The word shelter invokes the importance of safety and comfort in life. Whether permanent or temporary, shelter is among the basic human rights and is also needed by plants and animals. Here poet Margaret Hasse and artist Sharon DeMark offer words and images of thirty dwellings that can be entered in the imagination, including physical structures––hut, house, turtle shell––sanctuaries, and common experiences such as hugging, reading a book, or playing hide and seek. Poetry and art are always a pleasure but are especially meaningful during perilous times such as the one we are now living through.
Margaret Hasse has authored five collections of poems, most recently Between Us, winner of the Midwest Poetry Prize. She co-edited Rocked by the Waters: Poems of Motherhood (2020). Margaret has received poetry fellowships or grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Minnesota State Arts Board, and The Loft-McKnight. As a teaching poet, she’s helped diverse people write and read poetry in prisons, community centers, nonprofit organizations, and schools. Margaret has also been involved with the community as an arts consultant.
Sharon DeMark celebrated 2019 by committing to painting a daily watercolor. During the year she presented two exhibits. Proceeds from the sale of her paintings supported several Minnesota nonprofits. Sharon’s artwork has been published in two editions of the Saint Paul Almanac and one of her paintings was selected for the Almanac’s “Poetry in the Park in the Dark” partnership with Frogtown Farm. She has worked for theaters and performing arts centers helping to connect youth, educators, and artists. Sharon currently works in philanthropy.