(In)Visible Libraries Poetry in Braille at State Library of Victoria
By Sue Ellson – Audio Version Below
On 30 November 2023, I was extremely fortunate to secure a spot in the (In)Visible Libraries Poetry in Braille project at the State Library of Victoria at 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and the City of Melbourne.
The (In)visible Libraries project was designed by artist and curator Leisa Shelton, in collaboration with braillist and artist Marisa Sposaro. The project aims to create greater access to and advocacy for Braille as a living language and to create visual and tactile rich experiences of poetry for All readers.
The artist made books of poems on display were produced in original Louis Braille code and the Typed Print was produced from an Olivetti Lettera 32 typewriter.
The books had the typed poem on archival rice paper to protect the Braille and to create a clear space between each poem followed by the page or pages of poetry in Braille.
The photos here show Marisa Sposaro and her assistant Caitlyn converting part of my poem, ‘The Symphony Of The Rainy Night‘ into Braille! I was so excited. My poem will be added to the State Library of Victoria 2023 Braille Poetry Collection! As soon as I find an online reference, I will add that too.
I would like to thank everyone involved in this project.
As an independently published author and poet, I am always excited when my work is read (most importantly) and published and that it has a chance to reach people of all abilities.
Marisa Sposaro made the comment that most people who cannot see the written word just use their phone to convert text to voice, but I love the idea of someone being able to read in silence and to absorb the words directly, without sound.
For it is the words that we use as writers that allow the reader to create their own interpretation of the work, and that is what gives me joy – allowing someone to create their own meaning and insight.
With love, Sue Ellson 🙂