpture. Write down any thoughts that come to you–descriptions of the sculptural components, judgements, associations. Think about the title of the piece as well as its appearance and the material used to construct it.
  2. Find a quiet place to sit and write a bit more. You don’t necessarily need to be able to see Sibony’s work in order to move through the next steps. Try to move quickly and without over-editing or worrying about whether you are coming up with anything “good”—you’re just warming up.
  3. First close your eyes and think about your teeth. Run your tongue over them, open and close your jaw a few times and feel your upper and lower teeth connect, clench your jaw and then release it. When you open your eyes, list the first 3-8 words that occur to you in a column.
  4. Now think about your mother’s, your grandmother’s, or another woman’s teeth–preferably someone you know well and have strong feelings for. Picture her teeth, then add another 3-8 words to your list.
  5. Think about your daughter, your niece, or another person you knew as a child; think about her teeth when she was a baby, a child, and an adolescent. Add another 3-8 words to your list.
  6. Go to the top of your list, and next to each word, jot down the word that seems to you to be the opposite of the first word.
  7. Opposites are easy, but sometimes they aren’t all that interesting; let’s go someplace more interesting! Now, next to the word that is the opposite of the first word, write a word that sits just next to that word–a word that is somehow still in tension with the first word, but not directly opposing it.
  8. Finally, one more list: this time, use sound to help you come up with one more list of words. Choosing a word that sounds like the opposite but means something more like the original word might evoke both. Choosing a word that sounds like the original and means something only slightly different might just get you to a word that’s more precise and interesting. Ultimately, you might end up with a bunch of lists like these:

Original        Opposite        Tension            Sound
ivory                grey                faded                green (sounds like grey)
crooked          straight          polite                stacked (sounds like both straight and crooked)
filled                pristine          silver-lined       phony (sounds like both filled and pristine)

At this point you have a fairly large bank of words that you can use to move yourself in interesting directions as you return to All Her Teeth are Made of Slate. Go take another look at the piece, and then write a short poem or a paragraph that collects one response to it. Try to include at least one of the words from your word bank in each line of your poem, or at least two words from your bank in each sentence of your paragraph.

Still not sure how to start? Try using several of your words in a haiku, like the one created above! I’d love to see you share your poem or short response in the comments below.


headshot_danikaMyersDanika Myers is a poet and is a member of the First Year Writing Program faculty at the George Washington University. Her work has appeared in The Beloit Poetry Journal, Crab Orchard Review, and in Forklift, Ohio.