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What’s On Your Desk?
Unlike Seinfeld’s Kramer’s coffee-table-book-about-coffee-tables, Evie Christie’s Desk Space – a Web site devoted to writers’ desks – is much more than a novelty.
Each week on Desk Space, Christie plays curator to an interesting exhibit: the ephemera surrounding and, in some cases, dwarfing the work space of a particular writer, usually a Canadian poet or novelist. The selected writer gets to talk about her writing methods, her everyday rituals, these sorts of things. This may sound dull, but Desk Space’s weekly entry can be, not unlike a Paris Review interview, weirdly addictive (“weirdly,” at least, for those who don’t already know they are voyeurs).
I for one have always loved the stories of writers who, unwilling to write on anything but a particular brand of tablet that’s no longer manufactured, keep a dwindling hoard of such tablets. I like to know about the makes of pencils, and the directions in which desks face, and the grubby Troll doll that presides over some of our best thinking. Desk Space is relatively new, and non-Canadians may not be familiar with many (or even any) of its writers. But Christie’s quirky site is not too guilty of a pleasure and, unlike many of its featured desks, clean and uncluttered. (The desk shown above, by the way, belongs to poet and critic Zach Wells, who has left comments at Harriet.) So take a tour of Desk Space. It goes great with coffee. And while I have you here, quick: what’s on (or around, or rising up against) your desk, right now? And why do you need that particular tablet, pencil, or Troll doll to compose your poems? (And wouldn’t it be fun to find out what’s on the desks at 444 North Michigan Avenue?)