These are six of the fifteen cases I’m making for Lisa Nebenzahl‘s McKnight project, “The Chico Poems”.

Each case holds 8 cyanotypes, printed by Lisa, with a letterpress printed poem overlaid in silver ink. The clamshell cases are covered in a Japanese blue and silver book cloth with an inlaid photo of Chico Nebenzahl.

The Chico Poems is a suite of eight poems contained in a custom designed case. This project was inspired by my late mother Chico Nebenzahl (1916-2000), who penned the poems in the early 1940’s. With the support of a McKnight Fellowship for Book Artists, the project took a year to produce as I employed the light of the sun to create the cyanotype prints in the spring, summer and fall of 2021. Letterpress and cyanotype printing come together to share these short, sometimes acerbic poems. A posthumous collaboration with my mother, who wrote poetry and fiction in her in twenties in Chicago but never shared them widely, gave me a chance to bring these poems out of their long rest and into the light.

— Lisa Nebenzahl

More information about the project and photographs can be found here.