Graveyard House Thesis -- Complete!

When last I wrote, this book was just a mockup. I successfully defended my thesis, Wendy Rebinding Wendy, on March 30, 2015, and then held a public presentation and gallery opening that afternoon. I'm proud to say that you may now call me Emma Sovich, MFA2, because I have two masters in fine arts degrees from the University of Alabama: one in Book Arts (2015) and one in Creative Writing (2014).

This fall, thanks to Steve Miller and Anna Embree, I have been teaching at the University of Alabama, while the inimitable Steve has been on sabbatical, making books at Penland and raising puppies. I've had the incredible opportunity to teach two letterpress classes, Print 1 and Print 3, and a boxmaking class, fresh out of my degree program. More on that in another post: back to Wendy Rebinding Wendy:

The book opens four different ways, and is remarkably difficult to photograph. Here is a shot of one cover, along with the box behind it.

And here is a shot from the side. There's a board down the middle that separates the two textblocks. The interior is also a delightful bouquet of color compared to the practically tweed (yet utterly luscious in person) Japanese bookcloth. These first three photos were taken by Alana Baldwin.

The book consists of four intertwined poetry narratives; each of the four sections is related to and interacts with the others, but the reader can (and must) begin where the reader decides. There are linear narratives within each section, but no one narrative takes priority.

The book is a lot easier to hold with two hands. It's also a quite intimate size, about 6" by 4". 

I had four last pages, so I took great joy in spreading the colophon across all four. The paper, which I made by hand last fall, varies in thickness and translucency throughout the book. You can see the back of a poem in the photo below.

I hope to update this blog again soon as I adjust to juggling teaching and making and documenting.

Publications Update

On the writing front...

The gorgeous online journal alice blue just published their 21st issue, and included two of my poems. I'm honored. I have loved this journal for a while now.

My mother, who does not read this blog (who told me so today), actually read the alice blue poems "because they're online and I didn't have to use Paypal."

My chapbook, None of Us Know Any Stories, will be published by dancing girl press next year. I am over the moon with glee. It helps that I have several good friends who have work in, and others who soon will have work in, dgp's admirable catalog. In fact, there is a sale on right now: you can buy three chapbooks for $10 plus $2 shipping, so go buy some. I bought...

Future Skirt by Laura Kochman
Time Travel: Theory and Practice by Katie Berger
the killing of the angel of the house by Leia Penina Wilson

Other publications that have been so kind as to publish my work recently include the inspiring Sundog Lit, the large and in charge Gargoyle, and the galactic JERRY. I'm proud to grace their pages, web or print.

I say Sundog Lit is inspiring in part because the Games Issue's theme inspired me to write my first ever video game poems, but also because I shared a few choice Games Issue poems (certainly not my own!) to my Poetry Tour students a couple weeks ago. These poems generated the best class discussion we've had all semester, which is saying something, because we have great class discussions even on a slow day.

I have reviewed proofs for a couple other publications coming out soon. I can't wait to tell you, internet, about those.

Last week one of my poetry students said, "gee, Emma, I Googled you recently, didn't realize it'd be so easy to find your poems" -- to which I ducked my head and mumbled "Yeaaaah" and the class laughed at/with me.

My Twitter account will remain private....

Adventures in Book Conservation

I've been teaching English 101 and Poetry Tour and most of my students are earnest and lovely people. I have been thesising. Yes, thesising is a verb in my life. I have been reading Citizen J by the brilliant Daniela. Daniela, who will be in town soon (September 12) for a reading, The Artificial Houndstooth Reading, which will precede a house party featuring the band KRILL.

But I'll just sit these here. These are my babies:

I have removed their spines delicately but without anesthetics, for the purposes of bettering them. For example, this book started with a leather spine (calf), in certain disrepair.

I furthered the disrepair with the aid of a blunt knife.

Side view, just pretty. Look at that marbling. The marbling is going to be a bear to line back up neatly.

Scrape scrape scrape. Leather, glue, going going gone.

With the help of goop, suddenly I could see the sections underneath all that glue!
Incidentally, animal glue reconstituted smells like dead things.

 With the spine free of glue (FREEEE AT LAST!), it was time to break the book, section by section.

Until all of the sections were independant.

It is important to keep track of who follows whom.

In the end, the book looks like a rattier book if you stack it neatly with the covers.

I found a lock of hair among the pages of one of the other books. Gross. Romantic? It was the Illiad. In Greek, so I'm not exactly sure if the page carries romantic significance.