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Archive for May 27th, 2014

  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back.” (Rainer Maria Rilke)

For the last two years, I have made an altered book using poems I have written beside my students. An altered book is a hardback book that has outlived its time, been discarded from the library, or left behind at Goodwill. I usually try to find ones with fairly large pages that are sewn, not glued, to the binding. I take out some of the pages and glue a few together to thicken each page and create space. Then I use Gesso and paint to cover the pages. My students have the option to make an altered book for their poetry project.

Here are a few of my favorite pages from my book this year. Vannisa found the sign, “Keep Calm and Write Poetry” that became my front cover. The marbleized paper was made using a technique with chalk and water. I covered some of my pages with gelli-printed papers. When I work on my altered book, I enter Flow, a term Csikszentmihalyi used to describe that zone of creativity one enters when something is at the right level of challenge. Flow is energizing and motivating.

Altered book cover

Altered book cover

Page one begins with A for anaphora

Page one begins with A for anaphora

Making a collage of printed paper makes an interesting background.

Making a collage of printed paper makes an interesting background.


Images fuel my writing.

Images fuel my writing.

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