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I'm a poet who dabbles in textile and doll art. I also collect, transcribe and research antique diaries and draw a lot of creative energy from the histories, photos and belongings of ordinary people from the 19th century.

Some of my favorite poets are Franz Wright, Jack Gilbert and Sandra Beasley.

I'm also fond of old houses.

Comments (4)

sarahsousa July 29, 2010

I bought the diary when I was living in Maine and discovered that the diarist lived  a few towns over. I found the house she lived in when writing the diary and her gravesite. Her husband, William, served in Maine's 31st and 32nd infantry. He may appear in the photos I use. The diary doesn't mention the war as it's at such a remove in time, 1886. I've bought a few diaries on ebay of the same period, all from the northeast, but this diary remains the most special, because I discovered it on my own. It was very difficult to transcribe due to the handwriting. I also did quite a bit of historic research through census and cemetary records, so I feel I know the family in some way.

cosmicarcata July 28, 2010

Thank  you for pointing out the pages of your sketchbook.  I think this is such and act of love.  I wonder if your author was on the north or south.  It was a very sad time.  I wonder if people didn't talk about it like our grandparents don't talk much about the great depression?  I would say you are fortunate to have such a book in your possession.  I have a hand written school teacher's text book...it has recorded all the things that she wanted to teach to the kids, such as the the name of the teeth and bones.  Very different ideas on what people though others needed to "know" in order to survive.

sarahsousa July 28, 2010

The theme of my sketchbook is 'This is not a sketchbook'. It's going to be a book of page-sized quilt squares incorporating pages of an 1886 diary I own transferred onto fabric, as well as photos of a Civil War infantry and abandoned farm houses and barns, also on Fabric. The photos and diary entries will be incorporated in the quilt squares. I'm trying to use as many vintage fabrics as I can. I'd like to include the entire diary, along with my transcriptions, but using fabric makes the whole book so much bulkier, so I don't think I'll be able to do that. The diary is rather unique and interesting because the diarist was abused by her husband throughtout and writes explicitly about it as well as her own sadness and homesickness. It's heartbreaking, but has been a project of mine for a couple years now. I wrote a critical thesis for my MFA on 19th century women's diaries and lectured on the subject, using this particular diary as my prime example. My portfolio has a few photos of the sketchbook squares in progress. Thanks for the friend request.

cosmicarcata July 28, 2010

Love your bio and portfolio.  Can't wait to see your sketchbook.  What is your subject going to be?


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