Thursday, December 20, 2012

found poetry in paper globes

In part to decorate for the holidays, in part to celebrate our 41st anniversary, Powell's decided, this year, to create some lovely art installations of hanging paper globes cut from the pages of damaged books.

The idea and most of the legwork and artistic work came from Lenore Ooyevaar, our graphic designer. I helped out by doing some coordinating with the stores, cutting some paper circles for the prototypes, and finally helping install.

You wouldn't think sitting around unfolding hundreds of paper globes would be fun, but I enjoyed the company of some great gals in Powells' Marketing Department, plus, one afternoon, a customer actually asked if she could help. What I loved the most, though, was all the found poetry inside these paper globes. Snippets of text, photos, old book illustrations. There was something new and beautiful and weird and quirky with every page I unfolded:

“…Cordelia and the depths of solitude…”

"...Twelve good men and true..."

The complete nutritional breakdown of "Graham cracker panda."

This creature...

An art book that shows how to take the pictures of 12 Hollywood actors, including Franchot Tone, George Brent and Robert Montgomery, and combine them to make, "...this charming young man—albeit a trifle effeminate..."

Molecular diagrams plus the naughty edge of Michelangelo's David...

Two different book pages meeting across the center break to take two fragments and turn them into one perfect [or perfectly awful] sentence. A spiritual book and a medical book: "I am filled with devine … mucus."


Lists of artists on the right, bodybuilders on the left:

“...Narcissists make the best leaders...”

These cute cartoon illustrations in a book of, I believe, Jewish history:

I think this second one was at the bottom of the title page.

Found poetry in the table of contents of Vivilore, a book on marriage, beauty, sex, fashion, childbirth and motherhood, first published in 1904: "...An Endless, Widening Stream — The Ennobling Art — A Co-Laborer with the Divine — Intelligent Breeding of Animals — Shall Humanity be Left Behind?..."


  1. What wonderful bits of language and image! I love reading the story behind these beautiful store displays. I visited the Hawthorne store yesterday and the Burnside one today and photographed the displays at both.

  2. Thanks! Ooh, I'd love to see the pictures.