Lantern Review is an online journal and blog of Asian American poetry. Editor Iris Law commissioned these digital broadsides to be distributed via their website–a printable version, and a desktop wallpaper version. I chose the poem “translation” by Kimberly Alidio.
The broadside is a great tradition that makes writing easier to distribute. For the printable broadside, I decided to make it “interactive” because of my interest in making bookmaking as accessible as possible. The “translation” mini-chapbook is in the DIY “zine” tradition but is also inspired by pocket poetry and “poems for all“. It is extremely easy to make, reproduce, and distribute–just print on letter-size paper, crease, cut, and fold.
For the desktop wallpaper broadside I chose to go in a completely different direction, exploring the full space of a computer desktop by experimenting with typography first, testing how far I could fragment the text while maintaing its integrity as a poem. Then I drew a small boat to install a basic visual anchor, allowing all elements on the page to float around it. Since a desktop background is often the site of visual clutter, with numerous folders and files laying about in columns and rows, I decided to offset the angle and color of the text so that the poem would not get completely lost.
Creating a visual response to poetry often feels like a collaboration, although in this case I did not interact directly with the poet. It was a delicate operation where I tried to honor the original writing’s tone while knowing my design would alter the way it is read.
Visit Lantern Review to download these broadsides for free.
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