In the Permanent Collection by Mary-Kim Arnold

A Process Note

I’ve taken to watching everything with the closed captioning turned on. I’ve started to imagine scenes in real life with that kind of commentary running beneath it. It’s probably obvious but I’ve also been thinking a lot about institutional language and how it serves to obfuscate the real, lived experience of individuals. I continue to be startled and perhaps strangely moved by how inadequate language can be when trying to describe or express something difficult or traumatic.






Mary-Kim Arnold is the author Litany for the Long Moment, which was awarded the 2016 Essay Press Open Book Prize, and the chapbook Between Night and Night (Artifact Press). Her full-length poetry collection, The Fish & The Dove, is forthcoming from Noemi Press in 2020. A multidisciplinary artist and writer, her work has appeared in a number of literary and art journals, including The Georgia Review, Hyperallergic, and The Rumpus, where she serves on the Advisory Committee. The recipient of fellowships from the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts, she holds graduate degrees from Vermont College of Fine Arts and Brown University, where she teaches in the Nonfiction Writing Program. She was born in Seoul and lives in Rhode Island.