A Kerosene Beauty
Poetry by Jane Hirshfield
Mezzotints by Holly Downing
Publication Price: $2450
Remaining Copies Lost to the October 9, 2017 Sonoma County Firestorm
A Kerosene Beauty: Twelve Environmental Elegiacs is a collection of new, unpublished poems written by award-winning poet, essayist, and translator Jane Hirshfield. The poems are laments speaking of climate catastrophe and its felt consequence, in ways both direct and indirect. One poem mourns the loss of a neighbor’s eighty-foot-tall Monterey pine, another holds refugees crossing the Mediterranean, another recalls harrowed war fields of medieval Japan and 1916 France. The poem from which this book takes its title looks back on our current actions from a future undescribable and undescribed.
On equal footing with the poetry is Holly Downing’s artwork in the form of seven mezzotints. Downing, a painter, printmaker and teacher has provided remarkably beautiful mezzotints for this edition, as a visual reflection on Hirshfield’s stunning poetry. Drawing from over forty years of working with this demanding and labor intensive method of print-making from the intaglio family, her images are both haunting and marvelous in nature. A chunk of limestone, broken granite, a lost feather, and a wild beehive are some of the images that temporarily suspend the reader between poems, allowing for deep reflection amidst a visual and tactile hand-made experience.
Engraving: World-Tree with an Empty Behive on One Branch
A Kerosene Beauty: Twelve Environmental Elegiacs is 48 pages and measures 15" x 9" in landscape format. Patrick Reagh cast the lead type and printed the books letterpress on his Heidelberg cylinder press. The papers are Rives BFK from France, St. Armand Linen from Canada, Slate Stone Leaf from Brazil, and Wheat Straw from Hook Paper in Indiana. The book is bound in Japanese black quarter cloth with paper made from actual quartzite over boards, The paste paper on the back cover and the bindings were produced by Lisa Van Pelt in Philo, California. The bok is housed in a custom wooden box crafted in Japan, and covered in a drawstring bag.
Published in an edition of 28 numbered copies, with 20 for sale, signed by the poet and artist.
Watch Holly Above Making A Mezzotint