The Amichai Windows
Arlington, VA: Turtle Light Press, 2017. Hardcover. Number 7 of 18 copies. This is a magnificent artist’s book that pays homage to one of the greatest Hebrew-language poets, Yehuda Amichai. The Amichai Windows is an exquisite bilingual artist’s book in Hebrew and English of Amichai’s poems that opens a window on love, war, and being Jewish today. Through his poetry Amichai sang of the everyday experiences of private individuals caught in the middle of war and historical events. He was often considered for the Nobel Prize in Literature and his poems have been translated into more than 30 languages. Book artist and poet, Rick Black, fell in love with the poetry of Yehuda Amichai even before working for the Associated Press and The New York Times in Jerusalem, where he resided for six years. He particularly loved Amichai’s poems that dealt with family, love and war. He spent ten years creating this limited-edition artist’s book of the poet’s work. The book offers a visual odyssey through Jewish history as filtered through 18 poems. Each poem is wrapped and folded in an individual, handmade paper triptych. When one opens each triptych, one discovers a different world within. The book incorporates replicas of some of Amichai’s original, handwritten poems as well as over 100 collaged images of Jewish history and life that have been culled from archives around the world. There are also replicas of Amichai’s handwritten poems.
Printed on handmade paper with deckled edges, with gold leaf highlights and blind embossments in some of the designs. The collection of triptychs and a 28 page guide are housed in a box enclosure shaped like a Jerusalem window. With a special introduction written by the eminent Hebrew literary critic and translator, Professor Robert Alter of the University of California at Berkeley. The newsletter of the American Jewish Libraries Association called The Amichai Windows “a major contribution to American arts and letters.” (Artist’s statement and descriptions). The book recently won the Isaac Anolic Jewish Book Arts Award. In fine condition. Fine.