Call and Response

Call and Response: Josh Birnbaum and Kari Gunter-Seymour

  Josh Birnbaum . July 9, 2016. Amesville, Athens County, Ohio.

Josh Birnbaum. July 9, 2016. Amesville, Athens County, Ohio.

WEDDING DRESS                                                               

It looked like a defeated botanical,
stuffed butt first in an old hat box,
petals of crinoline, silk and netting 
leafing out. A waning magnolia, 
shaped of faux pas, trapped between 
memory and the moment.

She’d carefully packed it in tissue 
thirty years ago, schlepped it town to town,
her gut the depository of a thousand 
swallowed tacks. Now a freewoman, 
she wanted to drown it, torture 
each perfectly petite pearl button. 

The day she accidentally unearthed it, 
bracelet snagging a needle-laced sleeve, 
her forceful yank, its silken skirts 
a dance of air, spring-winged, 
and she that girl, stunningly 
unacquainted with loss.

Kari Gunter-Seymour. Athens, Ohio.


Call and Response is a photo-literary exploration devoted to the relationship between photographs and words. Using photographs from the Looking at Appalachia project, writers are encouraged to respond narratively to a single image in 1,000 words or less. We hope to use this platform to expand our community and encourage collaboration between photographers and writers. Learn more about how to submit here.