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1. Materials Needed

USB Typewriters

Since 2010, engineer and designer Jack Zylkin has renovated typewriters for the digital age, transforming them into more versatile, practical writing tools. Plugged into a computer, tablet, or smartphone, Zylkin’s USB Typewriters function like modern external keyboards, combining the physical writing experience of the manual typewriter with the ease of modern word processing. Zylkin sells ready-made USB Typewriters, as well as do-it-yourself conversion kits customized for a range of models. The following images highlight Zylkin’s process.

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1. Basement of Literati Bookstore Pre-Renovation

Literati Bookstore

Beginning in January 2013, Michael Gustafson and Hilary Lowe spent nearly three months renovating a twenty-six-hundred-square-foot storefront in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to prepare for the grand opening of Literati Bookstore. Not everything went according to plan: Unforeseen expenses and delays, a botched order of fifteen thousand bookmarks, and a near total loss of their first week's sales threatened the bookstore's success. But over a hundred members of the Ann Arbor community turned up for Literati's inaugural reading, and now, more than eight months after the store's grand opening, Gustafson and Lowe have built a successful community around their literary dream. The following images offer a behind the scenes look at the couple's journey, which contributing editor Jeremiah Chamberlin chronicles in "How to Make a Life, Maybe Even a Living: Opening an Independent Bookstore" in the current issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Frequencies, Volume One

YesYes Books

In addition to traditional poetry collections and chapbooks, independent press YesYes Books also publishes a number of experimental and multimedia works, many of which incorporate visual art. Since its founding in 2011, the press's innovative projects have included Poetry Shots, fully illustrated digital chapbooks; and Frequencies, Volume One, a poetry and contemporary music anthology. The Bones of Us, a graphic poetry collection by J. Bradley with art by Adam Scott Mazer, will be released in February. The following images highlight a selection of both past and forthcoming experimental projects from YesYes Books.

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Allen Ginsberg

Unterberg Poetry Center at Seventy-Five

This year the storied Unterberg Poetry Center at the 92nd Street Y in New York City celebrates its seventy-fifth anniversary. The first in a series of events to mark the occasion, an exhibition called Love the Words—which includes more than eighty archival photos, letters, and ephemera detailing the Poetry Center's history—will be on display at the 92nd Street Y's Weill Art Gallery until November 25. The following is a collection of photos from the exhibit, featuring some of the most influential poets and writers to have graced the Unterberg stage.

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Into This Nowhere

Matt Kish's Heart of Darkness

In November Tin House Books will publish artist Matt Kish's illustrated adaptation of Joseph Conrad's inimitable novel Heart of Darkness. Kish, whose first graphic adaptation, Moby-Dick in Pictures, was published by Tin House in 2011, has created one hundred illustrations to accompany Conrad's classic, each based upon a selected excerpt of the text. The following images from the book are presented alongside the passages that inspired them.

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A Human Error

Poetry of the Wild

For ten years ecological artist and sculptor Ana Flores has been bringing "Poetry of the Wild"—a project that combines poetry, visual art, and nature in an effort to connect people to the land around them—to locations both public and wild. Each installation features a box or sculpture, built by artists and community members using recycled materials, that contains an original or classic poem as well as a journal for passersby to contribute reflections of their own.

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Evidence Vol. 48, 6134, 27, 537, 1129

Al-Mutanabbi Street Inventory Project

In 2010 San Francisco poet and bookseller Beau Beausoleil founded the Al-Mutanabbi Street Inventory Project to commemorate the 2007 bombing of Baghdad's famous bookselling thoroughfare, which left thirty people dead and the city's literary center devastated. Since then, Beausoleil has commissioned 261 artist books, created by artists from around the world to celebrate al-Mutanabbi Street and the resilience of the written word. This past March, a group of the books was selected for exhibition by the San Francisco Center for the Book; Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here, on display at the center until May 11, includes fifty-five artist books from the inventory. The images below represent just a few of the works currently on display. 

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1. Nantucket Harbor

The Nantucket Book Festival

For the opener of The Spring 2013 Guide to Inspired Writing Retreats, contributing editor Jeremiah Chamberlin traveled to Nantucket to get a feeling for an exciting new book festival that is growing on a beautiful island known primarily as a summer playground.

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1. Barricade

The Revolution: Report From Literary Egypt

For his article "The Revolution: Report From Literary Egypt," contributing editor Stephen Morison Jr, who lives in Madaba-Manja, Jordan, traveled to Cairo twice—first in late August 2012 and again in early October—and spoke with writers, publishers, and booksellers about the Arab Spring of 2011, freedom of expression and censorship, and the ongoing protests of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party in the city's Tahrir Square.

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01. Moby-Dick

Cozy Classics for Young and Old

Brothers Jack and Holman Wang teamed up in 2012 to create Cozy Classics, an infant primer board-book series that adapts classic novels into twelve simple, child-friendly words that appear alongside photographs of handmade figurines. The brothers create the characters, sets, and props themselves through the painstaking process of needle-felting, a handcraft that involves the shaping of woolen fibers with a barbed needle. Each figure takes between eighteen and twenty-five hours to create. The first two titles—Herman Melville's Moby-Dick and Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice—were released this past November by Vancouver-based Simply Read Books; the next release, a cozy take on Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, is forthcoming in April.

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