Poems by Mary Wehner with drawings by Jane Marshall
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2023. Edition of 50.
Measuring 4' x 6.5" the three sewn signatures of Biblio Text paper are bound in a letterpress-printed paper wrapper. Garamond types were chosen for this text. Bound in Kahdi Indian handmade papers. All the work of design, paper cutting, letterpress printing, and binding by hand was done by Steve Miller. The books are signed by author and the artist and are numbered 1-50.
Steve Miller: “This is a special book of fierce and earthy poems by Wisconsin poet Mary Wehner, with dynamic drawings by Alabama artist Jane Marshall. Mary and Jane were paired in an earlier book, or the opposite, and truly enjoy working off each other's energy.
“As is true of all Red Hydra book project, the printer/publisher needed to fall in love with the words and the drawings before committing them to book form. It takes too much time and hard work to not be convinced of the strength of both. The journey from idea to final bound books is a long one and cannot be done unless there is a strong belief in the power of the poems and the artist’ vision for the drawings. The two collaborators have spent a lifetime each in exploring their craft and art and it comes together powerfully and beautifully in this book. “
Many lovely verses and drawings in this small book of poetry. One such verse is “The Forest Book” -
A squirrel’s tail spins
Like a ball of string along
The lichen stones
Where wind moves freely
Among the hickories
Blowing nuts in fragrant circles
Across a carpet of homespun
Velvet green, thin threads
Of an ongoing history
Written in every spider web
Hung in every forest tree
For only a special few to read
About Mary: "Mary Wehner is a painter and a poet. Based in Wisconsin, she has exhibited her paintings regionally and locally and has collaborated with artists, poets and writers in the U.S. and Cuba. She has authored three letterpress poetry chapbooks and four broadsides published by Red Hydra Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She has published in various literary magazines and anthologies and was nominated for a Pushcart in poetry and awarded Poet-in-Residence for two sessions at Penland School of the Craft in North Carolina. She considers both poetry and painting as a way to attend to the world around her."
About Jane: "Jane Marshall is an artist of great versatility and depth. She is a painter, printmaker, sculptor, fabric and book artist who delves deeply into her subject matter including nature and the great themes and figures of history, mythology and literature. Jane is deeply involved in the natural environment, she spends hours at a time in one spot quietly observing and drawing the wild and plant life around her before beginning."
About Steve: "Steve Miller founded the Red Ozier Press in 1976, a fine press devoted to creating literary first editions in handmade limited editions. In 1988 Miller joined The University of Alabama faculty(now retired). He taught letterpress printing and hand papermaking and was the coordinator of the MFA Book Arts Program, School of Library & Information Studies, in the College of Communication and Information Science. His current Red Hydra Press books include numerous collaborations with Cuban artists and authors. Since 1976 he has worked with Nobel Prize honorees, National Book Award winners, U.S. poet laureates, and many other contemporary poets and artists.”
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