About the Poems
by Anne Gorrick
These poems are part of a larger series of work titled I Formation. Each poem begins with a person’s name. After anagramming that name (I used to do this labor-intensive practice by hand, and then later used a computer application), I go to the lists of words found in the anagrams, and make poems out of the found text. I wrote 10 of these poems about 10 years ago, and formed each poem into a tiny book made out of a single sheet of folded paper in editions of, you guessed it, 10. I put them away for a long time, and when I turned 40 a couple years ago, I took another look at them. They were a perfect poetic form to create a relationship map, a cartography, of my life at 40: a poem for every person in my life that added something lovely. If you’ve added too much negativity to my life, you’ve warranted the absence of a poem in this series; and sometimes a person’s name isn’t anagram-friendly, so I’ve got to leave them out. But it’s a fairly accurately drawn map.
The title I Formation comes from a tennis term for a particular doubles strategy, which is basically a way of defining one’s strategic self on the court (I play a LOT of tennis – you can roll your eyes now). And as the “I” is renewed in sport, I like a poetry that plays fast and loose with the poetic self, a poetry that constantly processes and regenerates a self for the page.
I Formation is one section from a book of poems due out from Shearsman Books (Exeter, UK) in 2010.
Heap of tiny artist's books based on these poems:
Photo Credit: Lynn Behrendt