Feathers, a collaboration between Judith Rothchild and Ruth Fainlight
(Verdigris) Feathers. Eight Poems by Ruth Fainlight & Mezzotints by Judith Rothchild. Octon. MMII. 15.75” x 12.75”. Loose in signatures. Eight mezzotints in nine plates and two embossments on the title and contents pages printed by the artist. Printed on Hahnemühle paper in letterpress, hand-set in Vendome Romain, on a Stanhope press by Mark Lintott. Wrappers and slipcases screen-printed by the artist on Canevas paper, with slipcases by Claude Vallin and Mark Lintott. Slipcase with top and bottom covered in the same plum paper over board and illustration as the wrappers: sides of the box are natural light color wood. One of 22 regular copies in an edition of 30, signed by the poet and artist. Fine.
The poet writes: “The general nature of the subject proposed for this book – feathers made me wonder at first how I could write something as specific as a poem. but it was just this aspect which allowed the freedom to approach the subject from different angles and speak in various and distinct voices. The reality of a visual image can trigger verbal associations, as words will generate images.
“Some of these poems are entirely products of the imagination … some are descriptions of particular scenes or incidents lodged in my memory … Other poems are a direct response to the first sight of one of the mezzotints … the glorious print of peacock feather evoked the flaunting birds in Holland Park, which, when the wind is in the right direction, I can hear from my London flat …
“This is not the first time Judith Rothchild and I have worked together, and our collaboration continues to be a mutually inspiring and very satisfying relationship.”
Ruth Fainlight was born in New York City, and has lived mostly in England since the age of 15. She was educated at schools in America and England and married the writer, Alan Sillitoe, in 1959. She was Poet in Residence at Vanderbilt University, Nashville,Tennessee, in 1985 and 1990, and received a Cholmondeley Award for Poetry in 1994. Fainlight has written many books, which include poetry, short stories, translations, drama and opera libretti. She has also translated two books of poetry from Portuguese, and collaborated with Alan Sillitoe on a translation of a Lope de Vega play. Her own poetry has been published in Portuguese, French and Spanish editions.