The Amichai Windows is a limited edition artist book of Yehuda Amichai poems that opens a window onto love, war, and being Jewish in the 20th century. Each poem is wrapped and folded in an individual, handmade paper triptych and collected in an enclosure resembling a Jerusalem window.

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Interior view of lace covering one of the poem triptychs.

The interior photo montages span millennia in terms of geographic and temporal references, including birds and flight, exile, dislocated clock hands, Jewish ritual objects and, of course, curtains and windows.

 

One of the great modern Hebrew poets, Amichai was often considered for the Nobel Prize in Literature and his poems have been translated into more than 30 languages.

 

UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS & PROGRAMS:

PYRAMID ATLANTIC ART CENTER, MARYLAND – Feb 15, 2018 exhibition and roundtable panel.

BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY, YALE UNIVERSITY, NEW HAVEN, CT – Exhibition and talk by book artist Rick Black in March 2018.

TMOL SHILSHOM, JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – A book party at 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 6, 2018 at the literary landmark cafe where Amichai used to spend a lot of time.

More details and events coming soon . . .

So far we have only had a chance to share the book in a limited way but here are some testimonials from librarians, artists, curators and lovers of his poetry:

“An exquisite presentation of 18 Amichai poems lovingly crafted . . .” Robert Alter, Hebrew literary translator and critic

“A visual and tactile feast—not only does one become immersed in the words and images but one must reveal and discover the poems, too . . . a marvelous experience and a must for fine artist book collectors.” Andi Arnovitz, American Israeli printmaker, book artist and multi-media artist

“I am still in awe of the entire production. I continue to look at each poem, one by one, studying the images, with great admiration for the entire creative process.” Gary Rendsburg, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Professor of Jewish History, Rutgers University

“The noise of the world was quieted last evening and we were all given a wonderful gift.” Myra Sklarew, American Jewish poet and scholar

“Stunning — we are delighted to add it to our Yale Library collection.” Nanette Stahl, Joseph and Ceil Mazer Librarian for Judaic Studies, Yale University

“The Amichai Windows is a work of devotion. Over many years Black researched, discovered pathways through, and lived with the words of Yehuda Amichai. His lyrical immaculate letterpress compositions combined with photographs and collaged materials allow the viewer the same genuine experience when turning the leaves of this extensive bilingual publication. Not many artist books have the depth of visual and cultural literacy as “The Amichai Windows.” It bears the journeys of the poet and the bookmaker who both walked meditative steps in Jerusalem, and mutually came upon their own certain truths written in words that bear witness.” Helen Frederick, American artist, curator and educator

“A phenomenal piece of work.” Yehuda Miklaf, Jerusalem fine art bookbinder and printer

“What a stunning book! The Amichai Windows is marked by so much love, care and brilliance in the spirit of the old school makers of illuminated books. Black is a spiritual artisan and visionary.” Kwame Dawes, Emmy and award-winning poet, essayist, playwright and editor-in-chief of Prairie Schooner

“Rick Black has created a gorgeous, deep and richly complex piece of art that feels endless in its capacity to evoke emotions, thoughts and sensations about Amichai, Israel, Judaism, life, and what lies between words, form and matter.” Assaf Harel, Assistant Professor of Israel Studies, Department of Judaic Studies, Binghamton University

“An amazing work of art.” Irene Lazar, Canadian Israeli art collector

“A wonderful book! Both Yair and I loved it. The level of craftsmanship, detail, use of materials and design are all so impressive. And for me, it’s an introduction to some poetry that I expect to explore further.” Marsha Goldberg, American Jewish artist

“What an incredible undertaking—beautiful, moving, powerful.” Ed and Shelley Grossman, leaders of the Amichai poetry study group, Temple Micah

“Such a beautiful labor of love. You have contributed greatly to the world with your art and Amichai’s poems.” Barbara Green, member, Amichai poetry study group, Temple Micah

“A glorious match for a glorious poet.” Herman Schwartz, member, Amichai poetry study group, Temple Micah

Part of a Jerusalem papercut by Debra Band for Yehuda Amichai poem

Part of a Jerusalem papercut by Debra Band and collaged images, including an old photo of Talpiyot.

The Amichai Windows is a visual odyssey through Jewish history as filtered through 18 Amichai poems. It is impossible to replicate the experience of opening each poem and discovering a different world within. The book incorporates replicas of some of Amichai’s original, handwritten poems found among his papers at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Images of Jewish history and life have been culled from archives around the world. A special introduction has been written by Hebrew literary critic and translator, Professor Robert Alter.

In the works for 10 years, the book has been issued in a limited edition of 18 copies. All of the poems have been letterpressed and blind embossments have been hidden in the design. Gold leaf has been used to highlight some of the poems and design elements. Special papercuts have been done by Debra Band.

For inquiries about purchasing, or hosting an exhibition, talk or workshop, please see our contact page. If you would like to receive our occasional blog posts, please just sign up in the box to the upper right of this page. 

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16 Responses to

  1. susan diridoni

    Is it possible to purchase this limited edition book? I’m interested!

    • RickB

      Hi Susan,

      Yes, it’s definitely possible to purchase a copy of The Amichai Windows but no price has been set yet. Will let you know once we do so.

      Have a great Thanksgiving!

  2. Heidi George

    Dear Rick: Thank you so much for sending this announcement! Have you decided on the purchase price of the book? I am interested in buying one. Let me know when you have a moment.

    Shabbat Shalom,
    Heidi

    • RickB

      Hi Heidi,

      Thanks so much for your interest in The Amichai Windows. No price yet but will let you know.

      Have a great Thanksgiving!

  3. Elizabeth A Wells

    Rick,
    Probably can’t afford your wonderful new book, The Amichai Windows, but let me know when the $ is available. Just self published a Haiku ABC book for kids. Lots of humor & a true fact for each animal in the poems. Reading at local libraries with lots of interaction; great fun. I’m convinced kids learn more when having fun. Best wishes for the holidays & new year.
    Elizabeth

    • RickB

      Hi Elizabeth,

      Your Haiku ABC book for kids sounds great — yes, they definitely learn more when having fun. No price yet for The Amichai Windows but will let you know.

      Best wishes to you for the holidays and New Year, too.

  4. Dear Rick, I am so inspired by your work. A book that has been eight years in the making will be something for the annals of book art history. I am looking forward to following your progress. Hugs from the Canadian rainforest, Terry Ann (So lovely to see you at our recent HNA gathering…even if it was momentary)

    • RickB

      Hi Terry Ann,

      Thanks so much for your support and encouragement. I will be sharing more as I go along. It’s just very difficult both to do the book and report on it. But soon, soon . . . yes, it was good to see each other at HNA, if only briefly; hopefully, soon again.

  5. Barbara Green

    I hope a library or museum in the Metropolitan D.C. area will buy a copy of “Amichai Windows” so that an ordinary lover-of-Amichai-poetry like me will be able to see it.

    • RickB

      Hi Barbara,

      I hope a library or museum in the Metro DC area will get a copy, too. It’s still unclear if we’ll be able to do a facsimile edition. It all depends on the English and Hebrew reprint rights. Will let you know if we do plan such an edition.

  6. Jane McKinley

    Hi Rick,
    Please let me know when you decide on a price. I’m very interested.
    Hope you’re well. How old is your daughter now? I’m almost afraid to ask.
    Thanks & Happy Thanksgiving!
    Jane

    • RickB

      Hi Jane,

      I will definitely let you know — doing well here, trying to juggle family and work.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

      Rick

  7. Jerry Langer

    Rick, Congratulations on what is surely to be an absolutely marvelous marriage of poetry and design. I undoubtedly will not be in line for purchase, but I look forward to, at some point, seeing images of your work alongside the poetry of Amichai that I love and that moves me. – Jerry Langer

  8. Anna Banasiak

    Exodus
    By Anna Banasiak
    In memory of Yehuda Amichai

    You are the shepherd,
    leading out the words from the desert.

    I come to the faithful city,
    repeat the midrash Genesis Rabba
    after the destruction of the Temple.
    I hear the voice of peace.

    I see you under the cedarwood,
    reading the mishna and the gemara,
    the last Hebrew poet—
    and I can’t pronounce your name.

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