Writing the Body: Artists' Books for Ourselves and Each Other


picture of Rebecca Goodale

Rebecca Goodale

Using the history and health of our own bodies, we will create three artists' books each from a different prompt. Through these three projects students will learn to develop autobiographical material into different book structures — the dos à dos, the accordion, and the compound binding.

During the day you will gain an understanding of how the form informs or supports the content. We will manage the pace of the pages and narrative and consider the relationship of the book to the reader — how does the body of the reader interact with the book as it is being read? When we give someone else our story — how does it change in their hands?

In this workshop we will be inspired by the work of Martha Hall. Before coming to the workshop it will be important for you to see I Make Books, a documentary about Martha and her work. If you attend the symposium: Tell Me What Hurts: Storytelling and the Healing Arts, it will be shown there, or you may watch it online.

We will also look at other books from the Maine Women Writers Collection so that we might consider how each artist handles the structure and the materials for the reader’s benefit.

By the end of the day you will be well on your way to making more books on your own.


Since 2000, Maine artist Rebecca Goodale has been creating artists' books about plants and animals currently listed as threatened or endangered by the state of Maine. With this body of work — now more than 80 titles and counting — Goodale aims to raise awareness and appreciation of Maine’s endangered flora and fauna, not as a botanist would, but as a visual artist fascinated by her subject’s complex beauty. Her work is in numerous collections including the Maine Women Writers Collection; Bowdoin College Library; Herron Art Library, Indiana University; New York Public Library; Smithsonian African Museum of Art; and the Library of Congress. She is the program coordinator for the Kate Cheney Chappell ’83 Center for Book arts at the University of Southern Maine.


Cathleen Miller


(207) 221-4334

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9:30 AM4:00 PM
Alumni Hall, Detmer Room

Portland Campus

Cost: $125, includes supplies and refreshments throughout the day