This poem first appeared in the New York Times. It proved to be the perfect foundation for a long-sought collaboration with the young Washington-state artist Briony Morrow-Cribbs. Although the poet and artist did not previously know each others work, Iskandariya’s subject matter and imagery could almost have been written with Briony’s growing bestiary of anthropomorphically jumbled creatures in mind.
The text was set by hand in 18-pt Perpetua italic. It was printed damp on HM Text handmade paper, which Reg Lissel tinted to match the kitakata on which the aquatints were printed. Each spread of text pages is separated by a folded sheet of kitakata, with an aquatint facing each page of text. There also is an aquatint frontis, printed on HM Text paper. The letterpress was completed at the Heavenly Monkey studio; the aquatints were pulled by the artist at her studio on Whidbey Island, WA.
The book was sewn into a non-adhesive structure by Claudia Cohen, with a fully etched dustjacket (13 x 18 inches, folded to fit the book) printed by the artist on sekishu.
The edition was limited to 50 copies, signed by Brigit and Briony, issued in two states:
Boxed (copies 1–15 and four contributor copies), which includes a separate folder with 12 state proofs of all the aquatints, and a 12-page pamphlet recounting the publisher and artist’s collaboration on designing the book. This pamphlet was set in 12-pt Perpetua and printed at Black Stone Press on Guarro mouldmade paper. The book, pamphlet and folder are housed in a clamshell box made by Claudia Cohen.
Subscribers could opt to have their copy of the Boxed issue specially bound by Claudia in full vellum, and have a suite of the finished prints hand colored by Briony included. Six of the 15 Boxed Issue copies (numbers 1–6) and the four contributor copies (each named for the contributor) were issued in this manner.
Slipcased (copies 16–50), with the book in a printed paper chemise and slipcase.