Book (part I)

From the syllabus:

3) Final Project: You might notice that most of the books we’re reading are book-length poems/projects. Your final project will be a book that is a thoughtful extension of the work(s) you’ve created during the semester.

so I came up with this:

Text message

Week of every message sent and received. I want to record them all and then construct poems with what I send and receive. Some poems will only use text messages, some may be poems inspired by the content, some will use articles about text messaging and its impact on modern communication, some will use WebMD information about the dangers and harms of text messaging. I also hope to conduct interviews with individuals and find specific situations where texting played a significant role, or possibly recreate scenes or situation using only language from text messages. I’m thinking Nowack meets Goldsmith meets Nelson meets Brathwaite meets Coultas.

As far as the physical project goes, I hope to make a chapbook. I’d like to have a physical book, and I have a friend who majors in printmaking and book making who offered to help. If not, then I’ll just compile it into some sort of .pdf. I’d like to use the pictures I send and receive to help make the project a little more pretty.


I know the project is very broad, what can I do to focus it?
Is a week long enough or too long to compile the text messages?
Should I bother making a book, or would another medium work better?
Should I include the picture messages?
Would anyone want to read this? Why or why not?
Should I tell the people I text that this will be recorded for a project? Do I legally have to?

which turned into this:

So I met with Jena and she really helped me focus the project. It's going to be split into three parts:

I. A transcription of the all the text messages I receive and send for one 24 hour period. The text messages will be heavily annotated / footnoted with historical references, google explanations, quotations, references, and other nonsense. When I say heavily, I mean almost every word. Text messages are supposed to be the most simple and convenient form of communication, so I want to make them complicated and academic and hopefully somewhat funny/interesting. the annotations will be on the same page, below I think I want to title the section "monday." or whatever day of the week I happen to choose. the section would probably be broken up into hourly sub sections.

II. I'm going to ask as many people as possible to divulge the last text message they sent, and to whom it was sent. I did this for another poem earlier in the year and the results were pretty solid. This time around I want to get more people involved and possibly ask them 2 to 3 times throughout a single day. I will map / transcribe the texts and allow the reader to see the connections between people and the conversations people have through the small snipits of text. In terms of formating, I pictured squares of text information like:

From: Jonathan
miley cyrus is the voice
of all generations.
To: Nick

with something like 9, 12, or 16 a page depending on page and font size. Or i could just do a list poem with who said what to whom right down the left side of the page. Possible section name: "he said. she said."

III. This one I'm not too sure about. I'd like to do something more creative, possibly experimenting with the line breaks the screen forces, a concept Jackee brought to my attention, possibly by taking texts and trying to mess with meaning depending with the line breaks. Or taking only misspelled / words with improper grammar to form a poem. Or by use only messages sent to me to try to form a conversation between the other people who are not actually talking to each other. I don't know about this one yet.

A few names I came up with for the title of the book: "texting." "what a waste." "some language." "some words."

1. Is this better or worse than my first idea?
2. How much / many actual text messages should I use for the first section? Is a day too long / not long enough?
3. How can I format the second section? Is the block idea or line idea or some other idea the best and most practical and interesting?
4. What can I do with the third section? Should I attempt to be creative or just stick with more experiments?
5. I came up with titles as I was writing this, suggestions?

I could use some more suggestions, if anyone reads this thing.

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