We Are All Ears

A digital puzzle for you to enjoy safely during our C19 quarantine!

In January of 2020 the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Local Fall River Arts Council pledged to support my Poetry, Ponderings, Puzzles, and Pie workshop at the Fall River Public Library on April 18, 2020.

I decided to offer something extra special, something way beyond the scope of the wee grant. I reached out to everyone I knew to help me. Maybe even you…?

For their emailed responses to my poetics questions I’m grateful to: Anonymous & Rabbi Alan Flam, Alex Cloherty, Amber Day, Ann-Marie Gillett, Anne Grant, Ariella Ben-Dov, Barbara Tran, Carles Basteiro-Bertoli, Beth Weitzmann, Brian Frye, Carolyn Ou, Catherine Brand, Chinaatsu McGeary, Chris McKenrick, Courtney Sheehan, Daneille Ash, Daniel Alexander Jones, Dawn Campbell, Elaine Heebner, Elena Olsen, Elizabeth O’ Connell, Ellen Schaeffer, Emma Ramadan, Erin Smithers, Esther Cohen, Eugenia Marks, Grace Wolf, Hafeez Lakhani, Heidi Waddell, Howard Fink, Jamie Washam, Janet Isserlis, Jim Barfoot, Jody Winger, Jonny Skye, Judith Katz, Judith Sutphen, Judy Davis, Judy Greenblatt, Julia Gandrud, Kathleen Thurston-Lighty, Kathy King, Katja Goldbeck-Hoerz, Kerri Augenstein, Kerrie Marchand, Laura Nova, Linda Lapp, Marc Bonne, Marcia Rock, Maria Holm, Marie Esposito, Marlene Ramirez-Cancio, Martha Manno, Meredith Binder, Meredith Persily Lamel, Michael Tinnemeier, Misha Beletsky, Ned Liggett, Nicholas Lanoie, Paula Martiesian, Pell Osborn, Ra’anan Boustan, Rachel Harper, Rosalyn Andronescu, Ruth Hayes, Sarah Paille, Shari Weinberger, Sheri Reda, Shuk Shan Lee, Sierra Nelson, Susan Waddington, Susan Zuckman, Thompson Webb, and Wendy Grossman.

If I forgot your name, please tell me! My brain is a little more these days…

Sharing my design process here

because: so different than usual process
because: possibly applicable to your crowd-sourcing projects
because: am quarantined, have extra time to natter on…

  1. Have epiphany in middle of the night
  2. Share epiphany with encouraging friend (in this case, Esther Cohen)
  3. Reach out to your peeps for research
    I wrote my tribe and asked them which poem they remembered from their childhood. Seventy-five people responded.
  4. Track Data
    I used the inimitable Excel to make this list: presumed profession, place of birth, current residence, referenced poem, author, and attendant stories of all participants
  5. Explore connections… Why did the attorney reference Peas with Honey while the preacher referenced Poe…?Why were so many Gen X’s enamored of Shel Silverstein’s poem, “Sick”? How does Robert Frost have such a hold on people’s memories – across the country and across racial and gendered categories?And how could so many language artists forget their first poems?
  6. Create digital representation
  7. Share digital output with fellow artist
    Studio mate emeritus Mike Curato suggested I learn me some typographic principles….
  8. Recover from Critique
    Vodka is useful. Or long walks.
  9. Return to Studio and Review other artists’ compositional successes
    Literally back to the drawing board for me.
    I looked at old Saul Steinberg books. Broke several pencil tips.
    Ate chocolate, of course.
  10. Synthesize and Share
    I brought drawing into digital domain and fidgeted, then shared with revered book designer, Misha Beletsky. Misha helped me pick a focused composition.
  11. Niggle more and Share
    Jody Winger, multi-media master, helped me make the last 10% of decisions.
  12. Niggle. Share. Niggle. Share. Niggle…
  13. Find ethical distribution during a pandemic – Maria Holme
  14. Collaborate with someone to make project even better –
    Mike Ferrier puzzle-fied this image!
  15. See if funding source is answering telephone during pandemic.
  16. Share anyway…
© Sarah Jane Lapp, 2024