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Ekphrastacy: Members Show 2020, “Three Letter Word for “Cool Looking”

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Three Letter Word for “Cool Looking”

by Marion Starling Boyer



by Juli Edberg


In the 1920s they were the plague

of librarians, circling, swarming, pestering

the reference desk for dictionaries, zipping

to the shelves for encyclopedias, whizzing

through the pages. They were crazed

crossword puzzlers on the hunt.


Simon and Schuster printed the first cross-

word puzzle book in 1924 with a free

pencil to honey up the deal. They needn’t

have. The book’s tremendous success flew

in the face the vinegary firm that felt entirely

too literary to put their name on the cover.


With insatiable appetites, puzzle solvers

wing annually to the American Crossword

Tournament and torment themselves

with little empty boxes on a grid. They wipe

their glasses, hover over their papers, and on

Go! their eyes dart down and across.


A competitor licks his pencil. A pesky

word eludes him. He sees just there,

like it’s just beyond a windowpane.

Agitated, his buzzing mind ricochets.

Then, Ha! he lights on the answer

and eight letters crawl into their boxes.


The New York Times did not run their first

crossword puzzle until 1942, after Margaret

Farrar wrote the Sunday editor to say it would

help distract readers from an increasingly

worried world, because, you can’t think of

your troubles while solving a crossword.


And now here we are again, anxious, washing

our hands, flitting from update to update.

Let’s take Margaret’s advice. 8 Across:

a creature named for robbers, assassins

and balloons; for what zips closed in pants;

a type of fishing; a ball hit to the outfield.


Juli Edberg, Artist: Graphic designer learns bookbinding and can’t stop! Juli is attracted to the peculiar, the geometric, the humorous, and words. She uses the computer to design patterns. Edberg holds a BFA from Cleveland Institute of Art. For 31 years she was employed as graphic designer at Cuyahoga Community College. She studied bookbinding at Haystack and Penland.


Marion Starling Boyer, Poet: Marion Starling Boyer is author of four poetry collections: The Sea Was Never Far (Main Street Rag, 2019), The Clock of the Long Now (Mayapple Press, 2009); Composing the Rain, winner of Grayson Books 2014 Poetry Chapbook Competition; and Green (Finishing Line Press, 2003). ​After living and teaching in Kalamazoo, Michigan for many years, she and her husband now live in Twinsburg and she enjoys teaching writing workshops for Lit Cleveland and Lit Youngstown. Boyer is currently working on a poetry manuscript about Antarctic exploration.



Please enjoy this video for Ekphrastacy April 2020 in Response to Members Show 2020:


To learn more about our current exhibition, Members Show 2020, click here:

To learn more about our Literary programs, click here:

Most of Heights Arts’ programming is free! If you would like to show your support for our poetry programming you can text to give HERE, or learn the many ways you can support us HERE.

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