This paper presents a cross-disciplinary collaborative project between a poet and a book artist. A site-specific residency project in 2014 for MoAD in Old Parliament House, Canberra, gave rise to two other publishing artifacts: a chapbook (for a poetry audience) and an artists’ book (for a visual arts audience). The collaboration produced original poems, ‘cut-ups’ composed from in situ sources, poems composed of key-word anagrams, and erasure poems sourced from Hansard speeches and newspaper articles from the year 1962.
Each mode of publication offers different affordances for the source texts, offering them variable states of print-performance. The project also explores poetry’s relationship to public culture and institutions and the language these use. The poetic component in the project is an exercise in re-voicing and speaking back to the concept of a parliament, while the artistic component of the project is an exercise in close reading, both of the space itself and of the words inside it.