A book is an object that vibrates upon contact.

—Danielle Vogel

Danielle Vogel is a writer, interdisciplinary artist and ceremonialist. She is the author of the poetry collections Between Grammars, the forthcoming Edges & Fray and The Way a Line Hallucinates its Own Linearity. As a writer, Vogel explores the bonds between language and presence, between a reader and a writer, and how a book, as an extended architecture of a body, might serve as a site of radical transformation. Her visual works—or “public ceremonies for language”— celebrate the archives of memory stored within language. She teaches at Wesleyan University.

If aesthetics is to artists as ornithology is to birds, the book is a prismatic birdhouse.

—Kyle Schlesinger

Kyle Schlesinger is a poet and scholar living in Austin. He is also the proprietor of Cuneiform Press.


The book, for a very short time, stabilizes what flows through it, with the proviso that some works do not flow, just as some bodies do not progress from one time to the next in fluid or malleable ways. In this case, the book functions differently. It becomes the ground, a nearby or volatile ground for what lies down: upon it. Throw a charnel net over the book. Set out a bowl of water for the unseen beings, the animals and birds, that gather at its boundary. Or brink.

—Bhanu Kapil

Bhanu Kapil is the author of five books, most recently Ban en Banlieue (Nightboat Books, 2016) and the forthcoming Incubation: a space for monsters (a new edition with “extreme notes” and a preface by Eunsong Kim) from Kelsey Street Press (2018)


I tried to “define the book” when I designed (one of my books) “Cover to Cover” hoping that the “reader” would have a multi-sensory experience of the nature of what she/he held in her/his hands.

—Michael Snow

Michael Snow is considered one of Canada’s most important living artists, and one of the world’s leading experimental filmmakers. His wide-ranging and multidisciplinary oeuvre explores the possibilities inherent in different mediums and genres, and encompasses film and video, painting, sculpture, photography, writing, and music. Snow’s practice comprises a thorough investigation into the nature of perception. A painter, photographer, sculptor, and musician, his work is represented in private and public collections worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Centre Georges-Pompidou, Paris, and both the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts and the Musée d’Art Contemporain in Montréal. Snow has represented Canada at the Venice Biennale and is a member of the Order of Canada and a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters in France.


A book is a time-based medium made up of sequenced pages, bound together, composed to animate a reader with ideas, feelings, information, stories. An intimate and flexible medium, a book can take many forms, be large, small, physical, digital, produced as one-of-a-kind, in editions, and in hybrid platforms. It is usually portable, interactive and haptic. Most commonly, word-laden, a book’s contents can be composed of words, images, shapes, colors, symbols, pop-ups, cut-outs, sounds, smells, and any combination of these.

—Warren Lehrer

Warren Lehrer is a writer, designer and book artist known as a pioneer of visual literature and design authorship. Known for his expressive marriage of writing and typography, his books and multimedia projects help us see the shape of thought and reunite oral and pictorial traditions of storytelling with the printed page, and more recently with the screen and hybrid platforms. Awards include: The Brendan Gill Prize, IPPY Outstanding Book of the Year Award, Innovative Use of Archives Award, International Book Award for Best New Fiction, three AIGA Book Awards, and grants and fellowships from the NEA, NYSCA, NYFA, Rockefeller, Ford, and Greenwall Foundations. He is a 2016 Honoree of the Center for Book Arts. His books are in many collections including MoMA, The Getty Museum, and Georges Pompidou Centre. A frequent lecturer and performer, Lehrer is a professor at SUNY Purchase, a founding faculty member of SVA’s Designer As Author MFA program, and co-founder of EarSay, a non-profit arts organization in Queens, NY. warrenlehrer.com

I think a book is where we explore the magical space between eyes and a bent arm.

—Jason Dodge

For the past twenty years Jason Dodge has been making exhibitions of sculptures, meanwhile he founded and edits the poetry imprint Fivehundred places.


trees + river + trees + river

—Terri Witek

Terri Witek’s most recent book is The Rape Kit (Slope Editions 2018). Her poetry often traces the breakages between words and images, and her collaborations with visual artists have been featured in museum and gallery shows, performance and site-specific projects in New York, Seoul, Miami, Glasgow, Lisbon, and Rio de Janeiro. She holds the Sullivan Chair in Creative Writing at Stetson University; with Brazilian visual artist Cyriaco Lopes, she teaches Poetry in the Expanded Field in Stetson’s MFA of the Americas.


A book is a love letter to a Dear Reader who will never get it. But somebody else will.

—Barbara Browning

Barbara Browning is the author of three novels—The Gift (2017), published by the Emily Books imprint of Coffee House Press, and The Correspondence Artist (2011) and I’m Trying to Reach You (2012), both published by Two Dollar Radio. With Sébastien Régnier, she co-authored Who the Hell is Imre Lodbrog? (Outpost 19, 2018). She has also published an audionovel (Who Is Mr. Waxman?) and three academic books (Samba, Infectious Rhythm, and Caetano Veloso: A Foreign Sound). She has a PhD in Comparative Literature from Yale University and teaches in the Department of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. She’s also a poet, a dancer, and an amateur ukuleleist.


Not everything we read is “bookish.” The world is full of short, declarative statements, carved in granite, embossed in metal, stenciled on glass or plastic, or else flickering on screens. This is language in its near-instantaneous aspects of signage or spectacle. But the words of a text are another matter, one of duration and absorption, to be sure, but also of an expectancy engaged with another kind of hinge, the page. The absorption of reading arises within a duration of pages, whose successive turnings are slices of time through text. One page starts a narrative, another concludes it. In between, so many parcels of language, each interrupted by the bottom of a page. A text so displayed is inherently partial. Our memory of reading other pages renders each page contingent, bound to other, unseen, pages that open endlessly outward toward the totality of words.

—Buzz Spector

Buzz Spector’s art makes frequent use of the book, both as subject and object, and is concerned with relationships between public history, individual memory, and perception. He has had solo exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago; Orange County Museum of Art; Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC; Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA; and many private galleries and alternative spaces. Spector’s poetry and experimental writing has been published in various journals and reviews since the 1970s, including Benzene, Café Solo, Piecrust, River Styx, and WhiteWalls. In 2012 a volume of selected interviews of Spector plus new page art, Buzzwords, was issued by Sara Ranchouse Publishing, Chicago. Spector holds degrees from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and the University of Chicago. He is professor of art in the College and Graduate School of Art of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.


beech, birch, ash—inmost, vibrant librum, a book is a collection of cells, pages, screens—a tactual medium: archive, spiritual hyphen, touchstone, talisman—matrix, textile, field in vibratory disorder—memory’s lure, & sheltering: historical-existential trace—conversation and conversion, silverbark.

—Julie Phillips Brown

Julie Phillips Brown is a poet, painter, scholar, and book artist. After earning an M.F.A and a Ph.D. at Cornell University, she served as the N.E.H. Post-Doctoral Fellow in Poetics at Emory University’s Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry. Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Angels of the Americlypse, Conjunctions (web exclusive), Columbia Poetry Review, Contemporary Women’s Writing, delirious hem, Denver Quarterly, Mixed Messages: American Correspondences in Visual and Verbal Practices, Peregrine, Plume, Posit, Rappahannock Review, Talisman, and elsewhere. She currently lives in Lexington, Virginia, where she teaches creative writing, studio art, and American literature.