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This piece is about 4 printed pages long. It is copyright © Susana Gardner and Jacket magazine 2008.
The Internet address of this page is http://jacketmagazine.com/35/dk-gardner-sonnets.shtml
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Author’s Note: Art which could be worn, alternately bound or presented. This was the initial vision behind EBB PORT — a multi-tiered task of making wearable books, a book bracelet which actually proved too complicated as well as labor-intensive for a run of 70 copies. I did lots of sketches of how the bracelet/talisman necklace would be presented and worn, and this is how the accordion style came to be the means, or create the ‘spine-less’ effect. The wearable piece ultimately failed when I realized that I would be erasing the entire set of sonnets by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, not merely a selection, and the entirety would be nearly illegible for the everyday reader; I had made mock-ups, and, while pretty, they needed to be easier to read. Erasure being quite a fascinating and intriguing form for me, what began spine-less ended so as well. Begun for last spring’s NaPoWriMo (run by Maureen Thorson), the frail pages of an old Minor Victorian reader (for which my NaPoWriMo blog was named) began to be desecrated in the process of erasing and re-writing Browning’s original sonnets. Spine-less for me also meant economy. I initially wanted to utilize no more than two pieces of paper. Ultimately, I used three pages total per book, producing three-quarter-inch accordion-styled books, utilizing ephemera (mostly pieces of the original anthology used for this project) to strengthen and attach the jackets and front matter to the rest of the work. This project was still quite labor intensive, but well worth it, as I had wanted to make an accordion poetic object and had to deal with the many quirky logistics of doing so in terms of layout design and printing. For me this piece, less a real spine, has more room to move about and change. The project was done for project’s sake and for the Dusie Kollektiv, but the sonnets have worked their way into my next full-length manuscript, tentatively titled her( o):
Susana Gardner lives in Switzerland where she edits Dusie Press. Her first full-length manuscript, (lapsed insel weary) is soon forthcoming from The Tangent Press.