Rachel Zavecz is a book artist and PhD student in Creative Writing at the University of Utah. She is also the university’s current Sherman B. Neff/Book Arts Fellow. She received her MFA in Poetry from the University of Notre Dame. Her writing has appeared in Sporklet, Fairy Tale Review, smoking glue gun magazine, Birdfeast, White Stag, and others. She lives in Salt Lake City with her delightfully dapper dog named Armani Houdini.
“The thing is – to open the body.” This book is the enactment of a surgical procedure. The reader must cut through layers of tissue and text in order to read the piece in its entirety. This mode of reading parallels the process of childbirth just as the body of the codex parallels the pregnant female body. This book disrupts conventional ideas about how the codex form should be encountered and read, and questions ideas about the “acceptable” way to interact with a book. If you encounter your own resistance in being prompted to cut into the pregnant pages of this book, remember there is beauty on the operating table: “I looked at my own body, again, for the first time. Naked from the waist down. So large! so bright! the flesh! my swollen belly reflecting the surgery room lights. I said to the anesthesiologist, My body is so beautiful.”