The newest issue of JAB (The Journal of Artists’ Books), #35, has a short, thoughtful paragraph (& a color photo!) about The Heads of My Family, My Friends, My Colleagues, by Justin Sirois, in the “Books Received” section. The mini-review was written by Columbia College Chicago MFA student & Print Production Fellow Levi Sherman. This issue of JAB is pretty phenomenal—it is mostly artists’ books, six of them, to be exact.
Here is the full text on The Heads:
Justin Sirois has a knack for writing with, about, and for digital technology, so it is a pleasant surprise to see NewLights Press adapt his new book of poems The Heads of My Family, My Friends, My Colleagues to a letterpress printed codex that is perfectly suited to the content and style of the writing. On each page, black type is framed by dizzying, RGB-colored pixelesque patterns constructed out of en quads. Eight-bit tiles are knocked out of these borders, and like the poems themselves refer to online communication in their style, though the text itself also holds explicitly to the conventions of writing on the web and on cell phones. The book is as surprising as the poetry it contains, including blind embossed verses set on the interior spine fold—a thoughtful use of the double pamphlet structure. The book evokes a reading experience similar to browsing online—a schizophrenic, rhizomatic tour of sex, politics, pop culture, and everything in between, The writing, first-person and conversational, is engaging and holds the book together despite the breadth and obscurity of topics. This is a book that knows its audience and speaks powerfully both to and about them. (LS)
Thanks Levi! Thanks JAB!