Chapbooks for Change Project

The composition is the thing seen by every one living in the living they are doing, they are the composing of the composition that at the time they are living is the composition of the time in which they are living – Gertrude Stein, “Composition as Explanation.”

Chapbooks for Change invites student writers to examine intersectionality and intertextuality through research, writing, and publishing: words matter, how can words hold the space for change?  

In the 17th and 18th centuries, chapbooks were paper leaflets distributed to share everything from children’s stories and folk tales to political or religious views.  They delivered “information” to the masses – a transmitter of “popular” culture for the populous.  They created public spaces on the page.  Today, chapbooks are the “demo-tapes” or “first collections” of the poetry world – an introduction, extended, held, passed.  In a time of “alternative” facts, hash tags, and paid “fake” news, this project uses the chapbook to hold a space for contemplation, remediation, and investigation.  It creates a pocket of time to turn over – paper-page-hand-word – an invitation to sit with and sift through. 

Using the principles of gift economy, guerilla distribution, and eco-linguistics, writers have positioned copies of their chapbooks throughout the Bryant University Library.  This tactic is a response to the current conversation on borders, boundaries, migration, and immigration – how does the undocumented document move through/in/of/with?  What role does intertextuality play in the finding and reading of the text?  Coordinates are created at the intersection of the critical and the creative, the poetic and the political; a reorientation is possible.  Each chapbook has a QR code so that readers can “check in” or rather “check out” the text.  The reader is then encouraged to find a new public space for the chapbook: another place in the library, another library, a bench, a bus, a .  Readers will be able to track the travel – to see the trace – to watch the language, the information move. 

If you have found one of our chapbooks, check-in here: where are you; when are you?

Comments welcome. 

Anthology Update: Full Steam Ahead

dear reader.

The Precipice Collective is proud to announce the final line-up for our debut anthology, PRECIPICE: WRITING ON THE EDGE. After hungrily sifting through a combined 100+ submissions and solicitations, the editors have chosen 30 pieces that we feel best respond to the prompt outlined here.

prompt. 

How do we explore the edge in order to learn, to listen (sound in shift, an echo distilled)? How do we experience feedback—resonance and residue—as writers, researchers, beings? In what ways are we mediums, conduits, and transmitters for our environment? Can our writing be the medium, or is it always the translation? When we linger on the edge how does our presence shift the gradient? Do we pass the words or do the words pass through? How can the writer learn the membrane by embodying the edge? If words are energetic architectures inhabitable in the reading of a text, then can they be used to translate the language of a landscape? As bodies return to land, to carbon, how does breath-memory haunt? In exorcising place do we suspend space-time?

finalists.

In alphabetical order, the featured authors, essayists, and poets are:

Bruce Barber
CA Conrad
Sandy Feinstein and Keysha Whitaker
Catherine Foulkrod
Brandon French
Lily Hoang
Jen Hofer
Katie Ingeneri
Violet Juno
Katherine Kaufman
Petra Kuppers
Caits Meissner
David James Miller
Laura Mullen
Stephanie Noll
Sheila Packa
Maryam Parhizkar
William Reichard
Patty Somlo
Anna Joy Springer
Ginger Teppner
Elsa Valmidiano
Matt Wedlock
Ronaldo Wilson

next steps.

As of today, we have finished laying out the manuscript and are actively seeking university and/or independent presses with whom to collaborate on the collection’s publication. While we’ve identified a significant number of presses that meet our needs, if anyone reading this blog owns a press or can make an introduction for us to a awesome press that you know of, we’d love to chat further. In all ways, Precipice is a community-driven enterprise, and we value every one of our readers, contributors, and collaborators.

reach out.

Did you want to submit but missed the deadline? Never fear—we’re not a one-trick pony! Precipice will return with a new call for submissions in 2018.

For now, drop us a line at info@precipice-collective.org or check out the titles available at Indiana University Press—one of our potential partners!

Jade, Jenna, Jess, + Kristen

#3 wring it out

#3 Generative: wring it out

Twists lengthen, squeeze, and wring the toxins from the cells and the words from the pen.  They continually find an edge--in reach, in wait, in motion--and dance along the gradient: a little more, a little less.  They renegotiate a boundary and rewrite the line.

In this practice, you will need a comfortable place to sit, two large sheets of paper, and a writing utensil (note: if outside, you need dirt/sand and a stick; if the floor is uncomfortable, flank your chair between two surfaces (desks or tables or ledges)).  You can twist as yoga-pretzely or un-yoga-pretzely as you wish.  

If you have back pain or injuries, twists are contraindicated, so please refrain from rotation at the core and extend rather with arcs from the limbs.

Begin seated with both sitbones firmly grounded.  Gather an intention: what would you like to investigate in/through/of/from/with your body today?  As you inhale, lengthen tall through the spine, collect an inquiry.  As you exhale twist to the right and release your inquiry, thoughts, feelings, emotions, responses onto the page...follow the arc of the limbs: the limit is the range of the core.  When you reach your edge (in body or word), inhale soften and exhale surrender.  Inhale release the twist and gather back to your center, exhale restore.  Repeat to the left.  

Continue to twist back and forth at your own pace.  Watch as the words arc out and surround you.  What does it feel like to sit in your investigation: to both drive it and be driven by it?  Can you see the edges, the boundaries on your page?  Does the writing ever touch?  

When you feel sufficiently wrung out, gather these field notes and process.  What will you throw out with the bathwater?  What will you keep?  How will you arrange it; what does your body say?

Feeling generous?!? If you are in the sharing mood, please, submit the writing generated from this exercise to Precipice-Collective for inclusion in our anthology - Precipice: Writing at the Edge.  In addition to critical essays and creative works, the anthology will include writing prompts, and hopefully, with your contributions, writing samples from our online community. 


#1: ring around the...

the mouth lines; the lines mouth

#1.1 Generative: Kiss Off...

Fill a glass or cup with beverage of choice.  Cover lips with lipstick, balm, stain, or fruit.  Place a sheet of paper and a pen on the table.  Inhale an intention or question.  Exhale clear the space.

Drink from the glass. Leave a mark. Free-write a line with each sip - automatic - whatever comes to/through/of/from the lips and presses/ spills /pours /curls /wraps /drops /spits forth.  Continue to drink and fill and sip and write until the lip smeared lines disappear.  Until you erase the ring around, write.  This may take minutes, hours, days, beverages, pages, pens - perhaps, there will be germs [maybe, germination].  The writing is not clean. The mouth lines; the lines mouth. 

Read through the text.  Keep the lines that stick; kiss off the rest

Feeling generous?!? If you are in the sharing mood, please, submit the writing generated from this exercise to Precipice-Collective for inclusion in our anthology - Precipice: Writing at the Edge.  In addition to critical essays and creative works, the anthology will include writing prompts, and hopefully, with your contributions, writing samples from our online community.  

Welcome, Readers and Writers!

Today marks the launch of Precipice-Collective.  We will be using our blog space to post writing exercises, flash book reviews, and noteworthy, pause-worthy, re-blog worthy pedagogy/practice findings. 

We hope that our blog space encourages participation - an exchange, dialogue rather than block, diatribe.  Consider posting/submitting samples generated from the writing exercises, process notes, feedback, and concerns/gripes.  Your input will help our collective grow, evolve, and develop.  

Also, please consider submitting the writing generated from posted exercises to Precipice-Collective for inclusion in our anthology - Precipice: Writing at the Edge.  In addition to critical essays and creative works, the anthology will include writing prompts, and hopefully, with your contributions, writing samples from our online community.

Peace,

Jess, Jenna, Jade, and Kristen

Precipice-Collective (formerly, Inukshuk Collective)