This week, Spindleworks will release a much-anticipated new book, Spindleworks Speaking. Spanning the past fifteen years, this latest “collection of voices” offers a glimpse into the humor, ingenuity, and strength it takes to be an artist and have a disability in today’s world. Included in this compilation are poems, prose, stories, and text-driven artwork by some of Spindleworks most well known members as well as new emerging talents.
Spindleworks Speaking has been a labor of love that took shape over the past five years. Many community members have made the project possible, as well as two grants from local institutions. A grant from the Alfred M. Senter Fund provided the foundation to start working on the book several years ago. Last year, Androscoggin Bank also supported the project through the ABCommunity Grant. These two sources of support enabled Liz McGhee, Spindleworks Manager, to hire Tom Morgan, Portland designer and owner of Blue Design. “I would love to have been able to complete this project in house, but time and talents were lacking,” states McGhee. “I knew Tom would bring elegance to this project and we are thrilled with his work.”
Gary Lawless, poet and co-owner of Gulf Of Maine Books, is the project’s unofficial “editor in chief”. Lawless has been working with Spindleworks artists for decades to bring public awareness to their stories, ideas, and opinions. “A community is a diverse mix of voices. Some of those voices go overlooked or unheard. In order for the community to work, to be in balance, all of the voices must be heard, and taken to heart,” Lawless writes in the introduction. Another public figure that has been instrumental in bringing the artists’ writing forward is Jim McCarthy, former Editor of the Times Record. Together with Spindleworks Artist Mentor Maureen Block, he led writing sessions that produced opinion articles for “Voices from Spindleworks”, a biweekly column in the local paper. Several of these articles have been reprinted in Spindleworks Speaking. Nan Ross, Founding Director of Spindleworks and publisher of Spindleworks’ very first book of poetry titled Feather Collection, has also been part of compiling work for the new book. The many volunteers who have taken dictation, transcribed, and proofread, have made the project a true community effort.
To celebrate, Gulf of Maine Books will host a Publishing Party, Book Signing, and Poetry Reading on December 4th, from 4-530pm. Artists from the program will be on hand to sign books and participate in the reading. The book will be available after Thanksgiving at Gulf of Maine, Spindleworks and at in Hallowell at SpinOff Studio at 184 Water Street.