The Written Image: Make/Shift

From the July/August 2019 issue of
Poets & Writers Magazine

Books typically might seem out of place at a runway show, but at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft’s Couture Night in April, one book had a moment in the spotlight. In celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of indie publisher Sarabande Books and its Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature, designer Andrea Hansen used copies of Joe Sacksteder’s recently published story collection, Make/Shift, to create a couture dress, which she then modeled herself at the show. Challenging herself to transform the stiff materials of books into something soft and flowing, Hansen turned the books’ pages and covers into a feathered skirt and woven bodice. She then made erasure poems out of the text on the skirt’s feathers. “Making the gown was a cathartic process,” she says. “I’ve shared a bit of my own story within Joe’s.” Since the show, the dress has been displayed at the Kentucky Derby and at other Sarabande events.

Andrea Hansen

(Credit: Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft)