The Joy of Community: The Four Monologues Project

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Last spring, I took a class called Print Media. In this class my classmates and I began a collaborative project working with Don Share, senior editor of Poetry Magazine.

We were presented a text. The text was Four Monologues by writer/poet Aram Saroyan. In the piece Saroyan writes from the perspective of four different Russian writers/poets: Boris Pasternak, Osip Mandelstam, Anna Akhmatova, and Nahdezda Mandelstam. We spent months making mock-ups, having out of class meetings, talking about our design and how best we could support the content of the writing with a creative structure for our book object.

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Eventually the mock-up was made, our design was approved by both the writer and Don Share, and we began production. We decided to make an edition of three hundred books. The structure we came up with was not simple, so we have been assembling these books for a year now.

Over the course of the next week, there will be a series of concluding events that will wrap the project up brilliantly. These events involve not only us from the Center of Book and Paper Arts, but also The Poetry Foundation and the Theater Department at Columbia College Chicago too.

The best part about this project was the collaboration and community involvement – and not only the Chicago community, but also the involvement of our Columbia College Chicago community. And now, each year this process will be repeated. A new text for a new group of Book and Paper/Media students and a new collaboration with the Poetry Foundation.

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So, if you live in the Chicago area and are interested in the events coming up next week, and seeing the premiere of our book. Please follow the links highlighted above for more information.