How important is the look of a poem on the page?

I think the way poems and stories are printed and made into books, the way they appear on the page matters a great deal to me really. Most of the books of verse that I've done have been illustrated and when I'm lucky enough to get an illustrator like Fritz Wegner, for example, it matters hugely that not only is there a poem on the page, but there is a delightful picture that Fritz has produced. But then of course it's not just the page, but the sequence of pages, the way, of course with a book you turn from one page to the next, the whole book, from cover to cover, the actual look of the cover, the end papers if there are any. I'm actually a book maker I think, consequently the whole making of the book interests me. I start with writing something, but the job isn't finished until there's actually a book on a shelf, preferably in a shop or in someone's hand after they've bought it.


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