Below is an interview excerpt of Hank Lazer explaining his notebooks project. Find the entire interview in the Tuscaloosa News.
Q: Describe your notebooks. When did you start writing your first one?
A: The notebooks are each unique in appearance, shape and quality of paper. I am currently writing in Notebook No. 30 and am thus more than 2,000 pages and more than eight years into this project. Poets each approach the art form in a different way, and we often don't get along with one another due to these differences. But one thing we have in common is a love of notebooks. I collect notebooks — many of which were purchased at the Kentuck Festival and from UA's Book Arts students — and I decided to take the radical step of actually writing in them. I began the first notebook on Oct. 8, 2006.
Q: What is shape writing?
A: Improvised writing, done without any rough drafts, written in abstract shapes.
Q: Why is your notebook “N24” hand-sewn?
A: “N24” is hand sewn because the publisher — Dawn Pendergast (in Houston, Texas) — runs a press called Little Red Leaves, and each year she publishes several chapbooks (small books) in the Textile Series. These books are hand-sewn, beautifully designed books, and I was fortunate that she selected my “N24” for publication. (“N24” is my 18th published book of poetry.)