Field Notes on Language and Kinship

I’m indulging in some shameless self-promotion, but only because what I’m promoting is a fruit of my work on Fire in the Pasture and speaks to the publication of Mormon literature (especially via collaborative effort) and my continued promotion of Mormon poets, poetries, and poetics.

Yesterday morning via his Mormon Artists Group e-newsletter, Glimpses, Glen Nelson announced the publication of my single-author book. Here’s what he said:

Mormon Artists Group is pleased to announce the publication of
Field Notes on Language and Kinshipby Tyler Chadwick
artworks by Susan Krueger-Barber

A landmark publication appeared in 2011, an anthology of contemporary Mormon poetry. It was an ambitious undertaking that, it can be argued, is among the most important books on Mormonism to appear in the first years of the century. Unknown to many, even inside the Church, Mormon poets have recently become regular contributors to the leading poetry publications in the country. Their poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Paris Review, Poetry, The Iowa Review, The New Republic, Slate, The Southern Review, among many, many others. The award-winning anthology, Fire in the Pasture: Twenty-first Century Mormon Poets, presented 82 poets’ new works in its 522 pages.

The editor for Fire in the Pasture was Tyler Chadwick, a young scholar and poet from Idaho. After the publication of the anthology, Mormon Artists Group approached Chadwick to write a book to answer a simple question: Why does poetry matter to you? He responded with Field Notes on Language and Kinship. It is Mormon Artists Group’s 24th project.

The book is a direct response to the works in Fire in the Pasture. Chadwick reacts to them in several ways, as a scholar, memoirist, essayist, and poet. Field Notes on Language and Kinship is published as a two-volume edition. The anthology, Fire in the Pasture: Twenty-first Century Mormon Poets, is rebound in hardcover; and Chadwick’s original volume is bound as a companion work, covered with hand-pounded amate barkskin papers from Mexico’s Otomi Indians and brown Japanese Asahi silk. The two are presented in a slipcase. A commercial paperback is also available from

One of Chadwick’s sources of inspiration is visual art, and Field Notes on Language and Kinship includes eight artworks created especially for this project by Susan Krueger-Barber. Just as Chadwick’s text brings multiple disciplines of literature to bear, Krueger-Barber’s works are multi-disciplinary, mixed media works. Each of them combines photography, painting, and collage (using fragments torn from a copy of Fire in the Pasture). The publication is limited to 25 copies, signed by the artists and numbered.

To read excerpts from Field Notes on Language and Kinship, to explore the original artworks, and to acquire the book and/or the artworks, visit our website.

I love what Glen says about Fire being “among the most important books on Mormonism to appear in the first years of the century.” True dat.

Anyway, here’s a pic of the Field Notes paperback cover:

Cover images by Susan Krueger-Barber.
Cover design by Glen Nelson.

And here’s a pic of the limited editions:

Limited edition objects designed and bound by Glen Nelson.

I’m overwhelmed by how the book came together, especially with Susan’s and Glen’s excellent artistry. At the risk of sounding trite, I’m grateful to Glen for giving me the opportunity to put together and to sell something really cool about stuff I think about all the time. Even if you’re not as word-nerdy as I am, you might find something to resonate with in the book, so come check it out and pass it on to anyone you know who suffers from logophilia.

Update (9/25/13): Per Wm’s request, here are pics of the covers for the limited editions:

Limited Edition Fire in the Pasture Cover
Limited Edition Fire in the Pasture Cover
Limited Edition Field Notes on Language and Kinship Cover
Limited Edition Field Notes on Language and Kinship Cover

Because of the handmade nature of the amate barkskin papers used to cover each book, every copy is unique; however, the copies of Fire are all covered with lighter paper and Field Notes with darker.

Update, Part II (10/7/13): Per Th.’s request, two videos, one in which I flip through a paperback copy of the book, and one in which I geek out a little (and read a poem) after receiving my limited edition copy of the book.

The paperback:

The limited edition:

10 thoughts on “Field Notes on Language and Kinship”

  1. Thanks, Wm.

    I just updated my post with some images of the covers for both limited edition books.

  2. Glen’s bookbinding is superb. We own nearly everything MAG has ever produced, and it’s all of the highest quality. I can’t wait to add this to our collection. I look forward to reading it.

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