Artist’s Statement: This dialogue in poetic neologisms was produced in part as a sort of New Year’s card for the readers of Via Negativa, a daily poetry blog that we co-author. We originally planned to do a more standard linked-verse sequence modeled after Japanese renku, but a few days before Christmas, Dave posted a neologism to Twitter, infestive, and thought it might be fun to try to compose a whole series of such one-word poems. So we got together on Facebook Messenger one afternoon and brainstormed a whole list. Luisa came up with “gaslighght,” setting a political tone for the project while giving a shout-out to Aram Saroyan, the dean of extreme micropoetry, and his famous lighght. We tried to avoid bathos, with the Urban Dictionary to keep us on the straight and narrow: several of our most obvious ideas had already been coined! Nevertheless, we wanted to include a mix of more and less obvious neologisms, some to chuckle at and others to ponder. For the video, we used footage we’d shot on our phones over the past few years, and for the soundtrack, found a piece with some spoken-word elements on the free-to-use music remixing site ccMixter that wasn’t just a perfect fit for the video, but as an online collaboration was also a fit with our whole philosophy about making things in community and giving them away for free.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria
(Poetry Foundation web page
, author webpage
) was recently appointed Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia (2020-2022). She is Co-Winner of the 2019 Crab Orchard Open Competition in Poetry for Maps for Migrants and Ghosts (
Southern Illinois University Press, September 2020). She is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask
(2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass
(Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser
(Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow
(Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets
(University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver
(2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015; she also teaches classes at The Muse Writers’ Center in Norfolk. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.