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Artists Books - Function

Alisa Golden

"The book as a container"

Alisa Golden, the author of several books on designing and constructing unique handmade books, developed a book that contains small books. The frame book housing three library-book pockets, each mounted in an accordion-fold binding that contains the smaller artists books. The first pocket houses "The Mirror business" about an artist searching for borrowed wisdom, and finds frogs. The second pocket houses "The Local Desk" about a man who borrows a Laundromat. The remaining pocket contains "Fish Cake" that describes the effects of lending and borrowing on neighbors.

Alisa Golden.
  The Lending Library.
    Berkeley, CA.: Never Mind the Press, 1996.

Jack Hirschman

"Word art"

Jack Hirschman born in New York City is a member of the Union of Street Poets and the Union of Left Writers. Multi-lingual, and multi-talented, Hirschman reminds us of the artist's role in social transformation. An advocate for the homeless, he has taken his poetry and activism to the streets, and was acclaimed by fellow poet Luke Breit to be "America's most important living artist. YOD is produced using silkscreen and letterpress on Evensyde white offset paper d/medium.

Jack Hirschman.
London: Trigram Press, 1966.

Missy Peterson

"Exploring the commonplace"

Missy Peterson was awarded a first place poetry award at Carl Sandberg College in 1987. She worked as cocktail waitress and artist model, when she was asked, "Hey Baby, When do you get off?" This question inspired a poem about gender roles. Missy Peterson makes the reader rethink the concept of a book for her poem printed on handmade Indian tea paper was issued in a plastic restaurant menu folder.

Missy Peterson.
  "Hey Baby, When Do You Get Off?"
    Omaha, NE: Mary H. Harrington/The M Press, 1995

A. Carl Linder

"Collaborative expressions"

According to A. Carl Linder, "Poetry is not an anecdote simply; it is not a unilateral thrill; it is not a stylized song; it is not a paving of way for a punch line, little surprises or clever tricks. Poetry is not children simply; poetry is grown-up with a soul; poetry is a grown-up making life look like a child; not a glib patter of strangeness in a line, but a tool to work the heart." His Earth and Eyes incorporates etchings by Jean Carmody, A. Carl Linder, and Jean Carmody.

A. Carl Linder and Jean Carmody
Earth of Eyes.
Berkeley, CA.: Linder & Carmody, 1958.

Robert Duncan

"Poetry and art intertwine"

In 1991, the Poetry Center and the Department of Art at San Francisco State University collaborated with the Press at Tuscany Alley to produce a book celebrating Robert Duncan's role in establishing the Poetry Center in 1953. Later Duncan later served as the Poetry Center's first Assistant Director. The resulting effort from this collaboration produced Notebook Poems: 1953, that contains illustrations by Jess.

In O! poet Robert Duncan and collage artist Jess intermingle word play with "a visual hodgepodge of taste that is frightful for those who are afraid there is something funning going on here."

Robert Duncan and Jess.
     New York: Hawk's Well Press, 1960.

Ruth Weiss and Paul Blake

"Blending jazzy metaphysical and intellectual"

The insignia of the partnership between Ruth Weiss and Paul Blake is two dragonflies mating. As poet Jack Hirschman said, "No American poet has remained so faithful to jazz in the construction of poetry as has Ruth Weiss. Her poems are scores to be sounded with all her riffy ellipses and open-formed phrasing swarming the senses. Verbal motion becoming harmonious with a universe of rhythm is what her work essentializes. Others read to jazz or write from jazz. Ruth Weiss writes jazz in words." In Light and Other Poems, the poetry of Ruth Weiss and the serigraphs of Paul Blake are fused with equality. http://www.spress.de/beatland/homes_of/the_beat/femmes/weiss/bio/graph.htm

Ruth Weiss and Paul Blake.
   Light and Other Poems
      San Francisco: Peace and Pieces Foundation, 1976.

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