livres de poete089
Livres de poètes (femmes)
An Exhibition of Handmade Books by Women Poets
Organized and
curated by
Dale Going & Jaime Robles
Berkeley Art Center
Berkeley, California
June 2000

          Much has been said about the power of the printed word, however, the books in this particular exhibition, Livres de poètes (femmes), dwell on the status and shape of words in the book form. Text is paramount.
          There is a wide application of movement through text here, and the book as an object ranges from the conventional to a more fantastic interpretation of structure. The focus is on artistic control of the blank page, be it paper, wood, metal or cloth. The word is elevated and evaluated, the space it fills constricted or stretched accordingly, whether it is handwritten, typeset, or found and borrowed text. Poems, journals, or stories change aspects, take on stature and structure, from word to word, sentence to sentence. These books may be written by hand with a Ladies’ Schaeffer, typewritten, printed on a letterpress, photocopied, or collaged. For each of these artists, the word is the thing. The women in this exhibition have found ways of keeping text/talk/speech in the book form accessible and alive.
          – Kathy Barr, San Francisco Center for the Book 

Livres de Poètes: Six poets talk about the books they make
Dale Going
how2 Vol 1. No.4, 2000 
Interviews with Lisa Kokin, Emily McVarish, Denise Newman, Eléna Rivera, Jaime Robles, Meredith Stricker
I talked with six [poet/book artists] whose work covers a range of methods, techniques, and intentions. I wanted to know why they had come to be so attracted by the materiality of books and how they worked with the interplay of text and image, the two-dimensionality of the page and the three-dimensionality of the book object, and the various kinds of composition and construction involved in making poems and making books.

The term livres de poètes was coined by Eléna Rivera, after livres d’artistes, to desribe the work of poets whose poetics include the materiality of making books.

The exhibition featured a selection of handmade books by women writers, collaborative books by women artists and writers, and small press books by women writers.