LOSS RATIO: a collaboration
with SCHUYLER DAWSON & NAOMI WILLIAMS
I could kill someone with this thing. Instead, I hold up our shredded map. It’s missing the part that points to true north. It’s missing the part that says, You are here. It’s missing its legend, and without legends, can history even begin?
It is always fire season now. Have you noticed?
I uphold our pitted cartography, skin crawling, angling for attention, for tension, for the red line, taut, bloodline, plumb-line, ashes to ashes, rust to rust. Every hole in the map a former address, someplace unwholed, someplace that might read, You were here.
Here is the Lost and Found where you report your losses, not expecting them to show up. The line, a loss leader. These lines, loss lieder.
Like I said: It is always fire season now. Like I said: I could kill someone with this thing.
I spent a month at the Willapa Bay Artist in Residence program in 2019. There I met 5 wonderful human beings with whom I had daily conversations about art and life and everything in between. Over the course of our residency, Schuyler (a sculptor) and I collaborated on a piece together. And then we invited Naomi (a writer) to respond to the piece , which she did.
And other collaborations happened as well. Harvey (a poet) collaborated with Jung Sun (a composer) to set his poems to music.
Many thanks to Willapa Bay AiR for providing a space for creative collaborations to germinate!
Schuyler hails from Marin County California at the intersection of rural and suburb. He spent his youth crashing bicycles with an army of boys in his cul-de-sac and building forts in the marshlands and woods nearby. Schuyler attended San Diego State University where he received his BFA. He received his MFA in Sculpture from Alfred University in Alfred, New York. During this time, he participated in the group show Within Between, in Hornell, NY and the Southern Tier Biennial in Olean, NY where he one Best in Show for his piece, Ode to Adolescence. He most recently had a solo show, Ways of Seeing: The Things I thought I Knew, at the Jamestown Community College Center Gallery in Olean, New York. Recent residencies include Sculpture Space in Utica, New York, Willapa Bay in Oysterville, Washington and the BEAMS Residency in Viljandi, Estonia.Between shows and residencies he works as a carpenter and laborer, a trade occupied cross-generationally in his family. His current work, using hands cast out of concrete, explores our individual and generational relationship to labor, celebrating and questioning our roles as both builders and maintainers. His recent site specific work aims to highlight our relationship to environments both natural and built.
Naomi J. Williams
Naomi is the author of Landfalls (FSG 2015), long-listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award. Her short fiction has appeared in journals such as Zoetrope: All-Story, A Public Space, One Story, The Southern Review, and The Gettysburg Review. A five-time Pushcart Prize nominee and one-time winner, Naomi has an MA in Creative Writing from UC Davis.
Naomi was born in Japan and spoke no English until she was six years old. Today she lives in Davis, California, where she teaches creative writing and serves as co-director of the literary series Stories on Stage Davis. She’s hard at work on new writing projects, including a novel about the early 20th-century Japanese poet Yosano Akiko.