In the fall of 2016 I began to make poem boxes, and they have been obsessing me ever since. They won’t leave me alone. But no complaints: I love their company.
What is a poem box? So many answers. I could say: My boxes are inspired by Cornell boxes, but each of my boxes interprets one of my poems. Or: They are poetic shadow boxes, dioramas, each a small contained universe, a habitat where verse lives, a literary sculpture project.
Most of my poem boxes have accompanying lyric essays that I wrote as I built them. Notes on process, ingredient lists, additional poem bits inspired by their construction; whatever fits.
I hope to show them to you soon, my poem boxes and their corresponding essays, but for now I’m keeping them close. There are some in-process photographs on my Instagram. Please contact me if you'd like to see more; I'm happy to share my work, just not quite so publicaly, not yet.
On November 6, 2017, I taught an assemblage workshop on making poem boxes at Redline, in conjunction with Denver Talks, enabled by Lighthouse Writers Workshop, the City & County of Denver, and NEA Big Read. Poem boxes from the class were displayed when Claudia Rankine gave a lecture on her book Citizen: An American Lyric on November 15, 2017. You can read a piece I wrote about the class.