Midterm Book Proposal

  *   Which author/piece of writing you will be working with and why

I had so many ideas for this book proposal it was hard to choose just one. I initially developed proposals around the work of Elizabeth Bishop, Anna Swir, and Rita Dove. Ultimately I decided on Frank O’Hara’s Lunch Poems. “The title refers to both “O’Hara’s capacity to write the poems while sitting in Times Square during his lunch hour, as well as the ease in which a reader could take the pocket-sized volume along and read it during his own lunch hour.” (http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5970)

I recently read Lunch Poems for the first time, and I love the idea that these poems were written on O’Hara’s lunch break, and were published with the intention that they be read on a lunch break. Unlike some of the other poets/poems I considered, eating lunch/taking a lunch break is a very relatable, physical, and every-day-experience. I want to create an edition of these poems book with that evokes that lunch-time experience.

*   My overall concept for the book

The title and content of this book naturally lend themselves to a lunch-inspired book design. Right now I am thinking of the most common lunch-time mascot: the sandwich. My book will be a sandwich-sized pamphlet in a brown or cream-colored card stock case, and I will be including three poems. I am not entirely sure which 3 poems from the collection will be in my book yet, but here is my first pick: On Rachmaninoff’s Birthday, Ave Maria, Poem (Lana Turner has collapsed!). I am thinking about stamping the front and back covers with the outline of a slice of bread. The pamphlet book will them be slipped inside a wax paper envelope/wrapping, which will be then be put in a brown paper bag with the title stamped onto it. I am looking forward to hunting for some decorative end pages/papers, or creating a lunch themed collage for the inside of the case. Another idea – add some blank pages at the beginning and end of the book that I can stamp with lettuce, tomato, onion, etc.

*   A list of proposed materials and their estimated cost

Already purchased: bone folder, awl, needle

1 large sheet of card stock – $5

Embroidery floss – $5

Roll of wax paper – $3

Brown Paper bags – $2

8″ by 11″ paper for printing text block – already have this

Stamps/Stamp making supplies – tbd


  • An estimated schedule for production

(1) Book Lay Out = 2-3 hours (or more depending on my InDesign skills)

Selecting type face, typing up poems, laying out pages, printing.

(2) Cutting paper and card stock = 2-3 hours

(3) Sewing text blocks into cases = 1-2 hours

(4) Stamps = ? hours

I will be carving and/or purchasing stamps this weekend when I create my 1st draft of the book. This could be quick, or it could take several hours.

(5) Wax paper envelope production = 1-2 hours to cut and fold paper

(6) Brown paper bags stamped with book title = 1 hours or less?

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