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Segue 12: Fall 2014  ||  Jennifer Burd & Laszlo Slomovits


about the authors


Jennifer Burd has had poetry published in the Ann Arbor Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Acorn, Antiphon, NEAT, Issa's Untidy Hut and Modern Haiku. She placed as a semifinalist in the World Monument Fund's 2012 haiku contest and tied for second place in Bluestem literary magazine's 2012 postcard poetry contest. She is the author of a book of poems, Body and Echo, and a book of creative nonfiction, Daily Bread: A Portrait of Homeless Men & Women of Lenawee County, Michigan, based on her experiences reporting on local homelessness for the Adrian, Michigan, Daily Telegram newspaper. Jennifer received her BA in English and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington. She currently works as an editor and writer for HighScope Educational Research Foundation in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Laszlo Slomovits is one of the twin brothers in Ann Arbor's nationally-known children’s folk music duo, Gemini (GeminiChildrensMusic.com). In addition to his music for children, Laszlo has set to music a great range of poetry—from Rumi and Hafiz, 12th and 13th Century Sufi Mystics, to the American greats, Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost, to contemporary poets such as Naomi Shihab Nye and Michigan poet Linda Nemec Foster. Laszlo is currently at work on a new selection of Rumi poems set to music, as well as song-settings of the contemporary American poet Jennifer Burd, with whom he has also collaborated on joint poems and a children’s play. In addition to his work in music, Laszlo has had or is about to have poems published in The Ann Arbor Review, Lilliput Review, Third Wednesday and NEAT, as well as haiku and tanka in Issa’s Untidy Hut, Acorn, and A Hundred Gourds.

Jennifer and Laszlo have been collaborating for the last three years on joint poems, shared readings, and most recently on a children’s play for Wild Swan Theater.


about the work


We have found writing poems jointly to be an inspiring process and one that is full of wonderful surprises—the kind of surprises that stimulate other creative ideas. One or the other of us sends an opening line or two to the other one via e-mail, and then we go back and forth growing the poem. We have no rules about how many lines we each must contribute or in what order. For the most part, we go about composing a poem jointly much the way we would when writing our solo pieces, but as we pass a poem back and forth the other person often will change something in a way we might never have thought of, which generally sparks even more ideas for the other.

In the case of both "Edges" and "Something Waits," published in this issue, one of us was initially inspired by an image and idea. In the case of "Edges," Laz was contemplating the properties and uses of broken edges and how new creations (on both a physical level and an inner, subtle one) can come out of what has been broken. In "Something Waits," Jennifer initially put down some images and ideas inspired by the autumn season and how the feeling of autumn connected to an inner mood. In each case, the other was inspired to join in, add images, revise lines, and change some words. We passed the pieces back and forth by e-mail, making revisions, and occasionally meeting in person before our final pieces took shape.


Burd & Slomovits on the Web






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