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WR541 "Sculptural Poetry" Fall 2017

Items Used for Class

All textual descriptions are taken from the website of Vamp and Tramp, booksellers of fine press and artists' books.

Johanknecht, Susan, et al. Waste Incant : Words and Images. Newark, Vermont: Janus Press, 2007. N7433.4.J64 W37 2007  
7.75 x 11.5"; 22 pages. In plexiglas slipcase. Plastics used include the acrylic slipcase and illusion polycarbonate and flexible vinyl from Rowland Technologies. Papers: Barcham Green Cambers and Cairo from Hayle Mill. Printed in black and silver. Johanknecht’s response to the storage of nuclear waste in plastics. This book is a sequel to Johanknecht’s Hermetic Waste (about Chernobyl), published in 1986. Artist's statement: "The format and materials of this book reference Hermetic Waste (Gefn Press, 1986) which was completed the summer following the Chernobyl disaster. The collagraph prints in Hermetic Waste were derived from alchemical engravings — here the calligraphic line drawings are derived from science illustrations in children's text books (Science from the Beginning edited by Hampson and Evans, 1962). Redrawn and merging, the pictorial 'facts' depict a disrupted 'nature.' "Poetic texts sit inside the imagery, functioning as an integrated caption. They describe processes by which toxic material enters into the environment. The back of each page lists hazardous wastes."Plastic interleaving features in both books, referencing materials used in the storage of waste. (How little has changed in twenty years.)""The book, in its acrylic case, is a statement about the storage of nuclear waste in plastic. The line drawings are derived from children's textbooks, redrawn to show a disrupted nature. The toxic wastes, listed partially alphabetically, are printed on both sides of the embossed paper, each page separated by a plastic sheet. The unstable and hence inappropriate and hazardous use of plastic to contain toxic waste is emphasized by the diverse deformations of each of the plastic sheets. "How fascinating that the book is immaculate and glamorous while its topic - water - implies what's dirty and distasteful. The ironic disjunction dramatizes the tension between the allure of easy labor, magical communications and other seductions of our high tech culture and the tarnished other side of the coin, deadly byproducts with tenacious half-lives. The book uses the very products it condemns. We can't do without it, can we?" [Beyond the Text: Artists' Books from the Collection of Robert J. Ruben by Yvonne Korshak and Robert J. Ruben]

Weston, Heather. Shedding Light. London: Bookery, 2005. N7433.4.W47 S54 2005   
5.5 x 6.75 "; 6 leaves. Offset lithography, blind debossing with felt cover. End pages slip into the felt cover so that it can be handled independently. Explores the book as a tactile object in the extreme and the importance of light and touch within the reading process. Taking away the book's usual visual narrative clues, the seeing reader is left with little traditional visual information with which to decode the presented 'text', but instead is faced with Braille text implicitly inviting them to feel the narrative. Help is provided in the form of a visual Braille alphabet card to assist readers to decipher the Braille and read the narrative that is hidden from conventional view. However, through a thorough physical exploration of the book, the reader may or may not discover a textual narrative on the reverse of the page. By shedding light through the page the book easily slips out of its felt cover and can be held up to the light, the sighted reader is given a textual translation of the Braille, emphasizing the need for light within the reading process. The ambiguous title relates to both the loss of light implied by the Braille, as well as the casting of light across the book needed for the text based reading. 

Weston, Heather. Read (past, tense). London: Bookery, 2000.  N7433.4.W477 R42 
4 x 4.75”; 16 pages. Handsewn in red cloth over boards. Cover title of raised and impressed letters, seen from below the surface of the cloth, extends the theme of text and subtext. Signed and numbered edition. This highly unusual artist's book uses heat-sensitive ink, that relies on the reader's inevitable contact with the page, to explore the ordinary and uncomfortable phenomenon of blushing. At first sight, the book contains a text that is reversed (white) out of red ink—like letters incised into a surface. But as the reader handles the book, the warmth from her fingers causes the ink to fade, revealing a private and intimate text, between the lines. The reader has to actually feel her way around the primary text, to get the full picture. Rationale gives way to inner dialogue. The calm, reasoned voice of, " I f I'm honest, I think I was put off by my rather disarming tendency to blush. At the slightest thing. I t always perplexed me," covers subconscious embarrassment: "Never do this again. Avoid this at all cost. Confusion and distress cloak themselves in shades of nonchalance. It's only a colour. I'm fine. Really." The interaction of the materials informs the process of reading and the unraveling narrative. 

Raz, Hilda., and Kunc, Karen S. Truly Bone : Poems. Rosendale, N.Y.: Women's Studio Workshop, 1998. N7433.4 .R39 T8 1998 Published with the Women's Studio Workshop (Rosedale, NY), Truly Bone is an artist's book which features four poems accompanying Kunc's layered prints. The images are etching, aquatint spit bite and drypoint from multiple copper plates using sixteen colors. The type is 11 pt. Romulus; the text paper is cream Italian Alcantara. The sheets are tipped together and onto a spine hinge adhering them at center to a paper cover wrapped in a wood-block printed pattern paper. 20 continuous accordion-folded pages. Limited edition of 50 copies. 


Alt, Jane Fulton, and Pankratz, Teresa. Between Fire/smoke. Evanston, Illinois: Theodora Press, 2013.  N7433.4.P3657 B489 2013

8.5 x 8.5 x 1"; 22 panels (12 text leaves, two double-page image foldouts, one trifold image section, 2 single leaf images). Printed and hand bound by the artists. Signed by the artists. Numbered. Jane Fulton Alt: "Bound in light grey ('smoke') Iris book cloth with silkscreened titling. The structure incorporates left and right covers with a magnet closure which, when opened, situate the text block as the center panel within a triptych of white space (Canson Ingres end sheets). The opening portion of the text block includes 4 sections (alternating between single and double-page construction) sewn to an exposed internal spine with a modified continuous pamphlet stitch. (Single-page sections are archival pigment prints on Hahnemühle photo rag; double-page sections are archival pigment prints on Niyodo Japanese paper). The attached back section of the book is an adhesive binding mounted on an internal 'frame' constructed of laminated 4 and 8 ply archival Rising White mat covered with Niyodo Japanese paper. Unfolding left and right are, first, two three-panel archival pigment prints on Hahnemühle photo rag, followed by a series of four text and image single-page archival pigment prints on Niyodo Japanese paper. The final unfolding reveals a unique, mixed media encaustic mounted (on black Stonehenge) within the internal frame. The book is housed in a slip-case constructed of an archival pigment print on pearl gray Murillo by Fabriano." between fire/smoke is an unfolding visual and textual journey through a landscape of liminality – leading to a place where all that is unresolved is imaginable …"

​Zimmermann, Philip. Sanctus Sonorensis. Tucson, Ariz.: Spaceheater Editions, 2009. N7433.4.Z55 S36 2009

8.25 x 10.75 x 1.5"; 90 pages. Four-color offset lithography. Gilded edges. Self-covering. Philipip Zimmermann: "Four-color offset lithography printed book was created as a series of two page board book spreads that minimize the visual distraction of a 'gutter' on the panoramic view of each skyscape. The edges of the book are rounded and gilded in the fashion of religious breviaries or missals. "This is a book of border beatitudes. This work comments on the complicated attitudes of Americans on illegal immigration from Mexico. The cover shows a photograph of the area of Southern Arizona which is the most active in terms of migration across the Sonoran desert, and where thousands have lost their lives in the deadly desert heat. The interior pages show the progression of a typical high desert day from dawn to sunset with a single line of text on each two page spread."


Ray, Michelle. God Created the Sea and Painted It Blue so We'd Feel Good on It. Tallahassee, FL: Small Craft Advisory Press, 2013. N7433.4.R39 G63 2013

7 x 5.5 x 4.25" enclosure with custom compartments for documents and open fixed tunnel book. Images and text created with photopolymer plates, using Trajan and Optima typefaces on handmade cotton/abaca, French Construction and Neena Environment papers. Enclosure of linen and basswood. 11 pamphlets (7x3.5") plus fold out crew manifest (21 x 14" open) laid in envelope wrapper with slip and slot closure. Written, designed, and printed by Michelle Ray at The Small Craft Advisory Press, Florida State University as an MFA creative project for The University of Alabama's Book Arts Department. Michelle Ray: "While residing in the Deep South, I undertook a most wondrous adventure wherein I built a boat made entirely of cardboard and set about on an imaginary journey in the linoleum headwaters of my apartment. It started as cathartic play, it became this edition. "I first learned to use a map while sailing. Finding myself in a space with no landmarks, I had to trust my life to those unwieldy sheets of paper with their complex representations of the ever-changing seascape. In reference to the sea, this edition’s text states, 'There are no markers in this/ monochromatic/ parking lot.' In the absence of these markers, we become painfully aware of their significance. "This work is about experience, perception, memory and the space in between composed of symbol, sound and object. This is the space of mediation, the space where significant things happen; it is the ocean on which my imaginary crew and I sailed­, the place for which there are no maps." Michelle Ray, colophon: "The enclosed account is partially true. It is also partially fabricated. But I assure you that all of it has been vigorously documented in a most honest manner. 


Kinsey, Leland., et al. Trio. Newark, Vermont: Janus Press, 2014. N7433.3 .T75 2014

Slipcase 8.5 x 6.5 x 2.25" housing three volumes. Each volume 8 x 6"; 164 pages (42, 42, 80). Exposed spines. In a chemise covered in Parsons Cotton Confetti. Slipcase covered in Parsons Green Cotton. Signed by the poets. Prospectus: "The three poetry books are ECLIPSES by Leland Kinsey, IT WAS LIKE THAT by Judy Haswell and COSMOS by Karen Hesse. ...COSMOS has poems about both solar and lunar eclipses and also has a set of diagrams that explain them. IT WAS LIKE THAT has three long poems printed ... with twelve short ones in the author's handwriting. This book contains many interesting hand made papers. ECLIPSES has long poems as a center piece of each of the four seasons sections accompanied by haiku appropriate to the season. Each season is a separate pamphlet attached to an acrylic tube enabling the book to be read circling continuously. This is another of the ongoing books that celebrate the Seasons." Notes: "The books themselves are a celebration of the wide palette of hand made papers that have accumulated at the press over the years and are listed in the colophons."


Chen, Julie. True to Life. Berkeley: Flying Fish Press, 2004. N7433.4 .C436 T78 2004

9.75 x 15" case with tray for book and prop to showcase book. The hinged floor lifts to support the book in an upright position at an angle. Letterpress printed using a combination of pressure plates, woodblocks, and photopolymer plates. The image that appears on each page is one section of a long, continuous visual timeline that can never be viewed all at once. The page shows through a plexiglass window. There are twelve views of the "page" that are accessed by pushing upward on wooden handles. Sections of the next page will slowly slide into view over the previous page. A visual and textual exploration of the vicissitudes of living. It shows life as a continuous process of change as truth, perceptions, memory and re-interpretation liquidly mix to form this sea of life.


Levertov, Denise, et al. Batterers. West Burke, Vt.: Janus Press, 1996. PS3562.E8876 B38 1996

Powerful poem of concern for the earth written as about a battered woman. Clay paperwork, made by Kathryn Vigesaa and set into a wooden tray, forms the base of this sculptural book. The "pages" of Twinrocker paper, printed with an image by Claire Van Vliet, unfold into a fiery landscape. Text is printed on tabs at the bottom. Powerful and evocative. Slipcase. Three years in the making. Edition of 100. One of the books featured in the Inspiration section of the New York Public Library's Ninety from the Nineties: "Claire Van Vliet printed the poem on her pulp paper painting and constructed the book so that there are two possible readings of the poem."

Coles, Katarine. Problems of Description in the Language of Discovery. University of Utah: Red Butte Press, 2012. uncataloged

4 x 6" wire bound at top with sanded Mylar cover. Printed on Zerkall Frankfurt and Arturo papers with Minogami flyouts. Artwork by Mary Toscano. Signed by author and artist. Red Butte Press: "Katharine Coles, Guggenheim Fellow, University of Utah literature and creative writing professor, and former Utah Poet Laureate, wrote Problems of Description during a research trip to Antarctica, where, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, she worked and lived alongside scientists and engineers. Among these were a group of researchers from the University of Utah, including mathematician Ken Golden. Golden's rule of fives examines intersections between the temperature, salinity, and permeability of sea ice, and has been used to discern key data relevant to climate change. Coles's text engages with the rule of fives, and explores the language and apparent magic inherent to scientific discovery. A gloss, extracted from the researchers' handwritten Antarctic field notebooks, interlaces the primary text of the poem. The gloss's composition mirrors the process of percolation and embodies the concept of dialogue between disciplines and their respective dictions. The book's wire binding and sturdy Mylar cover allude to field researchers' weatherproof notebooks. Fully extended, the vertically oriented accordion resembles an ice core, and translucent flyouts and overlays reveal content as through layers of ice.

Donaghy, Michael and Barbara Tetenbaum. Portland, OR: Triangular Press, 2015. uncataloged

17 x 10 x 3". Letterpress printed texts and images cut into strips and adhered to Japanese ‘silk tissue’ (gampi). Sewn to cloth and wood backing. Supported by a wood wave-form platform and held inside a lidded box made of cloth and book board. Signed and numbered by the artist on the colophon. Barbara Tetenbaum: "This project represents a three-year investigation of wave forms, and is illustrated using articulated paper pages, poetry, and other writing. The pages are constructed using Japanese silk tissue (gampi) as a backing for the adhered paper strips. I used a variety of space between the elements to create different sounds and tensions when the viewer turns the page. "I chose Michael Donaghy’s poem 'Glass' because it has a rhythm that mimics wave action (it is a sestina, a form which uses repetitive word endings) and provided the title for the project in the line ‘a meteorologists diagram of wind’. "The poem is layered with other pages that support and illustrate my underlying concept. Some pages create a distinct sound or tension, other pages contain texts about wave action in nature and industry, others contain images. The pages are sewn to a cloth and wood backing which can be lifted up and hung on the wall, or left to rest on the undulating wood platform."

Bookwalter, Denise and Meg Mitchell. Rain/Fall. Chicago: Center for Book and Paper Arts, 2015. uncataloged

8 x 7.75"; 20 pages. Letterpress printed and laser-cut at Small Craft Advisory Press, Florida State University. 9 bound volvelles. Printed on Legion Bamboo paper. Bound in red book cloth. Numbered. Promotional statement: "Through laser-cut rotating wheels (volvelles) Rain/fall proposes a new poetic form determined by weather data, where each page contributes two lines to a poem assembled by the reader in accordance with the local forecast. Designed by Denise Bookwalter and fabricated at Small Craft Advisory Press at Florida State University, the book is part of a hybrid project: a companion app, engineered by Meg Mitchell at the University of Wisconsin, and available free of charge on Apple’s App Store, performs the same function digitally, accessing local weather data through GPS. "While the digital affordances of the app are possible only with recently developed mobile devices, the book incorporates a mechanical computing technology devised by Persian astronomers in the 11th century. Together, the two versions dramatically illustrate expanded possibilities for the book form, both physical and digital, and the radical changes in literary practice that publication with new media can now enable."

The Box Book. Richmond, VA: VCUarts Bowe House Press, 2012. uncataloged

12.75 x 18"; 3 pages. Letterpress printed. Paper: French Paper/Construction Pure White 140lb. cover. Cover: Single ply chipboard. Laser cut, scored and perforated.
Three boxes produced as a collaboration between design students and poets bound in a book. VCUarts Bowe House Press: "In this, our 4th book, six poets collaborated with three designers each to create this unconventional structure. The book itself is made up of three 'pages.' Each 'page' is bound into a matchbook cover binding and is perforated trimmed and scored so each page can fold into a cube. There are three cubes total, with a poem on each 'side' of the cube. The cubes are various sizes. One is 4 x 4". Another is 3.5 x 3.5". And the third is 3 x 3" The cubes can 'nest' into one another or stack on top of one another, or remain as three 'pages' within the book, whatever the reader wants. Therefore, each poet contributed three poems, three fragments/versions of the same poem, three whatever-their-mind-conceived."