Canton, NY: Caliban Press, 2007. One of 40 copies, all on handmade papers from La Papeterie St-Armand, Montreal Quebec, each hand numbered and signed by the photographer, Mellon, and the designer / printer / poet, Mark McMurray. Page size: 9-1/2 x 7 inches opening to 21 inches; triptych opening to three pages with two pages of text bound in. Bound by Mark McMurray: splatter-dyed handmade Nepalese paper over boards. In keeping with Ginsberg's lifelong practice of Tibetan Buddhism, the two outer panels contain images of two Tibetan Buddhist protector deities taken from a damaged wood block found in Kyoto, Japan. The block was originally cut and printed for the Dali Lama's library at the Potola temple complex in Lhasa, Tibet. Housed in brown paper portfolio with colophon printed and signed on inside back cover; with wood spine cut with recess to hold glass vial of dirt from Ginsberg's Farm. Text is printed letterpress in 14 point Goudy Old Style by Mark McMurray.
In the late summer of 1973 the photographer Mellon and her husband, Beat scholar and educator John Tytell first met poet Allen Ginsberg and his companion Peter Orlovsky at the 90-acre farm in Cherry Valley, NY. Mellon recorded the visit in a series of photographs, a few of which were later published in John's book, PARADISE OUTLAWS: Remembering the Beats, 1999. This week-long visit began a friendship that lasted until Ginsberg's death in 1997.
GINSBERG'S FARM centers on one of Mellon's evocative and previously unpublished photographs of Ginsberg standing in his garden, the late summer sun setting behind him. The photograph is selenium-toned silver gelatin. Mellon's photographs have appeared in "The New York Times" and her work has been exhibited at the International Center of Photography in NY and in Paris at the Bibl. Nationale. Published on the 50th anniversary of the publication of HOWL, GINSBERG'S FARM contains a poetic tribute to the beat author, recounting a later visit to his "poetry farm" in Cherry Valley by Mark McMurray. Item #9911