Monday, May 06, 2019

cover love : the fever almanac

As you know, one of my very favorite things about running dgp is imagining cover designs.   While I don't design everything, I love trying to find the perfect visual manifestation for the words inside.  It's something I think about a lot in regard to my own work, and one reason I love making zines and artist books, as well as working with great presses that allow my hands in the design process even just a little.  While the majority of my books lean heavily toward my own pieces of art, a few others came from elsewhere. most noteably my very first book, which seemed, in fact, one of the hardest things to imagine visually.  It was the hardest book to compile and the hardest to see as a cohesive whole, let alone what I wanted it to look like.

So much of my recent work has a visual component that can, at least, point us in a direction. the fever almanac, however,  was composed of work written between 2001-2004, mostly before I even began to venture into working visually.   I had, however, issued a couple of chapbooks on my own, that featured the work of Canadian photographer Alaina Burri Stone, whose work I had discovered via several appearances in Stirring. I had asked to use the cover photos for both my chaps Bloody Mary and belladonna, as well as for the covers of two wicked alice print annuals I'd issued and an early chapbook in the dgp lineup (and a couple others later on.)

Alaina's work in general definitely paired well with a certain rural gothic feel I thought was perfect for those poems in the smaller volumes.  This photo in particular appealed because of it's haunting vintage vibe--its colors, its textures.  Also its mystery-- a certain hint at violence.   And those shoes(!) which seemed to be the exact sort of shoes the characters in many of the poems, particularly the mid-section, would be wearing..the women whose

                                        "dresses rot on the hangers, 
                                         linger with Shalimar, truck stops." ("slice")

The designer for the book did a bang up job of the text placement, as well as the red letters on "fever" which I really liked the look of. While the book is sadly out of print after the  press went out of business, I do still have a few copies on hand and for sale in the shop (or you can also read the entirety for free online.)

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