[St. John’s, Newfoundland: Walking Bird Press, 1999-2001]. Oblong quarto, 25.5 x 29 cm.
Cased in black lacquered walnut boards, joined with a spine of black calfskin; a unique bas-relief bronze sculpture by Luben Boykov adorns the upper cover; the covers and spine are stark black and unlettered, and the title is provided on the opening page spread in blind embossing; top and bottom edges are trimmed, while the fore-edges are untrimmed. Unpaginated [pp. 26]. A fine copy. The present book is a unique collaboration between three artists, Elena Popova, Luben Boykov, and Tara Bryan. Popova created a series of 13 monotypes on Fabriano cotton paper, which were then overprinted with text by Tara Bryan. As Bryan relays, printing the text “involved my shifting the poems' placement to suit the differences in composition among the pages.” Gill Sans was used for the typeface. The poems comprising the text span 26 centuries and three continents, and include works by Sappho, Sulpicia, Lady Suo, Hwang Chin-I, Louise Labé, Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, Amy Lowell, Marina Tsvetaeva, Edith Södergran, and Anna Akhmatova. Popova’s monotypes are dynamic, vibrant, and polychromatic, and combine both figuration and abstraction. They were composed using oil and plexiglass. 18 variations of this book were produced, each with a unique bronze, and each with unique monotypes, and therefore each copy is colour coded with a unique series of 18 swatches, rather than numbered or lettered. Signed in pen by Elena Popova, Luben Boykov, and Tara Bryan on the colophon page. Item #215