Collage & Poetry and Collage Poet’s Corner at Kolaj Fest New Orleans 2024

collage poetry installation on Jackson Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee by A Correspondence. Courtesy of the artists.


Collage & Poetry

Friday, 14 June 2024, 11AM-12:15PM
Cafe Istanbul
Ania Spyra, Tiffany Dugan, Andres Arauz, Abby Meyers, Trish Crapo, & Missy-Marie Montgomery


Collage Poet’s Corner

Friday, 14 June 2024, 2-4:30PM
New Orleans Healing Center
Trish Crapo & Missy-Marie Montgomery and Abby Meyers & Andres Arauz


Kolaj Fest New Orleans is a multi-day festival and symposium about contemporary collage and its role in art, culture, and society, 12-16 June 2024. Visit the website to learn more, see an overview of the program, and register to attend.

In 2022, Kolaj Institute launched PoetryXCollage, a printed journal of artwork and writing that operates at the intersection of poetry and collage. The journal came out of a series of Poetry and Collage residencies and years of exploring the intersection of these two artforms in Kolaj Magazine. During the Collage & Poetry Symposium, we continue that exploration. 

Indianapolis, Indiana-based collagist Ania Spyra grew up in a bilingual, politically divided home in Silesia, a borderland region intersecting Poland, Germany, and Czechia. Her collage and poetry engages the complexities of her “diasporic life lived across cultural and linguistic boundaries.” Spyra will present on the collage in the concrete and visual poetry of Geneviève Seillé, a member of the Dada movement, and share research done at the Ruth & Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry at the University of Iowa libraries, as well as from her own visual poetry practice. “As an immigrant poet and collagist interested in multilingual experiments, I will focus on the artistic practice of Geneviève Seillé, a French artist whose linguistic and visual collage deals with the themes of migration and linguistic displacement.”

A Moment by Tiffany Dugan
12″x9″; collage, color pencil, and watercolor on paper; 2023. Courtesy of the artist.

New York, New York-based Tiffany Dugan will present images of her collages and speak about the symbiotic relationship between collage and poetic-style writing. She writes, “In my collages I am inspired by puzzling divergent elements together and revel in the synchronicities that emerge. My creative writing is similarly inspired. The [collage] work is about creating patterns and balance which explore movement and nature and embody the feminine. My writing process has a similar flow. I start with a blank page and let the ideas rise, build, and expand. I follow them rather than trying to control the storytelling. The result of free writing is often a visual and visceral story or poem. The layered writing is like my collage work.” Her presentation will end with a short reading that demonstrates the relationship between forms.

Cage by Missy-Marie Montgomery
12″x15″; magazine images and other papers on game board; 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

Profiled in Kolaj 33, Trish Crapo and Missy-Marie Montgomery run a writing and collage workshop that uses participant collages as prompts for writing, a practice the two of them routinely use to create collage and poetry. They will share examples of their own work. “There are many ways to approach writing about art and collage, and we have lots of experience and prompts to get creative juices flowing. Some people choose to write based on a particular image that stands out for them. Others write from the mood the collage leaves. Others write about the layers, images, and textures evoked. Often people start with one idea, and find that as they write, it evolves and surprises them.” They hope to inspire participants to pursue this process after the festival. 

“A Correspondence” is the name of a visual, written and street art collaboration formed between Andres Arauz and Abby Meyers in Memphis, Tennessee. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Arauz specializes in photo collage, design, and photography. In 2017, he moved to Memphis where he met Meyers, a native Memphian and award winning filmmaker, whose art practice centers around writing poetry. Inspired by Ray Johnson’s New York Correspondence School, Arauz began creating notecard-sized analog collage and passed them to Meyers, who would then write micro poems. They will speak about their respective roles as writer and collagist, how they are able to change the context of each other’s work, and how this collaboration evolved into a street art practice. 

Ric Kasini Kadour will speak briefly about PoetryXCollage and review the unique submission process to this journal. This session will serve as an introduction for Saturday’s Collage Poets Corner. 

Photo: Mom and Dad at the lake, ages 20 & 21 by Trish Crapo
7″x5″; magazine images and other papers; 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

After the Symposium, the Collage Poet’s Corner Workshop is for those who want to share their collage poetry practice, spend time making collage poems, collaborate, or network with other artists working at the intersection of poetry and collage. Trish Crapo & Missy-Marie Montgomery invite participants to bring a collage for others to write a response poem to or a work of poetry for others to collage. Abby Meyers & Andres Arauz will demonstrate their “A Correspondence” project where Arauz makes a collage on an index card and Meyers drafts a micro poem in response.


Ania Spyra is an immigrant writer and educator. She grew up in a bilingual, politically divided home in Silesia, a borderland region intersecting Poland, Germany, and Czechia, studied in Stockholm and Iowa City, and now lives in Indianapolis. As the Demia Butler Chair in English at Butler University, she has published, lectured, and taught widely, primarily from her academic work on borderland identities and transnational women writers, as well as her creative nonfiction that explores these themes in her own life. Her work has appeared in journals such as Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, Comparative Literature, Studies in the Novel, Contemporary Literature, Colorado Review, and Guernica amongst others. Her recent visual poetry and college can be found in Indianapolis Review, Ancient Exchanges, and Mirror Indy.

Tiffany Dugan is an artist and writer based in New York City. She has exhibited in solo and group shows in New York including at Printed Matter, The Center for Book Arts, The Kitchen, Gallery 178, and NoMAA Gallery. Her work is in collections throughout the U.S. and in Europe. Her art has been published in *82 Review, The Penn Review, Beyond Words, and Peatsmoke Journal. She received The Denis Diderot Artist-in-Residence Grant at Chateau d’Orquevaux, France and The Kathryn Gurfein Writing Fellowship at Sarah Lawrence College for Creative Non-Fiction. and Instagram @tiffany.dugan.

Trish Crapo is a freelance writer, photographer and collage artist living in Western Massachusetts. She’s been an arts columnist for local newspapers, a fiction columnist for Women’s Review of Books, and written features for Provincetown Arts. Her poems have appeared in Southern Poetry Review, Osiris, Cable Street, and in former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s nationally syndicated column, “An American Life in Poetry”, among other places. Her chapbook, Walk through Paradise Backwards, was recently reissued by Slate Roof Press, and a new collection, adrift, a rowboat, was published by Open Field Press in 2021. Her collage and photographs have been exhibited at galleries in Boston, Vermont, and Rhode Island; at The New School in New York City; in Havana, Cuba; and, as part of The War & Peace Project, in Moscow and Tula, Russia. An article about her collaborative poetry/collage project with Missy-Marie Montgomery appeared in Kolaj 33. Crapo is a founding member of the collaborative word/performance group Exploded View.

Missy-Marie Montgomery is a professor at Springfield College, where she teaches creative writing, environmental writing, and composition. Her work has appeared in over 25 literary magazines, including Bellevue Literary Review, Connecticut Review, Poetry International, Rattle, Pearl, Cimarron Review, and Crab Orchard Review. Her manuscript Half-life of Passion (published in 2015) was a finalist for the Zone 3 Press first book award, and a semi-finalist for the Kore first book award, the Crab Orchard Review first book award, and the Black Lawrence Press award. Her manuscript The Fish Beneath the Words was a semi-finalist for the 2013 Crab Orchard Review first book award. She has also taught classes on literary collage at Springfield College, in Maine for the Summer Artist Series, and for the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. 

Andres Arauz is an art educator at Crosstown High School and Contemporary Arts Memphis. He specializes in photo collage, design, and photography. “A Correspondence”, started in 2017, is a visual, written and street art collaboration with Abby Meyers. Originally from New Orleans, the artist lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee. Instagram @_a_correspondence.

Abby Meyers is a native of Memphis, Tennessee and an award winning filmmaker. Her art practice started with and centers around writing poetry. She currently works as a floral designer. “A Correspondence”, started in 2017, is a visual, written and street art collaboration with Andres Arauz. Instagram @_a_correspondence.

Kolaj Fest New Orleans is a multi-day festival and symposium about contemporary collage and its role in art, culture, and society, 12-16 June 2024. Visit the website to learn more, see an overview of the program, and register to attend.