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Works on Paper by Shin Yu Pai

  • 19500

This collection of poetry has paper as its theme: how it is made, how it is used, paper as surface, paper in spirit. The poems have an essential simplicity about them, and we have treated them accordingly, with paper as medium, paper as guide, paper as binding.

A series of handmade Moriki endsheets in earthen colors guides the reader through four poetic cycles; the book itself is sewn on a concertina structure of handmade Fabriano Roma. Each book is then bound in boards wrapped in Kumoi paper printed with beeswax and dyed in kakishibu–a traditional Japanese natural dye made from fermented persimmons.

Works on Paper is printed letterpress in an edition of 125 copies on bleached and unbleached kozo papers. We began the printing during Obon 2006, and completed it at the lunar new year in the winter that followed. Each copy is signed by the makers, as well as by the poet, who stamped the title page in red ink with her chop. A most unusual book.

Shin Yu Pai is the author of five previous books of poems, including Sightings: Selected Works [2000-2005] (1913 Press, 2007), The Love Hotel Poems (Press Lorentz, 2006), and Equivalence (La Alameda Press, 2003). Her work has been anthologized in America Zen: A Gathering of Poets (Bottom Dog Press, 2004) and The Wisdom of North American Buddhist Poetry (Wisdom Publications, 2005). Shin Yu has been quite prolific since the publication of this book, too. She is, as well, an accomplished visual artist.

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