Ellen Lupton is curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City and director of the Graphic Design MFA program at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore. An author of numerous books and articles on design, she is a public-minded critic, frequent lecturer, and AIGA Gold Medalist. Read More

Audio Piece

****["Pretty How Town"]****

This public-domain recording of a poem by e. e. cummings describes a lonely man living in a busy place surrounded by people who ignore him. He lives and he dies as time passes and the seasons change. In adding layers of sound to the recording, I tried working with topical effects such as church bells, leaves rustling, and children playing, but these effects competed with the spoken narrative. So I opted for a background sound that plays softly behind the voice: the sound of people talking in a lounge. I felt this captured the poem’s sense of loneliness in the midst of people.

Spoken poem: https://archive.org/details/audio_poetry_90_2006, read by Yesha, 2006
Lounge sound: http://www.soundjay.com/ambient-sounds.html
Full text of poem: http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/anyone-lived-pretty-how-town
Produced with Audacity

Book Town

Book Town, painting by Ellen Lupton