Muses & Metaphor Series On National Public Radio

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Muses & Metaphor Series On National Public Radio

Today’s poem comes from Randi Ward of Ithaca, New York. After living abroad for several years, Randi says she’s now trying to think about and come to peace with where and how she grew up in Belleville, West Virginia. And she’s been playing with the images that come to her mind. One of the images in this poem is mother’s hair, which she tells us is actually a colloquial term for cornsilk. She says she remembers shucking corn as a child and piling the husks at the edge of her grandfather’s garden.

Michel Martin

Album Features Belleville Native’s Lyrics

Parkersburg News & Sentinel

Album Features Belleville Native’s Lyrics

The album Beyond The Grey, released across Scandinavia and continental Europe in July, features lyrics written by Belleville native Randi Ward.

Beyond The Grey includes new arrangements of some of Ward’s poems as well as material she created exclusively for the album. Several tracks blend English and Faroese within the same song. The album has 11 songs.

Paul LaPann

W.Va. Native Photographer Takes Longer Looks

The Charleston Gazette

W.Va. Native Photographer Takes Longer Looks

Randi Ward, a native of Belleville, WV has a solo photography exhibition, titled “the village life” (“bygdarlivid”), in Reykjavik, Iceland’s Nordic House. It features 21 photographs taken in the Faroe Islands.

Amy Robinson

Randi Ward: A W.Va. Poet Who Truly Cares

Graffiti Magazine

Randi Ward: A W.Va. Poet Who Truly Cares

By the look of her, there’s nothing that suggests lonesome traveler, multilingual poet or even experimental photographer. But Randi Ward is all of these things and more.

Very friendly and very curious, she has the right sensibility in terms of what makes a poet a poet. For one, she cares about people, as her education in anthropology obviously suggests. She’s also a huge participant in the ongoing struggle to link photographic imagery and meaningful lyricism together to make a unified whole.

Patrick J. Dolan

About Me

Who I am?
Born and raised in West Virginia. Humanized in Norway. Recovering Faroephiliac living on an island of fire and ice.
What I do?
I write poems, essays, short stories, plays, song lyrics and whatnot. I've also been known to take photos and translate literature.
Am I crazy?
No, I'm just a well-informed, critical thinker who can't stand self-serving phonies or institutional incompetence. That scares some people.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

How did you end up in Norway?

When I was 16 years old, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to participate in an American Field Service exchange program. I spent the 1998-99 academic year living and studying in Norway.

 

How did you end up in Denmark?

While enrolled at Ohio University, I was selected to spend the 2001-02 academic year studying Scandinvian Studies at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, Denmark.

 

How did you end up in the Faroes?

I first visited the Faroe Islands in July 2002 and became fascinated with traditional Faroese chain dancing. I returned to Tórshavn in August 2004 to pursue an M.A. degree in Cultural Studies at the University of the Faroe Islands.

 

How did you end up in Iceland?

I fell in love with an Icelandic man and decided to move to Reykjavík in the fall of 2009. Although our relationship didn’t work out, I stayed in Iceland for 3 years while finishing a number of projects.

Education

Education

M.A. in Cultural Studies,
University of the Faroe Islands (2007)

B.A. in Anthropology,
Ohio University (2004)

Minor in English,
Ohio University (2004)

European Studies Certificate,
Ohio University (2004)

Scandinavian Studies Certificate,
University of Southern Denmark,
Odense (2002)

Publications

Publications

"Stonewalling" cover photograph
Arcadia (#8, 2014)

"Framework" photograph
Stone Highway Review (2014)

"Holdfast XXI." photograph
The Boiler (Spring 2014)

"Skiff" poem
Skidrow Penthouse (#16, 2014)

"Grandma" poem
Skidrow Penthouse (#16, 2014)

"Dogs" poem
Skidrow Penthouse (#16, 2014)

"The Source" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
Skidrow Penthouse (#16, 2014)

"Church Bells" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
Skidrow Penthouse (#16, 2014)

"Ears" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
Skidrow Penthouse (#16, 2014)

"Heaven" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
Skidrow Penthouse (#16, 2014)

"Suffering" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
Skidrow Penthouse (#16, 2014)

"Water Hose" poem
Thrush Poetry Journal (January 2014)

"Snake" poem
Thrush Poetry Journal (January 2014)

"Lupin Intrigue" song lyrics
Ásgeir Trausti (2013)

"Bygdarlívið XIX." cover photograph
Cimarron Review (Fall 2013)

"Nólsoy" cover photograph
Cimarron Review (Fall 2013)

"Daddy Longlegs" poem
Anthology of Appalachian Writers (2013)

"PTSD" poem
Lux (#1, 2013)

"PTSD" photograph & audio
Lux (#1, 2013)

"Sycamore" poem
Lux (#1, 2013)

"Sycamore" photograph & audio
Lux (#1, 2013)

"Hestur" essay & photographs
Cold Mountain Review (Vol. 41 #1, 2013)

"Skein" poem
Osiris (#76, 2013)

"Locust" poem
Osiris (#76, 2013)

"Frog" poem & audio
Fjords Review (Monthly Verse, 9/2013)

"Lúpinubreiður á Heimaey" photograph
Morgunblaðið (August 2013)

"Heading Home" translation of poem
Poem by Guðrið Helmsdal.
Fjords Review (Vol.2 #2, 2013)

"Midnight Thaw" translation of poem
Poem by Guðrið Helmsdal.
Fjords Review (Vol.2 #2, 2013)

"Hymns" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
Fjords Review (Vol.2 #2, 2013)

"Attitude" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
Fjords Review (Vol.2 #2, 2013)

"Dusk" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
Fjords Review (Vol.2 #2, 2013)

"Salvation" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
Fjords Review (Vol.2 #2, 2013)

"Skulls" poem
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #2, 2013)

"Hatchet" poem
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #2, 2013)

"Brother" poem
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #2, 2013)

"Fiddling" poem
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #2, 2013)

"Moons" poem
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #2, 2013)

"Happy Birthday" poem
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #2, 2013)

"On The Bed" translation of poem
Poem by Vónbjørt Vang.
Words Without Borders (August 2013)

"The Round Table Is The Eye" translation of poem
Poem by Sissal Kampmann.
Words Without Borders (August 2013)

"The Expiration Date" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
Words Without Borders (August 2013)

"To Eat The Angels" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
Asymptote (July 2013)

"God's Lamb" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
Asymptote (July 2013)

"Faces" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
Asymptote (July 2013)

"Foal" poem
The Harbinger (#1, 2013)

"Peonies" poem
Cleaver Magazine (#2, 2013)

"Clothesline" poem
Cleaver Magazine (#2, 2013)

"Spring" poem
Cleaver Magazine (#2, 2013)

"Mending Wall" cover photograph
Conclave Journal (#5, 2013)

"Hoyvík" photograph
A Color Project (5/17, 2013)

"Symbiosis I." photograph
The Harbinger (#1, 2013)

"Symbiosis II." photograph
The Harbinger (#1, 2013)

"Symbiosis III." photograph
The Harbinger (#1, 2013)

"Rocking The Boat" essay & photographs
The Island Review (2013)

"Tóroddur Poulsen" essay
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #1, 2013)

"Layers" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #1, 2013)

"The Words" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #1, 2013)

"Blues" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #1, 2013)

"In Every Stone" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #1, 2013)

"I Don't Care" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #1, 2013)

"The Planes" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #1, 2013)

"The Other Cheek's Numb" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #1, 2013)

"Boats" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #1, 2013)

"A New Generation Of Birds" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #1, 2013)

"The Birds" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #1, 2013)

"The Wake" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #1, 2013)

"The Bridge" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #1, 2013)

"When Darkness Suffocates" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #1, 2013)

"So Little" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #1, 2013)

"The First Words Were" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #1, 2013)

"Churches" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #1, 2013)

"Super 8" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #1, 2013)

"We Fell From The Clouds" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.19 #1, 2013)

"Quiet Fjord" translation of poem
Poem by Guðrið Helmsdal.
Structo Magazine (#10, 2013)

"Mountains at Dawn" translation of poem
Poem by Guðrið Helmsdal.
Structo Magazine (#10, 2013)

"Mountains in Fall" translation of poem
Poem by Guðrið Helmsdal.
Structo Magazine (#10, 2013)

"Sunset" translation of poem
Poem by Guðrið Helmsdal.
Structo Magazine (#10, 2013)

"Galaxy" poem
the Aurorian (2012)

"St. Olaf's Fling" translation of poem
Poem and translation by Randi Ward.
Beloit Poetry Journal (Vol.63 #1, 2012)

"Busybodies" translation of poem
Poem and translation by Randi Ward.
Beloit Poetry Journal (Vol.63 #1, 2012)

"After Berry Picking" poem
Anthology of Appalachian Writers (2012)

"Huldre" poem
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.18 #2, 2012)

"Leaves" poem
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.18 #2, 2012)

"Bow Season" poem
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.18 #2, 2012)

"Shit-on-a-Shingle" poem
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.18 #2, 2012)

"The Faith" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.18 #2, 2012)

"Sunday" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.18 #2, 2012)

"Conch" poem
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.18 #1, 2012)

"Fence Post" poem
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.18 #1, 2012)

"Hummingbird" poem
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.18 #1, 2012)

"Lightning" poem
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.18 #1, 2012)

"Mom Made a Phone Call" poem
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.18 #1, 2012)

"That Tired Smile" poem
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.18 #1, 2012)

"The Rain" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.18 #1, 2012)

"The Bound Light" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
Ice Floe III (2012)

"For Voice and Invisible Harp" translation of poem
Poem by Gunnar Randversson.
Ice Floe III (2012)

"Venting" photograph
Skidrow Penthouse (#14, 2012)

"Skidrow Penthouse" photograph
Skidrow Penthouse (#14, 2012)

"Blinds" photograph
Skidrow Penthouse (#14, 2012)

"Swan" poem
Skidrow Penthouse (#14, 2012)

"Trash" poem
Skidrow Penthouse (#14, 2012)

"At First Light" poem
Skidrow Penthouse (#14, 2012)

"Doe" poem
Skidrow Penthouse (#14, 2012)

"Stalled" photograph
Anthology of Appalachian Writers (2011)

"John P." essay
The Hamilton Stone Review (#24, 2011)

"Gransíggin" poem
Stjørnudust (Vol.1, 2011)

"Flame" poem
Vencil Anthology of FO Literature (2011)

"Weathersick I." translation of poem
Poem and translation by Randi Ward.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.17 #2, 2011)

"Weathersick III." translation of poem
Poem and translation by Randi Ward.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.17 #2, 2011)

"Weathersick IV." translation of poem
Poem and translation by Randi Ward.
The Bitter Oleander (Vol.17 #2, 2011)

"The Storm" translation of poem
Poem by Tóroddur Poulsen.
Ice Floe II (2011)

"Your Fingers and the Darkness" translation of poem
Poem by Gunnar Randversson.
Ice Floe II (2011)

"Excerpts from Lív" translation of poems
Poems by Steinbjørn B. Jacobsen.
Ice Floe II (2011)

"Meditations on Salt" song lyrics
Beyond The Grey (2011)

"Í Mjørka" song lyrics
Beyond The Grey (2011)

"Vina" song lyrics
Beyond The Grey (2011)

"A Faroese Fisherman Speaks of Drowning" song lyrics
Beyond The Grey (2011)

"Cloth Mother" song lyrics
Beyond The Grey (2011)

"Time Will Tell" song lyrics
Beyond The Grey (2011)

"Lovelorn" song lyrics
Beyond The Grey (2011)

"The Village" song lyrics
Beyond The Grey (2011)

"Chaindance" song lyrics
Beyond The Grey (2011)

"Veðursjúk" song lyrics
Beyond The Grey (2011)

"Bygdarlívið VI." photograph
Morgunblaðið (August 2010)

"Weathersick II." translation of poem
Poem and translation by Randi Ward.
ABZ Magazine (#5, 2010)

"In The Fog" translation of poem
Poem and translation by Randi Ward.
ABZ Magazine (#5, 2010)

"My Mother's Hair" poem
Grab-a-Nickel (2010)

"Willow" poem
Grab-a-Nickel (2010)

"Buzzards" poem
Grab-a-Nickel (2010)

"Afterbirth" poem
Grab-a-Nickel (2010)

"The 5 Gallon Waltz" poem
Grab-a-Nickel (2010)

"On The Farm" poem
Grab-a-Nickel (2010)

"Faroese Writers" photographs
Vencil (#9, 2010)

"((Tekst[verk]úr))" poem
Vencil (#8, 2010)

"Veðursjúk IV." poem
Vencil (#7, 2009)

"At Taka Dagar Ímillum" poem
Vencil (#7, 2009)

"Logi" poem
Vencil (#7, 2009)

"Fawn" poem
Anthology of Appalachian Writers (2009)

"Morning Glory" poem
The Hamilton Stone Review (#16, 2008)

Experience

Experience

Winner of The American-Scandinavian
Foundation's Nadia Christensen Prize for
translating Tóroddur Poulsen's poetry
collection, Fjalir (2013)

Nominated for a Pushcart Prize
Anthology of Appalachian Writers (2013)

Wrote a comprehensive feature
about Faroese poet Tóroddur Poulsen
for The Bitter Oleander (2013)

Translator for the BBC
Volcano Live: Westman Islands (2012)

Lyricist for alt-folk album
Beyond The Grey (2011)

Bygdarlívið photo exhibition
Nordic House, Reykjavík (2010)

Portraits of Faroese Writers
Rithøvundafelagið Føroya (2009)

Holdfast photo exhibition
SO.ZO, Morgantown, WV (2008)

Meditations On Salt collection
Nólsoy, Faroe Islands (2007)

With their tightly focused nature images, Randi Ward’s bite-sized poems read as a stylistic fusion of haiku and Emily Dickinson.

Emily Hoffman

Very friendly and very curious, Randi has the right sensibility in terms of what makes a poet a poet. For one, she cares about people, as her education in anthropology obviously suggests. She’s also a huge participant in the ongoing struggle to link photographic imagery and meaningful lyricism together to make a unified whole.

Patrick J. Dolan

We almost never see books like meditations on salt published in the Faroe Islands, books which so uncompromisingly dare to engage two artistic disciplines at once. Here we have a young American who writes in three different languages and works across media.

Kim Simonsen

Not only is Randi a gifted writer, she’s a good poet and also a talented photographer. There are excellent pictures in meditations on salt, and they create the feeling that everyone has run away. It’s as though no one wants to be around, everyone has bolted for some reason…

Oddfríður M. Rasmussen

The entire collection is unified: the texts, the pictures and how they are presented. The poet clearly has intentions throughout…meditations on salt is built on this fundamental tone that is solitude and the means of a solitary being, which in some way actually ends up being solitude.

Carl Jóhan Jensen

It was through Beyond the Grey that I was first introduced to Randi Ward, a poet from West Virginia. She wrote all the lyrics for the album. Randi had spent considerable time on the Faroes, and her lyrics captured its beauty in an unforgettable way making it all the more special.

Alex Gallacher

A black-and-white photo essay about Hestur in Denmark’s Faroe Islands includes descriptive captions and an introduction by the artist Randi Ward, which illuminate her literary as well as artistic talents … Her photographs communicate a moving depth of relationship with the people and landscapes she has captured here.

Sarah Gorman

I find it extremely interesting to experience the stories of Olevina and other people in Nólsoy via the artistic temperament of Randi Ward and now Guðrið Hansdóttir. This is a definite strength of Beyond the Grey.

Uni L. Hansen

If Wordsworth had been a photographer, Randi Ward would be his equal in talent and polar opposite in perspective. The closest she comes to a Wordsworthian image in holdfast is her portrait of a gnarled tree, which evokes a wizened survivor rather than anything as carefree as a daffodil.

Mark Brazaitis