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Literary tattoo anthology calls for entries

literary tattoos


Some of us are so moved by the text we read that we want to go beyond remembering it -- we've had it inscribed on our bodies. It might be a line from an e.e. cummings poem (above), an image from a picture book or maybe even a drawing of an author we love. 

A couple of independent editors have decided to take the trend and invert it -- to put the literary tattoos back in a book. Portraits, quotations, representations -- all are eligible. HtmlGiant's Justin Taylor and Eva Talmadge have put out a call for submissions:

We are seeking high quality photographs of your literary tattoos for an upcoming book. Send us your ink! ...

All images must include the name (or pseudonym) of the tattoo bearer, city and state or country, and a transcription of the text itself, along with its source. For portraits or illustrations, please include the name of the author or book on which it’s based. We’d also like to read a few words about the tattoo’s meaning to you -- why you chose it, when you first read that poem or book, or how its meaning has evolved over time. How much (or how little) you choose to say about your tattoo is up to you, but a paragraph or two should do the trick.

Please send clear digital images of the highest print quality possible to tattoolit@gmail.com.

Let's hope that someone submits who's participating in Shelley Jackson's "Skin." In that project, Jackson wrote a short story that was never published or circulated in one piece -- instead, each word has been sent to volunteers who agreed to have them tattooed on their bodies. 

The editors specify that those sending in submissions include multiple ways of contacting them and that tattoo images of at least 1500 by 1200 pixels (a minimum 300 dpi at 5 inches wide) should be attached. Text should be included in the, um, body of the e-mail.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo by Winstonavich (with the complete poem) via Flickr


Would tattoos mar these covers? Books bound in human skin

Comments () | Archives (4)

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Tattoos of literary quotes. How utterly pretentious.

Pretentious? I guess that any tattoo is subjective. Lucky that any people who decide that they would like to decorate their bodies, in whatever way that they see fit, would do it without seeking your approval.

I don't think literary tattoos are at all pretentious. In fact, I'm getting one this weekend. And I am looking forward to sending it to the editors.

Calling other people's choices pretentious. How utterly pretentious.

I have a line of a Whittier poem tattooed around my ankle, to remind myself to live the moment. I love it best of all my ink and will definitely submit it.


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