I love the idea of collecting words and phrases and giving them new meaning, and the fact that found poems selectively draw upon text that already exists in some form appeals to the editor in me.

I'm always looking for ways to mine the depths of one of my favorite subjects/most faithful muses—the city of Florence—so for my first foray into found poetry I started looking through the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century books I've collected over the years. Though it seems fiction is more commonly the basis for found poems, writers used language differently back then, and it wasn't hard to find plenty of material with potential.

One book, an anthology of Florence-themed writings published in 1909, had several loose pages, so I dismantled the signatures (finding that it had actually been rebound some time during its century-long life). The book was full of excerpts by a number of past travelers, and I liked that there were several “voices” to choose from.

My early explorations with found poems are detailed in this blog post & notes/studio photos of the final process can be seen here.

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20.3 x 25.4 cm (8” x 10”)

Text is printed on either Rives Heavyweight or Fabriano Artistico

Waxed embroidery threads in various colors conceal words that are not part of the poem

Border: Most feature paper marbled by a local Florentine artisan; one poem is bordered with iridescent silver paper (inspired by the appearance of the word “silver” in the poem)

Support: 285g Fabriano Rosaspina