This is a brag post
Several years ago, I came across the work of phenomenal visual artist, Khara Koffel, whose work weaves objects and nostalgia in a way that I have always tried to write like. I wrote her, asking if she minded if I designed a writing exercise based on her artwork. She was kind enough to oblige.
She teaches in Illinois and sent me some photos and write-ups today of a project she assigned her students. She wrote: “I directed them towards your website and several poems in particular. Their project was to find something in your words that resounded in them and create a sculptural piece based upon it.”
What her students created is astonishing:
“Letter to my Mother” - letter written to the student’s mother based on a conversation she is afraid to have.
“If I Left Tomorrow” - a line of scientific bottles measuring 6’3”, the projected height of her 10 yr old son when he reaches adulthood. Bottles in the length of his current height are filled with hand-written notes of lessons she has taught him.
“What I Will Never Read” - a letter to her estranged and mentally ill father created using letters he sent her in the past. The letter contains what she would like to hear from him rather than what he usually says.
“200 Loaves from Home” - A pile of handmade breadcrumbs created from 200 loaves of bread - the distance from her college apartment to her childhood home.