Do you know about "altered books"?
Around the late 1970s and 1980s, a "grassroots" art movement began in which people would save books that might otherwise have been thrown away and would turn them into works of art. Glue, glitter, collage, paint, pencil, pastel, sculpture even
Sometimes people would do this with only one page, perhaps torn out of such a book, and this would become a free-standing artifact
Well, look at the example to the right. That's an altered page from the artist Carrie Arizona (deviantART.com)
Here is the page magnified so you can read the poem. Notice how Carrie even finds us punctuation in the page, as needed. The poem can also (should also) be experienced in its "natural habitat" (so to speak) on deviantART.com — an international social network for artists of all skills and backgrounds and cultures. Along with the image of the book page, Carrie also provides for us the text of the found poem:
I hope you can take some time to explore Carrie's deviantART gallery: paintings, collages, photographs, digital art, "regular" poems, and of course more found poems on altered pages. I always enjoy how beautiful these poems are, visually. Marvelous marvelous work.
Here is an intriguing self-portrait by Carrie; she can be an enigmatic, mysterious figure
|P.S. If you'd like to find out more about altered books and found poetry, google the words altered, pages, books, found, and poetry in various combinations. |
That the "altered books" art movement had been quite a strong force can be seen by the existence of a website titled Altered Books &mdash The International Society of Altered Book Artists (ISABA). This organization evidently dismantled itself only recently: December 2010. But you can still sneak into their gallery of altered books. Here's the back door that I found ajar.
And try to "write" one of these poems yourself, for National Poetry Month! Have fun.
Note added 7 May 2011: Carrie's work is featured today in an art exhibit.