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Tree of Heaven

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I was a participating artist in a juried exhibition of interpretive bindings using the text Tree of Heaven, the 1994 Iowa Poetry Prize winning book by James McKean.  From my artistís statement for the traveling show:
In doing research on the Tree of Heaven, I discovered that it is also known as the Ailanthus, and is common in my area.  I found some of the trees, and concluded that it would be possible to make use of the natural materials from the tree in the binding.  The main cover is the outer bark of the Ailanthus, the titling is done by blind tooling the seed pods from the tree.  In this way, to open the book is to open the tree, to step into the poem in a very real sense.  I decided upon a simple sewn structure in order to keep the sense of the trade book, and because the author's language is clear, clean, straight-forward, and simple in all the best connotations of the term.

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