Concrete Sound (Photos courtesy Audra Wolowiec)

There is no new Sunday Poem post today because of the holiday weekend, but I do have Sunday Poem news to share….

Back in April, I featured the one-of-a-kind artist and poetry book Concrete Sound—a collaboration between interdisciplinary artist Audra Wolowiec and poet, critic, and artist Christine Shan Shan Hou.

In conjunction with her one-person exhibition, Concrete Sound, at Norte Maar Gallery (shown below), Wolowiec worked with Hou to create a publication that is an extension of her installation. The limited-edition artist book, also called Concrete Sound, is based on a series of email exchanges of images and text between Wolowiec and Hou over the course of a month.

The result is a beautiful, handmade book that explores the idea of call and response, as well as other sound-related themes, such as deep listening and interpersonal communication. The hand-stitched volume uses collage and vellum to great effect. The transparent pages create not only layers of text, but also layers of meaning.

“When outside sounds are no longer, we hear inwards,” writes Wolowiec, “life seeps in / ships, slugs, honey.”

Christine and Audra offered Gwarlingo readers a chance to purchase the limited edition book directly, but the first edition quickly sold out.

The good news is that the artists have just published a brand-new, second edition of Concrete Sound, and it’s available right here, using the PayPal button below.


(Photo by Audra Wolowiec)

The limited-edition artist book, Concrete Sound, is based on a series of email exchanges of images and text between Wolowiec and Hou over the course of a month and is an extension of Wolowiec’s installation by the same name. (Photo courtesy Audra Wolowiec)



Based on acoustic foam used in anechoic chambers, Audra Wolowiec’s installation, Concrete Sound, is etymologically linked to language as explored through concrete poetry and the role it played in early communication devices. On the coasts of England, large cement domes called ‘acoustic mirrors’ once used to detect sounds from oncoming troops, now lay dormant as reminders of the tactile nature of analog technology. (Photo courtesy Norte Maar Gallery)




Hou reading-Norte Maar

Christine Shan Shan Hou reading from Concrete Sound at Norte Maar Gallery in 2011. (Photo courtesy the Norte Maar Gallery blog)



10 remaining copies of Concrete Sound are available for purchase from the authors. (Photo courtesy Audra Wolowiec)

A second edition of Concrete Sound is now available for purchase from the authors. (Photo courtesy Audra Wolowiec)

To better showcase Concrete Sound, I’ve made a special page on the Gwarlingo website with full-screen scans from the book. This will allow you to read the poems and view the pages in more detail.

Audra and Christine have also created a video that will give Gwarlingo readers a better sense of the project and it’s unusual features, like its vellum pages, photographs, and collages.

You’ll notice that certain text and poems appear lighter than others as a result of being viewed beneath the transparent vellum. Such subtleties don’t translate digitally—all the more reason to see Concrete Sound in person.

The cost of the 2nd edition is $25 and includes domestic shipping. (International shipping is an extra $5.) Click the PayPal button below to purchase your own copy of Concrete Sound

CONCRETE SOUND (shipping included)


Click Here to Read Concrete Sound




About Christine Shan Shan Hou

Christine Hou

Christine Hou

Christine Shan Shan Hou is a poet, critic, and artist living in Brooklyn, New York. Publications include Accumulations (Publication Studio, 2010) and Concrete Sound (2011), a collaborative artists’ book with Audra Wolowiec. Additional poems appear in WeekdayEOAGH, Critical Correspondence, Bone Bouquet, and Belladonna #148. Her awards include The Flow Chart Foundation/The Academy for American Poets and the Zora Neale Hurston Scholarship. Her criticism has been published in The Brooklyn RailThe Performance ClubHyperallergic WeekendIDIOM, and Fake Pretty. For more information about Christine and her work, please visit her website



About Audra Wolowiec

Audra Wolowiec

Audra Wolowiec (Photo by Katarina Hybenova)

Audra Wolowiec is an interdisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, New York, whose work oscillates between sculpture, sound, text and performance. She received an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and has shown work at Norte Maar, Magnan-Metz, and Art in General. Her work has been featured in The Brooklyn Railtextsound, and Thresholds (MIT Dept of Architecture). She currently teaches at Parsons in the Art, Media and Technology Department. For more information about Audra and her work, please visit her website.  

View the video and read full screen-excerpts from Concrete Sound here.