Maji Moto — New fine press book project underway.
I’m getting started on a fine press book which I am very excited about.
Maji Moto will feature over forty photographs and ten lyrical essays by Courtney Fitzpatrick (who, after a few phone calls and email exchanges, I was amazed to discover lives around the corner from me in Old West Durham, small world).
Excerpt follows from the Maji Moto announcement (which includes extensive details about the book, as well as biographical information about Courtney; please know that I’m happy to mail out an ink-on-paper version if you prefer)
…In 2009 Courtney Fitzpatrick traveled to the Amboseli basin in Kenya to study primate biology. Over the next year, as she acclimated to living as a guest in a remote research camp, Kenya descended into the worst drought of its living memory. Maji Moto is a record of disorientation, deprivation, and discovery. It heeds the call to rejoice. It is a plea and an apology, a love letter and a eulogy…
Courtney spent seventeen months doing advanced field biology work. Maji Moto is the personal side of an amazing and intense experience that occurred during her stay and scientific research. She turns her camera lens towards the unique, majestically beautiful, and often unforgivingly brutal environment that an amazing array of animals attempt to exist within. Her writing reflects upon the experience and the myriad external and internal forces at play as she shares sights and discoveries not too many humans will witness in their lifetime.
“Maji moto, and we are in hot water indeed. Glaciers are melting, the wells are running dry, and still there is the private weight and weather of our own days. Where is the aquifer that hydrates your solar plexus? I will pluck out the straws and cork the leaks. Let me lash hinged thimbles to your fingertips. Ten tiny buckets will swing like iron when you walk, heavy with the catch of your rain.”
Forewords will be contributed by Donna Haraway, distinguished scholar of science studies, and Harry Greene, world renowned snake expert and leading field biologist.
All orders received prior to June 15 will receive 15% off — and be very helpful in providing some upfront money for what will be a nearly year-long project, the conclusion of which will be 175 hand-printed, hand-bound copies of an at least 80-page book. The book will debut in April alongside an exhibition of Courtney’s photographs here in the foyer gallery. (We are also hoping to secure a few kind-hearted and generous “sponsors” for the project who will receive a deluxe edition of the book, along with a heartfelt acknowlegment of thanks within all copies of the edition.)
All text will be letterpress-printed by hand on a heavyweight, eggshell-finish premium uncoated text sheet. Images will be faifthfully and lovingly reproduced on an Indigo Press, and the book will be hand-sewn with linen thread in a flexible “over the shoulder/extended hollow” reinforced softcover binding by Craig Jensen of Book Lab II. This custom-designed binding allows the book to open completely flat and without stress on the spine.
A photographic print, suitable for framing, will be tucked inside the back cover of each book.
Deluxe edition copies, lettered A-Z, will be housed in a clamshell box with a hand-printed spine label and will feature a second larger photographic print.
Below are a few of Courtney’s photographs and another excerpt from one of her essays.
“I stopped at thirty when I counted the elephants behind my tent last night. They rumbled and trumpeted and stomped around until I thought Kili’s new snows might shake down right off the mountain. I thought I might march out there with my hands on my hips, “Some of us are trying to get some work done, you know!” But just then fourteen heavy-legged white storks came in for a landing. They turned that dead snag into twilit praise-Jesus church risers with their bill-clattering rounds, and tethered me to one holy moment. They hyenas uptrill, the dik-diks tiptoe, and the mongoose prowl, so I must be back in the shallow bowl of Amboseli.”