trauma suture

https://abovegroundpress.blogspot.com/2020/05/new-from-aboveground-press-trauma.html

My new chapbook, trauma suture, uses erasure to excavate small truths & reconstruct identity. I created these poems while participating in 30/30s in a group called The Poeming, created by E.K. Anderson. I work with two texts; Indexing by Seanan McGuire, and Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews. Most of the erasure or remixed poems were created using a single page of the text. I’m grateful to Rob McLennan for publishing it with above/ground press!

little ditch

LITTLE DITCH COVER resized

My chapbook about a teenage girl who excavates her agency from internalized misogyny, rape culture, & sexual abuse is now available from Rob McLennan’s above/ground press. 

from ammonite sonnet

the ammonite an index of sutures
i got tired of cataloging them
hermetically sealing little traumas
afraid they’d get to know one another go boom
little mother catastrophes instead
i smashed little rocks to bits in a ditch
each shard a memory released pressure
from stomach the common burial ground
the cavity of accumulation
each little box coated in dust and feelings
each glass stone chamber not really secret
i get ready to shatter the discretions
i open my palms no explosions no pain
coalesce little traumas wrap your wounds
around each other a chrysalis blood
a becoming of feathers of air a fire

my little chapbooks

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Thanks so much to Robert Hansen, the one-man micro-press & publisher at Poems-For-All for publishing these two delightful micro-chaps: green glass asterisms & the leaves the leaves! Check them out & submit your work to this wonderful press whose ethos is to ensure poetry is available & accessible to all, to “scatter poetry like seeds”. The only currency required is poetry. Yes!

poetry center chapbook exchange

The Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange is now open for submissions! Send us your innovative, new or out-of-print chapbooks that risks, interrogates, plays: chapbookexchange@gmail.com No reading fee!

Check out the collection

Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange Open Reading Period

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Every Her Dies, Jennifer MacBain-Stephens

*****DEADLINE EXTENDED*****
Open Reading Submission Period: June 1st – August 10th
The Poetry Center, San Francisco State University invites emerging and established poets to submit work to the Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange. The PCCE began as a community-curated chapbook archive created in 2010, by poets recommending other poets using an each one-invite one model. See http://poetrychapbooks.omeka.net Since 2014, the PCCE has developed from an invite-only model to an inclusive fee-free open reading period.

We aim to provide and maintain open access to small-press and out-of-print chapbooks to promote readership of contemporary poetry as well as encourage its value and availability for use as free, educational, teaching resources. Send us your work that plays, sings, risks, interrogates, provokes, and moves beyond.

Guidelines:
Length: 10-40 pages
Currency: New work (written within the last 5 years); published work that’s fallen out of print.
Aesthetics: seeking a range of forms, approaches, hybrids.

There is no reading fee!

Please email submissions to chapbookexchange@gmail.com.
Feel free to visit our archives: https://poetrychapbooks.omeka.net/

DIYnamic: Librarians in Motion – CLA Be the Change 2014

Transcript:

As a librarian and poet, it’s long been of interest to me to find

new ways of providing and sustaining democratized access to

poetry. So – when I found myself in my final year of my MLIS

enrolled in collection development while simultaneously

volunteering at the Poetry Center & American Poetry Archives

at San Francisco State University, synapses ignited. I

began to consider the inherent vulnerabilities of cultural

agency within poetry as a network of ideas reflecting

currencies of our time and began to wonder who

decides what gets saved to tell the stories we leave behind.

Along with digital preservation threats like data loss and bit

corruption, I considered the ephemerality &

vulnerability of poetry chapbooks produced by small presses.

I also sought means of reinvigorating stale & arcane

poetry collections I had found in many public libraries, and

desired a new method of expanding access to socially &

culturally diverse poetry along with promoting work of local

poets in the community. The confluence of my studies and

passions for poetry and librarianship catalyzed my creation

and development of an open-access digital chapbook archives:

The Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange.

The Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange is a communitycurated

archive created and developed for poets to convene,

correspond, and collaborate via chapbooks: the

currency of the poetry community. Our mission is to engage

our poetry community by sparking dialogues between the

chapbooks in the interest of collaboratively building

a community archive.

As a cooperative model, it has facilitated the compilation of a

diverse and innovative collection of poetry chapbooks for

public access. We began by inviting a select group of

core contributors – and grew our collection in just a few

months to feature chapbooks from over 40 contributors.

The Process

Contributors are invited to share their chapbooks via upload

and as such gain access to the chapbook repository. They are

also invited to recommend another poet to contribute to the

exchange. The model is “take a chapbook, leave a

chapbook.” The chapbook exchange is a contributor-driven

peer-to-peer environment that allows users to exchange

chapbooks as a variation on the pay-to-play theme in that in

this case, poetry is the currency required for participation.

Deploying Chapbooks as Community-Bonding Tools

Chapbooks have a long history of communicating impelling

messages to communities. “From the 16th to early

19th centuries, chapbooks were mass-produced, cheaply made

booklets sold hand-to-hand by traveling salesmen, or chapmen

in Western Europe and North America.” (Craig, 2011) Today’s

chapbooks are regarded as essential to the evolution of

ongoing dialogues around poetics and poetry.

“…[They’re] part of ongoing poetic conversations, as well as a

practice of exchange that is ever present in the maintenance of

community” (Craig, 2011). They are often handmade

and sold cheaply or given as gifts. The message within often

outweighs financial compensation for the author; often, what

fuels their tenacity is a desire to contribute to a powerful

lineage of poets as well as a commitment to correspondence

and collaboration with peers.

The Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange has made

available virtual hubs for collaboration and exchange. The

open-access format is conducive to quick and efficient

chapbook sharing, and can serve as a forum for writers and

other patrons to communicate and share ideas. Our

desire is for the site to act as a nexus; a lively and vital

cooperative space for poets to practice the continuum of

reading and writing in the creative process. Contributing

creative works in this forum also allows users the opportunity

to generate creative responses to extant works in the

collections.

As a community-curated project, Poetry Center Chapbook

Exchange participants are actively involved in the process of

archiving their own work. Once they become active members,

they are also able to assign metadata to their books with

pertinent descriptors to make their works more findable. In

doing so, they become agents in the shaping of our shared

history for future readers. Contributors also choose their own

creative commons licensing attributes and permissions, and

can permit or decline use in any number of ways.

The site was built using Omeka: “a free, flexible,

and open source web-publishing platform for the display of

library, museum, archives, and scholarly collections and

exhibitions.” (Ray Rosenzweig Center for History and New

Media, 2014). We chose Omeka as our trial platform because of

the Roy Rosenzweig and Center for History and New Media’s

great reputation for preserving and archiving creative works.

Omeka enables participants to control how their

work is presented, and offers tutorials to facilitate the user

process.

This type of peer-to-peer crowdsourcing can be a

means of promoting and increasing circulation for existing

poetry collections while directly engaging with local and

global communities. Libraries can improve poetry collections

by crowdsourcing chapbooks from local poetry communities

and expand awareness of collections using social media to

share chapbooks. A poetry project of this kind will serve all age

groups, and will be particularly vital for reengaging teens on

the move. Teens are mobile content creators. Libraries

recognize that “if librarians want to attract young adults to

their collections and services, they must become integral

members of the online community.” (Hassell and Miller, 2003)

Libraries have the opportunity to reshape their teen image by

creating virtual spaces where teens will feel free to collaborate,

create, consume, and share content with peers on the move. At

the same time, they can promote intergenerational bonding

between unlikely age groups.

As Tyckoson (2003) writes “The nature of publishing is going

to change and libraries are going to play a greater part in the

process.” Libraries can provide both the tools and the expertise

to help users get projects off the ground. Our communities are

rife with content creators, and the urge to share our creative

efforts has galvanized social media as a primary source of

information and communication. Outreach to local museums,

archives, community colleges, and K-12 schools may also be a

way to develop existing collections reflective of the local

community. By incorporating works by local poets and writers,

public libraries can involve users directly by showcasing

selected works to ensure patron’s continual value in the future

of library service.“Community practitioners need to know how

given communities tell stories and how powerful these stories

can be for either demoralizing or strengthening

community.” (Collins et al, 2004)

Flexibility

Like any project, the initial concept for the chapbook exchange

went through several iterations requiring flexibility and

patience. Initially designed for public libraries & later

conceptualized for an archives within an academic institution,

it was necessary to consider how this might change the target

audience and/or create a more insular reader community,

thereby possibly inhibiting access to the “average public

library user.” While the Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange is

publicly accessible via URL: poetrychapbooks.omeka.net, the

predominant audience is largely comprised of other poets.

How I hope to mitigate this problem & expand access for nonpoets

is to recommend the chapbook exchange as a discovery

tool teachers can employ in the classroom to promote active

learning, collaboration, and creative problem solving through

reading & writing poetry along with navigating new

technologies. Creating student collections in Omeka can also

help learners discover primary resources along with growing

their interests in history and technology. I’m interested in

encouraging & teaching information & media literacies

through diversified tech tools to augment, support, & partner

with local schools to best serve youth in our community.

Connecting learners with the right tools is critical to their

academic success.

In creating, developing, and managing the digital archive that

became the Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange, I was able to

gain project management skills that prepared me for my role as

the new Teen & Adult Services Librarian with Mendocino

County Libraries. Along with creating engaging programming

and services for teens and adults, managing projects effectively

is key to my ability to provide energetic and efficient services to

all our patrons.

Poet as Radio Interview – this Sunday

Image

I’ll be the featured guest on this Sunday’s Poet as Radio show on KUSF in Exile. I’ll be discussing huminsect (dancing girl press), prism maps (dusie kollektiv), and the Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange, and will likely read new work from auto/bio. Tune in at 11:30am-12:30pm PT at savekusf.org – SF Community Radio.

The Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange: A Community – Curated Model

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Following is a transcript of my talk at AWP 2014 where I presented on a panel commemorating 60 years of the Poetry Center’s Digital Archive. I presented the Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange in its current manifestation as both archive and site for circulation of current work. I discussed its creation, development, and direction as digital repository; the importance of community curation, development of collaborative tools within a public space, and original notion of chapbook as gift–sharing poetry as opposed to ownership.

____________________________________________________________________________

 

How much agency do we have in deciding what gets saved to define a poetic history or lineage? When we talk about born-digital, electronic, or out-of-print books that exist only as PDFS or Word documents, there’s a huge risk for future data loss due to format obsolescence and bit corruption. Sometimes, these creative losses are a welcome relief – we don’t need to save everything after all nor is it possible to do so. But as communities of practice, it behooves us to participate in the telling of our shared history for future generations by collecting moments enough to define our time.

With the Poetry Center, I’ve taken a small step in this direction by creating an open-access digital repository to help expand and ensure sustained access to chapbooks. The Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange is a community-curated archive created and developed for poets to convene, correspond, and collaborate via chapbooks: the currency of the poetry community. Our mission is to engage our poetry community by sparking dialogues between the chapbooks in the interest of collaboratively building a community archive.

The model for the chapbook exchange was catalyzed by the need to invigorate poetry collections in public libraries and was expanded to include extant poetry communities. This cooperative model has facilitated the compilation of a diverse and innovative collection of poetry chapbooks for public access. We began by inviting a select group of core contributors – and have grown our collection in just a few months to feature chapbooks from over 40 contributors.
Contributors are invited to share their chapbooks via upload and as such gain access to the chapbook repository. They are also invited to recommend another poet to contribute to the exchange. The model is “take a chapbook, leave a chapbook.” The chapbook exchange is a contributor-driven peer-to-peer environment that allows users to exchange chapbooks as a variation on the pay-to-play theme in that in this case, poetry is the currency required for participation.

Deploying Chapbooks as Community-Bonding Tools

Chapbooks have a long history of communicating impelling messages to communities. “From the 16th to early 19th centuries, chapbooks were mass-produced, cheaply made booklets sold hand-to-hand by traveling salesmen, or chapmen in Western Europe and North America.” (Craig, 2011) Today’s chapbooks are regarded as essential to the evolution of ongoing dialogues around poetics and poetry. “…[They’re] part of ongoing poetic conversations, as well as a practice of exchange that is ever present in the maintenance of community” (Craig, 2011). They are often handmade and sold cheaply or given as gifts. The message within often outweighs financial compensation for the author; often, what fuels their tenacity is a desire to contribute to a powerful lineage of poets as well as a commitment to correspondence and collaboration with peers.

A 2009 report from the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute via the Poetry Foundation titled Poetry and New Media: A User’s Guide – describes their “vision for engaging educators, institutions, and communities” and names the importance of open-access publishing and “working to increase the access of poets as producers.”

The Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange aims to foster that ethic, by making available virtual hubs for collaboration and exchange of chapbooks. To augment existing print collections as well as build a virtual poetry collection sustained by global and local poetry communities. We’ve maintained an instrumental role by providing and moderating key access points to this portal to engage local writers. The open-access format is conducive to quick and efficient chapbook sharing, and can serve as a forum for writers and other patrons to communicate and share ideas. We’re interested in capturing the many ways we activate one another as writers in the community.

Currently, the site is in the early stages of what we hope will be a lively and vital cooperative space for poets to practice the continuum of reading and writing in the creative process. Contributing creative works in this forum also allows users the opportunity to generate creative responses to extant works in the collections. As such, this chapbook exchange might be a model for teachers wishing to employ emerging technologies in the classroom to highlight opportunities for both active and collaborative learning.

As a community-curated project, Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange participants are actively involved in the process of archiving their own work. Once they become active members, they also able to assign metadata (or tag) their books with pertinent descriptors to make their works more findable. In doing so, they become agents in the shaping of our shared history for future readers. Contributors also choose their own creative commons licensing attributes and permissions, and can permit or decline use in any number of ways.

The site was built using Omeka: “a free, flexible, and open source web-publishing platform for the display of library, museum, archives, and scholarly collections and exhibitions.” (Ray Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, 2014). We chose Omeka as our trial platform because of the Roy Rosenzweig and Center for History and New Media’s great reputation for preserving and archiving creative works. Omeka enables participants to control how their work is presented, and offers tutorials to facilitate the user process. Omeka uses Dublin Core metadata standards and allows for user tagging which enables participants to define how items are remembered. It also hosts various plug-ins, which allows users to import myriad file formats.

Cooperative Archiving & Preservation

As archivists, it is incumbent on us to meet certain criteria to maintain our digital collections: digital objects must be controlled, i.e. findable, secure, readable, renderable, and authentic. Digital preservation necessitates the use of metadata by which to store and retrieve our digital objects. A collection must be safe and secured from both internal and external threats. We must also know when to upgrade our software and hardware to maintain readability of our collections. Congruent with readability is renderability; we must know how our digital objects should be displayed.

Though not without its limitations, the cooperative archiving model is an active means toward long-term preservation. First, by crowdsourcing descriptive metadata from the community to assign to our digital collections, we are improving chances for a file’s findability in 10 or 15 years by activating memories of individuals as well as the community at large. Through remembering nuances or details, we give voice to these subtleties and allow for the chance to re-experience lived events through the archive. In this sense we do indeed converse with the dead.

Another benefit of cooperative archiving is the use of community standard file formats, which will aid renderability later when we want to read files. Experts in digital preservation recommend opting for community standard or widely used data formats like PDF because there are greater chances that we’ll have the right programs to open files.
The LOCKSS system, which is also known as (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe), may also help ensure that our peers or colleagues will have a copy of our book downloaded to their hard drive. While this is a common preservation method, it is not necessarily the most secure since LOCKSS lends itself to the possibility of copies being whittled down one by one for various reasons (unreadable formats, human error, etc). However, cooperative archiving does allow for more content to be saved due to sheer volume. Lastly, cooperative archiving encourages participants to share their diverse skills, knowledge, and expertise and facilitates opportunities to learn from others in the community.

Future Directions

Some future directions for the Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange are to cooperatively bridge the gaps between the historicity of the archive and the currency of pen striking paper. We’re interested in what happens when communities come together to archive the now while also honoring historical conversations around poetics, art, and poetry that helped generate contemporary creative works. As archives are creative forces in themselves, we’re excited by the energetic possibilities for poets to further engage with the collection by producing new works and developing partnerships.

As a cooperatively curated site, the chapbook exchange can also be a self-sustainable method of disseminating the current arcs of various poetic movements and potentially may prove successful in engaging users all over the world. In fact, we recently added a bilingual chapbook to the collection from a poet living in Ireland who had written to us with interest.

Conclusion

Our sense of communing with the dead through the written word, our wonder and fulfillment at the dread and elation of writing – These are some of the reasons we feel called as readers, as writers, and also as archivists. It is this continuum that catches us in its legacy as we root with it. As we live and write we extend laterally to encompass the time we’re in, the currencies moving about, and we pulse on. It is also this vitality and community that we as writers can feel alienated from or urged to maintain. However, our combined resources are mighty – and with a little collaboration and cooperation – we may just keep this thing going.

References

American Library Association. (1996). Library Bill of Rights. Accessed May 10, 2012 from http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill

Andrade, Mary. 2012. Crowdsource your next program design. T+D, 66(3), 52-56.

Antonucci, Ron. 2004. A rhyme a day. Library Journal. Retrieved from http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/ljinprint/currentissue/871807-403/collection_development_quotpoetryquot_a_rhyme.html.csp

Caplan, Priscilla. 2009. Understanding PREMIS. Library of Congress. Retrieved from at http://www.loc.gov/standards/premis/understanding-premis.pdf

Collins, K., Furman, R, & Riddoch, R. 2004. Poetry, writing and community practice. Human Service Education, 24(1), 19-32.

Craig, Ailsa. 2011. When a book is not a book: objects as players in identity and community formation. Journal of Material Culture, 16 (1), 47-63.

Dymoke, S. & Hughes, J. 2009. Using a poetry repository: how can the medium support pre-service teachers of English in their professional learning about writing poetry and teaching poetry writing in a digital age? English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 8 (3), 91-106

Fallows, D; Horrigan, J; & Lenhart, A. (2005). Content Creation Online. Washington DC: Pew Internet & American Life Project, February 29. Accessed May 11, 2012: http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2004/Content-Creation-Online/2-Content-Creation-Online/1-The-material-people-contribute-to-the-online-world.aspx

Grotke, A. 2011. Cooperative archiving: Event harvesting in perspective. Annual meeting with Library of Congress and National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program. Retrieved from http://search.loc.gov:8765/digitalpreservation/query.html?st=1&charset=utf-8&lk=1&nh=10&si=0&col=loc&qp=url%3A/http%3A//www.digitalpreservation.gov/&qt=revolution

Holley, Rose. 2010. Crowdsourcing: How and why should libraries do it? D-Lib Magazine, 16(3) 5-23.

Hughes-Hassell, S., & Miller, E. T. (2003). Public library websites for young adults: Meeting the needs of today’s teens online. Library and Information Science, 25, 143–156.

Jones, P. (2002) New Directions for Library Service to Young Adults. Chicago: American Library Association.

Lenhart, A., & Madden, M. (2005). Teen content creators and consumers. Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Project, November 2. Accessed April 27, 2011: http://www.pewInternet.org/PPF/r/166/report_display.asp

RLG. (2002). Trusted Digital Repositories: Attributes and Responsibilities: an RLG-OCLC Report. Retrieved from: http://www.oclc.org/programs/ourwork/past/trustedrep/repositories.pdf
Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. About CHNM. Retrieved December 10, 2011 from http://chnm.gmu.edu/about/

SinhaRoy, S. 2011. Libraries tap into the crowdsource. American Libraries, 42(11/12), 22-23.

Smith, Aaron. (2010). Mobile Access 2010. Washington DC: Pew Internet & American Life Project, July 7. Accessed May 11, 2012: http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Mobile-Access-2010.aspx

Tyckoson, David. 2003. On the desirableness of personal relations between archivists and readers: the past and future of reference service. Reference Services Review, 31 (1), 12-16