Elisabeth Workman / fourW 19 arrive enfin!

Things to do in the Green Zone



Above: Fresh in the mail, my wife Elisabeth holding the new publication fourW nineteen, published by the Booranga Writers’ Centre in Waga Waga, New South Wales, Australia! Her recent poem, Things to do in the Green Zone, is included within this ambitious collection of contemporary international writing. Mabrouk!


Above: The poem on the page. Geotypografika readers will remember some of Elisabeth’s previous postings under Site Q. This poem was inspired by both contemporary events and her experiences living in Qatar (see also Opolis). A humbly dynamic experiment with both structure, meaning, and form, Elisabeth offers this insight to her writing:

“I wanted to collage and improvise upon some interviews with and online ‘essays’ by people living in the so-called Green Zone in Baghdad. The driving fascination was the eerie similarity between the descriptions of life there and compound-life in Doha, and what I imagine to be the barricaded world collapsed (e.g. the front page of a newspaper depicting atrocities next to an ad for expensive watches).”


Above: An example of the aforementioned front page from London’s Asharq Al-Awsat, featured recently in Front Page Horror.


Above: The poem again from Elisabeth’s original typing. (Click for a larger view.) Carefully constructed, it can be read in a variety of directions with, in my own pedestrian view, surprising cohesion and resonance. Third-culture perspectives will recognize this as well. Below: An snapshot from one of several ongoing typographic experiments with the poem via tÿpøgrafika.


6 Responses to “Elisabeth Workman / fourW 19 arrive enfin!”


I’ve been to Wagga Wagga a couple times (I have some family there) I even drove through this summer!


I was thrilled to see and read such a beautiful and engaging post, and even more excited when I saw the familiar name (one of my favorite geographic titles). For those interested, I believe “wagga” means Crow in the local Aboriginal language. The duplication comes from the fact that there were/are just so many crows. Their form of pluralization. So says my 2nd Uncle

Colin Trechter added these words on Jan 08 09 at 1:33 AM

Thanks for the intriguing comment, Colin. What an amazingly small world, eh? Love the detail about the plural crows!

Erik Brandt added these words on Jan 08 09 at 8:48 AM

WOW!!! A huge congrats to Beth! This is a very exciting poem–love the fact that is at once an image and a poem.

Barbara Campbell Thomas added these words on Jan 08 09 at 11:46 AM

Many thanks to Ivy of “dumbfoundry” for the link.

Erik Brandt added these words on Feb 02 09 at 8:47 PM

Totally inspiring.

I think of the possibilities for improvisation when performing this poem. Read in different directions for each performance, perhaps…

Stu added these words on Feb 03 09 at 7:25 PM

Many thanks for the comment, Stu! I am positive Elisabeth would welcome such improvisations. If you try them, please forward your results!

Erik Brandt added these words on Feb 04 09 at 7:46 PM

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