Sunday, July 25, 2021

writing and visual art collaborations


Even more than I love working in the language of both words and images for my own projects, I love even more working in collaboration with other writers or artists. This manifests in cover design for dancing girl press chapbooks most frequently, where I love being able to carve out a cover concept with the author that is perfect for their book. (Had I been smarter in my youth, I might have studies graphic design instead of poetry..)  Cover happen in many ways, and sometimes it's just as simple as choosing fonts and placing text on furnished artwork, but even this is rewarding (and one of the things covid-anxieties stole from me I've only recently gotten back--a sense of vision and creativity visually. ) 

I get really happy when I can take content suggestions and run with them, or get left entirely to my own devices. Sometimes a tone in the poems suggests a tone to the physical book I'd like to aim for. I also like the authors other choices when it comes to things like previous covers and web design, or even just their instagram (and some authors, god bless them, already have pinterest boards! set up or in process.)

While I've only done a couple instances of writing collabs,  I've done visual/writing collabs more frequently.  at the hotel andromeda, with Lauren Levato Coyne was the first--my text and her images and our homage to Cornell.  Another with my sister for necessary violence, which involved her work in various mediums (photo, painting, paper cuts) and my Slenderman poems--which manifested as both a zine and an installation for a show in the library, I recently pulled out Jane Flett's FOOL'S JOURNEY, which features her poems and card designs from multiple artists to create the major arcana. It was issued as a book and also as a limited edition deck and is a lovely thing to behold.

My writing collabs are fewer--a postcard poem project with Julie Strand in 2009.  A collab poem with several local poets remixing each other's work for a gallery show in Pilsen. I'm always a little hesitant to approach other authors with an idea since for years, my writing was an inconsistent beast, but I would be more open to it now hat I am better writing daily.  There are some more collab effort still in the mix, including the mermaid anthology project that has been on hold forever and maybe another go round at the billet deux concept. 

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