In a world geared to mass production and computerization,
I seek to make limited edition books
in an individual and personal way.
I imagine the book as a continuous picture plane on which word, image, sequence and structure all reinforce each other. What interests me most is the relationship between word and image. I plan no hierarchy of them. An artist’s book is a unique form of visual disclosure. It must be slowly savored. It should be held in the hand and carefully considered. Only then are its contents fully revealed.
My early books were one-of-a-kind efforts that, like most artists’ books, presented political, social and autobiographical ideas. But an ongoing interest with writing and literature, especially poetry, led me to reconsider my direction. Involving myself with the literary legacy of the book, initiating ideas, selecting and editing material, and working with writers, offered a vigorous context, a way for me to express myself beyond cliché. At times I compile disparate texts that assume greater power when gathered together in tandem with my imagery. Often I am inspired by the stories of the myths. For instance, in the book To Persephone (2000), nine 20th Century poets recast the Homeric myth explaining the origins of the seasons as the story of a young girl caught between her lover and her mother. At other times my books are the result of direct collaboration with poets, such as Precessional (1998), a collection of poems by Eleanor Wilner, and The Elements (2002), a poem sequence by Susan Stewart.
Whatever the initial impetus, books published at The ELM Press are planned so that all of their discrete elements co-exist, but never illustrate, one another. Edition sizes range from twenty-five to fifty numbered and signed copies, plus artist proofs. Production is by collaboration with craftspeople who consider each effort a special challenge to their own artistic integrity.