The weight of words

Reading material is piled on my bed, and the stack seems to have grown each day this week. It’s that time of month, I suppose, as new magazines account for nearly half of my to-read-nowish list. Esquire arrived yesterday, I picked up New York magazine’s Reasons to Love New York issue earlier this week and the Oxford American’s Southern music issue takes time to digest. I’m also overwhelmed by books: a collection of essays sent by a friend, a chef’s memoir, Flannery O’Connor nonfiction that I have been dipping into at a leisurely pace.

I know how I’ll spend my Christmas vacation.

I spent this morning discussing the value of words with a dear friend. Beginning next month, Cory and I will lead a writing and letterpress printing workshop, which we’ve titled The Weight of Words. The eighth-grade girls in the workshop will write essays of belief, and we’ll end the workshop by letterpressing small posters of their six-word thesis statements.

Cory and I are letterpress aficionados (she’s a printer, I’m a collector of sorts), and we were both drawn to the art form in part because of the literal weight it gives to words. Even if you don’t ink the press’ rollers, this form of relief printing leaves a mark on the paper. The care required to set the type and the impression it makes on the paper are an appropriate homage to the written word.

We left our planning session energized, eager to share our love of art and writing with these young girls. And as I continue to plow through my ever-growing stack of reading material, I’m grateful that others share their words with me.

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Filed under Autobiography, Journalism, Love letters, Reading

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