About the Contributors #9

September 4, 2015 § Leave a comment

For a few titles the photographers were also the contributing poets or writers.

Sally Mann, authored entirely by Sally Mann, includes her provocative introduction, early poetry and photographs which were made prior to the many published books that follow her career. A livre d’artiste first from the 21st Editions Collection.

Measurement has become useless
there in the peak, lush summer.

The winds call out the distances
and the fast clouds sound out the heights,
dive for the great, rolling dark
of the hills, weigh with the balance
and pull of the water, condense
on the wineglass perfection of elm.


A rare look into a piece of Louisiana history. Metoyer’s poetry and photographs are autobiographical and show an unusual blend of talents by one artist. Metoyer not only conceptualized the images that reflect his history and creative mind, he too wrote the poetry and printed four different processes for this book: platinum, palladium, cyanotype, and kalitype. Celebrated in 2008 as our 10th anniversary title for 21st Editions, it was acquired and resides in 13 collecting institutions in the U.S

Augured by the planets’ gravitational whirl,
Madame Zuzuska spoke to him of omens.
She ciphered his numbers,
whispered he was born
on the cusp of a fateful day.
“Decline, my child. Anguish and decline.”
Then the blackened cloud of prophecy
loomed in the pupils of her apostle’s eyes
as Zuzuska warned of his life’s maddening gyre
and the destructive seduction
of a swelling lunar cycle.
Now, every stubbed toe,
every unanswered call,
every initial sliver
of the phosphorescent moon
transforms to premonitions
of grisly things to come.


Jamie Baldridge’s unique talent marries a short story and fictional journal entries from a character whose artistry as an image maker is unlike his peers. Authored and printed by the artist, academics and historians focused on this for their collections as a piece of great inventive literature, new technology image making, and binding made from patina’d brass.

“Sometime around noon, for I still had not the capacity for counting the Gear Shifts to tell time, I found myself hopelessly lost in the candle lit warrens below the Arcadian Convent. After what felt like hours of switchbacks and dead ends, I began to panic and surrendering to my fears fell into the first open door I found, unintentionally interrupting the work of a lovely scribe occupied with quite the longest scroll I had ever seen. I vainly attempted to salvage what was left of my pride, and after dusting myself off politely asked where I might find the Mother Superior’s offices. The girl continued to work as if I were not there. Before I could make my inquiry again, this time perhaps in a more desperate timbre, a gentle, but firm hand grasped my shoulder and a voice somewhere near my navel said, “We really shouldn’t disturb her.”


Each of the 16 artist printed silver prints in Crowd (comes as a two-book set with Shadows of the Dream) is accompanied by a poem by Latvian artist Misha Gordin. Each book in the set is bound with multiple leather in-lays that echo back to early European livre d’artiste design.

In a unity of dream and reality
From the darkest corners of the heart
Like a shadow from the murky past
Emerges a call for a lonely prayer.


#9/16: Alternative Processes

May 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

21st Editions is now celebrating sixteen years of The Art of the Book! In this series of sixteen emails we are sharing with you a chronology of highlights, events, and stories from the beginning of our unique publishing endeavor up until now. We hope you enjoy them.
As John Wood admits “The leaps in computer technology since 1989 have been astounding, and their impact on photography has been the most revolutionary event in photography’s history.” John’s insistence on publishing Baldridge with pigment ink prints had to do with the fact that his art could not have been created any other way. So, in 2008, with Jamie Baldridge as our guide, 21st Editions published the first of two books that incorporated this new technology in, The Everywhere Chronicles.

Like other poets we have published, John Metoyer studied at McNeese State University under John Wood. His diverse range of interests and his ability to synthesize them into a work of art, whether a poem, photograph, painting, or sculpture, exemplifies this rare and unique find. John Metoyer is unique, not only because he is a very fine and accomplished conceptual artist and printer of many old processes, but he is equally as fine a poet. It is because of our great respect for this unique artist and poet that Blood Migration (2008) was selected to celebrate 21st Editions’ 10th Anniversary title.
An ancestor of John Metoyer’s migrated from France, married a slave, and through grants and purchases, she and her children amassed some 13,000 to 15,000 acres of land and became one of the richest African American families in the country. Yucca Plantation was the first and possibly the only plantation owned by a freed African. It is now a National Historic Landmark, noted not only for its classic plantation home but also for the African house, which is the oldest building in the U.S. of African design. Blood Migration, with a collection of autobiographical poems, is¬†unlike any other book we will be able to create again in large part because of the nineteen 15×22-inch photographs that are hand coated and printed in platinum, palladium, kallitype, and cyanotype.

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