#Follow Friday 001
I have a new idea, since I like to poke around on Twitter via our @butifandthat account. For the unindoctrinated, one of the best ways of finding new and unexplored people, businesses, or ideas is by using the #FF or “Follow Friday” hashtag, on, yes, Fridays. Even though the genius of Twitter is how people condense ideas and propaganda into a few characters, I believe many people and websites are severely underserved. So I’d like to post and write about the but.if.and.that version of Follow Friday, bringing my favorite #FF finds to you in this space.
Death By Orphans (Paul K. Tunis)
The leadoff image that you see comes from graphic poet and artist Paul K. Tunis, aka “The Cactus Shadow Kid,” from his website Death By Orphans. But what intrigues me about Tunis is not that he’s a good artist that likes poetry, but because he has depth and extreme versatility. For instance, check out what he does with his OuLiPo comics*:
*Workshop of potential literature (Ouvroir de Litterature Potentielle). From Oulipo.co.tv: “Queneau’s Cent Mille Milliards de Poemes is inspired by children’s picture books in which each page is cut into horizontal strips which can be turned independently, allowing different pictures (usually of people) to be combined in many ways. Queneau applies this technique to poetry: the book contains 10 sonnets, each on a page. Each page is split into 14 strips, one for each line. The author estimates in the introductory explanation that it would take approximately 200 million years to read all possible combinations.”
From Tunis’ website:
This poem was written using the oulipian prisoner’s constraint. This constraint prohibits you from using letters with arms or tails (
b, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, p, q, t, or y).
The comic was an introductory attempt for me to start using constraints in my graphic-poems. Constraint produced comics are the hallmark of the OuBaPo. I felt the comics equivalent of the prisoner’s constraint would be to make a comic that did not have any portion of any character outside of the frame. This, however, did not prove very constraining and wasn’t a very difficult challenge. I’m still happy with the result but will have to attempt something more limiting in the future.
Hazel & Wren (Amanda Wray & Melissa Wray)
A few weeks ago I stumbled across Hazel & Wren, two Minnesota Twin City letterpressers with talents for poetry, photography, art, and the English language. They run a magnificent website that features many litero-geek accoutrements: ”open mics” for people who want to workshop short fiction, essays, and poetry; lit reviews; writing prompts; sage advice; self-described “cheeky commentary,” Twin City events; and home-grown letterpressed goodies, which you can purchase online.
Here’s some more about the Twin City vers-librists, in their own words, as per their mission statement:
[We want to] foster and contribute to the literary arts by providing a community in which other writers, artists, and designers can have in-depth conversations about the literary arts, and an inclusive forum inviting submissions and intelligent critiques of each other’s work. This takes the form of the Hazel & Wren website, and eventually will include a non-profit literary journal. Additionally, the Hazel & Wren website seeks to be a source of inspiration and guidance to the creative community by sharing interviews, research, event lists, and interesting work.
We will be featuring some more on Hazel & Wren in the future, in the form of (cue music): SNAIL MAIL! Yes, we the fans of long-form writing and literature have been trading correspondence via the nearly-bankrupt postal service. In a future post we will feature these letters on but.if.and.that, which will, in effect, give you answers to who these two women are, and what they do. But until then I suggest you go check them out. Try to get involved in the open mics. You don’t have to be from Minnesota, ya know.
#FF tags for the Tweeps:
@ofbunnies (Paul K. Tunis)
@hazelandwren (Hazel & Wren)