The form of COSMOGONIE INTIME An Intimate Cosmogony draws on that of the 20th-century French livres d’artiste, which combined the texts and images of celebrated authors and artists in book form.

Printed in an edition of 96, COSMOGONIE INTIME An Intimate Cosmogony is a 10 x 15 inch accordion-fold book composed of 20 sheets. The book extends to 18 feet. On 18 of the 20 sheets, long, narrow text and drawings mirror one another, the verso English, the recto French, and the drawings run to either side of the gutter. Of the drawings Richard Goodman writes in the journal Fine Books and Collections (January/February 2006): “These vivid, bright drawings have a whimsical and acrobatic quality, as if Alexander Calder and Joan Miró flowed out of the same hand.” The pen-and-ink drawings are enriched with multiple colors using the pochoir process and stencils cut by Mureen Carey. The bastard (or half-) title is hand-painted by the artist, Ray Rice, in each copy. 12 deluxe copies have been completely hand-painted by the artist. View the process.

The binding of the book adheres to the model of the livres d’artiste in that the book block rests in a printed paper cover wrapped in glassine. It is housed in a paper slipcase and cloth-covered box. The binder is Craig Jensen of BookLab II in San Marcos, Texas.

Several aspects of the book move beyond the 20th into the 21st century. The type is set digitally and printed from photoengravings rather than handset type. The accordion-fold structure is a departure from the French tradition of loose, individual sheets. The page spreads are printed on single sheets, folded and hinged together in a fixed sequence. This fixed sequence allows the reader to follow each poem smoothly from one page to the next.

Thanks to The Book Club of California for their generous support.

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