Special Edition, On the Blue Shore of Silence from Mary Heebner
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(simplemente maria press) On the Blue Shore of Silence: Poems of the Sea by Pablo Neruda. A la Orilla Azul del Silencio: Poemas del Mar por Pablo Neruda. Designed and illustrated by Mary Heebner. English translations by Alastair Reid. simplemente maria press. [Santa Barbara. 2001.] Portfolio – 14″ x 11″. The original watercolor paintings in the Isla Negra series were made for the specific purpose of creating the editioned book, On the Blue Shore of Silence, using the Giclée printing process at Duganne Atelier, Santa Monica, under the direction of the artist. They were produced on Somerset Velvet 300. The portfolio consists of 12 hand-folded folios, each containing an image presented with a poem in Spanish by Pablo Neruda and Alastair Reid’s translation into English. The text was printed letterpress from polymer plates at The Lumino Press, Santa Barbara, California, on handmade linen paper produced by the artist with the assistance of Pat Almonrode at the Dieu Donné Mill, New York City. The poems are digitally typeset using Adobe Jenson for the English text and Arrighi for the Spanish; Trajan titles. The cockling on the edge of the linen sheets was purposefully intended to allude to waves approaching a shore. The handmade linen wrappers were individually painted with indigo pigmented pulp by the artist at Dieu Donné Papermill, New York. Images and poems were tipped onto larger sheets of Fabriano Tiepolo. Also included is a hand-sewn signature consisting of title page, introduction, table of contents, colophon and acknowledgments. In a handmade case constructed with imported Japanese blue flecked silk book cloth over boards with Birch wood sides. Title on spine; fasteners are silverplate. Cases were produced at The Lumino Press. An edition of 50 copies; the first 22 are Special copies, each copy containing one of the signed, original watercolor paintings from the Isla Negra series mounted in a self-standing mat. 10 hors commerce copies were also produced. Fine.
One of the special edition copies, with the original watercolor painting laid in. (Regular edition also available)
On the Blue Shore of Silence is Heebner’s fifth editioned artist’s book. Heebner states: “It was Alastair Reid who … enabled this project to come alive by agreeing to work with me and let me use his translations. The unexpected joy of producing this book was the time spent listening to Alastair spin stories about his friendship with Pablo [Neruda] as we selected poems, read them aloud, digressed about the sea and Chile, about language, color, and light. … Carmen Balcells, agent for Neruda’s estate, kindly granted permission to use his poems in their original Spanish.”
Alastair Reid, (b.1926) has lived in his native Scotland, in Spain, Greece, the UK, the USA, France, Central and South America. He is a distinguished poet, author of more than twenty books, and was a contributor to the New Yorker magazine from 1951 until the 1990s. He is an internationally acclaimed translator of Latin American poetry, notably the writings of Pablo Neruda and Jorge Luis Borges. Reid said about this book: “I am certain that Pablo Neruda, who was an impassioned book collector, would have crowed with delight at seeing and handling Mary Heebner’s On the Blue Shore of Silence (which has been brought out as a trade book by HarperCollins).