The Escalette Collection is excited to announce a new exhibition featuring 10 years of Tab: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics in the Henley Galleria on the 2nd floor of Argyros Forum.

10 years of Tab

Tab Journal re-envisions literary cultural production using design thinking; publishes work that represents a range of aesthetics and stages of career; and strives to create increasingly inclusive and accessible poetry reading experiences both in print and online. Founded in 2013 by poet and nonfiction writer Anna Leahy, Professor of English, and designer Claudine Jaenichen, Professor of Graphic Design, Tab Journal is an international poetry periodical. Tab Journal’s tagline “space before text” announces that design of both text and space create various poetry reading experiences. Inclusive experiences begin with design—of policies, of practices, of pages, of poems.

“Because design is enormously important to how we approach poetry, Tab Journal isn’t like other literary journals. We consider ourselves designers and curators. When we say, ‘space before text,’ we mean that design thinking extends both to textual content and to the space the work inhabits and creates.”

This exhibition documents the evolution of Tab over the past 10 years. With volumes ranging from maps to newspapers to postcards, Tab uses design to explore ideas of time, space, and belonging.

Volume 3 (2015), for example, investigates mapping as a source of place, location, and orientation. The volume’s design encourages mindfulness through the process of getting lost and becoming disoriented. As the reader tries to navigate through text orientated in different directions and leading to information on disconnected pages, they engage in a journey of discovery, forging their own experience.

Volume 8 (2020) of Tab. Source

Volume 8 (2020) also encourages readers’ participation to draw attention to the act of reading. Printed on 20 rectangular cards with notches, Volume 8 allows readers to construct their own poetic sculpture and, in doing so, configure and reconfigure relationships between poems. This volume was also designed with low-vision principles in mind. Embossed throughout the volume are symbols from a reading system developed in 1840 by William Moon. Less complex than Braille, Moon’s system was particularly useful for people who had lost their sight later in life. The design also incorporates a matte finish and increased contrast for readers with varying contrast sensitivity.

The latest issue of Tab, Volume 10 (2022) 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.

We encourage you to explore all 10 volumes of Tab: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics by visiting the exhibition in Argyros Forum. You can also read more about Tab here.

We invite you to explore all the works in the Escalette Collection by visiting our eMuseum.

Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences is the proud home of the Phyllis and Ross Escalette Permanent Art Collection. The Escalette Collection exists to inspire critical thinking, foster interdisciplinary discovery, and strengthen bonds with the community. Beyond its role in curating art in public spaces, the Escalette is a learning laboratory that offers diverse opportunities for student and engagement and research, and involvement with the wider community. The collection is free and open to the public to view.