Welcome to The Amichai Windows, a limited edition artist book of Yehuda Amichai poems. 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.

The Amichai Windows opens a window onto love, war, and being Jewish in the 20th century in Israel and abroad. It is a visual odyssey through Jewish history as filtered through 18 Amichai poems. So far we have had a few private showings in Israel and America; here is a selection of reactions to The Amichai Windows:

“A wonderful emotional and visual window into the poetry of Yehuda Amichai.” Hana Amichai

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

“An exquisite presentation of 18 Amichai poems lovingly crafted . . .” Robert Alter

“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

“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

“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

“A phenomenal piece of work.” Yehuda Miklaf

“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

“An amazing work of art.” Irene Lazar

“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

“Such a beautiful labor of love. You have contributed greatly to the world with your art and Amichai’s poems.” Barbara Green

“A rare treat.” Judy Hurvitz

“What an incredible undertaking—beautiful, moving, powerful.” Ed and Shelley Grossman

“A glorious match for a glorious poet.” Herman Schwartz

“Mille fois merci!” Sandy Leibowitz

It is impossible to replicate the experience of opening each poem and discovering a different world within. 

Each poem is wrapped and folded in an individual, handmade paper triptych and collected in an enclosure resembling a Jerusalem window. These 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.

Part of a Jerusalem papercut by Debra Band

A letterpressed image of a Jerusalem papercut by Debra Band for The Amichai Windows

Handwritten Amichai poem

Part of a handwritten Amichai poem, “I Know A Man”
Reprinted by permission of Hana Amichai
from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

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 that is meant primarily for libraries, museums and artist book collectors. 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.

In our blog, we document the making of this artist book and discuss Amichai’s poetry.  If you would like to receive our occasional blog posts, please just sign up in the box to the upper right. We will be letting you know of upcoming programs and exhibitions as well as reflecting on the making of this unique artist book. 

For inquiries about purchasing, please contact Rick Black through the email listed on our contact 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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