of the most enjoyable things about the process of creating an altered book
is being able to "re-vision" the author's intended purpose
for the book and make it your own. You can do this by not only embellishing
the book with art work, but by using the text of the book to create found
poetry gets its name from the process of "finding" the words for
your poem in existing text. If you feel intimidated at the thought of writing
poetry on your own, you can gain confidence by using the text of your book
to support you.
you start gluing pages and cutting niches, skim through the pages and look
for interesting words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs that make you pause
for a second look. Put a sticky note in the margin with an arrow to mark the
text and then keep going. You don't need to read every word on the page,
but don't be surprised if you find yourself slowing down to read the
you've scanned through a section or chapter, go back and cut out the
entire page. Place a cutting mat under the page you want to remove and use
an exacto knife to slice through the paper. Cut at least 1/4" from the
gutter, and try to stagger the distance from the gutter on each page you remove.
out the words and phrases that you like from the pages you removed. Don't
throw the extra pages away. You may need some additional text to help create
your found poem.
the strips of text that have been cut from the page and place them in a tray
or shoebox lid so they're less likely to blow away. Move the text strips
around, playing with their position in the poem.
this should be fun! Don't worry about complete sentences or making perfect
sense. Try to play with the language the same way you play with your paints
and ephemera. Cut out additional words from your reserved pages as necessary,
or discard phrases that don't seem to fit. The most powerful poetry often
has a strong sense of rhythm and visual imagery. Consider the flow of words
and how they will enhance your altered page. If things don't seem to
be going well, walk away for a while or work on your art. When you come back
later, fresh ideas will come into your head.
your poem has been found, think about how to place it on the page. You can
place your text strips around the outside edges of the book or wrap them around
a window or an image in the book. You can place the text on tags that are
attached to the book or sandwich the text within the layers of an embossing
tile. In addition, you can cluster your words in the center of a page, run
them across a double page spread, or place them inside or beneath a niche.
you've checked the placement of your poem on the page, use any lighweight
glue, such as Perfect Paper Adhesive, PPA, or Sobo craft glue to adhere the
text. A good pair of tweezers is useful for holding the thin strips of text
while you apply the glue and for placing then on the page.
you're finished, you'll discover that your found poetry has provided
you with an additional creative voice and added a whole new dimension to your