ESSAY by Ed Madden — Tonight, it’s a birthday party, or transformation, beauty, and community at GUESSWORK

      The big garage doors are open, the weather perfect.  It used to be a radiator shop, I think, its bays marked by the row of rolled-up doors.  Now it’s an artist’s studio, painted red.  Tonight, it’s a birthday party.  There’s a grill pulled out, smoke seeping from under the lid.  There’s an old green sofa pulled out onto the gravel near the grill.  Small chairs orient themselves around the sofa.  A bar against... Read More

More poetry from the fight for racial equality – Ed Madden’s “Confederates”

Ed Madden’s poem for the rally against the Confederate flag reminds us of his earlier poem “Confederates,” which appeared in Signals (2008).  The poem is set just months before the 2000 removal of the flag from the South Carolina statehouse dome.  “Confederates” offers a poet’s take on the historical and cultural context of the move of the flag then, and perhaps a comment on the issue now.   The poem takes place between a MLK Day... Read More

Arts and the Confederate Flag: Ed Madden’s Evocative Poem “When we’re told we’ll never understand”

On Saturday, June 20th, 2015, thousands of impassioned South Carolinians gathered on their statehouse grounds to peacefully stand shoulder to shoulder and speak truth to power. Three days earlier, a disturbed young man, one of our own, walked into a place of solace in our sister city, shattered its peace, and stole the lives of nine Black innocents. In its illness (sane people don’t commit these kinds of atrocities) and confusion (insane people... Read More

On Andy Warhol’s Jimmy Carter 1, by Ed Madden

  His hand is a fist but it is not a fist.  His watch is on the inside of his wrist.  Doctors do that, and nurses.  But so do farmers.  It’s so you don’t scratch the crystal when you’re doing manual labor, doing something difficult.  Is this a signal?  He is about to do something difficult.   Warhol’s image of Jimmy Carter takes me back to my childhood, but not in some kind of nostalgic way.  When I look at this image, it... Read More

Candace Wiley

By Ed Madden Candace Wiley is just back from Pencil Shout, a small workshop in Kentucky with National Book Award poet Nikky Finney, and later this summer she leaves for Colombia, South America, as the recipient of a Fulbright creative writing fellowship.  Jasper first noticed Wiley at last fall’s Bookin’ It on Main, a celebration of black writers at the Columbia Museum of Art.  Wiley read poems included in Home Is Where, an anthology of African-American... Read More

Editorial- Issue 1

Dear Friends,  Building a local arts magazine from the ground up must be something akin to building a guest house. You know what you want it to look like, and you hold dear the message you want to convey to your friends – you are welcome here, the door is always open, we want you to feel as if this is a place where you can come to be nurtured, to enjoy yourself, to reflect and grow.  But it would take a fool to try to undertake either endeavor... Read More