A Mesostic of Words


At last week’s College Book Arts Association conference, graphic arts was fortunate to collect a broadsheet printed by artist Ann Hamilton in association with her permanent installation, Verse, at the William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library, Ohio State University. In conjunction with the renovation of their library, the Buckeye Reading Room has been installed with a 6080 square foot, two-color field of words set in relief on a cork floor.

The text is an alphabetic intersection of three different accountings of world history, which are arranged in a literary concordance. The spine along the north-south axis is composed of 299 words, A to Z, adapted from a White River Sioux story entitled The End of the World. The east-west lines intersect this story with prose fragments from A Little History of the World by E. H. Gombrich (1936) and Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone by Eduardo Galeano (2009).

According to the library’s press release, Verse in its form and woven organization is a reflection of how the reader intersects with and culls information and meaning from the library’s collection.


As part of Hamilton’s continuing exploration of words and communication, the nearly 500 people attending her lecture joined in a communal phone call to the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis. Hamilton’s work, stylus, is the Pulitzer’s first commissioned installation and the first multi-sensory exploration of Tadao Ando’s architecture.

Annhamilton.pulitzerarts.org explains how you can contribute your voice to the reverberations of stylus. Whether calling in a song, a call, or a story, your words become part of an archive, which over the course of the project, constitutes stylus’s vocal body. (314) 884-1553. Call and add your voice.