This book, through the poetry of former poet laureate W.S. Merwin, the drawings of two native Americans, and the skillful design and printing of Carolee Campbell, captures the sobering beauty of the Plains Indians ledger book. The book contains reproductions of the work of two men, one an Aparaho orphan known only by his Anglicized name Frank Henderson, and the other a Northern Cheyenne warrior called Little Finger Nail. They produced the art that this publication commemorates in the period after the Plains Indians gave up painting on hides and were relegated to the more prosaic but easier to use medium of the Europeans:  the ledger book used by military officers and traders.

This edition has color reproductions scanned and printed by Karen Skove Chu using Epson UltraChrome K3 inks. The book, designed, printed, and bound by Carolee Campbell, is set by hand in Van Dijck with Gloria for display and printed on Zerkall German made paper. The inner binding is made with Belgian flax paper handmade at Cave Paper in Minneapolis. The paper on the outer boards was marbled by Pamela Smith in New Mexico, and the spine is made of French burnt umber goatskin. It is an edition of seventy-two signed and numbered copies with seven copies hors commerce.

This book is signed by the poet.

 

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