When I start feeling overwhelmed by the world, life, all the little things I can’t control, I find that making tactile poems helps me feel better. I like weaving, in particular — the regular over and under of the warp and weft, and the predictability of patterns is soothing and meditative.
Recently I decided to make a paper weaving of the text of my poem “(ladies vary)” from my new book (aviary). While I’d already written the lines I was weaving in this piece, I appreciated thinking about how the lines of text might intersect and overlap in visual ways. I found a bunch of 1/2 inch cardstock strips in various pink hues in my drawer (where I store leftover bits from earlier projects), and I got to work. Here’s my 8.25 x 11″ paper weaving:
Weaving with yarn or string is always fun, too. I have a table loom (Here’s one of my larger woven poems that I made on my table loom. My table loom is great! But it’s fairly time-consuming to set up.), but I’ve also found that weaving on simple looms made out of cardboard allows me take on smaller and more experimental projects. Since I had some leftover pink paper, I explored weaving these lines into a small piece:
This little Covid-19 worry-poem is about 3×4″ and took less than an hour to make. I like how this piece is soft (the yarn) but also has sharp corners (the pink cardstock strips).
Here’s a great tutorial–with helpful photos–from The Weaving Loom that shows how to make your own cardboard loom. I hope you might try making one!
And, finally, here’s an in-progress woven poem/experiment still on one of my homemade cardboard looms; in this piece I’m really interested in the fuzziness of the yarn and how it works to obscure or reveal the letters of my handwriting.