The library gets so many wonderful book donations. And while most of them are intended for the semiannual Friends of the Library Used Book Sale, some of them have become just too deteriorated to sell and so they are sent to Creafill to be recycled. Of course, we library employees get to take a first look through these even before they are handed over to the Friends; and in this way, I have managed to snag a few (very old) battered books with broken, rotted spines but absolutely beautiful covers that are relatively intact. Newer books just aren't made with this sort of care and skill anymore. These hard covers will have fantastic illustrations engraved into the fabric covering the book board, the titles printed in fabulously decorative fonts. Like any good bibliophile, I couldn't bear to see these books thrown out or even recycled. These covers are ART.
The Red Fairy Book by Andrew Lang
So when I come across a book that meets these requirements, one that has a cover that affects me in some way, I bring it home. I pull out my trusty exacto-knife and separate the beautiful cover from its malignant body. Then I search through my stores of vintage fabrics to find a good pairing with the newly liberated book cover. When I find the fabric I want, I cut the appropriate size of it and glue it to the back board of a picture frame as a sort of reverse matting. Then I center the book cover on this fabric covered board and glue it in place. Once I put the mounted cover behind the glass of the frame, it is a piece of art ready to be hung on my wall.
As Month One in this year of poetry, January is a month primarily dedicated to generating new material: WRITING. My poetic meditations this cold month have been on the implications of a certain fun, little homophone:
atom = Adam So naturally, my thoughts have been on the gaps and surprising bridges between world creation and mass destruction, Christianity and chemistry. I'm sure that does not sound very poetic, but these linguistic explorations have led to some very interesting conclusions and possibilities.
In February, I will be polishing these new poems and deciding where-oh-where to submit them. Here's hoping I stay on track.
This has been a stressful, overwhelming, and horrifying year for most of us as we stare daily into the void of the pre-apocalypse. Although keeping calm hasn't been an option, we have been carrying on. So, reflecting on everything I've accomplished in my writing life this year has been a welcome boost. I finished writing my first full-length poetry manuscriptCatechesis: a postpastoral, and I've begun sending it to small press open reading periods and contests. My second chapbook Blackbird Whitetail Redhand was accepted for publication at Porkbelly Press and it is in production right now. I had new Alien poems accepted in Passages North and The Account, two journals that I admire. My first visual poems were accepted for publication. These five pieces will appear in an upcoming issue of Duende. So despite all of the terribly traumatic global goings-on, 2017 has been a huge writing year for me. My writing goals for 2018 are not modest, but they are fairly simple: I'm hopin…
My new chapbook Blackbird Whitetail Redhand is getting a letterpress cover and I am just thrilled! One of my favorite parts of my job at the Rose O'Neill Literary House is getting to create designs for and print letterpress broadsides of other writers' work. Because of my (very happy) time served as letterpress-bridesmaid, it really is so personally meaningful and exciting to be the recipient of the letterpress treatment for the very first time.
Nicci Mechler—editor, book designer, artist, and printer extraordinaire at Porkbelly Press—put together this typographical design for my chapbook cover using varying fonts and faces of wood type—some even hand-carved. You can see the creatively-arranged Tetris-like lock-up in the type bed at Tiger Lily Press below. What fun!
It will always be such an honor to have another artist render a visual impression of my textual work. This black and white, letterpress cover is the pitch-perfect opening into my new chapbook of fairytale poems. I …