Long ago, I offered to make the chapbooks for our local poetry contest because I was newly enamored with book arts; even formatting felt exciting to me. JI Kleinberg, a welcome force on any committee, herded me through rounds of proofing after she had passed me the winning poems. Last summer, she and Luther Allen tapped me to design the book for their Whatcom poetry anthology project through Other Mind Press. They call the collection Noisy Water, after the Lummi word,”Xwotʼqom”, from which “Whatcom” is derived. At the end of last month, we finished shepherding their manuscript of 101 poems into a beautiful book.
Working with each poem, noisy in a different way than the last, tuned me in to linebreaks and line length and stanza length and other formal choices. It was a real gift to spend so much time with every poem, calling up the poet, a friend or at least a neighbor, in my mind as I moved through the design file. I think the result is that each poem has some room to breathe. I hope you find, as you make your way through this book’s pages, that you don’t even notice the design, that you can fully immerse yourself in each poet’s poem.
It’s a stunning collection. You can buy one here, or come to the Village Books reading this Thursday, December 10th, at 7:00 p.m.
I won’t be reading, but many other of our community’s poets will be. If you can’t make it Thursday, Other Mind Press has set up a poetry tour, with no less than six more readings in the new year. No-town-left-behind! (Since one of my poems appears, I’ll read at the Lummi Island reading on February 20, and again at Village Books on April 14.)