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The Midnight’s Marsupium Defacement Project (Ryan Bradley, Sommer Browning, Anne Keefe, & Jared Schickling)

Here’s the story: because of a malevolant software update (which corrupted my publisher’s computer), I happened upon a small box of incorrectly printed copies of my new chapbook, Midnight’s Marsupium (The Knives Forks and Spoons Press, 2010).  All is well as the subsequent run turned out beautifully, but instead of recycling the deviant copies, I decided to experiment with one by way of collage and erasure.  I had so much fun doing so that I invited some folks to deface copies as well.  I was surprised by the enthusiastic responses that I received and am extremely happy and grateful to present the first set of wonderfully creative results: Ryan Bradley’s armillary-like sculptures, Sommer Browning’s polyvocal erasures, Anne Keefe’s scrapbook-style collage, and Jared Schickling’s distressed and cartographic palimpsests…





Sommer Browning writes poems, draws cartoons and tells jokes in Denver. Either Way I’m Celebrating, her first book, is coming out in early 2011 with Birds, LLC. Visit her at AsthmaChronicles.com.  She says, “Doing this erasure I felt three voices distinctly, the book’s, my own and an unknown voice. I listened to all of them.”



Anne Keefe is a poet and Ph.D. candidate at Rutgers University where she teaches literature and writing and is completing a dissertation on contemporary ekphrastic poetry. She has a critical article forthcoming in the international journal of verbal-visual studies, Word & Image, and her poems have been published in several journals including Potomac Review, Hubbub, Crab Orchard Review, The Grove Review, and Prairie Schooner.



Jared Schickling is the author of several books of poetry, most recently Zero’s Blooming Excursion (Blazevox, 2010).

Michael Leong is the author of the poetry books e.s.p., Cutting Time with a Knife, Who Unfolded My Origami Brain?, and Words on Edge. His creative work has been anthologized in THE &NOW AWARDS 2: The Best Innovative Writing, Best American Experimental Writing 2018, and Bettering American Poetry, Volume 3. His co-translation, with Ignacio Infante, of Vicente Huidobro’s long poem Sky-Quake: Tremor of Heaven is forthcoming from co•im•press in late 2019. His critical monograph Contested Records: The Turn to Documents in Contemporary North American Poetry is forthcoming from the University of Iowa Press in May 2020. He has received grants from the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses and the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches in the School of Critical Studies at CalArts.

14 thoughts on “The Midnight’s Marsupium Defacement Project (Ryan Bradley, Sommer Browning, Anne Keefe, & Jared Schickling)

  1. Well done, everyone! Ryan’s kinetic texts, his vortices, are stellar. Browning’s obscuring of the text reminds me of something Basquiat said about his work, something along the lines of “I cross things out so you can see more.” Keefe’s collage, its disruption of the grid, its horizontal and vertical play is interesting. And you can almost smell the smoke on Schickling’s first two, and those last two seem about to disappear.

    1. No worries, Adam — destroy at your leisure!

      Thanks, everyone, for the kind comments…I’m looking forward to the next batch!

      This is turning out to be a very rewarding collaborative endeavor.

  2. These were all really great. A pleasure to see those other ones — when will there be more? What a good idea, practically and creatively. The poor work minus preservatives — loving it —

    And congrats on the contents of the chap above and beyond

  3. These are so wonderful! I love the three dimensional elements that emerged from confronting the book as a material object–especially in Ryan’s sculptural approach. And Jared’s series is so intriguing in the beauty of the destruction by fire, fading into a kind of telescopic abstract. Sommer’s isolation of sound elements simply by crossing out echoed the distillation of the haiku that threaded through the original text. Overall, I’m just loving how each of us used a process of deconstructing–crossing out, stringing together, cutting and pasting, and setting ablaze–to create something new. Thanks for letting us play, Michael!

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