The annual, distinctive print issue of Tab: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics engages the reader with poetry as a material object and asks the reader to negotiate between image and text. The design does not assume a traditional role of unobtrusively framing content; instead, design actively shapes the reading experience and experiments with the intersections between form and content, object and space, and reader and reading.
The 2024 print issue plays with concepts of collaboration. For the first time in Tab Journal’s twelve years, the Creative Director has paired with another designer, Jessica Oddi, to create the visual language of this print issue. The bold visual backgrounds demonstrate a painterly process of two artists in the same space mark-making on one canvas together.
These visual elements become front and back partners of each poster–sheet–page. The conversations between this design and the poems themselves (text and voice) amplify the definition that this printed issue is at once a singular object and two interdependent parts, like a door hinge or a pair of pliers. One component cannot operate without the other. Pairs are categorized as twos or duos of parts, people, or ideas, but pairing carries the complexity of layers. The pairing of wine and cheese embodies two objects with their own distinct processes, standards for quality, time for aging, textures, and experience of taste. In medicine, theragnostic refers to the pairing of diagnostic biomarkers with therapeutic agents to provide treatment matched to an individual. In a kinematic pair, each of two physical objects imposes constraints on the movement of the other. Pairing risks the mismatch, invites the unintended connection, and suggests what is left out by quantitive limits. The goal for this issue is partnership, conversation, and celebration of the depth and complications of useful pairings.
To request one or more copies of the print issue, please use the Contact form.
The online issues in the 2024 volume pick up elements of the print issue’s design, and the entire website is updated to reflect this and shape the reading experience.
Paul Brooke: Grotto of Neutrinos
Yan An, translated by Chen Du and Xisheng Chen: Tenebrosity
Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach: I always want to leave you at night
Xander Gershberg: Registry [Train to Krakow], Registry [Willi Tannenbaum] and Registry [Travels]
Anton Lushankin: Innuendo
Katie Manning: Dear Shadow
Adesiyan Oluwapelumi: Fractals
T.W. Sia: You will never lose family