Illustrator/motion artist Cheryl Gross and Poet Nicelle Davis, create a grotesque peep-show that opens the velvet curtains on what Mikhail Bakhtin refers to as “the carnival.” The carnival is the creation of a second world—a second life—a second self. In the Circus of You, chronicles a woman’s journey into her alternate reality. In the big-top-of-the-self, she faces her issues with sanity, motherhood, monogamy, divorce, creative / destructive impulses, appropriation, and ultimately beauty. The poems and images create a novel-in-verse where dead pigeons talk, clowns hide in the chambers of the heart, and the human body is turned inside out.
Lissa Kiernan is the author of Two Faint Lines in the Violet, (Negative Capability Press, 2014). Her book-length braided essay, Glass Needles & Goose Quills: Elementary Lessons in Atomic Properties, Nuclear Families, and Radical Poetics, is forthcoming from Haley’s. Individual poems can be found in numerous journals and anthologies and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Along with her MFA from the Stonecoast program at the University of Southern Maine, Lissa holds an MA in Media Studies from The New School.”
For their video poem, director John Lavin selected visuals suggestive of Carolyn Hembree’s “Raven Spell,” including handcrafted environments, bird murals, the poet’s photos of Appalachia, and outer space. The film depicts the poet creating a three-dimensional environment with her own hands, one that she can interact with and incorporate into her sorcery. “Raven Spell” is included in Hembree’s second collection, Rigging a Chevy into a Time Machine and Other Ways to Escape a Plague, winner of the 2015 Trio Award and the 2015 Rochelle Ratner Memorial Award (Trio House Press, 2016).