creating poetry vanlife

Slow poetry creation

February 15, 2021

Making these poetry pamphlets over the years has been an education in slowing down. I’ve felt equally enamoured and frustrated with the entire process so that there’s been times I’ve really just wanted to quit. Why do I make these? They’re time consuming and awkward and even harder to make now we live in a tiny space as I can’t just have all my book-making kit out on a table indefinitely.

And yet… there’s something I keep returning to, a way in which the books call me to sit in contemplation of their creation. I don’t have a book tree to hang them on so getting the awl to run straight through is tricky, for a long time I’d only get two out of three pamphlets perfectly straight. And then today standing in the kitchen making another batch for the online shop on here. I discovered that standing gives me a different angle and I just made ten perfect books in a row. I cannot tell you how happy this makes me. (I also don’t have a guillotine and so Andy slices the edges straight with a ruler and scalpel – we are so old skool 😂)

Living in the van has been very much like this – figuring out how to move and live, what we want from the tiny space, how everything will unfold. Working trial-and-error is a long slow process and can feel utterly exhausting at times, but then one day, everything clicks into place and oh my! What a sense of achievement it brings.

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