Geography of Lost book
Geography of Lost

By Ellen Sheffield
Gambier, Ohio: Unit IV Arts, 2021. Edition of 18.

5.5" x 8.5" closed; 12 leaves interleaved. Unryu white paper and Strathmore tracing paper pages with Haijiro cover paper. Digital images and letterpress text on two overlapping pamphlet stitched signatures. Bound in a trifold cover. Laid in cover weight phase box with colophon tipped on bottom. Poem and book design by artist. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Ellen Sheffield: "The text in 'Geography of Lost' is a poem inspired by an article on 'Lost Person Behavior', the science of knowing where to search for someone based on which of 41 profiles applies. Implicit in my poem are hard things, feeling forlorn when contemplating a family history of depression, substance abuse, dementia, suicide and other mostly unseen manifestations of hopelessness. There are so many ways to be lost - the thesaurus entry lists over 60 words including disoriented and vanished. Pulling apart and fracturing my poem's lines set them adrift amid images of my aerial snow-covered landscapes photographed on a winter flight and overlaid with askew grids."

Scan the visual field - for virtual ink
fingerprints, fractured twigs – or formerly
found objects.

Once you open "Geography of Lost" the pages are turned left then right until the final page comes up which is the middle panel of the tri-fold cover. To close the book the pages are then interleaved in the reverse order. However, the text is such that the leaves can be interleaved in multiple ways thus creating different orders and versions of the text. By changing the order of the pages it becomes another view of being lost and adrift or that feeling of not quite knowing what path to take to find the one lost.