A Shade of Paden
Clayton Eshleman; woodcut by Bill Paden.
Hopewell: Pied Oxen Printers, 2006. Dark burgundy cloth boards with printed paste-downs. Unpaginated. Of a total edition of 50 lettepress printed copies, one of 15 numbered copies reserved for the poet and for the printer, this being number 13, signed by Eshleman and Sellers on the colophon page, the Hanga woodcut frontispiece is signed and numbered by Bill Paden (as one of 100 copies but, according to the colophon, no more than 30 of each variant completed before Paden's death). Fine.
A long poem by Eshleman in memory of his longtime friend, the artist Bill Paden, who died in 2004 while this book was under construction. Paden lived in Kyoto, Japan between the years 1963 and 1968. While there he studied the Japanese woodcut technique, working with Clifton Karhu. In 1968, he collaborated with Eshleman to produce Brother Stones, a book with six color woodcuts. Typography, hand-composition, printing, and binding by Sellers. The paper is Somerset Book Wove, the cloth is Asahi. A striking fine press collaboration touched by death.
"I imagine you
cutting a wood block under a plum tree,
listening to Bud Powell."