This 2022 volume is our tenth issue. It is no coincidence, then, that this issue echoes the durability and usefulness of aluminum and tin, the traditional tenth anniversary gifts. This volume, launched with a large-format print issue, quite literally reflects and shines and is our gift—from the staff and the contributors—to literary culture.
The design for this year’s Tab Journal emerges from a year of recognizing the complexities of choice, drawing boundaries, and acknowledging multidimensional anxieties of being between a rock and a hard place. As we continue to experience the compromises that go hand in hand with the pandemic, as we continue to face the relentless considerations of safe and dangerous spaces, this issue surveys concepts of shared corners and shelters, of physical and metaphorical places and spaces where individuals, pods, and communities take refuge.
The visual language in this issue draws on the mining of minerals—Arsenopyrite, Aluminum, Platinum, Tin, Tennantite, Titanium, Silver, Volcanic Rock—and a back-and-front scientific identification system to connect author and poem. Using a poster booklet, the reader can journey through poems and then unfold the booklet to meet their authors on the reverse side of the poster. The material object that this issue thereby makes manifest represents a relationship between surface and source.
This issue was digitally printed with two colors of ink (metallic and black), then scored, die-cut, and folded to achieve a poster booklet. It is, then, two forms in one, poster and booklet, each of which offers a different visual and tactile experience of scale and perspective.