Aktuell / Opolis reviewed in Isola di Rifiuti

John Latta posts a review of our beloved work.


Above: Sample spread from opolis (y for relevance was the idea), a booklet of photographs and a poem. Brandt/Workman. Doha, Qatar.

John Latta, host of Isola di Rifiuti, has recently reviewed our work. Follow the link here to his site and scroll down to the February 12 entry. We were so grateful to discover John’s generous words on our beloved opolis.

John writes: “There’s something otherworldly about Elisabeth Workman’s Dusie Kollektiv chapbook Opolis (tÿpøgrafika, 2007). The thinnish canary-yellow paper, imprint’d in green inks, covers of identical stock—it’s audaciously flimsy, an honest pamphlet, recalls the era of fluttery blue aerogrammes with words writ small, inks in danger of bleeding through, a Spartan age of frugality and freedom, under the eave chambres de bonne with a yoghurt and a litre of beer wedged next to the ornamental ironwork. Air transport shot cloud cover for cover, with Opolis reversed out, unserif’d, inconspicuous, recto and verso. And shot through (accompanying each of the twenty-six prose-looking texts) with photographs, architectural, signage, Arabic, a Michelangelo David against a brick wall, minaret silhouettes, a Bush-vampire fanging Lady Liberty, pines, debris, print’d every which way, and bleeding spectacular ghost images “behind” each piece. The graphic work and images by Erik Brandt. Print’d in Doha, Qatar. Epigraph by Charles Baudelaire, that sheik of modernity: “N’importe où! n’importe où! pourvu que ce soit hors de ce monde!” “Somewhere! anywhere! just so long as it’s not this world!”


Another excerpt: “Opolis seems wholly and profoundly of its era (an “era” partially defined by statements like Workman’s “heaven is as hell is a hoax I decide so I make up multiple eras all at once and so overwhelming one wants to explode out of sheer inherited longing”). The unnamed global city consciousness-miasma we imperialists’ve inherited versus the longing for elsewhere.”

We are so grateful. Aside from his profound work on Isola di Rifiuti, John is the author of Breeze (University of Notre Dame Press, 2003) and Rubbing Torsos
(Ithaca House, 1979).

Thank you, John. Thanks too for discovering this photograph.


Olaf and Inge wed. Summer, 2005. Bellefonte, PA.

8 Responses to “Aktuell / Opolis reviewed in Isola di Rifiuti”

Awesome wedding picture.

FELLA612 added these words on Feb 18 08 at 9:44 PM

Wow!! What a great honor. Makes me want to go back and study Opolis again.

mamacas added these words on Feb 19 08 at 9:32 AM

You have always stunned me with the beauty of your work. This looks like another lovely jewel. Enjoyed the photo of you and Erik on your wedding day in Bellefonte.

Becky Gilbert added these words on Feb 19 08 at 9:59 AM

what an honor- well done the two of you-and the wedding picture tops it off with your carefree,joyous stance-reflects well on you both M

janice added these words on Feb 19 08 at 10:15 AM

One of the more poetic reviews I’ve read. Who would not want to be a sheik of modernity? I am trying to remember the last letter I received on one of those blue fold-up international mailers.

Congratulations, I’m so happy to own an opolis.

Charisse added these words on Feb 19 08 at 4:58 PM

Gorgeous review! Congratulations. I also felt the book also radiated heat, like the sun. Well, and brilliance, too. xo

Julia added these words on Feb 20 08 at 3:04 PM

Huzzah! Your will to spare no exertion has vaulted you two, sitting rightly and quietly proud in the nexus of the muses laughter. King of juxtaposed illustration and his Queen of graceful, fanciful phrasing.

Remember always that each day that presents new challenges brings another chance to grow and achieve.

Phew! Excuse my clumsy attempt. Your effort was elegant and thought provoking in its entirety. We are proud of our long missed Minnesotans.

Keep up the wonderful work. Opolis sings that you both enjoyed the effort. A true treat for the eyes, ears, and mind.

Thank you!

chuck added these words on Feb 20 08 at 6:02 PM

The pages are dazzling! Oh how you shine! So perfectly married in life and art. I cannot believe how extrordinarily insiteful this review is, how words can make an existing appreciation so much more acute.
I praise you, poets! I thank god for your presence in
this world.

mary added these words on Feb 24 08 at 10:30 AM

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