2008, 5.06" x 7.81", 300 pgs.
ISBN 1-438250-10-X | EAN-13 978-1-43825010-6


There is a trick or two to writing a 300-page book and typesetting it in two days. One is to have two people work on the book, and the other is to require only one word per page. And that is what mIEKAL aND and I did on June 29th and 30th in West Lima, Wisconsin: We wrote a book of 300 collaborative pwoermds, certainly the longest book of pwoermds ever and, to my knowledge, the only collaborative pwoermds ever made.

The pwoermd is a queer little literary beast, one that combines the art of neologism with the practice of poetry. The goal of the pwoermd is to provide the experience of a poem over the course of a single poem. As a poetic form, it is doomed to fail frequently, but its size makes the attainment of perfection at least possible.

The way mIEKAL and I created texistence worked, one of us wrote fragments of two words on facing pages of a page layout program on a computer and the other added letters in any way to those words and then wrote two partial words of his own. Occasionally, I wrote a starter word of only two letters, which mIEKAL had to work hard to make into something, and occasionally I wrote him a starter word so seemingly complete that he wasn't sure what he could add. It was great fun. We worked on this for hours at a time. I usually was working on another writing project simultaneously, and mIEKAL would turn the computer towards me when it was my turn, and I would turn it back to him when it was his turn.

texistence by geof huth & mIEKAL aNDTrying to design 300 words of some sonic and semiotic significance in such a short time—and in between eating, talking, and canoeing—is more difficult than it seems, especially since we did try to avoid repeating ourselves as we went along. But, after a while, we developed a rhythm, and a collection of words intended to be 200 words long became 250 and finally 300. The process was quite easy actually, even though we had to combine different ways of wordmaking on the fly, but collaboration was a natural process for us. We explain our creation in this manner in texistence:

Each of the pwoermds written by mIEKAL aND and Geof Huth on 29 and 30 June 2008 in West Lima, Wisconsin, and edited in July 2008. Presentation of pwoermds suggested by Nancy Huth. Cover photos by Geof Huth taken 30 June 2008 during a canoe trip down the Kickapoo River with mIEKAL aND, camillE bacoS, and Nancy Huth. Front cover has been amoebified by an unknown entity. Book designed by mIEKAL aND during July 2008.

As you flip the pages of the book, the words on the verso page move slowly downward and upward as the words on the facing page move counter to that: upward then down, so the book is a double-paged flipbook. The words move slowly towards each other then away, over and over as the book progresses. All existence is text.

Reviews of texistence

How the Heck Did I Miss This One by Stephen Fama


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Price: $15.00