Broadsided . Words on the Streets


What is the experience of collaboration like? How do the artist and writer feel about their broadside?
To try and find answers, we ask some simple questions...

Poem by Noel Sloboda & Art by Kate Baird

Broadsided December 1, 2007


Poet: Noel Sloboda

Did the visual artist refract any element of the poem that made you see the poem differently?
The striking blue backdrop and billowy smoke make me think of the heavens; they powerfully open up the room I originally imagined for this poem.

If your poem were a type of bird, what would it be?
I can think of about thirteen ways to respond to this question. How about an albino crow?

If the broadside collaboration were a type of bird, what would it be?
A sooty dove.

What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem?
I anticipated the smoke would be attractive to a visual artist. I had no idea, though, how animated and powerful the smoke could become!

What surprised you about this collaborative piece?
The fact that there's more than one plume of smoke. (There might be more ghosts in this bedroom than I'd thought.)

I also really like how the ascending smoke runs against the text, slowing down the read and teasing out different moods from the poem.

Read any good books lately?
A great ghost book: Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill. I've also recently enjoyed O Paradise and The Complete Book of Kong by William Trowbridge.

Seen any good art exhibits lately?
Drawings by Fred Haag, mostly featuring cats and monkeys. Also haunting: Zak Smith's 100 girls and 100 octopi.

Anything else?
Thank you for allowing me to be part of this rewarding collaboration.

Artist: Kate Baird

In what sense did the poem first present itself as a collaboration with a visual medium? Did it come to you as an image? An idea? Music? Narrative? What inspired you to "dibs" this poem?
The smoke imagery attracted me to the poem—I thought it would be fun to try to draw smoke, which is a substance that is there and not there at the same time and is always reconfiguring.

If your art were a bird, what would it be? If the collaboration were a bird, what would it be?
A blue heron.

What surprised you about this collaborative piece?
I had an image in my head when I read the poem of what the bedroom/house looked like, but my drawing ended up not being of a real, inhabitable space.

Read any good books lately?
Lives of Girls and Women, by Alice Munro

Seen any good art lately?
Martin Puryear show at MoMA

click to download the pdf
'Visitation,' a broadside by poet Noel Sloboda and artist Kate Baird from Broadsided Press

[ Download "Visitation" (512kb pdf file)      .      Back to the Archives. ]


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