The Twitstat Project
The Twitstat Project
A collaborative double book of new/experimental poetry by Chris Weige and Renee Zepeda (Spring 2010). This is the last available signed copy.
Published, designed, and edited by Renee Zepeda: 60 pages, hand-sewn binding, Strathmore-style paper, cherry vellum, personal stamp & bookmark.
Printed in a special limited edition of 36 copies in Boulder, Colorado.
Cover art and photography by Chiai Matsumoto
"The way Renee Zepeda put this book together as a physical object was really enjoyable; it's small, which reflects the brevity of poetry that is generated through the Twitter format. There's a kind of wittiness to that, a public experiment with new media. At the same time, the small size of the book reflects the intimacy of a relationship, a kind of pocket of interaction that is not public at all. The front cover image in which the man might be whispering or giving a kiss goes along nicely with that.I like that Renee's style and Chris Weige's are so different. His voice is jazzy, funny, colloquial. The sound surges forth in his poems, very song-like, but less oriented toward vulnerability or overt disclosure. There's a pleasing bounce there. Renee's poems, by contrast, are variable (like his) but ultimately more disclosive in their lyricism. I like that she let some of her poems get a bit longer so that her ideas can develop further, and that she uses form and the page in a number of ways. Any open discussion of intimacy and sexuality is a vulnerable thing. I love that Renee took that risk. That's a major virtue of this work.
Without a lot of fanfare, both poets took significant risks, and not just in terms of formal craft but also in terms of vulnerability. In the vision they present here, intimacy can be erotic, it can be playful and social, it can be tender, it can partake of the mythic, it can be spiritual (as with the eloquent one word page, "quest"), even transcendent. What a nice range of possibilities they explore. Even the re-working of the Ginsberg poem becomes a mode by which they ably interpret the world of relationality.
I often notice in Renee's work the influence of New York School writers, but here's a shout out to the part of her that also operates with great lyric facility. The imagery here is delicate, sometimes funny, and always effective: a framed branch morphs into a faded star and then a kiss via her transpositions. I like the often fragmented phrasing and the way it makes its own music ("fingering the life thread./two narratives in our native/and." The appeals to the sensory world (sight, touch, smell) fill out the sense of wonder in experience. And Renee's work with prose, with fragments, with lyric shaping show her resourcefulness as a writer. I find The Twitstat Project very pleasing, poignant, and successful."
- Elizabeth Robinson