FROM KOLAJ 33
The Exchange of Poetry and Collage between Trish Crapo & Missy-Marie Montgomery
Long-time friends Trish Crapo and Missy-Marie Montgomery have used collage as a way to stay creatively connected with one another. In early 2020, this activity took on more urgency. “Last year, during the early months of the pandemic, we kept hearing about people learning a new language, or learning to play an instrument, or writing a novel, but we both felt unproductive and preoccupied with worry. Also, we were feeling disconnected from each other, so we returned to an ongoing project between us, where one of us made a collage and mailed it to the other, who then wrote a poem that was in some way influenced or informed by the collage.”
“Call-and-Response” started as a response to the pandemic and then it was a response to the killing of George Floyd, and then a response to the increasingly toxic political climate of 2020. Yet, the poetry is lyrical and dream-like; peaceful. “In the face of so much crisis, the choice seemed to be about feeling versus shutting down,” the duo explained. “The act of creation itself was a response to the destructive forces at work during this time, and an antidote to despair.”
The pair speak about their project in Kolaj 33.
What could we do, what could we add, that would matter in the face of all of this? What we came to is that in a time when everything feels destructive, when despair threatens to consume us—to sit down and create is an antidote.
Originally from Miami, Trish Crapo lives on an organic farm in Leyden, Massachusetts. She has covered poetry and the arts for The Recorder in Greenfield, Massachusetts and has also written for Provincetown Arts, Edible Pioneer Valley, and the Women’s Review of Books. In 2013, she was an artist-in-residence at the Cape Cod National Seashore, which resulted in her book, Dune Shack. Crapo has shown her photography and collage work extensively in Massachusetts. Learn more at www.trishcrapo.com.
Missy-Marie Montgomery is a professor of Humanities at Springfield College. She holds a PhD and MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a BFA from Bowling Green State University. Her work has appeared in over 25 literary magazines, including Bellevue Literary Review, Connecticut Review, Poetry International, Rattle, Pearl, Lyric Poetry Review, Cimarron Review, and Crab Orchard Review. A chapbook, The Blue Gate (2009), was published by Pudding House Press. Her book, Half-Life of Passion (2015), was released by Open Field Press. Learn more at