VESSEL: Text (Re)Accessioned is a text-art collaboration created by Madelynn Dickerson, Larkin Higgins, & Jen Lagedrost.

Each poem emerges from a small portion of revealed text, created by the process of origami paper folding. Origami, as a designated set of moves that transform material into a sculpture of intended meaning, provides a model for the transformative process of writing: creating meaning through the composition of words.

Each small paper boat is folded from a page of a deaccessioned library copy of The Bountiful Sea, by Seabrook Hull (1964) . Just like the page within the original text, the small vessels transport discovery and new meaning through (re)accessioned language. The full collection includes 164 vessel poems.

Inspired by found-text poets and book artists à la Tom Phillips (A Humument), VESSEL collaborators seek to offer an objet d’art that invites readers to consider the expected lifespan of a book, the material presence and fluid possibility of the printed word, as well as larger issues inherent to navigating the new age of discovery from old media to new meaning.

Note: The process of “deaccessioning” occurs across all types of libraries when material is damaged and needs to be replaced, when information has become obsolete, or when information can be more effectively accessed in a digital format. Before books are “weeded” from shelves, librarians ensure multiple copies still exist in other libraries or accessible collections. Additionally, the Library of Congress retains a copy of all published print material, regardless of whether – or more accurately, when – a book is deselected from smaller library shelves.


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