by Leah Mell (Davidson College, Class of 2019)
Mina Loy had a grand vision for the layout of her long poem “Songs to Joannes,” which she described in a letter to Carl Van Vechten, her literary agent in New York. She asked to have the text “printed on one side of each page only,” “a large round in the middle of the blank reverse of each page,” the dedication “TO. YOU,” and “one whole entirely blank page with nothing on it between the first & second parts.” The poem was published in Others magazine in July 1917, in a simpler form than what Loy had imagined. This project, created almost a century later, finally realizes Loy’s vision for “Songs to Joannes,” digitally remediating the long poem according to her instructions. The website also provides historical context, critical conversation, and close reading of the poem.