Lyn Hejinain and Ray DiPalma's Chartings was published by Chax Press in 2000. In an interview, Lyn explained:
LH: Chartings, with Ray DiPalma, was written without a publisher in mind, and I actually thought Joel Kuszai’s Meow Press would be a really great. KS: It would have been different!LH: It would have been a lot different! And Ray DiPalma, in one of his grumpy moods, rejected that idea. He said that he didn’t want to be published by a press that had so little self-respect that it called itself “Meow.” I had already been in touch with Joel and had to withdraw the manuscript. About that time Ray got in touch with Charles and they did this incredibly beautiful job and I’m completely happy, but I feel somewhere I owe Joel a manuscript.
In an separate interview with Charles Alexander, Director of Chax Press, he explained how the book was made:
CA: Every once in a while I look at my own bookshelf of works created by Chax Press and think what a strange jumble. [laughter] And yet when I look at the individual book, I usually still like what happens there. I don’t know if I have any answer other than that. People who know me best, people in my family, will tell you I’m not all that efficient to begin with. [laughter] I’m likely to make decisions that are sometimes not very efficient. One book that we did by Lyn Hejinian and Ray DiPalma was called Chartings. I had not printed a letterpress book in a couple of years because I was running the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, which was a big enough job. So when I got to it again, I thought I wanted to do something small and simple. And I thought I was going to do this project with Lyn and Ray that was oh, you know, maybe a six inch by eight and half inch book. Nicely printed, maybe on some oriental papers, comfortable binding that wouldn’t particularly call attention to it as an imaginative piece of book art. I printed most of the book that way and then decided that was not the right thing to do for those poems and trashed those pages and started all over again. [laughter]KS: Did you tear them up and use them in the book that we know as Chartings?CA: No, no, no. I, I literally started all over again, printing poems on mulberry paper and hand-tearing them out which is where I’m sure that you might have gotten that idea. Then pasting them into oversized pages that have large, random numbers and letters in the background and kind of envisioning something that seemed to be hinted at in the text of the poems. I think there’s a line in the poem, something about meaning carved in and out in space, or something like that, and I wanted to activate that space. While that was time consuming it wasn’t difficult. I mean it was a lot of fun. I had Jesse Seldess, who you probably know, doing an internship with me in the studio while that was going on, and he was helpful on that book. I regret spelling his name wrong in the colophon, but things like that happen once in a while. I often had student interns, and for a while there some particularly gifted people who came with a lot of ideas and interests. You know that to me, having Jesse in that studio was a highpoint. I think within a year of that I had Tim Peterson and Heather Ingamy in my studio and that was another high point.
Remarkably, there may still be a few copies of Chartings in print. More details are here.