Binding of Past and Present

Wednesday night was the final installment of our three-part poetry and bookbinding workshop, "Artifact, Archive, Orchard: The Binding of Past and Present in Poetry." 

Poet Alicia Churchill called the experience of writing poems with this group inside the Felton House at Brooksby Farm “a shared dream.” And if you read our poems, now bound together in a handmade chapbook, that is the feeling that binds this chapbook together.

(Our chapbooks are the slender volumes with the brownish dust covers in the foreground.) 

Sponsored by The Peabody Historical Society and Montserrat College of Art, the event featured:
  • Readings by poets Alicia Churchill, Crystal Condakes, Danielle Jones-Pruett, Joe McGurn, Dawn Paul, and Cindy Veach
  • A lecture by Todd Pattison, Collections Conservator for the Harvard College Library, on poetry books and bookbinding techniques from the 19th century. (Fascinating for a bibliophile like me!)
  • Banners, 24 of them, created by Printmaking Artist Len Thomas-Vickory

What made the event was so special was the thought put behind every detail, from the initial workshop to physically assembly of the books, to this evening—the vision of the beautiful and talented Colleen Michaels. And with the help of Montserrat Professor Dawn Paul, the evening was simply magical. The event was well attended, but more important, all of us felt invested this process.

We left with our bellies full of pie (it is a farm, after all), and chapbooks in our hands.


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