(click on images for full-size versions)
Source & Method: Source material for the poems and collages come from the New York Times weekly magazines. I have been resourcing the NYTimes magazine for two decades deconstructing the imagery to create large format mixed media works on paper. For this new work in poetry, the NYTimes articles are equally rich in words. I treat them like a canvas painting over words with ‘Wite Out’. This method of redaction allows the viewer/reader to see the deconstruction process of the artists hand in making new connections, transforming prose into poetry, while also giving a voice to the negative space.
Lisa Berley began her career in San Francisco where she received a BFA. She integrated painting, photography and CGI in digital work. Returning to NY for two decades she exhibited abstract mixed media works on paper. Berley moved to Colorado continuing to work from deconstructed found images and recently combining it with erasure poetry.
Text from “The Accidental” by Ali Smith.
Sarah J. Sloat splits her time between Frankfurt and Barcelona, where she works in news. Her poems and prose have appeared in The Offing, Hayden’s Ferry Review and Sixth Finch, among other journals. Follow her on Instagram at @sjane30.
IT’S A CRIME
Source & Method: These were originally lyrics from Roc Marciano’s opening song “It’s a Crime” off of his debut album, 2010’s Marcberg. The lyricism is packed with bravado gangster rap and I’ve attempted to turn it into a magical and surreal circus.
Benjamin Niespodziany is a night librarian at the University of Chicago. He runs the multimedia art blog [neonpajamas] and has had work published in Ghost City Press, Pithead Chapel (forthcoming), formercactus, Occulum, and a small batch of others.
Source & Method: This visual poem is from an ongoing series of collages built from phrases created unintentionally through the accident of magazine page design. Each chunk of text (roughly the equivalent of a poetic line) is entirely removed from its original sense and syntax. The text is not altered and includes no attributable phrases. The lines are sourced from different magazines.
Artist, poet, and freelance writer, J.I. Kleinberg is a Puschart nominee and winner of the 2016 Ken Warfel Fellowship. Her found poems have appeared in Diagram, Heavy Feather Review, Rise Up Review, The Tishman Review, Hedgegrow, Otoliths, and elsewhere. She lives in Bellingham, Washington, and blogs most days at thepoetrydeparment.wordpress.com.
Source Text: In the Dust of This Planet by Eugene Thacker
Method: I sought to extract esoteric meaning from a book that was itself abstruse and hard to parse. In making visual representations of alchemy I wanted to use a technique that would mirror the process of the alchemist to transmuting lead into gold so I settled on erasure and collage wherein I took existing elements and distilled them into a wholly different creation.
David Joez Villaverde is a Peruvian American multidisciplinary artist with forthcoming work in Show Your Skin, Moonchild Magazine, Ellipsis Zine, Dream Pop Press,The Fanzine, Mortar Magazine, formercactus, and Crab Fat Magazine. He resides in Detroit and can be found at schadenfreudeanslip.com or on Twitter @academicjuggalo
Method: For “Final Summer” I added the text I found on the back of the photograph. The photos’ indistinct subject struck me, why would anyone photograph such a scene? Turn it over and it becomes more clear. Sometimes we can’t recognize value until something is lost.
PJ Wren is a scientist and writer from Kensington, Maryland. Her poems have appeared in The Lake, After the Pause, and Plum Tree Tavern.
Source: Cut outs from issues of The New York Times Magazine, and New Yorker Magazine.
Kathy Douglas is writing and photographing a coffee table book of coffee table poems. She has two poems featured in the current issue of Right Hand Pointing, sympathetic magic, Issue 118. Kathy’s work can be found in Unlost Journal, Calyx, Drunken Boat, The Cafe Review, Noctua, Right Hand Pointing, After The Pause, shufpoetry, and Poetry WTF?! She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Bennington College.
Source: Durjoy Dutta’s novel, Till the Last Breath
Method: I found this book in the trash box and thought about putting it to some good use. I had learned about blackout poetry some years back and thought about trying it. I soon turned into an addict of sorts. Blackout is like journaling to me. I always find myself.
Asma Firdous is doing her BA(Hons) in English literature and struggles with discomfort and restlessness in everything she does.
Sources: Flying includes cut outs from issues of The New York Times Magazine, The Sunday New York Times, New Yorker Magazine, and local advertising circulars. Selected words and punctuation marks are made by hand.
Process: Part chance and part deliberation, the coffee table poems are written by selecting words and phrases based on size, color and themes. Starting with a loose selection process, choices progress organically towards themes. The cut out “bank” of text is placed on the table and moved around to find connections.Then poems are written by synthesizing syntax, meaning,design, and elements of poetry. Initially written in one sitting, the editing process may last through the week, provided the dog doesn’t fan the table with his tail.
Kathy Douglas is writing a coffee table book of coffee table poems. She recently completed a book of blackout poems entitled On The Ward of Omens based on Mary Daly’s Beyond God the Father: Toward A Philosophy of Women’s Liberation. Work can be found in Calyx, Drunken Boat, The Cafe Review, Noctua, Right Hand Pointing, After The Pause, shufpoetry, and Poetry WTF?! She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Bennington College. medium.com/@kathrynd Tweets @kathydouglas
PJ Wren is scientist and writer in Kensington, Maryland. Her poems have appeared in Unlost, The Lake, After the Pause, and Plum Tree Tavern.
Source: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, entries on Bipolar Disorder & Cyclothymia
Method: My source text being the DSM-V, I selected words and phrases from relevant diagnostic criteria and symptom descriptions that allowed me to explore the disorders that have caused significant disruption in my life, the havoc they wreaked, and the potential for healing in their wake. I maintained a very literal voice, as the process of describing mental health issues is one that requires intense vulnerability.
Erin Marie Hall is a poet and collage artist from South Bend, Indiana. She received her BA in English from Indiana University and spends her free time doing karaoke and going through way too much Mod Podge.
Source: Becoming a President is built on an erasure poem from Cheng, Long, and Jeff Yang. I Am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action. New York: Ballantine, 1998. Pg. 126. Print.
Wm. Todd King is a found text poet bringing old words to new tongues in the maddening green of North Carolina. His works have appeared in Short Fast & Deadly, STILL, Found Poetry Review, Houseguest, and Potroast.
Method: Religion came as a washing instruction attached to a T-shirt.
Karen (Downs-)Barton is studying The History of Art with Creative Writing BA at the Open University. She lives in Wiltshire, close to Stonehenge and her occupations have included magician’s assistant and dancer. She is founder and co-editor of Matryoshka Poetry and her work has been published in The Curly Mind, I Am Not A Silent Poet, Wicked Banshee, Alyss Literary Journal and elsewhere.