Shelf Shelf is a Chicago-based publishing imprint and collaborative design practice founded by Lucas Reif and Austin White.

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ss-005: Rooms 1–6
ss-004: A Book that is a Bag
ss-003: ON / Being Read
ss-002: Poetics of the Ordinary
ss-001: Disruptor Issue Five

Contango Issue Two: Sanctions
ON / The Art of Failure
Disruptor Issue Four
Contango Issue One: Auctoritas
Disruptor Issue Three
The Designer as a Creator of Content
Disruptor Issue Two
Disruptor Issue One

ss-002: Poetics of the Ordinary June 2018

$18.00 USD Sold out


110 pages, perfect-bound, B+W laser + 1-color Risograph/offset, 4.75 × 7.75 inches, first edition of 50 copies

A contradiction lies at the heart of any attempt to attend to the ordinary. How does one study “what we overlook”? The ordered and ignorable fades into background so we may go about living our lives undistracted. To make the effort and resist the daily quotidian acts of generalization means to allow the extraordinary that dwells at the heart of the ordinary to make itself known. In so doing, we find our subject retreats from us. The ordinary always withdraws, impossible to apprehend. What does this contradiction generate for creativity? To confront it is to confront disappointment, to remain open to the possibility of a further reality inside the apparent reality, and to “the further self, in oneself and in others.”

— Matthew Goulish

Poetics of the Ordinary features the writings of Emily A. Davis, Ry Suraski, Thorsten Sahlin, ZoÏ Doehrer, Angelina Almukhametova, Qiuchen Wu, Cherish Harber, Clarence Herdrich, Qiuchen Wu, Wyatt Red, Elena Chimaera, Chloe Harrington, Austin White, Franz Liu, Phaedra Sioulas, and Jessie McCarty. Poetics is a collection of stories, poems, plays, and essays.