Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I create abstract personal systems to investigate my own perception of time through the world around me. In my drawings, repetitive lines or marks create a visual build-up of time that has passed. "Memories of the Past at the Present" is an interpretation of the idea that the present is made up of both the past and the incipient future.
--Rebekah May

I enjoy including "About The Cover" sections in my books (e.g. The Secret Lives of Punctuations and Nota Bene Eiswein) -- it's another way to discuss poetry and/or its effects. So I was delighted to see that 1000 VIEWS OF GIRL SINGING includes such a section, and I loved it so much that I got permission to post the entire thing for your reading pleasure! The artist Rebekah May (whose website is worth checking out!) did a wonderfully inventive collaboration with ten other artists -- mirroring the collaborative approach of the book's poetry. Here is what Rebekah first presented to the participating artists -- I love the idea of riffing off of the Fibonacci sequence:
Having a selection of artists follow the directions allowed me to create a collaborative cover with unique variations on a theme, just like the interpretations of the poem “Girl Singing” in this anthology. These are the directions:

1) Draw a square that’s about a quarter of an inch

2) Draw another square the same size next to the 1st square

3) Draw a square the size of the first 2 squares combined on top of the first two squares

4) Draw a square the size of the first 3 squares combined to the right of the other squares

5) Draw a square the size of the first 4 squares combined below the first 4 squares

6) Draw a square the size of the first 5 squares combined to the left of the first 5 squares

7) Draw a square the size of the first 6 squares combined on top of the first 6 squares

8) Draw a square the same size as the first 7 squares combined to the right of the first 7 squares

9) Draw a line that connects the squares in the order that you drew them

Below is a drawing of the Fibonacci sequence.

Participating Artists were Zina Al-Shukri, Claire Belby, Pablo Cristi, Joshua Ferris, Patrick Hillman, Justin Hurty, Cameron Kelly, Hilary Pecis, Maya Ruznic, and Ashley Lauren Saks.

What I adore about the artists' approach was how they created something new based on poetry, rather than the more common book cover method of finding an "illustration" to use as a cover image. I thank these artists for their openness and their work which resulted in this book cover:

There is a further & helpful discussion of the background to (and larger-size book cover image at) 1000 VIEWS OF GIRL SINGING over at Zeitgeist Spam. Editor John Bloomberg-Rissman is soon to be off to Europe to release the book at the London Small Publishers Fair. Do check out the Leafe Press table for this release!

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