Poetry. Art. Literary Nonfiction. Editor Matthew Burgess, a poet, children's book author, and magical thinker, has brought together 50 prominent writers and visual artists to respond to the topic of childhood spaces. These small spaces may be sites of solitary reverie, of privacy, of escape, of aesthetic or erotic self-discovery, of queer self- identification, of reading, of making; with each contributor interpreting the topic in their own way.
The recurring figure of the child in the small space may suggest a lost union with the maternal body or some dim memory of the primordial cave; however, for the autobiographer recollecting the past, it is the place where the artist is born. Within the enclosure, the child discovers a capacity for daydreaming, storytelling or imaginative play, and it is the revelation of this creative agency that makes it a formative scene in the development of the artist. Matthew Burgess, from the Introduction
Contributors are: Ron Padgett, Brett Bell, Michael Cunningham, Melissa Febos, Cedar Sigo, Christine Hamm, Aram Jibilian, Emily Moore, Sheila Maldonado, Joanna Fuhrman, Christina Olivares, Jason Zuzga, Wayne Koestenbaum, Eileen Myles, Ian Hatcher, Ryan Skrabalak, Thomas Devaney, Mary Lum, Melanie Maria Goodreaux, Sarah Dohrmann, Amanda Tomme, Brian Blanchfield, Jennifer Firestone, Joaquin Trujillo, David Hopson, Robert Booras, Betsy Fagin, Lulu Sylbert, Kris Di Giacomo, Sal Randolph, Lara Mimosa Montes, David Trinidad, Matthew Sandager, Jeffery Conway, Margaret Douglas, Julian Talamantez-Brolaski, Ken Corbett, Todd Colby, Luis Jaramillo, Niki Lederer, Helen Phillips, David Molesky, Nancy K. Miller, Christopher Potter, Marie Howe, Michi Jigarjian, James Lecesne, Nicole Callihan, L.S. Asekoff, Peter G. Earle, Liz Fischer Greenhill, Megan Buchanan, Bill Kelly, and Libby Pratt.
Matthew Burgess is an assistant professor at Brooklyn College. He is the author of a poetry collection, Slippers for Elsewhere, as well as several children's books, including Enormous Smallness: A Story of E. E. Cummings. After completing his doctorate at the CUNY Graduate Center, Matthew edited an anthology of writing and visual art titled Dream Closet: Meditations on Childhood Space. He joined the Teachers & Writers Collaborative roster back in 2001 and continues to lead poetry workshops with early elementary students in New York City. Matthew also serves on the editorial board of Teachers & Writers Magazine.