15 Apr 2021 12:00 AM | Susan Viguers (Administrator)


What would you write in a love letter to book art?

As graduate students from the Mills College Book Art program, our curiosity led us to ask this final question to people within the book art ecosystem. Emails went to poets, book artists, letterpress printers, book designers, professors, collectors, theorists, gallerists, and librarians.

“Dear Book Art,

Thank you. I'm so happy to have found in you the language my body already knew how to speak. xo e.” e bond

“You begin with surface. The cover is a place of curiosity. Whose handwriting is this? What is the logic of visual presentation as it relates to the words within. May we never lose our connections.” —Truong Tran

“My artist’s book titled A Love Story (2018) is my love letter to the Book Arts field and creative process…. Related to making artist’s books with a social justice focus, A Love Story presents my process from conceiving an idea through completion and presenting. Between criss-crossing the country, I used the collage-making process to de-stress while maintaining focus on simultaneous book projects on various issues of race and racism. —Tia Blassingame

“My love affair with the codex began well before I knew the word. Despite the codex being a millennium old, its possibilities are still not fully exploited.” —Kathy Walkup

"You let me touch what I fail to see, and see ideas my brain cannot comprehend" Brooke Hardy

“You've broken my heart so many times before but I keep coming back to you for reasons that were beyond me, until this very moment….Your conceptual beauty is far greater than mere aesthetics, but for some reason, you rely on these while you're in other people's hands too often. But you and I know these are only tricks…. I've seen you change lives while people leaf through your pages. Book arts, perhaps I'm jealous.... You are endless. I could research you to my dying days and still know only a thimble full of all you can contain. This is why I love you. No one can own you. You are wild, even when sitting on a shelf. You change from person to person, but maintain a form that I feel deeply at home with. Book Arts, I am only a printer, but I see what you truly are. You are humanity's answer to love. A record of our collective minds, bound for us all. Adaptable, selfless, and sometimes expensive.” —James Tucker

“I could see myself writing a love letter to book art as a form as a lover loving the body of book. Each book is so different just like a body. I would appreciate the curves, textures, flaws, ink and format of book art. ” —Amber McCrary

“I’m not going to comment on a love letter to Book Art. That feels too personal.” —Joel Benson

“un libro es como un abrazo

o una danza

tomo una mano del libro

y luego la otra

y juntxs

vamos” —Claudia Nuñez de Ibieta

Yours truly,

From the masked creatures who roam the halls of the Mills College Book Art buildings, presses, and rooms. Making pulp into paper, printing on the fibers, and binding into books.


Juan Pablo Ayala, Mills Book Art ‘21. Joel Benson, Dependable Letterpress. Tia Blassingame, Scripps College Press and Primrose Press. e bond, Artist/Book Binder. Brooke Hardy, Book Artist. Amber McCrary, Abalone Mountain Press. Claudia Nuñez de Ibieta, translator, PHX Cartonera Collective member, F*%K IF I KNOW//BOOKS co-conspirator. Truong Tran, Poet and Artist. James Tucker, Aesthetic Union. Kathy Walkup, Director, Mills Book Art Program.


  • 02 Jun 2021 9:19 PM | Peter Tanner
    Libros de poemas rigen con sus normas de bellos ritmos y cantos,
    mas libros compaginados encuadernan la belleza con todos sus encantos.
    Obras y objetos de artes plásticas revelen mundos y la imaginación,
    sin embargo los libros de arte re-imaginan lo inesperado.

    Books of poems reign with their rules of beautiful rhythms and songs,
    but books combine and bind beauty with all its charms.
    Works and objects of visual arts reveal worlds and imagination,
    however artists books re-imagine the unexpected.
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