Cleveland Wall’s “Primer”

I recently came across a sewn microchap set aside in a pile that I brought in as samples of chapbooks for students, to show some examples of handmade poetry books that might inspire their own.

Cleveland Wall’s “Regarding Certain Stalwart Integers: A Primer” is an understated, simple book no more than four inches tall without images or color. We have her text, and an emphasis on the numbers she celebrates. The poems are short, but clever:


Very European. Striped, ticking and brisk. 

Or this whimsical ode to 79: The warped glass in leaded panes is like a dream. A cat lives here.

This book is one of those cool gems that you’d like more copies of to share. Cleveland Wall is playful, whimsical, but her words have an academic density- they bear weight. 

Her poems reveal a fascination with quirky subjects. Her creative use of language is often humorous while somehow elegant at the same time. 
Wall is a poet with roots in the Lehigh Valley area, where she performs regularly and more recently, her sets include the musical accompaniment of her husband, musician Michael Wall.



Check out their performance at the Nurture Nature Center in Easton, as part of the Perspectives poetry event: